Setting Search Closes In on Finalists
June 2002, Wizards of the Coast gave gamers around the world the opportunity
of a lifetime when the company announced an open search for the next official
Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting.
setting search was divided into three rounds. For the first round, entrants
produced one-page synopses of their worlds based on strict guidelines
set down by Wizards of the Coast.
early meetings regarding the search, Wizards employees predicted that
they would receive 3,500 to 4,000 entries at most. Less than one month
after the search opened, Wizards had received nearly 11,000 entries.
of Wizards employees reviewed those one-page entries. Originally the company
planned to pick ten who would advance to the second round. In fact, eleven
entries were chosen to advance. Those eleven entrants were then asked
to write ten-page outlines of their worlds for review by the same panelists.
the eleven second-round entries, three were chosen to advance to the final
stage. Those three entrants were paid $10,000 each for making it to the
final round, and they were asked to write 100-page setting bibles for
their campaign worlds (for which they will receive another $10,000). From
these three bibles will be chosen an official Dungeons & Dragons
we spoke with the three finalists -- Keith Baker, Rich Burlew, and Nathan
Toomey -- about their thoughts on the process and reactions to becoming
finalists in the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search.
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