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Interview with Jackob Klunder

Posted on December 30, 2003 by Flames

How did you get into gaming?

I had been reading those old “Choose your path” books and really liked them, though I found them pretty limiting. Then I saw something on the TV News about roleplaying and knew I’d love to do that. Some months later, a new kid moved in across the street from my best friend. This guy was a gamer and when I found out, I pestered him to let me play. That was the old boxed set D&D.

What is it like living in Copenhagen, yet writing for a company in Atlanta?

I imagine it’s not all that different from living in Seattle and working for a company in Atlanta, except I probably email more than I call on the phone when communicating with my developers and contracts; NDAs and paychecks take a bit longer to go from one place to the other.

Bless the internet, which makes this possible. *G*

What is it really like writing for Justin (Vampire) and Matt (Dark Ages)?

Matt is The Master. The Master treats us well. *G*

I started out writing for Matt and he’s great. Really organized, really supportive and with some really great redlines. You mail him and you get an answer as soon as possible. There’s a problem, he’ll check it out for you.

Justin is less organized. That is really all I can say at the moment. I have written one book for him (The Red Sign) and I didn’t get any redlines, because apparently, what I wrote didn’t need it. The stuff I am doing for him for the new WoD has yet to come back with redlines, but I am dreading them.

However, he is not as bad as everyone would have you think. I might even survive giving him a big hug when I meet him for the first time.

What challenges do you face when writing for a historical setting like Dark Ages?

Historical accuracy. You need to do a lot of research and and sometimes you find out that things you “know” are true, aren’t. But then, it’s really a labor of love, since I love the medieval era.

What is it about the medieval era that appeals to you?

Tough question. One of the things is probably that I like fantasy and this is close to it. But history also fascinates me and the medieval era is close enough in time that we know a lot about it, yet far enough away that it feels like history. It’s difficult to describe what excactly appeals to me. I certainly wouldn’t want to live there, but I like games in that era – it’s a simpler time, a time where magic and religion is still alive and not as tool-like as in fantasy. Does that make sense?

What tips and tricks do you have for Storytellers who are running a Dark Ages game?

I don’t think I have any specific tips or tricks beyond “Make sure everyone has fun.” I am really more of a player than a Storyteller. I do encourage research and immersion in the historical aspect, because that’s what Dark Ages games are all about.

Where do you see the RPG industry headed?

I really don’t know. The Open Game License seems to have revitalized what was a sagging industry — new companies spring up and produce quality products that sell. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll end up with everyone except White Wolf and Steve Jackson Games going D20, though.

I also think the internet will end up playing a bigger and bigger role; White Wolf has published net-books and Eden Studios have put the core book for WitchCraft on-line for free.

In your opinion, what are the biggest differences between the RPG communities in Europe and the US?

Well, I can only really comment on the Danish RPG community and to me, there are two big differences. One is, of course, size. The biggest Danish Cons have around 700 people attending and are held at schools (which the gaming clubs borrow for free), with the people attending sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags.

The second is that the Danish RPG community has a strange fascination with diceless, rule-less, “artistic” gaming. White Wolf is one of the “big enemies”, along with D&D of course, because it is no longer “new, edgy and avant-garde”. In my opinion, all it boils down to is arrogance.

What RPG(s) are you currently playing?

We’re finishing off a long Werewolf: the Wyld West Chronicle and then we’ll pick up our old Transylvania Chronicles characters and take them through Lair of the Hidden, The Red Sign and Gehenna. Other than that, I am involved in a D&D campaign, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer campaign, I am running a WitchCraft campaign and our group plays numerous All Flesh Must Be Eaten one-shots.

What keeps you busy when you’re not gaming?

Reading. I am currently unemployed and looking for work, so when I don’t game or write, I read – mainly gaming books, fantasy or sci-fi.

What’s next for you?

A 3 month break. I got two contracts for the new World of Darkness that needs doing and then I need a break from WoD writing to recharge my energies. Also, I foresee a lot of time being spent setting up Forum Con and I’d like some time to write some of the story ideas I have.

What can you tell us about ForumCon?

It all started on the White Wolf Forums (specifically the Vampire Forum) when somebody suggested that as many of us as possible should meet at DragonCon. That sorta fell through (lack of funds from many of us Europeans), so somebody else suggested a European meet and then the idea of a European con dedicated to having people who only knew each other from the ‘net meeting came up. I was stupid enough to volunteer to spearhead it. Come July 16th, me and the people helping me will have spent over a year on this thing.

The con is pretty international – people from all over Europe, plus the US and Canada, are attending and it’s dedicated to meeting each other, having fun and playing some good games. I am hoping that somebody will take up the challenge of doing it next year. I know I won’t have energy to be in charge of the project two years running, but it’ll be great to make it a European tradition.

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One Response to “Interview with Jackob Klunder”

  1. Brian Smith says:

    Wow … I was the guy who suggested the DragonCon meet on the White Wolf forums way back in the day. I can’t believe I stumbled upon this, what are the odds??

    Jackob! Wow! Been forever man! You probably don’t remember me, but my handles were “The Irate Marcus Vitel Fan” and also ‘Righteous433′ … maybe also “Sabbat666’ or something silly like that. It really HAS been years, lol.

    Wow. DragonCon. Forgot all about that one!

    Reply

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