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Steve Winter (born December 8, 1957) is an American game designer who worked on numerous products for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game from TSR and later Wizards of the Coast.
In September 1985, Winter married Mary Kirchoff, who had been a member of Dragon magazine's editorial staff and editor of the Polyhedron Newszine. The couple had an Irish setter named Hannibal.
Winter was born in Dubuque, Iowa on December 8, 1957. Winter attended Catholic school for grade school and high school, and had two years of Catholic college before he transferred to Iowa State University at Ames. “A nun introduced me to the works of J. R. R. Tolkien in high school ... Previously, I had been mostly into historical novels and military history. For the next several years, I read all the fantasy I could get my hands on — but I didn’t enjoy very much of it. I couldn’t find anything with the same sense of humor and style as Tolkien. I also read a lot of science fiction.”In 1978, while attending college, Winter worked part-time at a department store which carried a few wargames in its small games department. He began playing with the wargame The Russian Campaign by Avalon Hill; “The Russian Campaign intrigued me, so I bought Tobruk, which was the game that changed my life. I played it to death.” At Iowa State University, Winter was majoring in journalism. “I worked on the campus newsletter, which, incidentally, was the seventh largest daily newspaper in Iowa. One day, I was proofreading the classified ad column, and came across an ad for the Iowa State Gamers. I went to their next meeting, and was introduced to the D&D game ... From then on, I played all day every Saturday, but I never was one of those 5-hour-a-day,7-day-a-week gamers. The newspaper took up most of my time, and I had my heart set on becoming a journalist.”
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