With great pleasure, I'm announcing that we have a Guest of Honor for our Oldhammer Event at Dropzone Games on October 25th and 26th! Design Studio member, Game Designer, and writer Graeme Davis will be attending the event. Graeme is checking his schedule to see how much of the event he can attend, but he will at least be there to celebrate the passion of the Oldhammer movement. I'll have a better idea of when he may be available, but you might want to bring along some of your WFRP books! And help me applaud one of the guys who helped bring out all of these things that crawl around in our minds eye!
Graeme helped write a lot of the WFRP books, and talks a little of that process in the interview. Interesting he has some really cool things to say about Something Rotten In Kislev!
You can find one interview that Graeme did on Orlygg's Realm Of Chaos 80s! Some great insight there for us. I tried not to repeat too many questions.
Just to let you all know as well, Graeme is currently working on Colonial Gothic, a great role-playing game that adds history to the mix. As Line Developer he has some great stuff, and also adds lots of great historical events to the group on facebook. Rogue Games can be found here. May be I am biased, but the revolutionary war is my favorite period of history. But the line just keeps getting better, with the revised rulebook! You can also pick up the line on amazon and as pdfs! Though the non-book of 18th century ruinous powers peaked my interest! Oldhammer connection, huh?
Anyway, first let me say thanks to Graeme for answering my questions and also for being our first announced GOH for Oldahmmer USA!
Here is the interview!
OITNW: For those that do not know, current projects of yours include
Colonial Gothic, which I love as it melds history and roleplaying. What
are future plans for Colonial Gothic or are you working on anything else
that you can reveal?
Graeme: Richard Iorio and I are just putting the
finishing touches on the Colonial Gothic Players’ book, which should be
out before the end of the year. As the name suggests, it includes a lot
of new player options, including skills, weapons, spells, and combat.
There are also completely new systems for character advantages and
disadvantages, social level (very important in those times), plus an
updated version of the character templates from the old ebook release to
make character creation quicker and easier.
Further in the
future, Richard is working on the third installment of the Flames of
Freedom campaign, and we have plans for a GM’s book as well as a
super-secret project that has a significant Oldhammer connection. That’s
all I can say about it for now, except that it’s not an 18th-century
Realm of Chaos adding the Ruinous Powers to the game! Though wouldn’t
that be nice, if we could only get GW’s blessing....
OITNW: We all
know that you have joined us on the Oldhammer Facebook group, but what
is your general impression of the passion that we have for all of the
earlier stuff, whether minis or story?
Graeme: Ever since Flame closed
down in the early 90s, I have been amazed and impressed (and, I have to
say, a little humbled) by the passion that kept WFRP alive through its
wilderness period, and I had the same feeling when I discovered the
Oldhammer movement a year or two back. I remember one day in about 1987
we were talking about Thunderbirds and other childhood favorites, and
Jervis said that what we were doing at GW would one day be someone
else’s Thunderbirds. It seemed like an outrageous assertion at the time,
but I’ve never forgotten it and – lo and behold – the man wasn’t wrong!
There really was something about those days: the particular
mix of ridiculously talented people (and me!) and the circumstances that
allowed us to get away with sneaking jokes into the games, mixing humor
and horror, and doing all the other things that people still like.
Although they certainly weren’t free of frustrations, looking back they
were pretty good times. Maybe that carries through into the games
OITNW: While you are a writer, and roleplaying game
designer, are there any miniatures that you collect, or did you have
any? Were these for roleplaying, or did you have an army?
started out buying a few of the old Minifigs D&D miniatures for
roleplaying around 1977, and picked up a few of the early Citadels when
they began doing the Fiend Factory line. But my roleplaying at college
didn’t make extensive use of miniatures – one of my college friends
still teases me about a red plastic chicken from a farmyard toy set that
I used to represent any critter for which I didn’t have the correct
When I started at GW I began to collect undead, which
have been a passion of mine ever since I saw the Harryhausen - Jason and
the Argonauts movie on TV in the 60s. I was a slow learner when it came
to painting, and I never got them organized into a regulation army: I
was more interested in having one of everything. I even had an
unreleased Aly Morrison green of a skeleton wielding a crank-operated
chainsaw! Tragically, I was prevailed upon to “put away childish things”
and disposed of them before a transatlantic move during my first
marriage. I’d do anything to have them back.
OITNW: The beginnings of
the Chaos gods are a little in the past, but do you know of any
interesting stories or their creation, or do you know any of the
influences that created them (or was that just before your time at the
Graeme: The four Ruinous Powers were established by the time I
discovered Warhammer, and I never heard any particular tales of their
creation. My impression was always that they sprang fully formed from
the minds of Bryan Ansell and John Blanche. The tale of Malal is pretty
well known, and I don’t have anything to add to what’s already been
Acting on a line in an early RoC draft which said that
there was an infinite number of Chaos Gods of varying power, I created a
couple of new ones for the WFRP adventure Something Rotten in Kislev.
Ken Rolston’s original draft called for Malal as the patron of a cult,
and it had just become clear that we couldn’t use Malal. So I created
Zuvassin the Undoer, who might be described as the patron deity of
Murphy’s Law (his symbol was based on a wrench) and Necoho the Doubter,
who (in a joke I considered sheer brilliance at the time) was
essentially a Chaos God of atheists, opposed to religion in all its
forms. So far as I’m aware, neither one appeared anywhere outside that
OITNW: I recently heard that some of the releases for the
WFRP game were re-imaginings of existing adventures or modules, was this
true, and where and how was the original material chosen or selected?
In 2012, Fantasy Flight Games commissioned me to write half of a new
campaign titled The Enemy Within, but it was not an update of the 80s
adventures. Instead, it was an all-new campaign that explored the same
themes. The announcement certainly caused a stir in the WFRP fan
community, which is doubtless what FFG intended by choosing that title.
I’m not aware of any 3rd edition adaptations of earlier adventures,
although the WFRP2 book Plundered Vaults did consist of 2nd edition
versions of various earlier adventures. I think there have been some fan
adaptations converting various published adventures between the three
editions of the game, but I haven’t looked at any of them.
the interview on RealmofChaos80s, you commented that you tried to
include Malal in the Realm of Chaos books. Any insights on how you were
to include this?
Graeme: My thinking at the time (which turned out to
be completely erroneous) was that the book (and it was only intended to
be one book at that time) would benefit from having something new and
surprising in it. I already mentioned the line in an early draft that
raised the possibility of a great many Chaos Gods existing, and as a
roleplayer first and foremost I leaped on it. I went through a huge pile
of miscellaneous artwork with a view to grouping images together and
creating new Chaos Gods as patrons for the sets I’d created. Of course,
it was soon pointed out to me that minis didn’t exist for any of these
images, and probably never would, and that creating a new Ruinous Power
commit the company to launching a whole new army with
miniatures and a book and everything else – so would I please stop
writing about new Chaos Gods!
Specifically about Malal, I
thought this was a no-brainer because he had featured in the Kaleb Daark
comic and I had not yet heard about the copyright issues. I found a few
likely-looking images for a greater and lesser daemon, and started to
write Malal up in the same format as the descriptions of the other Chaos
Gods. It should be noted that this was before Mike Brunton took over
and I was using a much more modest format!
OITNW: One thing that most
of us in the Oldhammer Community agree upon is just the incredible
amount of creativity and organic explosion of ideas and imagery that
coincided with a certain era at Games Workshop. This has been compacted
into specific marketed “looks” and single styles for most of the armies
and backgrounds. Most of us lament this as one of the reasons we enjoy
Oldhammer so much. As one of those involved in the creation period, how
do you view the current flavors of Games Workshop.
Graeme: Honestly, I
can’t comment on the current state of Warhammer because I’ve been out
of touch with the developments of the last couple of years. I used to
get the Empire and Undead books when they came out, but there came a
point when it was clear to me that Warhammer and WFRP were never again
going to be the major part of my life that they were in the 80s. I had a
lot of other projects going on, I had an argument with Green Ronin
which ensured that I didn’t write anything for WFRP2 after Ashes of
Middenheim, and FFG only asked me to do a couple of things for WFRP3,
both of which were already plotted out in considerable detail before I
got to have any input.
So if I were to say anything at all, it
would be informed purely by the comments I’ve seen from the Oldhammer
and WFRP communities and not by any observations of my own. And I don’t
think that would be particularly helpful.
I know we all want to thank you, and can’t wait to see you at our Oldhammer USA event! Thanks so much!
We have another Guest of Honor as well, and I'll be announcing that soon!
Also - some incredible news! The Boyldrick models have arrived. Thanks to Kev, Bryan and Martin Ansell for the incredible miniature. I can not wait to give out at our event! Thanks. Also, thank you to Orlygg, for being kind enough to help us get these guys for our event as well! The only way to thank you will be a bunch of painted pictures of our incredible models!