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James M. Ward
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Occupation Writer
Nationality United States

James M. Ward (born May 23, 1951), is an American game designer and fantasy author. He is most well known for his game development and writing work for TSR, Inc., where he worked for more than 20 years.


Ward was one of the players in Gary Gygax's early Greyhawk games as Gygax developed the Dungeons & Dragons game.[1]:24 The Dungeons & Dragons character Drawmij was named after him; "Drawmij" is simply "Jim Ward" spelled backwards.[citation needed] Rob Kuntz and Ward's Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976) expanded the original D&D game by introducing gods.[1]:8 Ward designed Metamorphosis Alpha (1976), which was the first science-fantasy role-playing game, and published as TSR's fourth role-playing game.[1]:9 Ward co-authored Deities & Demigods (1980) .[1]:382 In the early 1980s, Ward and Rose Estes formed an education department at TSR, intended to sell classroom modules to teachers.[1]:14 Ward ran Kuntz's adventure "The Maze of Xaene" as the D&D tournament module at EastCon in 1983, although the module never saw print at TSR.[1]:240 Ward wrote Greyhawk Adventures (1988), a hardcover volume that presented new rules for the Greyhawk setting.[1]:19 Ward, with David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike Breault, co-wrote the adventure scenario that was adapted into the game Pool of Radiance.[2] In 1989 he was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame.[citation needed] When TSR produced a second edition of AD&D, Ward instituted changes such as removing assassins and half-orcs from the game, explaining in Dragon #154 (February 1990) that "[a]voiding the Angry Mother Syndrome has become a good, basic guideline for all of the designers and editors at TSR, Inc"; Ward printed many upset readers' replies in Dragon #158.[1]:23 Ward can be glimpsed early in the Dragon Strike tutorial video playing the man who is slapped in the face at the king's party.[3] Ward was eventually made the VP for Creative Services, but left TSR over disagreements about how the company's crisis involving book sales in 1996 was handled.[1]:30

Ward later founded the d20 company Fast Forward Entertainment with Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, John Danovich and Sean Everett.[1]:351 From 2000 - 2005, he was President of Fast Forward Entertainment, an independent game development company.[citation needed] Ward wrote Sete-Ka's Dream Quest (2006), an adventure gamebook published by Margaret Weis Productions.[1]:353 Ward joined Troll Lord Games, writing books such as the Towers of Adventures (2008) boxed set and the Of Gods & Monsters (2009) supplement for Castles & Crusades; Ward also became the editor for Troll Lord's C&C magazine, The Crusader Journal.[1]:382 Ward also wrote the horror fantasy game Tainted Lands (2009), based on C&C's "SIEGE" system.[1]:382

In 2010, Ward was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder that required treatment at the Mayo Clinic. His friend, Tim Kask, has helped to establish a fund to help Ward offset some of the medical bills.[4]

Selected works[]


  • Dragonsword of Lankhmar (TSR, 1986), a pair of gamebooks starring Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser characters.
  • Pool of Radiance, with Jane Cooper Hong, (TSR, 1989), a Forgotten Realms novel derived from the Pool of Radiance computer game.
  • Pools of Darkness, with Anne K. Brown (TSR, 1992), the sequel to Pool of Radiance
  • Pool of Twilight, with Anne K. Brown (TSR, 1993), the third book in the Pool series.
  • Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe (Tor Books, 2005).
  • Sete-Ka's Dream Quest (Margaret Weis Productions, 2006).
  • Dragonfrigate Wizard Halcyon Blithe (Tor Books, 2006).
  • Time Twisters Anthology (Daw Books, 2006).
  • The Curse of Time (Margaret Weis Productions, 2007).

Role-playing games[]

  • Metamorphosis Alpha (TSR, 1976), the first science fiction role-playing game.
  • Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, with Robert J. Kuntz (TSR, 1976), one of the four rules supplements to the original edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Gamma World, with Gary Jaquet (TSR, 1978), the first role-playing game in the post-apocalyptic subgenre.
  • Deities & Demigods, with Robert J. Kuntz (TSR, 1980), a core rulebook for the 1st Edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons presenting similar material to that of Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes. This work introduced a number of now iconic Dungeons & Dragons deities, such as Corellon Larethian, Garl Glittergold, Gruumsh, Moradin, and Yondalla.
  • Greyhawk Adventures (TSR, 1988), a hardcover sourcebook for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting.
  • Metamorphosis Alpha 4th Edition (Mudpuppy Games, 2006).
  • Towers of Adventure (Troll Lord Games, 2008), a digest box set for the Castles & Crusades game.[5]
  • Tainted Lands (Troll Lord Games, 2010), a dark themed box set expansion for the Castles & Crusades game.
  • Beneath the Dome (Troll Lord Games, 2013), a serial adventure for the Castles & Crusades game.


  • Dragon Ball Z collectible card game.
  • Westeros GAME OF THRONES Miniatures rules (2007).
  • Astrobirdz Concept card game, RPG, board game, coin game, YA novels.
  • My Precious Presents card game
  • Dragon Lairds board game, created by Ward and Tom Wham was published in 2008 by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.[6]
  • In 2008, Ward became the Managing Editor of and a contributor to, The Crusader magazine published by Troll Lord Games.[7]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  2. The Dragon editors (September 1989). "The Envelope, Please!". Dragon (149): 20–21. 
  3. Moore, Roger E. (October 1993). "Editorial". Dragon (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc.) (#198): 14. 
  4. Friends of Starship Warden: the James M. Ward Relief Fund
  5. Ward, James M. (August 2008). ISBN 978-1-929474-19-6. 
  6. Ward, James M.; Wham, Tom (2008). ISBN 978-1-931567-60-2. 
  7. Troll Lord Games (March 2008). The Crusader 4 (8). 

External links[]

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Jim Ward (game designer).
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Card Game Database Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.