An Interview with Mike Mearls about Game Writing

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In December, as part of my column about game writing for the SFWA, I interviewed Mike Mearls, the Senior Manager of the Dungeons & Dragons creative team at Wizards of the Coast. If you are not familiar with Mike’s work, he is a game designer and writer who co-designed 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Here’s a sneak peek at the interview with Mike Mearls!

What was the first roleplaying game you worked on? Can you describe your assignment?

The first game I worked on was Unknown Armies, an RPG of modern occult magic released in 1999. I wrote a few small pieces for a supplement called Postmodern Magick. The book was a grab bag of characters, locations, magic items, and so on. I wrote three small pieces, a new ritual, a new variety of spirit prone to possess people, and a pair of characters that GMs could insert into their campaigns.

That project was an ideal starting point, as none of the three assignments were more than a few hundred words. Each assignment was also very focused. I needed to create one thing, rather than take on something more sprawling. The assignment felt easy to manage, and having that first success under my belt helped build my confidence.

For more, please visit Mike Mearls of Dungeons & Dragons: Documenting Imaginary Worlds on SFWA.org.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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