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Jim Ward

Drawmij the Wizard

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Jim Ward
Gaming With Gary Gygax
  • 21
I met Gary Gygax at a book store. He told me he had a game where I could play Conan and fight Set. Just like that I was hooked. I went over to his house and rolled up a wizard character in D&D...
Jim Ward: Interplanetary War (TSR)
  • 22
You won't be surprised to know that the highly creative people at TSR often did amazing things in their game playing. I can distinctly remember having a fun lunch with Gary Gygax and he told me...
At TSR: Walking Around The Building
  • 25
Let me give you a little background. I became the Director of Creative Services at TSR. Upper management wanted me to have that title so when I tried to manage the editors and designers my words...
The Naming of Names: Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, & Gangbusters
  • 17
First, let me correct a mistake I made when I wrote that Zeb Cook thought up the 'Baatezu' & 'Tanar'ri' demon and devil new names. My friend Jim LaFountain quite rightly pointed out that he was...
Gary Gygax Things
  • 20
Let me start by saying that I believe Gary Gygax was a gaming genius. That genius included a lot of skills in crafting D&D designs. I have experienced literally hundreds of DM styles. Gary's style...
Theon's Underwear Experience
  • 5
First, let me say, that every word of this is fact and I am not exaggerating one word of it.
April 4th, 1984: TSR's 3rd Purge
  • 22
Life at TSR was very good and very bad. It started out in 1983. TSR had 386 employees and nepotism had raised its ugly head. You couldn’t throw a rock anywhere in the TSR offices without hitting a...
TSR's "Designeritus"
  • 22
We had a lot of design talent in the heyday of TSR. Zeb Cook and Jeff Grubb strode the world like giants and put together some amazing million dollar profit centers. There were other designers and...
Jim Ward: Demons & Devils, NOT!
  • 241
In the very early to mid '80s religious nongamer people discovered AD&D had magical spells and demons and devils in its rules. The problems started with Sears and Penny's retail stores. TSR was selling thousands of Player Handbooks and Dungeon Master's Guides every month to both of those companies. I know this because I was in sales and inventory control at the time.
Jim Ward: SSI, Dungeons & Dragons and the Computer Industry
  • 53
The time is about 1987. I had played Ultima and thought a computer game license could be great for TSR; besides I wanted to play a D&D computer game. I was surfing the net on a Commodore 64 and that was interesting and that effort gave me a little insight into the computer game industry. I went to upper management and pitched them the idea of searching for a computer game license. They didn't think much of the concept.
Jim Ward: Laser Tag and TSR
  • 9
In the '70s and early '80s the United States military used a system of infrared beams called the MILES system. The beams would hit sensors on a chest set of units and start beeping. This would cause the hit soldier to know they took a deadly strike. Training with these systems was an effective way for troops to learn combat situations.
The Origin of Monty Haul
  • 57
The time is 1975. I'm a substitute teacher and I've learned how to play D&D at Gary Gygax's house. He and his family are wonderful hosts. Every Saturday in warm weather we are playing on his side porch. The group is Gary's son Ernie in 9th grade; some of Ernie's friends, and some of Gary's adult friends including Brian Blume, Gary's partner in TSR.
Elf Stranded on the Warden: A Short Gary Gygax Story
  • 22
One of the great joys of working at TSR was being part of the group that played in Gary Gygax's weekly game. Over the years we had been the test subjects for many of the now classic Gygax adventures.
TSR's Amazing Accounting Department
  • 98
The time is 1987 and I was the Vice President of the design and editors. It was a great job because TSR had amazing people doing the design and editing of product. I wasn't liked much by upper management at TSR after Gary left the company. I don't do well with authority figures that I do not believe know what they are doing. So I was fairly sure I didn't have long to work at TSR. However, I didn't count on the product schedule keeping me there for as long as it did.
The Making and Breaking of Deities & Demigods
  • 151
Gods, Demigods, & Heroes was a D&D supplement that I suggested to Gary [Gygax] and it was published in 1976. It presented gods and heroes for D&D. In those days there was no google or internet research features and so I had to do a great deal of library research to get the book done. I used the Golden Bough for a great deal of the legendary treatment. I read all the novels of the authors I mentioned in the book. The concept was a first attempt at combining gods into the game and sold well.
Young Jim Ward and the Dice Monster
  • 11
As “Young Jim Ward” I started out in the sales department as the inventory controller. It was my job to order the boxes and parts for the games and especially the D&D box set. That game was selling 100,000 units a month. One of “Young Jim Ward’s” jobs was to make sure the Hong Kong dice came in on time to fill the next batch of 100,000 boxes.
James M Ward: Meeting Gary Gygax and Learning D&D
  • 35
Thank you all for the very kind welcome onto the EN World pages. A writer always glories in the kind words of his readers. Also I want you to know I will be very responsive to the interests of the EN World group. From the notes already left for me [in the first article, Who In The World is James M, Ward?] I can see you want to hear about the design of Deities & Demigods and Gamma World. I promise that will happen in the months to come.
Who in the World is James M. Ward?
  • 49
When Morrus emailed me that EN World would like to start running articles on my memories of TSR I was very pleased and honored. EN World consumers have a reputation for being very knowledgeable in the hobby market which is good and bad for an old dude like me. I am still a bit hesitant to enter this arena as I consider myself a very “Old Guard” designer and GM and many of my ways are considered obsolete by the players of today. Let me take a few paragraphs to explain who I am and what I intend to do in these articles in the hopes of sparking the interest of the readers of EN World.

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

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