This interview is part of a series of 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 Dale Elvy of Imaginary Empire.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company
Dale Elvy (DE): Imaginary Empire is a micro-publisher, which is to say it's me with help from some talented friends. We publish the EPOCH roleplaying game which is a game of character-driven survival horror with the aim of delivering a tense and scary experience in a single game session,
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
DE: Yes, last year EPOCH was nominated for Best Rules, Best Electronic Book and Product of the Year, while our quick-start rules and scenario Road Trip was nominated for Best Free Product.
MT: Tell us about your nominated products/site.
DE: War Stories is a collection of 5 survival horror scenarios for the EPOCH roleplaying game, set during wartime. The book explores a range of conflicts spanning more than ninety years, from the muddy trenches of the Western Front during the Great War, to the lush jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo during U.N. peace operations. The characters take the roles of both soldiers and civilians in some of these memorable conflicts. The horrors the characters will face are both supernatural and human, but in each case the long shadow of war adds an additional dimension of tension and horror
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
DE: War Stories is about as different as its possible to be from the other worthy nominees in this category. That's because EPOCH explicitly links the desired outcomes of the game (a tense story with the characters at the centre), with the mechanics. That means there are no stat blocks or dice; which of the characters survive each War Story, and which are eliminated, is the result of highly structured collective decision making - the players will decide. So, while each scenario in the collection presents the GM with a story, a rich setting and a supporting cast of NPCs, the way the scenario plays out will be driven by the players, and the characters they create.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
DE: We are currently working on 'The Experiment Continues' a Companion to EPOCH which will include tools and options for players and GMs and several new scenarios.
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
DE: I've pledged to a number of Kickstarters, most recently those run by Chaosium, Golden Goblin Press and Modiphius. I have no plans to run one anytime soon.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con?
DE: Sadly, no 8,000 miles is just a bit too far away. Perhaps one day...
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?