Rodney Thompson has an opportunity to go try something new. He has been a valued member of the Dungeons & Dragons R&D team for many years and we wish him all the best on his grand adventure. May all of his die rolls be twenties.
Rodney contributed to many facets of D&D during his time at Wizards of the Coast. Beyond his accomplishments and amazing game design skills, we will personally miss Rodney’s friendly banter and easy smile. Good luck Rodney!
A few words from Mike Mearls:
While it’s exciting to see Rodney tackle a new challenge, it’s never easy to say goodbye. Rodney helped bring to life the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons and was the co-designer, with Peter Lee, of the award-winning Lords of Waterdeep board game. His mark on D&D and his influence on its development will long outlast his tenure here on the D&D R&D team. He’s made not only a lot of gamers happy, but has been a positive, buoyant presence here in the office. The years we spent working on fifth edition required long hours of work and some of the best collective design work anyone has put into any game, period. We couldn’t have done that without him.
Please join me in wishing him luck in his new venture. We’re sad to see him go, but excited to see what the future holds for him.
Here’s more from Rodney Thompson about his time here at Wizards of the Coast and what it meant to him:
Fifteen years ago, I received an e-mail that changed my life. That e-mail came from Chris Perkins, offering me the chance to co-author a book for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. This e-mail changed my life in two ways: first, it gave me the opportunity to continue paying my college tuition, and it set me on the first steps of the path of becoming a professional game designer. I was 20 years old, and I was doing contract work for Wizards of the Coast. Six years after that first contract, I moved from Tennessee to the state of Washington so I could be a game designer at Wizards of the Coast full-time.
Since then, I've had the greatest job in the world. I get to come to work every day and come up with new ways to make people happy. I get to hand craft experiences that ultimately help form bonds of friendship that last a lifetime. The friends I've made playing Dungeons & Dragons are still close to me (one of them recently more so, as a member of my college gaming group just moved to Seattle), and I feel certain that many of you reading this have similar stories. That's been my job: to make sure that the games that shaped my life and lifestyle continue doing so for years to come. It's not just a great, fulfilling job, it's also the culmination of a dream I've had since childhood.
Working at Wizards of the Coast has been more than just a great job. The amount of learning that I have done since coming here goes well beyond anything that I could have done on my own. I used to say that my first year at Wizards of the Coast taught me more about game design than the entire previous seven years' worth of freelancing, and it's true. A friend of mine used to joke that playing in a Chris Perkins campaign was like taking a Master's class in Dungeon Mastering, and that's true too. Every day I work alongside some of the most intelligent, talented, hard-working, and dedicated creative professionals on the planet, and the constant immersion in that environment has been critical to my development and growth as a game designer. I tell you these things not to give you my history, but to show you how working for Wizards of the Coast has fundamentally changed my life.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and it's with bittersweet feelings that I'm announcing Friday is my last day at Wizards of the Coast. I'm extraordinarily proud of the work I've done here; from Star Wars Saga Edition, to Lords of Waterdeep, and, of course, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. A new opportunity has arisen, and so I must say, "Goodbye," (or at least, "See you later!") to my comrades here at Wizards of the Coast.
Though I'm moving on to new and different things, I’ll still be around to talk about games. I am, as I mentioned, still fond of the work I've done here, and I’ll continue contributing to its legacy by playing and discussing roleplaying and board games. The best way to keep track of me, and what I'm working on, is to follow me on Twitter; my handle is changing to @AntarianRanger.