Matt Chat 153: The Jennell Jaquays Interview: The Dungeoneer

Matt Barton's picture

Hi, guys! I'm back this week with one of the rare female guests to grace Matt Chat, Jennell Jaquays, one of the true greats of role-playing. Jennell has done lots of videogame work--including the Coleco--but here we focus on her background in D&D. She's the author of some of the best modules and books on the topic of good role-playing. She's now serving as the lead level designer on the World of Darkness MMORPG, an upcoming CCP game (think Vampire: The Masquerade). Enjoy!

Download the episode here.

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Be Arun!

(just catching up on my viewing now on my iPhone - good stuff, Matt!)

It's funny the comment about role-playing regular-ability characters rather than super powered beings. I remember back in maybe 7th or 8th grade (at the most), coming up with a concept for a pen and paper RPG called "Be Arun" based on the idea that you'd role-play a regular person in our own world (our quirky friend, Arun Patel, was the model for the concept). Interestingly I submitted the idea to TSR, only to get a form letter back which the "not interested in publishing your SUPERHERO game" at this time. Ironic, really. I think I still have that letter somewhere... I always meant to scan all of my original correspondence that I've kept with various companies like TSR, SSI, Epyx, etc. A project for another day I guess...

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Hehe, sounds like a good

Hehe, sounds like a good concept to me. I'm always fascinated looking at the Choose-your-own-adventure (and lesser known paper RPG games) that have never been attempted on a computer or console. Seems like those have always been stuck in the rut of fantasy or sci-fi. Steampunk is considered a big deviation. Pfft.

I was looking through a book on tabletop RPGs and was stunned by how much other stuff is available; metric tons of war, spy, horror, westerns, and romance stuff. I'd definitely love to play a great Wild West or Spy CRPG. Sure, they make great FPS games, too, but obviously a lot of RPG potential.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
TSR and others
Matt Barton wrote:

I was looking through a book on tabletop RPGs and was stunned by how much other stuff is available; metric tons of war, spy, horror, westerns, and romance stuff. I'd definitely love to play a great Wild West or Spy CRPG. Sure, they make great FPS games, too, but obviously a lot of RPG potential.

TSR's Top Secret and Boot Hill were two of my favorites in pen and paper RPGs, spy and Western respectively. I was the Dungeon Master for several of TSR's space-based, Star Frontiers, campaigns, and still have the original sets and miniatures. TSR seemed to have no issue with licensing the D&D stuff, but it boggles my mind that they either didn't want or COULDN'T sell their own rich genres/universes. Hell, Gamma World was Wasteland before Wasteland! I'd LOVE to know the "why" of all that!

Back in the day I played pen and paper RPGs set in the Doctor Who universe, Star Trek, TNMNT, etc., and years later played GURPS, which could simulate everything. It's amazing none of that stuff made it into proper CRPGs (though obviously the GURPS stuff made it over to a limited degree). I mean, heck, the MODELS were there, so the design work was all but done!

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
I love the old info.. that

I love the old info.. that has always been a thing I cant get enough of. hearing how the old stuff was done, not done, why and so on. it continues to amaze me how "lose" some of the old companiew where. Spend tons of money and just pull the plug ....not today.. (duke3d I'm looking at you).And once again Im amazed at all these people.. they almost to a one come off as people you would love to know in real life .. I would soon wear out my welcome with questions Im sure.. As I watcehd I just hoped there would be a "come back later and i will dig some of that old music/paperwork/etcc out and show you" so we could have got a glimps... Eventhe little tidbits otne Colecovision snaffu on design.. I'm not sure I had heard that bit before.. it was really a NEW frontier back then.. just amzing stuff to a guy like me.. cant get enough of it.

clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
I had heard TSR was worried

I had heard TSR was worried PC gaming would caniblize the Roleplaying market.. and they where correct in some ways. Also RPG gaming was sold as a SOCIAL thing.. they felt it wouldnt translate well. I can remeber some interviews back int eh old days in dragon mag or some other one about it. DM'ing is not ONLY dice rolls.. and computes cant fudge anything.. But yes they where on a gold mine.. but it was a PRODUCING gold mine.. why hire more workes to take more cuts of the profits.. they where in thier hayday.. making great money.. Sharing it probebly didnt look all to great. Of course 20/20 to see it now.. it would have helped even grow the brnd more for awhile at least I think.. I still ahve my first edition D&D (not AD&D, which alos have)... cool stuff.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.