Monte Cook, professional game designer and major force behind the development of the Third Edition of Dungeons and Dragons in 2000, is returning a decade later to Wizards of the Coast.
Mike Mearls, lead developer for Dungeons & Dragons, announced in his Legends & Lore column that Monte would be returning.
I’ve spent the past several months talking about D&D’s past and how that relates to its future. It’s now time to focus much more on the future of the game. Monte has an unmatched design pedigree in the RPG field, and for that reason we’ve brought him on board to work with R&D in making D&D the greatest RPG the world has seen. Over the next few weeks, Monte will use this column to share his thoughts about the game. As we look to chart D&D’s future course, this column will continue to be a place where we share our ideas and listen to yours, and we hope you’ll keep reading, discussing the contents, and sharing your feedback and thoughts with us and the larger D&D community. That’s what makes Legends & Lore a conversation that we can all participate in.
Monte Cook started working professionally in the game industry in 1988. In the employ of Iron Crown Enterprises, he worked with the Rolemaster and Champions games as an editor, developer, and designer. In 1994, Monte came to TSR, Inc., as a game designer and wrote for the Planescape and core D&D lines. When that company was purchased by Wizards of the Coast, he moved to the Seattle area and eventually became a senior game designer. At Wizards, he wrote the 3rd Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide and served as codesigner of the new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. In 2001, he left Wizards to start his own design studio, Malhavoc Press, with his wife Sue. Although in his career he has worked on over 100 game titles, some of his other credits include Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, The Book of Eldritch Might series, the d20 Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game, The Book of Vile Darkness, Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved, Ptolus, Monte Cook’s World of Darkness, and Dungeonaday.com. He was a longtime author of the Dungeoncraft column in Dungeon Magazine. In recent years, Monte has been recognized many times by game fans in the ENnies Awards, the Pen & Paper fan awards, the Nigel D. Findley Memorial Award, the Origins Awards, and more.
Personally, Monte has been a huge influence on my own games. I seem to be one of the few people still running a d20 Call of Cthulhu game, and this past year we incorporated many of the concepts presented in his World of Darkness book. This is good news for lapsed fans of Dungeons & Dragons — Monte has a real reverence for D&D’s history and I’m hopeful his arrival will mean a new chapter for the game.
Given the recent multichannel launch of the Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter brand and the focus of the Legends & Lore column “on the future,” it seems likely that this is the beginning – like Mearls’ hiring in 2005 – of the march towards Fifth Edition.