This interview in part of a series focusing on candidates in the running for the 2014 ENnie Awards. The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing gaming, with voting beginning 7 a.m. Central on Sunday, July 20 through 7 p.m. Central on Wednesday, July 30. The winners will be announced at Gen Con, the Grand Hall at the Historic Union Station on Friday, August 15. To vote, see http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/. In this installment I interview Steve Kenson, staff designer for Green Ronin Publishing and designer of Mutants & Masterminds and Icons Superpowered Roleplaying, amongst others.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Steve Kenson (SK): Green Ronin Publishing has been producing products since 2000. We got our start with Death in Freeport, one of the very first third-party adventures for the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. That spun off into d20 support and innovation, in the form of Mutants & Masterminds, one of the first stand-alone Open Game License products. Since then, Green Ronin has also produced game lines such as A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying, Dragon Age, and DC Adventures, alongside support for the d20 System and now Pathfinder.
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
SK: Yes! Green Ronin has earned many ENnie nominations and awards for our products over the years. We're particularly proud of having won the award for fan-favorite publisher three years in a row!
MT: Tell us about your nominated products.
SK: The Emerald City Player's Guide, nominated for Best Electronic Product, is a portion of the larger Emerald City setting book for Mutants & Masterminds. We released the different "books" of that product as separate electronic products both to allow players to get just the material they needed for the setting and to offer a great point of entry for newcomers to the Emerald City setting, showing the flexibility of electronic publishing.
The Power Profiles sourcebook, nominated for Best Supplement, is a go-to resource that also developed out of electronic publishing: We produced a year-long series of short profiles of how to build different types of powers in Mutants & Masterminds, from Air to Weather and everything in-between, then compiled them all into the ultimate powers reference book for the game. Looking for a particular power? Chances are you can find it in there!
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
SK: While a lot of nominated products are the new hotness, Mutants & Masterminds has been around for more than a decade. Part of Green Ronin's longevity (and that of our product lines) is a dedication to creating quality material that keeps us coming back to the ENnie Awards, year after year.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
SK: Releasing in just a few weeks are Gadget Guides for Mutants & Masterminds and a reprint of A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying (our Game of Thrones RPG). After that it's Icons: The Assembled Edition, Dragon Age: Set 3, and then the Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder. We round out the year with Freeport: The City of Adventure (also for Pathfinder), The Cosmic Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds, and then hopefully Love 2 Hate, our first party game. Our second half of 2014 is busy!
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
SK: We have one going right now! After a few more traditional tabletop RPG Kickstarters, Green Ronin is trying something new by Kickstarting Love2Hate, "A Party Game for Inappropriate People," which was the hit of our company planning meeting. It's a fun phrase-matching card game with often hilarious results!
MT: What do you think of the new edition of D&D?
SK: We're very excited about it! We're all gamers ourselves, of course, so naturally we're pouring over the new rules, running games (often updated from playtest versions), and generally enjoying the fresh new take on the classic RPG that's true to its roots and how D&D should feel at the table.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at GenCon?
SK: We will! Green Ronin is exhibiting at GenCon, as we have since our inception. We're at Booth #1517 this year, and will have print copies of the brand-new "Assembled Edition" of Icons Superpowered Roleplaying, along with all our other product lines, including our ENnie Award nominees!
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
SK: Just visit www.greenronin.com for the latest news and information, or to shop our online store.
MT: Anything else you'd like to share?
SK: The ENnies, and ENWorld, have always been good to us, and we're honored to be included again this year. We appreciate the support of our online communities and fans that make all of our products possible!