Warhammer RPG [ePub]

by Robert J. Schwalb

Robert J. Schwalb, a writer and award-winning game designer best known for his work on Dungeons & Dragons, got his start in 2002 and has never looked back. He has designed or developed almost two hundred gaming books in both print and digital formats for Wizards of the Coast, Green Ronin Publishing, Black Industries, Fantasy Flight Games, and several other companies. Some of his best-known books include the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Player’s Handbook 3, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Grimm, and Tome of Corruption. Look for Robert’s first novel in late 2011.

What does Rob have to say?

Fresh from my second go at college, all flushed and giddy for having graduated Magna cum Laude with special honors, I was ready to start writing fiction for a living. Reality didn’t waste any time intruding on my grandiose dream. The need for a steady job—beyond peddling liquor at the now closed Esquire Discount Liquors—became evident when the student loans clamored for repayment. Carpet, tile, and hardwood sales would be my future for a time. A friend ran a store in town and offered me a job. My previous careers had been selling men’s clothes, fast food, and then extended warranties. Flooring was none of these things so I jumped at the chance.

I was terrible. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I had a degree in English and Philosophy. Flooring customers don’t quite get pre-Socratics humor. I stuck it out though and supplemented my income by selling liquor a few days a week. I got to chat up the regulars at the liquor store who happened by for their thrice-daily pints of Kessler/Skol/Wild Irish Rose. It seemed my fate was to join many other Philosophy majors and do nothing with my training.

However, one night, I ran across Mongoose Publishing’s open call for book proposals. I thought about it for all of 3 seconds before working up my first pitch. A little under a year later, my first book, The Quintessential Witch, hit the shelves. When I wrote the Witch, 3rd edition rules for Dungeons & Dragons were still new and fresh. The d20 system was gathering steam and gaming entered something of a renaissance as companies were created just to feed the insatiable appetite for all things D&D. There were probably more companies than there were writers and thus it proved a perfect time to break into the industry.

Now I was no stranger to gaming. My Dad introduced me to board games when I was very young with Wizard’s Quest by Avalon Hill. Then I discovered Conan, Dune, Gor, the Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and so on. My interest in fantasy kept growing so when my neighbor offered me Tracy and Laura Hickman’s Rahasia for a quarter, I happily paid. That little adventure changed my world forever. I didn’t have the rules and had no idea what I was doing. I was hungry and figured out enough from the adventure to design my first roleplaying game. “Passages” became popular in my class for a week or two. We’d play during study hall or recess.

My Dad noticed and when he went off to a publishing convention (he worked for a famous Bible publisher in Nashville), he talked with a TSR rep, who I imagine might have been Gary Gygax. My father told him that I was designing my own games, so the TSR fellow, in a deft and generous move, gave him a stack of books and adventures. I had everything but the rules of the game. Luckily, a trip to the bookstore and meeting my soon-to-be Dungeon Master Landon, put the Red Box in my hands and my first character in my imagination. Creating the character was far less interesting than talking about comics, yet when we broke out the dice the next week and played the first game, I was hooked for life.

This all happened at a time when conspiracy theories about Satanism gripped the nation. Certain members of my family bought into the hype and thought my soul was in peril. So I stepped into a much wider world of RPGs. I played everything I could. Top Secret, DC Superheroes, Gamma World,



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