Keith Baker (game designer)

Keith Baker is a game designer and fantasy novel author. In addition to working with Wizards of the Coast on the creation of Eberron, he has also contributed material for Goodman Games, Paizo Publishing and Green Ronin Publishing.[1] In 2014, Baker and Jennifer Ellis co-founded the indie tabletop game company Twogether Studios.[2]

Keith Baker
Keith Baker in 2005
Keith Baker in 2005
OccupationWriter, game designer
Genrerole-playing games, fantasy
Notable worksEberron, Gloom, Illimat
Notable awards2004 Origins Award Best Roleplaying Game Supplement, 2005 Origins Award Traditional Card Game of the Year
SpouseJenn Ellis
Website
keith-baker.com Edit this at Wikidata

Personal lifeEdit

Baker lives in Portland, Oregon. He has a tattoo of the Greater Mark of Making on his right arm.[3] He is married to product designer Jenn Ellis.[2][4][5]

CareerEdit

Prior to working in the role-playing game industry, he worked in the video game industry with Magnet Interactive Studios and a Colorado company, VR1.[6]

In 2002, Keith Baker was a freelancer best known for his thematic work at Atlas Games.[7]:291 His Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of Eberron was chosen as the winner among the 11,000 submissions to the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search in 2002.[7]:291[8] Baker produced the Eberron Campaign Setting (2004) alongside James Wyatt and Bill Slavicsek, the first of many background books focused on the setting.[7]:294

For the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Baker was a designer on the Eberron Campaign Guide (July 2009)[9] and a consultant on the Eberron Player's Guide (June 2009).[10]

In 2017, Baker joined the podcast Manifest Zone which explores the world of Eberron including lore and official products. His co-hosts are Wayne Chang and Kristian Serrano.[11]

For the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Baker was the lead designer of Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (July 2018) which was an official Wizards of the Coast supplement published as a PDF on the Dungeon Masters Guild.[12][13] The Dungeon Masters Guild, owned by OneBookShelf, is an online store that hosts official Wizards of the Coast products and acts as "a platform for players to publish lore, maps, character designs and adventures based on Dungeons & Dragons intellectual property".[14] Utilizing the Dungeon Masters Guild, Baker published two non-official Eberron themed adventures in 2018 and a non-official 5th edition Eberron supplement in 2019.[15][16][17]

Baker was also one of the lead designers of the first hardcover 5th edition Eberron sourcebook: Eberron: Rising From The Last War (November 2019).[18] In the following year, Baker released two new non-official 5th Edition Eberron products on the Dungeon Masters Guild: a campaign guide, Exploring Eberron (July 2020),[19][20][21] and a supplement, Eberron Confidential (November 2020).[22][23] In December 2020, Baker announced two upcoming Eberron projects which would also be released on the Dungeon Masters Guild: Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold (2021) and codenamed Project: Fool’s Platinum (2022).[24][25]

Baker has been a role-playing game designer across multiple systems besides Dungeons & Dragons, including systems such as Pathfinder,[26][27] 13th Age (2012)[28][29] and Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana (2015).[30][31]

Essays by Baker on role-playing design and other game features have been published in the Kobold Guides series - including Adventures (2008), Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design (2012), The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding (2012), and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering (2017).[32][33]

Twogether StudiosEdit

In 2014, Baker co-founded a new an indie tabletop game studio with his wife, Jennifer Ellis.[34][2] In April 2015, Twogether Studios launched their first game, Phoenix: Dawn Command, on Kickstarter[35] and raised $67,284.[36] Phoenix: Dawn Command is a card-based roleplaying game where players become "more powerful each time they fall in battle".[37]

In October 2016, Twogether Studios launched their second game, Illimat,[2] on Kickstarter[38] and raised $418,628.[39] This set collection game was designed in partnership with the band The Decemberists and illustrated by Carson Ellis. Steve Haske, for Inverse, wrote: "Last year, the band’s Chris Funk got in touch with Portland-based Twogether Studios, in order to bring Illimat into the real world via a Kickstarter campaign. With game designer Keith Baker (co-founder of Twogether), the two designed a relatively simple game played with cards, a few tokens, and a rotating box — the Illimat itself, that changes the 'seasons' of the gameplay — so appropriate to The Decemberists’s old-world aesthetic that it has a fascinating sense of authenticity".[40]

Twogether Studios has launched two more successfully funded card games on Kickstarter: Action Cats! (July 2017, raised $17,086) and Action Pups! (February 2019, raised $7,273). Both games feature photos of pets that Kickstarter backers submitted.[41][42]

In September 2019, it was announced that Twogether Studios was working with the McElroy family to create a cooperative storytelling card game adaptation of The Adventure Zone called TAZ: Bureau of Balance.[43][44] After its release in 2020, CBR called it "a great way to bring the joy of The Adventure Zone to the table and get in on the action".[45] Io9 highlighted that it "is a great card game for folks wanting to try out (or get back into) RPGs, or more seasoned players who want a cooperative storytelling experience that takes out some of the legwork and guesswork for an afternoon. It’s not going to give you all the thrills and chills of a traditional RPG, but it does enough to simulate the experience".[46] In 2020, Twogether Studios worked with Podium Audio to release the Ascend Online Roleplaying Game, "a micro roleplaying game", based on the audiobook series of the same name by author Luke Chmilenko.[47] Io9 reported that "Ascend Online is about a group of friends who’ve gotten more than they bargained for in an immersive fantasy video game" and that it is "a mix between Ready Player One and Sword Art Online"; the free "micro RPG lets players create a party and explore the series’ world, creating their own collaborative adventure along the way".[47]

AwardsEdit

Baker has won an Origins Award twice, first in 2004 for Best Roleplaying Game Supplement as part of the team for the Eberron campaign setting,[48] then alone in 2005 for Traditional Card Game of the Year for Gloom, published by Atlas Games.[49]

Baker was part of the design team for the Pathfinder campaign supplement The Inner Sea World Guide which won 2011 ENnie for Best Art, Interior - Gold Winner and for Best Setting - Gold Winner. The book was also nominated for: 2011 ENnie for Product of the Year, 2011 Golden Geek Best RPG Artwork/Presentation, and 2011 Golden Geek Best RPG Supplement Nominee.[50][26][51]

Two of the Kobold Guides anthologies Baker has contributed to have won ENnie awards: Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design (2012 ENnie for Best RPG Related Product - Gold Winner) and The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding (2013 ENnie for Best RPG Related Product - Gold Winner and for Best Writing - Gold Winner).[52][53]

Baker contributed design to the 13th Age Core Book which won the 2014 ENnie for Best Rules - Silver Winner and was nominated for 2013 Golden Geek Best RPG Artwork/Presentation Nominee, 2013 Golden Geek RPG of the Year Nominee, 2014 ENnie for Best Game.[54][55]

Selected role-playing game creditsEdit

EberronEdit

AccessoriesEdit

  • Eberron Campaign Setting, w/ Bill Slavicsek and James Wyatt (Wizards of the Coast, June 2004, ISBN 0-7869-3276-7)
  • Sharn: City of Towers, w/ James Wyatt (Wizards of the Coast, November 2004, ISBN 0-7869-3434-4)
  • Races of Eberron, w/ Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, and Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (Wizards of the Coast, April 2005, ISBN 0-7869-3658-4)
  • Player's Guide to Eberron, w/ James Wyatt, Luke Johnson, and Stan! (Wizards of the Coast, January 2006, ISBN 0-7869-3912-5)
  • Secrets of Xen'drik, w/ Jason Buhlman and Amber Scott (Wizards of the Coast, July 2006, ISBN 0-7869-3916-8)
  • Dragonmarked, w/ Michelle Lyons and C.A. Suleiman (Wizards of the Coast, November 2006, ISBN 0-7869-3933-8)
  • Secrets of Sarlona, w/ Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Glenn McDonald, and Chris Sims (Wizards of the Coast, February 2007, ISBN 0-7869-4037-9)
  • Dragons of Eberron w/ Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Nicolas Logue, and Amber Scott (Wizards of the Coast, October 2007, ISBN 978-0-7869-4154-4)
  • City of Stormreach w/ Nicolas Logue, James "Grim" Desborough, and C.A. Suleiman (Wizards of the Coast, February 2008, ISBN 978-0-7869-4803-1)
  • Eberron Campaign Guide, w/ James Wyatt (Wizards of the Coast, July 2009, ISBN 978-0-7869-5099-7)
  • Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (5e) w/ Ruty Rutenberg, Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Kate Welch (Wizards of the Coast, July 2018, PDF)[13]
  • Morgrave Miscellany w/ Ruty Rutenberg, Greg Marks, Shawn Merwin, Derek Nekritz (Dungeon Masters Guild, March 2019, PDF)[15]
  • Eberron: Rising from the Last War w/ Jeremy Crawford and James Wyatt (Wizards of the Coast, November 2019, ISBN 9780786966899)
  • Exploring Eberron w/ Will Brolley, Laura Hirsbrunner, Wayne Chang (Dungeon Masters Guild and KB Presents, July 2020, PDF and print on demand)[56][57]
  • Eberron Confidential (Dungeon Masters Guild and KB Presents, November 2020, PDF)[22][23]
  • Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold w/ Will Brolley, Laura Hirsbrunner, and Wayne Chang (Dungeon Masters Guild and KB Presents, 2021, PDF) [upcoming][24][25]

AdventuresEdit

  • Shadows of the Last War (Wizards of the Coast, July 2004, ISBN 0-7869-3276-7).[58]
  • Khyber's Harvest (Wizards of the Coast, June 2009, Free adventure released for Free RPG Day 2009)
  • Curtain Call: A Sharn Adventure w/ Robert Adducci and Wayne Chang (Dungeon Masters Guild, August 2018, PDF)[16]
  • Trust No One w/ Wayne Chang and Anthony Turco (Dungeon Masters Guild, October 2018, PDF)[17]

OtherEdit

  • The Complete Guide to Wererats (March 2003, ISBN 978-0-9712767-8-9)
  • The Complete Guide to Beholders, w/ Thomas Denmark and Michael Ericksen (June 2003, ISBN 978-0-9726241-8-3)
  • The Complete Guide to Doppelgangers (February 2007, ISBN 978-0-9712767-7-2)
  • The Creatures of Freeport, w/ Graeme Davis (May 2004, ISBN 978-1-932442-19-9)
  • Crime & Punishment: The Player's Sourcebook of the Law (March 2003, ISBN 1-58978-039-6)
  • The Ebon Mirror, a D20 System adventure (January 2002, ISBN 1-58978-010-8)
  • Friends of the Dragon, w/ Will Hindmarch (2004, ISBN 1-58978-054-X)
  • The Inner Sea World Guide by James Jacobs with Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Ed Greenwood, Stephen S. Greer, Jeff Grubb, Michael Kortes, Tito Leati, Mike McArtor, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Eric Nelson, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Leandra Christine Schneider, David Schwartz, Amber E. Scott, Stan!, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker, and JD Wiker (2011, ISBN 978-1601252692)
  • The Emerald Spire Superdungeon written by Keith Baker, Rich Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Ed Greenwood, Tim Hitchcock, James Jacobs, Nicolas Logue, Erik Mona, Frank Mentzer, Chris Pramas, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Michael A. Stackpole, Lisa Stevens, and James L. Sutter (2014, ISBN 978-1601256553)
  • 13th Age Core Book credited for "additional design" (2013, ISBN 978-1908983404)
  • Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana with Leonard Balsera, Logan Bonner, Matt Forbeck, Will Hindmarch, Jackson Lanzing, Nicole Lindroos, Chris Pramas, Robert J. Schwalb, Mike Selinker, Clark Valentine, Wil Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton, and Ray Winninger (2015, ISBN 978-1-934547-65-6)

Fiction creditsEdit

EberronEdit

The Dreaming Dark trilogyEdit

Thorn of Breland trilogyEdit

Short storiesEdit

  • "Death at Whitehearth," in Tales of the Last War (April 2006, ISBN 0-7869-3986-9)
  • "Principles of Fire," in Dragons: Worlds Afire (June 2006, ISBN 0-7869-4166-9)
  • "Shadows of Stormreach," online serial story.

Comic booksEdit

OtherEdit

Short storiesEdit

  • "...And Weave The Spider's Web" - Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero (February 2012, ISBN 978-1-4675-1060-8)

TriviaEdit

He appears in a cameo in the comic book The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness by Rich Burlew.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Resume". Bossythecow.com. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Singer, Matthew (January 12, 2021). "Twogether Studios Wants to Make Role-Playing Games Even Your Dad Can Play". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  3. ^ "Keith's Greater Mark of Making". Bossythecow.com. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ Farrell, John (2017-12-23). "Decemberists, Phoenixes, and Action Cats--Twogether Studios and how a two person team has one of the most diverse portfolios in gaming". GAMING TREND. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  5. ^ "About Us". Phoenix Dawn Command. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  6. ^ Baker, Keith. "Resume". BossyTheCow.com. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  7. ^ a b c Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  8. ^ Wizards of the Coast Announcement GamingReport.com. Retrieved on August 28, 2008.
  9. ^ Eberron campaign guide : roleplaying game supplement. Wyatt, James, 1968-, Baker, Keith, 1969-. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7869-5099-7. OCLC 430318402.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ Eberron : player's guide to Eberron. Wyatt, James, 1968-. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, Inc. 2006. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5. OCLC 63120002.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ "Introductions". Manifest Zone. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  12. ^ "The D20 Beat: The DM's Guild is a fantastic way for D&D to resurrect old settings". VentureBeat. 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  13. ^ a b "Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (5e) - Wizards of the Coast | Dungeon Masters Guild". www.dmsguild.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  14. ^ "D&D's Dungeon Masters Guild Wants Players To Monetize Fan Content". Kotaku. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  15. ^ a b "Morgrave Miscellany - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild". www.dmsguild.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  16. ^ a b "Curtain Call: A Sharn Adventure - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild". www.dmsguild.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  17. ^ a b "Trust No One - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild". www.dmsguild.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  18. ^ "Eberron: Rising From the Last War (D&D Campaign Setting) Review". 411MANIA. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  19. ^ "Keith Baker Announces New Third-Party Eberron Sourcebook Project Raptor". 411MANIA. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  20. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (August 10, 2020). "Exploring Eberron (D&D 5E) Supplement Review". 411MANIA. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  21. ^ Moreno, Jim (2020-08-04). "Exploring Eberron - The Closest We'll Get To More Official Eberron - Now Available". TheGamer. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  22. ^ a b "D&D: Eberron Confidential Explores Intrigue In Eberron". Bell of Lost Souls. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  23. ^ a b "Keith Baker reveals Eberron's secrets in Eberron Confidential". Geek Native. 2020-11-10. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  24. ^ a b Baker, Keith (2020-12-24). "Frontiers of Eberron". Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  25. ^ a b "Keith Baker Announces Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold RPG Sourcebook". TheGamer. 2020-12-25. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  26. ^ a b "The Inner Sea World Guide". RPGGeek. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  27. ^ "The Emerald Spire Superdungeon". RPGGeek. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  28. ^ "13th Age Core Book - Pelgrane Press | 13th Age | DriveThruRPG.com". www.drivethrurpg.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  29. ^ "13th Age |". Keith Baker. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  30. ^ "The Story Behind Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana". Geek and Sundry. 2015-07-28. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  31. ^ "Titansgrave: Chapter 2". Geek and Sundry. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  32. ^ Baker, Keith (2013-01-07). "Recent Releases: Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  33. ^ "Kobold Guides | Series | RPGGeek". rpggeek.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  34. ^ Baker, Keith (2014-08-19). "GenCon, Gloom, and Twogether!". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  35. ^ "Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Keith Baker's 'Phoenix Dawn Command'". GeekDad. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  36. ^ "Phoenix: Dawn Command - a card based role playing game". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  37. ^ "Phoenix: Dawn Command Is An RPG Where Death Is Not The End". Geek and Sundry. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  38. ^ "Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Explore the Secrets of 'Illimat'". GeekDad. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  39. ^ "ILLIMAT". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  40. ^ Haske, Steve. "'Illimat' Feels Like a Lost Relic of Old World Europe". Inverse. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  41. ^ "Action Cats!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  42. ^ "Action Pups!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  43. ^ "The Adventure Zone Tabletop Game Announced". WWG. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  44. ^ "The Adventure Zone Game Design Journal". Twogether Studios. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  45. ^ "The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance Game Lets Fans Jump Into the Campaign". CBR. 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  46. ^ Elderkin, Beth (December 18, 2020). "Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance Review: A Fantastic Gateway to RPGs". io9. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  47. ^ a b Elderkin, Beth (December 22, 2020). "New Marvel Sets Coming to Unmatched, Gen Con's 2021 Plans, and More". io9. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  48. ^ "Origins Winners of 2004". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  49. ^ "Origins Winners of 2005". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  50. ^ "2011 Noms and Winners". ENnie Awards. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  51. ^ "2011 ENnies | Award Set | RPGGeek". rpggeek.com. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  52. ^ "2012 Noms and Winners". ENnie Awards. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  53. ^ "Announcing the 2013 ENnie Awards Winners". ENnie Awards. 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  54. ^ "2014 ENnie Awards Winners". ENnie Awards. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  55. ^ "13th Age". RPGGeek. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  56. ^ "Exploring Eberron | Product Page". Dungeon Masters Guild. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  57. ^ "Exploring Eberron Table of Contents Image". Twitter. KB Presents @InMyEberron. July 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  58. ^ "Keith Baker". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009.

External linksEdit