Rich Baker was born and raised in Florida, then moved with his family to New Jersey at age ten. Baker graduated from Virginia Tech in 1988 with a degree in English. He received a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy, and served as a deck officer for three years on board the USS Tortuga; he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and was a lieutenant (junior grade) by the time he left the Navy. Baker married his college sweetheart, Kim Rohrbach. Baker began looking for a new career, and found one at TSR. "I'd been playing the AD&D game off and on since 1979. When I decided to leave the Navy, I sent TSR my résumé just for the pure hell of it. TSR sent me back a writing test, which I must have done pretty well on, since they brought me out for an interview in September of 1991. I'd never published a word before then or even worked the convention circuit, but they hired me anyway." Since joining TSR in 1991, Rich has worked on most of TSR's product lines at one point or another. By 1998, he had published over thirty game products and many magazine articles. Baker started out writing game products such as Rock of Bral for the Spelljammerline, as well as material for the Forgotten Realms, Planescape, and Ravenloft settings. He co-designed the Birthright campaign setting, which won the 1995 Origins Award for Best New Role-Playing Supplement: "I'm very proud of it. It represents an entirely new approach to the traditional fantasy roleplaying campaign, and the world itself is filled with a strong sense of history." Baker also oversaw the development of the Player's Option series of second edition AD&D manuals, stating "I greatly enjoyed the work I did on the World Builder's Guidebook". Baker went on to co-design the Alternity science fiction game: "As much as I am proud of my other work, I probably learned the most from the work Bill (Slavicsek) and I put into the Alterity game system. Designing a new roleplaying game from the ground up is an immensely complicated undertaking, and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out." Aside from various Alternity products, Baker also worked on theStar*Drive and Dark•Matter settings for the game, and worked as Creative Director on them for a time. Baker wrote several novels for various settings as well. Rich lived in New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, Virginia again, Louisiana, Virginia a third time, and Wisconsin, but now lives in Auburn, Washington, with his wife Kim, two daughters, and cats. He's a fan of Golden Age SF and the Philadelphia Phillies. Rich is at the forefront of Wizards of the Coast's current range of Forgotten Realms and core Third Edition D&D accessory books, and author of several novels set in and below Faerûn. He also answers questions about the Forgotten Realms at the Wizards website's forums - see the below external links. He is also at the forefront of designing the series "Axis and Allies: War at Sea", a game of tactical World War II naval battles.
Richard works as a game designer for the RPG line at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. A New York Times best-selling novel author with Condemnation, he has also authored The City of Ravens and Forsaken House. He is a best-selling author and award-winning game designer, and one of the pricipal architects of the new edition of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.