Dice, Camera, Action Wikia

Christopher Perkins (born February 29, 1968)[1] is a game designer and editor who works for Wizards of the Coast (WotC). He was also the Dungeon Master (DM) in "Dice, Camera, Action!".


Under the nom de plume "Christopher Zarathustra", Christopher Perkins got his start in 1988 as a teenager, writing the adventure "Wards of Witching Ways" for Dungeon magazine #11.[2] Perkins joined Wizards of the Coast (WotC) in 1997 as the editor of Dungeon magazine.[3] He later became the editor in chief of Wizards periodicals,[4] and eventually became the senior producer for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) roleplaying game (RPG), leading a team of designers, developers, and editors who produce D&D RPG products.[3] Perkins was the story manager for D&D in 2007 before the release of the game's 4th edition (4e).[5] While 4e was being developed, Perkins worked on the Star Wars Saga Edition and ideas flowed freely back and forth between Perkins and the 4e team.[6] During that time, he was on the SCRAMJET team (led by Richard Baker, and including James Wyatt, Matthew Sernett, Ed Stark, Michele Carter, and Stacy Longstreet) who were updating the setting and cosmology of D&D for 4e.[5]

Chris is also known for his blog, "The Dungeon Master Experience", which was hosted on the WotC website for over two years, where he shared tricks and advice about the challenge of 'dungeon mastering' a campaign.[7] He used examples from his own home game, set on a world he named Iomandra.[4] However, in the penultimate posting on March 2013, Chris announced the next post would be his last, "at least for a while",[8] whereupon the blog became inert.

For 11 years, he was the DM for Penny Arcade's "Acquisitions Incorporated" (Acq Inc) D&D games, played at their office or during the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) shows.[9] He stepped down from this role in November 2018 due to conflicts with his commitments to WotC and DCA,[10] as well difficulty coping with anxiety induced by travel and putting on such large live performances.[23]

Perkins has been part of WotC's recent efforts to convert early D&D adventure modules to 5th edition (5e) versions, and was the Lead Designer of the Ravenloft 5e reboot 'Curse of Strahd', released in 2016.[11] After the cancellation of DCA, Chris is to DM a new livestream WotC series in 2020 called 'D&D Presents'

Role in Dice, Camera, Action![]

Given Perkins's long experience as a Dungeon Master and his heavy involvement with their D&D adventure reboots, WotC charged him with running a weekly live-streamed 5E campaign that would run through their recent products and demystify the game for an audience that was new to pen and paper RPGs.[12] It would center around a team of four players who he had never before met, but who were chosen as representative "warm, open and creative souls...who share a common nerdy language". Although he had already done live recordings for his Acq Inc campaign, he admitted to being very nervous around a live audience,[13] and that he tended to focus only on the players and ignore the viewers' reactions (he would also not read viewer comments during the live chat,[14] although the rest of the cast did and would sometimes point out those comments to him). He has tried to involve himself with the fandom, however, occasionally releasing bonus material related to the show.[15] For show recordings that take place at conventions, he has dressed up as both Strahd von Zarovich and Acererak (for the latter, he uses a strong Canadian accent when in character,[12] which is amusing given that he is Canadian-American).[16]

Although working at WotC implies that he is very familiar with the rules, Perkins has been noted to forget them or let them slide for the sake of having the adventure flow at a good pace. He has also on occasion let the DCA adventure deviate quite significantly from the published modules, inventing new backstories for NPCs, artifacts or locales to accommodate their story.[12] Sometimes, these ideas are recycled from material that never made it into the published modules.[17] When Tomb of Annihilation was released, Chris put both his Acq Inc players and DCA players through the adventure at the same time, allowing crossovers[18] to happen within the larger multiverse,[19] nicknamed by fans as the "Perkinsverse". This also flowed into the offshoot "C-Team" Acq Inc series, where both Jerry Holkins and Chris Perkins co-DM'ed a marathon of episodes between the C-Team and DCA where they all appeared in person.[20]

During the PAX West 2017 DCA Q&A[21], Perkins described the Waffle Crew as "sub-optimal", a tagline that they have been notorious for ever since, however he says that he appreciates that the cast are "funny...wonderful players...[that] make it so easy on me, because they'll do things that [are] not optimal for their characters simply because it will be entertaining, or fun, or because it is in character for them to behave that way, so they put themselves in all the glorious predicaments quite nicely, and that makes me happy from a storyteller point of view." Although fans often accuse him of appearing to enjoy torturing the players, he had joked that "I don't kill characters; players kill characters, and I let them".[22] However, he has also explained that it is simply to "give them the best experience I can", and that putting them in uncomfortable situations can be a way to force them to "improvise, and possibly do wacky things...but I don't have an ulterior motive beyond that".[14]


  1. http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/happy-birthday-dungeon-master-chris-perkins
  2. Baichtal, John (2008-03-05). "Chris Perkins Answers D&D 4E Questions | GeekDad | Wired.com". Archive.wired.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  3. "Christopher Perkins D&D Creative Manager". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  4. Wizard Periodicals. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  5. Villoria, Gerald (September 10, 2007). "Dungeons & Dragons: The 4th Edition Interview". Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  6. Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 298. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  7. "Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Archive". Archive.wizards.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  8. Perkins, Chris (2013-03-14). "Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Article (Until the Next Encounter)". Archive.wizards.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  9. "News - Acquisitions Inc". Penny Arcade. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  10. https://twitter.com/TychoBrahe/status/1067284861004668928
  11. "Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman on Curse of Strahd | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  12. "Dragon+: The Wafflecrew. 9/5/17".
  13. Psychology at the Table; Anxiety Talk with Chris Perkins, Tips for DMs/GMs. G33ks Like Us.
  14. "Chris Perkins On Anxiety, D&D Live Shows And Challenging Yourself". Dungeon Life.
  15. https://twitter.com/chrisperkinsdnd/status/895060464362704896
  16. https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/739154584510177280
  17. DCA AMA Session. Twitch.com.
  18. Acquisitions Incorporated episode list. Penny Arcade.
  19. Chris Perkins AMA. DCA Reddit.
  20. WafflesInc Crossover. YouTube
  21. "Ask the Wafflecrew Anything Panel at PAX West". Twitch.com.
  22. "Todd Talks with Chris Perkins, Amy Vorpahl and Jerry Holkins about Storytelling". D&D Beyond.
  23. Psychology at the Table; Anxiety Talk with Chris Perkins, Tips for DMs/GMs. G33ks Like Us.