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10/26/2016

A WFRP 30th anniversary special: an interview with Graeme Davis

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, so I wanted to commemorate it in some appropriate manner.

Fortunately, thanks to a gaming buddy (thanks Andy!), I've managed to land an interview with one of the original game's creators, Graeme Davis himself. It's really short, but for a WFRP geek like myself, who grew up with the game and had so much experience with it, both good and bad, this is a huge thing and a huge honor.

Happy birthday WFRP!
Without further ado, here's the whole thing. Enjoy.

Xathrodox86: Which edition of Warhammer Fantasy did you enjoyed working on the most?

Graeme Davis: First edition, definitely. For the others I was a freelancer working at home on material that others had created, but for first edition I was deep in the creative craziness that was the GW Design Studio in the 80s. It was a unique time and place and a unique team, and a fantastic experience for me.

Xathrodox86: How big was your input in the "Enemy Within" campaign for WFRP 1st edition?

Graeme Davis: Jim and Phil took the lead in creating the campaign; after Shadows Over Bogenhafen, my role became one of developer and editor. However, I was able to contribute as a writer to Death on the Reik (the River Life of the Empire section), Warhammer City (adventure seeds and other small contributions), and Something Rotten in Kislev (I added so much to Ken Rolston's manuscript that I was given credit as co-author).

Xathrodox86: What do you think about the differences between the classic, 1st and 2nd editions of Warhammer Fantasy and the 3rd edition?

Graeme Davis: Second edition did a great job of improving the game mechanics and smoothing out some of the clunky systems from First. Personally, I think the decision to set it in the aftermath of the Storm of Chaos limited the game's appeal. Third edition was so different that many existing fans were put off by the array of components - which actually worked well and cut down a lot on record keeping - and the unfamiliar dice pool mechanic.

Xathrodox86: What was the most interesting part of working on WFRP? What did you enjoyed the most? Similarly, what was the least enjoabyle thing about writing these games?

Graeme Davis: The most enjoyable part, for me, was creating new locations and characters. In particular, I had a lot of fun writing and developing material for the Marienburg series in White Dwarf. The least enjoyable... well, I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to write myself, but I was always needed to edited and develop other people's work instead.

Xathrodox86: Which adventure or campaign from Warhammer Fantasy 1st and 2nd, is your all time favorite?

Graeme Davis: Power Behind the Throne is my absolute favorite: the characters, the politics, the plots - it covers everything I like in a roleplaying adventure. "A Rough Night at the Three Feathers" is my favorite out of the adventures I have written. I wrote it as an experiment, not really knowing whether multi-plot adventures could work, and it did!

Xathrodox86: What was your opinion on Games Workshop's cancellation of Warhammer Fantasy franchise? What do you think about the Age of Sigmar and its role, as the continuation of WFB?

Graeme Davis: The Age of Sigmar is a departure from the Warhammer setting of the previous 30 years, but I can only guess that it serves GW's current needs better than the older setting. I haven't looked at it, so I don't know enough to have an opinion worth sharing.

Xathrodox86: Aside from Warhammer, what game system did you enjoyed writing about the most? Vampire: The Masquerade? Dungeons & Dragons?

Graeme Davis: Vampire was a lot of fun to write for, but the writing I have enjoyed most has not been for a specific system. I have always been interested in historical fantasy, and down the years I have been able to write articles on the Celts and Ancient Egypt for Imagine magazine, the HR1 Celts sourcebook for AD&D second edition, GURPS Vikings, Middle Ages 1, Crusades, and Faerie, and other historical fantasy titles.

Xathrodox86: Once again thank you for your willingness to answer these questions. It's an honor to write them to you.

Graeme Davis: I am the one who is honored, when so many people feel so passionate about something I wrote, even thirty years later.

So there you have it. It was a great honor and great fun to interview Mr. Davis. I also wanted to thank Andrew Dyer, with whom I play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay over Roll20. Without him this interview would never have been possible.

Also be sure to check out Graeme Davis' blog: graemedavis.wordpress.com. There you'll be able to find a lot of memories about Games Workshop, as well as annoucements for his next projects. He recently written a couple of books for the "Dark Osprey" series, such as "Nazi Moonbase" and "Werewolves: A Hunter's Guide". These are perfect for anyone who loves conspiracies and Urban Horror genre alike. Check 'em out, you won't be dissapointed.

As someone who just had his 30th birthday, this is one of the best, possible presents that I could have imagined. Keep on rocking Warhammer Fantasy, you beautiful, sexy beast.

Until next time!

Xathrodox86

2 comments:

  1. I saw Graeme Davis's link to this on G+. I don't know if you have room for more players in your game. I've never played WFRP, but have been active in the Oldhammer community in the states for the last few years.

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    1. Hey there Sean. I'll see what can be done about an additional player for our game. The rotation is rather regular, so keep in touch and I think that you'll be able to book a place with us.

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Thank you for the comments. :)