Interviews with the gaming community, from publishers to authors, artists to bloggers.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
My name is Jeff Grubb, and I design worlds for a living. It’s a sweet gig, provided you can keep all the plates in the air at once.
I’ve written 15 novels, over 30 short stories, and more gaming product than you could shake a kobold at.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO GAMING?
When I was a kid I played Risk and the American Heritage board games (Battle-Cry, Dogfight, and Hit the Beach), and got into historical wargames in high school (Avalon Hill and SPI). My first week of college (in 1975), I attended the Purdue Wargamer Club meeting, and there was a group of people at a table without a board or miniatures. I walked up to find out what they were playing, and one of them handed me three six-sided dice and said “We need a cleric”. From there on it was all downhill.
WHAT IS IT YOU FIND SO APPEALING ABOUT GAMING?
I like the social aspect in particular, the excuse the gather together. Most of the games I favor take a couple hours, so it is the chance to sit around and chat during the game. Even my online experiences tend to be with people I know IRL as opposed to purely virtual.
SHARE A FAVOURITE GAMING MOMENT WITH US
Here’s a story from my early D&D campaign – I confronted our group’s Paladin with a powerful devil, who had declared that he been everywhere and done everything, and dared the paladin to give him a task he could not complete. The paladin burned a wish spell to ask his gods for vision on how to defeat the devil. An angel appeared and told him to get lost.
Ever see a paladin have a heart attack? The player blamed himself for daring to insult the gods with his request, but another player at the table showed that he had gotten the right information – the one task that someone who has been everywhere could not do was get lost. The paladin won the wager.
Note that this gaming moment involved no rolling of dice, only a puzzle and a resolution.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLAYING?
I have a regular Call of Cthulhu gang with a rotating GM, a semi-regular D&D group, and a lot of European board games. Plus, I have increasingly become addicted to my iPad.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES ARE?
D&D, of course, and I see strengths in all the various editions. Call of Cthulhu. It is an open secret that I still love the original Empire of the Petal Throne. In board games, Ticket to Ride and Citadels. On the iPad, Ascension and Carcasonne, which are both ports from real-time games.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GAME YOU PLAYED?
Last night I played Call of Cthulhu. Our gang is running through Horror’s Heart, an old adventure set in Montreal in the 1920s.
WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED IN?
I have a long and checkered past, a large chunk of it at TSR in the 80s and 90s. I’ve created or helped create Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Marvel Super Heroes, Spelljammer, Al Qadim, Star Wars d20 and D20 Modern, and have worked in a wide variety of shared worlds.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY GAMING-RELATED PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?
I’ve completed work on the upcoming Midgard campaign setting for Open Design. I also help out Wolf with his most excellent magazine, Kobold Quarterly.
My day job is running continuity and lore for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 project from ArenaNet.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEBPAGES OR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS WHERE FANS CAN FIND YOU?
I can be found on Facebook and Google+ under my name, and have a small private blog at grubbstreet.blogspot.com, where I talk about games, plays, writing, collectable quarters, and whatever else comes into my fool head.