This interview is 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 Jonathan G. Nelson, owner of AAW Games as well as creative director and co-author of Rise of the Drow.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Jonathan G. Nelston (JGN): AAW Games started out with the website Adventureaweek.com, crafting a new Pathfinder RPG and D&D 3.5 compatible adventure every week before eventually publishing everything in PDF and print. Our last big adventure, Rise of the Drow, was a huge success on Kickstarter and is nominated for a 2014 ENnie award!
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
JGN: Yes, we were nominated last year (2013) for Best Website.
MT: Tell us about your nominated products/site.
JGN: Rise of the Drow is a massive underground adventure and setting, taking PCs into a new alien world where they have what at first appears to be a classic quest to accomplish but organically grows into an epic endeavor in a free-form sandbox format. It's a great reference book for GMs running a game underground even if they're not planning on running the actual adventure itself! The mega-module is almost 500 pages, designed for adventurers of 6th level and taking parties up to around 18th level. It can be played in conjunction with the prologue (The Darkness Arrives, which supports PCs from 1st level through 6th) and the epilogue (The Commander of Malice) to take those same adventurers all the way to level 20.
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
JGN: We love to color outside the lines and provide a product that's not just an adventure but a setting with material GMs can use more than once. There are also mini-games, easter eggs, and other fun stuff in our modules to differentiate our products from everything else on the market.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
JGN: We're releasing Underworld Races & Classes, player supplements that run the gamut of everything you might ever want in a subterranean adventure. Four dwarven subtypes? Bat-men? A blind race designed with the help of a blind gamer? Drow that shoot webs and cut vitriolic taunts? Giant mushroom men? All of those and so much more are on the way!
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
JGN: We're currently running a Kickstarter for our newest expanded hardcover, Snow White for Pathfinder RPG and D&D 3.5.
MT: What do you think of 5th Edition D&D?
JGN: We're excited and hope it will be OGL and if it's not, we’ll be terribly disappointed. It is a great system that returns to the roots of D&D, and not being able to produce content to support it would wound us worse than any poisoned apple or drow arrow!
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at Gen Con?
JGN: Yes, we'll be at booth #3039 in the top right hand corner of the exhibitor's hall map (we're sharing with 3D Virtual Tabletop). In addition to Rise of the Drow products, a number of the Underworld Classes & Races books will be available alongside several of our most popular modules.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
MT: Anything else you'd like to share?
JGN: If you haven't checked out Rise of the Drow please do so and also support our new Kickstarter for Snow White! If you’re wondering whether or not we have the chops, check out the AaWBlog; we post brand new Pathfinder content every day (and are up for an ENnie, so please, cast your blog vote for us)!