|Jeff Grubb, from Dragon #247 (1998).|
|Born||August 27, 1957.|
|First Greyhawk work||Queen of the Spiders (1986).|
Jeff Grub is an author and game designer. He has worked on a number of computer and role-playing games and has written a number of successful novels, short stories, and comics. His credits include The Finder's Stone Trilogy with his wife, Kate Novak, the Spelljammer and the Jakandor campaign settings, and, more recently, computer games such as 2006's Guild Wars Nightfall.
A wargaming enthusiast since high school, Jeff Grubb "started with Avalon Hill wargames ... and got into SPI games later. Some of my favorites were Panzerblitz, Blitzkrieg, and Frigate.” Grubb met Kate Novak in high school, and they got married in 1983 (DR#111). He first learned of roleplaying games as a freshman majoring in engineering at Purdue University, when he happened upon a game of Dungeons & Dragons being played by members of the campus wargaming club (DR#111). Grubb says, "I walked up to a group of players to ask what they were doing. One turned to me, handed me three six-siders, and said, 'Roll these. We need a cleric.' It was all downhill from there" (DR#247). Within a year, he had attended his first Gen Con and was running his own campaign set in Toril (originally Toricandra, a name influenced by C.S. Lewis's Perelandra), a world of his own creation. This Toril would later give its name to a completely different world, the Forgotten Realms setting created by Ed Greenwood, and its pantheon would form the basis of the pantheon of the Dragonlance setting.
Grubb graduated and worked as a civil engineer and spent a year working on air pollution control devices "until cutbacks nailed my job. Used my time off to oversee the design of the AD&D Open at the Gen Con Game Fair. On the strength of these designs, I got a position with TSR as a game designer" (DR#247). TSR hired Grubb in July 1982 (DR#111), where he was involved as a design consultant on Gary Gygax's Monster Manual II for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.
The manual was first published in 1983. He was then retained at TSR as the principal architect of the Marvel Super Heroes game system, first released in 1984. Jeff Grubb continued to work on role-playing games with TSR for many years, long enough to be regarded affectionately as an "old timer" by Scott Haring. During this time he was involved in helping to formulate the Dragonlance campaign setting, under Tracy Hickman, and the Forgotten Realms setting with Ed Greenwood. He also was a consultant on the first edition of Unearthed Arcana (DR#111), and authored the first edition of the Manual of the Planes (DR#247). He is also the designer of the Spelljammer (DR#247) and Jakandor campaign settings. In the late 1980s, Grubb wrote four fill-in issues of DC Comics' licensed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic book, and then wrote all 25 issues of DC's Forgotten Realms series (DR#247). Grubb left TSR in 1994, and went freelance (DR#247).
Comics, novels, and short stories
Jeff Grubb's first novel, Azure Bonds, was coauthored with his wife, Kate Novak, and first published in 1988 as part of The Finder's Stone Trilogy. The second and third books in the trilogy, The Wyvern's Spur and Song of the Saurials, were published by TSR in 1990 and 1991. Grubb and Novak continued to write novels in the Forgotten Realms setting over the years, releasing Masquerades, Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck.
Other settings for his novels have included Magic: The Gathering, Warcraft and StarCraft.
Grubb's involvement in comic books started in 1988, when he wrote four issues of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic for DC Comics, before writing all 25 issues of the Forgotten Realms comic book series from 1989 until 1991. He also authored the 45th issue of Superman Adventures, which had a cover date of July, 2000.
Grubb has written a number of short stories in different fictional worlds, including Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Thieves' World. In general his short fiction has been well received, with his story "Malediction" being described as amongst the best of those included in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune, while "Beowulf in the City of the Dark Elves" has been regarded as the best of the original fiction in The Further Adventures of Beowulf: Champion of Middle Earth.
The novel Azure Bonds was developed into a computer game, Curse of the Azure Bonds, in 1989, and was published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. More recently, ArenaNet hired Grubb to write the story for the third installment of their Guild Wars franchise, Guild Wars Nightfall. He has been credited as a designer under lead designer, James Phinney. However, in an interview with Gamespy he describes his role as more of an "embedded writer" than a designer. Jeff Grubb was also involved in designing the Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion pack, although, once again, he describes himself as an "embedded writer" rather than a game designer, and was primarily responsible for writing the storyline. Grubb is currently writing Guild Wars 2, the sequel to Guild Wars.
- Gygax, Gary, David C. Sutherland III, David Cook, and Jeff Grubb. Queen of the Spiders. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1986.
Other notable works
- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
- Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.
- Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.
- "TSR Profiles." Dragon #111. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1986.
- Varney, Allen. "Profiles." Dragon #247. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
- Grubb Street: Jeff Grubb's Blog.