Sean K. Reynolds is a Dungeons & Dragons writer who worked for TSR and Wizards of the Coast between 1995 and 2002.

Life and career[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Sean K. Reynolds was born circa 1972 in Chula Vista, California. In 1980 he was introduced by a cousin to Dungeons & Dragons, and would play the 1983 Mentzer Basic and Expert sets. He went on to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.[1][2]

He studied chemistry at a college in Riverside, California, graduating with a bachelor's degree, and joined the teacher credential program. He subsequently went to work for Time Warner Interactive in 1994 as an online coordinator for around one year, developing their website and America Online presence.[3][4][1]

TSR[edit | edit source]

In 1995, aged 23, Reynolds responded to a job posting by TSR's Rob Repp on the fan-operated AD&D mailing list, advertising a position as TSR's online coordinator. Repp had a poor reputation in the online Dungeons & Dragons community due to his enforcement of TSR's restrictive policy on free online fan works, and Reynolds felt he could do a better job. Two weeks later, Repp flew Reynolds to TSR's headquarters for an interview, after which he was offered the job on the spot. Reynolds defeated Bruce Cordell for the job, who TSR would later hire as a designer.[4]

Reynolds was responsible for establishing TSR's website, originally hosted by Interplay, who held the license to Dungeons & Dragons video games and would later be known for the AD&D video game Baldur's Gate. Reynolds helped to shift TSR's policy towards favoring fans, and during his employment TSR never shut down any fan website except those which posted copyrighted material.[4]

During his employment at TSR, Reynold's writing credits included some RPGA adventure modules and part of Children of the Night: Ghosts (1997).

Wizards of the Coast[edit | edit source]

In 1997, TSR declared bankruptcy and was bought out by Wizards of the Coast. In September, Reynolds was one of the TSR employees moved from Wisconsin to Wizards of the Coast's headquarters in Renton, Washington, where he joined the company's web team. After successfully having the company's fan content policy further relaxed in favor of the fans, Reynolds left the TSR website in the hands of the rest of the web team and sought work in the design side, taking odd jobs at the company in the interim while waiting for the design role to open in 1998. [4]

From 1997 until 2000, Wizards of the Coast continued to produce roleplaying game products under the TSR brand. Reynolds worked on several of these, including several Ravenloft sourcebook Children of the Night: Ghosts (1997) sourcebooks for the Alternity roleplaying game. He also served as TSR Online coordinator on AOL[5] and handled email inquiries.[6]

Reynolds was interviewed by Stephen Kenson in Dragon #270 (Apr 2000).

Reynolds went on to work on several highly notable Dungeons & Dragons third edition products. His contributions to the Monster Manual (3.0) (2000) included the krenshar, a fear-inducing creature created in part to allow the fear-immune paladin class to shine. He also worked on most of the core humanoid species.[1]

Following his work on several World of Greyhawk AD&D sourcebooks from 1999 to 2000, Reynolds worked on the setting's first D&D third edition sourcebook, the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000). He was also involved in the design of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting{{UnknownBook}}, and wrote several sourcebooks in that setting.

On March 14, 2002, Reynolds was one of several employees laid off by Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons division. He considered this layoff amiable, as he had been planning to leave the company move back to southern California. He performed some unpaid work for Wizards of the Coast in the following year.[3][7]

Subsequent work[edit | edit source]

After leaving Wizards of the Coast, Reynolds joined Black Isle Studies, a division of Interplay. There he worked on several canceled video game RPG projects, including Baldur's Gate 3, Fallout 3, and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 3, and an action RPG based on Exalted.[3] In June 2004, Reynolds left Interplay after they illegally switched employees from salary to hourly without permission. Reynolds left and started his own company, Sean K Reynolds Games.[8]

He wrote various freelance works, including Anger of Angels (2004) published by Malhavoc Press, and the charity work Swords into Plowshares.[9]

Reynolds was subsequently hired by Upper Deck, working on licensed card games for Kiba, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and World of Warcraft. He variously worked for the company as an employee in California and as a contractor in New York City and Last Vegas. He was laid off in May 2008 after the company made lower profits than expected, despite making quarterly profits of $50 million. Reynolds subsequently criticized the company for counterfeiting their own Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to avoid paying royalties, in a case settled in a 2010 lawsuit.[3]

He also worked as a freelance writer for Wizards of the Coast, including on Forgotten Realms sourcebooks such as Champions of Valor (2005) and Mysteries of the Moonsea (2006).

Reynolds moved to Seattle and went to work with Paizo on their Pathfinder roleplaing game and adventure module series. In August 2015, he released the Five Moons roleplaying game. He did not write any content for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, although he was thanked for his work on the third edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting in the credits of several fourth edition Forgotten Realms works.

Following the release of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition in 2014, Reynolds contributed to Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks, including the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (2015) and Volo's Guide to Monsters (2016).

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • Birthright: Müden (1997): Web conversion
  • Strange Bedfellows, Polyhedron #130 (Jun 1998), p.18
  • Forgotten Realms 2000 Survival Guide, Dragon Annual 2000 (1998), p.102
  • Enchiridion of the Fiend-Sage, Living Greyhawk Journal #2 (2000)
  • The Blood of Heroes, Living Greyhawk Journal #3 (2001)
  • Enchiridion of the Fiend-Sage, Living Greyhawk Journal #4 (2001)
  • Enchiridion of the Fiend-Sage, Living Greyhawk Journal #5 (2001)
  • How To Design a Feat, Dragon #275 (Sep 2000), p.38
  • A Dwarven Lexicon, Dragon #278 (Dec 2000), p.44
  • An Elven Lexiconn, Dragon #279 (Jan 2001), p.56
  • Blood Golems of Hextor, Dragon #292 (Feb 2002), p.96
  • Lords of the Lost Vale, Dragon #292 (Feb 2002), p.36
  • The Elemental Planetouched, Dragon #293 (Mar 2002), p.56
  • Monstrous Denizens of Oerth, Dragon #295 (May 2002), p.92
  • War Spells: Unleash Arcane Armageddon, Dragon #309 (Jul 2003), p.44
  • The Bloody Swords, Dragon #315 (Jan 2004), p.56
  • Lost Temple of Demogorgon, Dungeon #120 (Mar 2005), p.64
  • Encounter at Blackwall Keep, Dungeon #126 (Sep 2005), p.16
  • Core Beliefs: Boccob, Dragon #338 (Dec 2005), p.38
  • Creature Catalog IV, Dragon #339 (Jan 2006), p.44
  • Core Beliefs: Olidammara, Dragon #342 (Apr 2006), p.32
  • Core Beliefs: Pelor, Dragon #346 (Aug 2006), p.20
  • Core Beliefs: Vecna, Dragon #348 (Oct 2006), p.18
  • Core Beliefs: Wee Jas, Dragon #350 (Dec 2006), p.18
  • Core Beliefs: Heironeous, Dragon #354 (Apr 2007), p.18
  • Core Beliefs: Hextor, Dragon #356 (Jun 2007), p.36
  • Core Beliefs: Saint Cuthbert, Dragon #358 (Aug 2007), p.24

RPGA modules[edit | edit source]

  • Dragonscales at Morningtide (2000)[10]

Other works[edit | edit source]

  • Legacy of the Dragon, Dragon #264 (Oct 1999), p.92 (Alternity)
  • Beyond Science: A Guide to FX (Alternity, 1999)
  • FX Artifacts, Dragon #268 (Feb 2000), p.98 (Alternity)
  • Hungry Little Monsters
  • Swords into Plowshares
  • Age of Mortals (Sovereign Press, 2003): Additional design
  • Anger of Angels (Malhavoc Press, 2004)
  • Skreyn's Register: The Bonds of Magic (Malhavoc Press, 2004)

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Profiles: Sean Reynolds, Dragon #270 (Apr 2000), p.20-21.
  2. Note that while the interview suggests he began playing D&D in 1980, it also cites the "red Basic Set and the blue Expert Set", which describes the Frank Mentzer "BECMI" editions not released until 1983. Reynolds also describes being a gamer since he was ten, but How I Got a Job at TSR states he was 23 in May 1995, suggesting that he may have in fact begun playing D&D in 1983.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 About Sean.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 How I Got A Job At TSR., Jan 30, 2004.
  5. Dragon #235 (Nov 1996), p.7.
  6. Dragon #253 (Nov 1998), p.115.
  7. One Year Later., Mar 14, 2003.
  8. One Year Later, Part 3., Mar 28, 2005.
  9. One Year Later, Part 2., Mar 15, 2004.
  10. Living Greyhawk Journal #0
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