About

About the Designer

Jacqueline Marie Bryk (she/her), Jax to her friends, is a freelance game designer, writer, sensitivity reader, and editor from the oft-forgotten state of Delaware. She writes in many different genres, with her favorites being horror, honobono, low fantasy, and post-apocalypse. Her games are lauded for their compassionate, trauma-focused narratives and low-stakes engagement with high-stakes emotions.

Jax deals with C-PTSD, depression, anxiety and ADHD. She also deals with nightmares, chronic upper back pain, menstrual issues and digestive tract issues. Much of her sensitivity work is focused on mental health, healing, and burnout.

In her spare time, she likes to yell at games like Civilization V and Crusader Kings II, model for photographers and visual artists, avoid getting into arguments, and attempt recipes she saw on Iron Chef America once. Her day job is in politics, and all of her writing has political elements.

Jax has been on several 2019 ENnie-award-winning products and won the Golden Cobra Award for game design in 2016. Jax’s work for hire is featured in games by, among others: White Wolf, Onyx Path Publishing, Helmgast AB, Genesis of Legend, Uliesses North America, and Damocles Thread Development.

As of January 2020, Jax is also a member of IU 631, of the Industrial Workers of the World.
RoughRed

About this Site

The photos on this site are courtesy of Matt Norris of M.G. Norris Photography. The header was designed by Mary Georgescu of Haiduc Studio. The site was configured by Craig Eisenberger.

Collection of Works

Freelance Design

Essays, work-for-hire, edits, monsters, and more.

Self-Published Games

A selection of player favorites.

Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews

High Level Games
https://www.highlevelgames.ca/blog/13-questions-about-vampire-5th-edition

Dorkland
https://dorkland.blogspot.com/2018/08/looking-back-at-gen-con-2018.html

It’s Like D&D
https://itslikednd.libsyn.com/012-how-to-make-a-breakout

Testimonials

“Jax makes horror games you can run without being a horrible person. ”
– Ben Walker, Damocles Thread Development

” Jax is one of the most creative people I’ve ever played under. She’s able to evoke deep emotions and powerful reactions like few I’ve seen.”
– Matt Hirth, playtester

“Jax is a fantastic client to work with. She is communicative, honest, and isn’t afraid to express her opinion to look at things from a different perspective. She’s professional and has really fantastic ideas. I would absolutely work with her again.”
– Meredith Gerber, RPG Publisher Services, OneBookShelf

“Jacqueline Bryk is one of the most innovative designers in the field today. Her expertise with safety mechanics derives from her understanding and unyielding empathy which leads to the creation of games that reflect the world in ways both inspiring and poignant.”
– Michael Meinberg, freelance writer and blogger at Goat Song

“Jax is not afraid to create games that deal with hard topics, but she goes a step further. She creates a space that allows her players to feel safe exploring these topics. She has the ability to build trust and rapport with her players quickly so that even first time players can dive right in.”
– Andi Rhoades Gastonguay, freelance designer

“The thing that impresses me most about Jacqueline’s writing is where it comes from. She has a delightful gift for pulling inspiration from the media, world events, and stories around her and turning that inspiration into an engaging creation of her own. She gets you thinking and she gives you the tools to make yourself uncomfortable on YOUR terms. Highly recommended. “
-Andrew Bancroft, playtester

“Jax is gaming’s unparalleled expert in safety mechanics, going hand-in-hand with her desire to create compelling narratives about dealing with trauma. Her hyperfocus on the details of a setting make her an asset to any team. Hire her immediately.”
-Ian A. A. Watson, community manager and developer with Onyx Path Publishing

“Jax is an engaging, fearless, and community conscious creator and gamer. Her games and content are exciting, quirky, and super fun! Jax’ passion for inclusive and safe gaming and her tireless efforts to bring imaginative and diverse game styles are inspiring as much as they are entertaining!”
-Patrick “Stout” Gerrity, player

“Jacqueline Bryk’s work proves players and storytellers can explore the dark corners of the human experience without cruelty. She has a deep knowledge and love of both the lore and mechanics of the games she writes for. Were these her only talents, she’d be an asset to any company smart enough to hire her.
What sets her apart is a deep well of empathy that’s rare when dealing with horror. Too often, writers use horror and pain as shortcuts for cheap drama. Bryk understands the impact of these tropes and deploys them with a care that deepens their impact. She elevates every project she’s part of.”
-Matthew Gault, journalist with Vice