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Mike Mearls
Works at Wizards of the Coast
Attends None
Lives in Seattle, WA
6,385 followers|152,672 views
Have him in circles
6,385 people
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Game Designer
  • Wizards of the Coast
    Senior Manager, 2005 - present
  • Apple/United Digital Artists
    Systems Administrator, 1998 - 2000
  • Returnpath
    Sales Engineer, 2000 - 2001
  • WPI
    Computer Operations Manager, 1997 - 1998
  • Paizo Publishing
    Freelance Developer, 2005 - 2005
  • Malhavoc Press
    Game Designer, 2004 - 2005
  • Freelance
    Game Designer, 2001 - 2004
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Seattle, WA
Pelham, NH - NYC - Boston, MA - Newark, NJ
I'm a game geek who lucked in to running the Dungeons & Dragons R&D team.
I'm a standard issue geek who happened to stumble into a career in game design. Oh, and I am officially a best-selling writer. Thank you, Wall Street Journal non-fiction list!
  • None
  • Dartmouth
    Pong, 1993 - 1997
  • Central Catholic
    Overachievement, 1989 - 1993
Basic Information


Mike Mearls

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I blogged after the weekend, making it four weekdays in a row.
cole long's profile photo
whenever there's a vacuum, usually someone will move in to take advantage of the open space
i always liked to have a simple agenda for major groups; that helps decide who might naturally advance to fill in the space, or it's sometimes a good opportunity to invent something new to surface
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Mike Mearls

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Paul E (palecur)'s profile photoMike Mearls's profile photoJustin Halliday's profile photoDominic Pinchott's profile photo
And the blogs still show up in Feedly, now that Reader is dead.

Great topic, I look forward to reading this evening.  I can say that in 4e, I found that I needed ~75% chance to hit a creature in order to have fun.  I'm all for finding creative ways to reward success or enrich failure.
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Mike Mearls

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Hey all - we're playing D&D to raise money for charity. If you sponsor me, you can either give my character free treasure or assign weird, bizarre, and amusing traits to his/her personality. Check it out.
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Mike Mearls

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That's my head, speaking at you from the Youtubes. Guest starring my hands and a water bottle.
For those of you who missed the D&D Next hangout with Mike and Jeremy, do not fear! You can watch it all here!
Barry Kothlow's profile photo
Yes like bonus action is very complex right?
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Mike Mearls

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This Friday, November 9th at 11:30am PT, we're pleased to offer an online discussion with R&D's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford over Google+ Hangout On Air. Now that the latest playtest packet has gone live, Mike and Jeremy will be covering all things D&D Next.

We will be asking Mike and Jeremy selected questions from the D&D community. If you have any D&D Next questions you feel our moderator should ask, simply add them to the comment field below.

You can watch the Google+ Hangout on Friday on our new Google+, here!
We appreciate your help and feedback -- and we'll see you at the Hangout!
Jason Stewart's profile photoDavid Pretty's profile photo
This is relevant to my interests...
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Mike Mearls

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One of the D&D Next play test sessions I ran today started with the characters opening a speakeasy and ended with them shoving two town guards through a portal to the Abyss, thus killing the last witnesses to the inadvertent demonic invasion they triggered.

Moral of the story - mushrooms are a tricky ingredient.
Peter Fröhlich's profile photoChris Chinn's profile photoMike Mearls's profile photomatt greenfelder's profile photo
Fun! This is my envious face.
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Mike Mearls

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And three days in a row!
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Haven't seen Ironclad, but I'm pretty sure someone has made a movie along those lines.
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Mike Mearls

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Joined the legion of people who resolved to blog more regularly.
Matty K's profile photoMax Saltonstall's profile photoJonathan Scott's profile photo
From my understanding, much of Boba Fett's legend lies outside of the film series and I understand that much of the 3rd party material on him his canonical. However, if one's familiarity with Boba Fett was only from the films, his death, as a relatively minor character isn't that unsatisfying. But I digress. I could have benefited from a time out when my bosses get dropped in the opening round. Usually my first reaction is to pad his HP to keep him alive.
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Mike Mearls

Homebrew Rules  - 
After running one session, I've already cooked up a hack for the escalation die, stolen an idea from FATE (twice) and have a question about minis.

Escalation Dice
Rather than tie it to encounters, I think I'm going to use the escalation die as a per session/adventure measure of momentum. As the players ratchet up the stakes and their icon relationships come into play, the escalation die escalates.

On the other hand, shying away from challenges or being lame de-escalates the die.

Zones, whether from 4e or FATE seem a great tool for the game. I think FATE was where I saw this recommendation: list your zones on index cards, and clip them to your GM's screen facing the players. I'm planning on mapping them to the high end of impromptu damage to make them really worth chasing.

Using the index cards really helps call attention to those nifty options you've taken the time to add to an area. It's worked well for me.

Open Information
By the same token, I'm going to write down monster defenses on cards and hang them from my GM screen. 13th Age encourages open information sharing. I'm hoping this will also help speed up play, as players can just self-report hits and misses.

Finally, A Question
For people using minis and a grid, what advice do you have to get players to stop thinking in 5-foot increments? The biggest mistake I made in running the game was sticking too close to precise measurements. It slowed things down and didn't play to the game's strengths.

David Thomas's profile photoASH LAW's profile photoAdam Dray's profile photoChad Brown's profile photo
It took me a while to get my group (which was playing mostly 4e) away from counting squares and measuring distances. I denied them maps a few times, and then had monsters blatantly break the grid a few times, and then it sunk in.
That said, I believe that time and experience are the biggest factors. I'd point out the issue in session two, and not worry about it until session three, personally.
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Mike Mearls

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Good Guy #wizardsofthecoast  sends Long Beach hurricane Sandy victim GM a holiday surprise!

My friend (and selfless weekly GM to so many since the 90's!) lost everything on his ground floor during Hurricane Sandy, including 20+ years of D&D rulebooks, supplements, adventures and novels.

As several feet of flood waters poured in, he chose to rescue precious items like his daughter's princess castle and his wife's sentimental treasures. His impressive #DnD  collection, on multiple giant bookcases, toppled over and were destroyed in minutes and needless to say he was dispirited. So I reached out to #wizardsofthecoast   to see if there was anything at all they could do to help us rebuild his collection (discounts, coupons, PDFs or anything). They said that maybe they could do something for him. Nobody expected this enormous box of Christmas cheer!!

Thank you Wizards! The day before this showed up he was telling me he'd lost the will to play or rebuild his collection. An hour after it arrived he was in good spirits and working on a new campaign :) This makes all the players in our groups feel good about supporting their company all these years. And we appreciate the older edition they thought to include! And sorry about the wall of text guys :)
Izak Flash's profile photoMarcin Roszkowski's profile photoFred Lloyd's profile photoGordon Johansen's profile photo
Very nice indeed. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose all that stuff (and I have had six basement floods). Fortunately, my D&D has always survived. 
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Mike Mearls

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I've been playing a nifty PC game called FTL. Imagine if you played in a homebrew Traveler game that was mostly a sandbox and a GM who just let the dice fall where they may. That's FTL.
Justin Halliday's profile photoRobby Ragas's profile photoEric Chon's profile photoJoel Purton's profile photo
I keep leaving my boarding parties to die by forgetting to switch off my weapons when they arrive. In some ways more fun than Traveller :-)
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Mike Mearls

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Latest playtest packet is up.
tomi sarkkinen's profile photoWilliam Smith's profile photoMatt Sheridan's profile photoMichael Amygdalidis's profile photo
The TWF rules make me sad.
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