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Meet the designers behind Dungeons & Dragons’ newest adventure anthology

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Some of the cast helping create Candlekeep Mysteries

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Cover art for Candlekeep Mysteries includes a pair of adventurers perusing forgotten tomes deep beneath Baldur’s Gate. Image: Clint Cearley/Wizards of the Coast

The next book published for Dungeons & Dragons will include the work of 19 different co-authors, more than any included in the 5th edition of the original role-playing games. Titled Candlekeep Mysteries, the collection of one-shot adventures highlights the diversity of the creators working within the industry today. The book doesn’t come out until March 16, but you can experience those authors’ back catalogs today. You’ll find places like the Dungeon Master’s Guild and itch.io are full of fresh new content for your home games.

Polygon reached out to the entire team for more information on their previous RPG work. Consider this your introduction to some tabletop’s best independent voices, and a guide to where to find their work online.

Alison Huang is an Australian writer known for her contributions to the Uncaged Anthology and the RPG Writer Workshop from Storytelling Collective, both which won her ENnie awards in 2020. Her design philosophy revolves around making content queer and/or subversive.

itch.io

A headshot of Jennifer Kretchmer
Jennifer Kretchmer
Photo: James Vela

Jennifer Kretchmer is a producer, writer, streamer, and performer who appears on D&D Beyond’s livestreamed tabletop show Silver and Steel; she’s the creator and executive producer of Monsters & Fables, and she has also worked in front of or behind the camera on more than a thousand episodes of television. A passionate advocate for accessibility for the disabled and increased inclusion in media, Jen is currently adapting pop musician Lights’ graphic novel Skin&Earth for television.

The Accessibility in Gaming Resource Guide | Linktree

A headshot of Daniel Kwan
Daniel Kwan

Daniel Kwan is the producer and co-host of the Gold ENnie Award-winning Asians Represent podcast — home of Dungeons & Da Asians, The Wrap Up, and the ongoing Asians Read series. Aside from Candlekeep Mysteries, Daniel recently published Ross Rifles, a Powered by the Apocalypse hack about the trench violence and drama of the First World War.

Personal website | itch.io

A headshot of Graeme Barber.
Graeme Barber
A headshot of Sarah Madsen
Sarah Madsen

Graeme Barber is a military veteran with a background in archaeology and commercial diving. He got his start in the industry doing critical analysis of games and their world-building. Since then he’s expanded into game design, consultancy, and freelance writing.

Personal website | itch.io

Sarah Madsen is a science fiction and fantasy author and tabletop role-playing game designer who has written for companies like Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, and Cubicle 7. Her cyberpunky urban fantasy novel, Weaver’s Folly, is out with Falstaff Books in February 2021.

Dungeon Master’s Guild | Kobold Press

A headshot of Michael Polkinghorn with a microphone.
Michael Polkinghorn

Michael Polkinghorn started playing D&D and other role-playing games back in 1979 and has been active off and on ever since. Most recently he has been the writer and Dungeon Master for the Relic of the Past podcast.

Podbean

A headshot of Kienna Shaw.
Kienna Shaw

Kienna Shaw is a tabletop role-playing game designer, streamer, and storyteller. She has freelance credits in various indie game products and a catalog of self-published games, co-produces Salty Sweet Games (a channel for both TTRPGs and video games), and co-curated the TTRPG Safety Toolkit.

Personal website | itch.io

Brandes Stoddard is a freelance writer and a stay-at-home dad. He’s previously worked for Wizards of the Coast, Pegasus Spiele, Atomic Overmind, Tribality Publishing, Blue Devil Games (for the ENnie-nominated Dawning Star line), and other publishers.

DriveThruRPG | Tribality

A headshot of Hannah Rose
Hannah Rose
A headshot of Amy Vorpahl
Amy Vorpahl

Hannah Rose is a freelance editor, writer, and game designer who loves all kinds of fantasy storytelling. She lives in Seattle with her partner James and their two feline familiars. She is a co-author and developmental editor on Candlekeep Mysteries.

Personal website | Twitter

Amy Vorpahl is a comedy actor, writer, gamer and host. You can find her on shows like The Newsroom and The Mindy Project and online with Nerdist, College Humor, and The Guild. Prior to working with Wizards she published two other adventures and filled out an entire YouTube channel.

Dungeon in a Box

A headshot of Derek Ruiz
Derek Ruiz
Photo: Derek Ruiz

Derek Ruiz is a Mexican adventure designer and cartography illustrator. He enjoys creating fantastic places and intricate plots for his games, and has been a longtime Dungeon Master.

Patreon

Toni Winslow-Brill is a freelance editor, writer, and is the director of research for a mergers and acquisitions firm in northern Wisconsin. Toni has long been involved in the D&D organized play community and has worked as an adventure author, event organizer, game master, meta-organization representative, and more.

Dungeon Master’s Guild