A sign of a good and healthy community is not just its diversity but that people are willing to step forward and identify themselves.
On Twitter, the very respected game designer Kenneth Hite recognised that he couldn’t name any female freelancers comfortable with tackling 5e mechanical design. All he did was ask people to tag themselves if they fit the bill.
It occurs to me that I don't know the answer and that this would be good information for all to have so: does anyone know any female-identifying freelancers comfortable with 5e mechanical design? Tag yourself if you like, please.— Kenneth Hite (@kennethhite) August 16, 2018
It didn’t take long for the floodgates to open. Female-identifying freelancers raised their hands and gamers from all sorts of backgrounds began to recommend their favourite female game mechanics too.
Yeah, I can basically field strip and clean 5E blindfolded.— Alexandra Erin @ WorldCon (@alexandraerin) August 16, 2018
Off the top of my head, @mercyfuldm, @ashleynhwarren, @ginnyloveday, and @stopthtoldwoman are all experienced 5e designers. I don’t have any of my stuff on DMs Guild yet, but I’d also be happy to talk.— Hannah Rose (@wildrosemage) August 16, 2018
First person to come to mind is @GeekyPinup— [𝔄𝔫𝔤𝔯𝔶 𝔱𝔦𝔢𝔣𝔩𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔫𝔬𝔦𝔰𝔢𝔰] (@effingrooster) August 16, 2018
Thanks Brandon! 😀 Hiya, Kenneth!— Ashley Warren (@ashleynhwarren) August 17, 2018
There was a mix of female game designers who already have titles published on the DMs Guild and those who are still working on it.
Thanks Jeff! ❤️💕💋— Lilah Isaacs 🌙🐇 (@Lunar_Bunni) August 17, 2018
Uh, yes please!— Rabbit (@caudelac) August 16, 2018
me! and perhaps @SunsStepchild !— madi ✨ tiefling disaster (@timepatches) August 17, 2018
It was suggested that a good place to look for freelancers are those writing for the Adventurers League and, of course, on DMs Guild. DMs Guild is the site where people can sell their own 5e creations, provided they stick to the licensing rules, legally and keep a big chunk of the money.
Yeah! I love designing 5e stuff!— Kat (@SunsStepchild) August 17, 2018
Pretty dang comfortable, I love memorizing the rules, taking them apart, and adapting concepts from other rulesets and fictions to work within 5e. Try to keep up with having a bunch of books too. I haven't posted my own work in a while but I have some decent sales on DMG!— Moonshine DM (@MoonshineDm) August 16, 2018
I'm definitely a writer for 5E, and I'm definitely familiar with 5E mechanical design.— Paige Leitman (@PaigeLeitman) August 17, 2018
Yeah buddy you got one right here @certifiably_mad— asexual amos 🔪 (@certifiably_mad) August 16, 2018
I'm a freelance writer and active 5e player and former DM, open for inquiries!— gal.paladin (@PaladinGal) August 16, 2018
😎 Yeah, I do D&D 5e design— Jennifer Kathleen (@JenKatWrites) August 17, 2018
Yeah, me, I guess. I keep meaning to format and share stuff, but that’s the boring half. I guess it’s also the half that pays. 🤔— Natalie (@theNatalieAsh) August 17, 2018
I guess it depends on what you're asking but monsters and items are my favorite to work with, but I'm getting there with classes and races and most of the base game rules I've gotten down pat.— Snicket 💖💜💙 (@Persnicketese) August 16, 2018
Myself. I have two CCC'S under my belt for Baldman Games as well as one larger and one ongoing 5e projects in the works.— Effie M (@girl_with_dice) August 18, 2018
I'm pretty comfortable 👋 also got some stuff published at DMsGuild— Beatriz T Dias (@BiaTDias19) August 17, 2018
Who else would you suggest fits the bill? There’s certainly no excuse for publishers to claim they couldn’t find any female freelancers to assist with their project. I’m not suggesting there are more female freelancers in the tabletop gaming freelance space and there are male designers, just that there are plenty. It feels like we should see plenty of female designers in the credits of sourcebooks and accessories.
Creative Commons art credit: Druzhinin Yaroslav for ‘Girl Mechanic’.