Today we interview Margaret Weis, who maintains a close relationship with role-playing games (being an editor herself and the founder of a RPG publishing company) but is known outside the role-playing circles by her fantasy writing career, probably being more known for it than for her RPGs-related career. That’s why I’ve focused on her personal experiences instead of the activities of her company, for my interview series to rpg players celebrities
This time I had the invaluable assistance of Erekibeon in both the translation and the question formulation. It is fair to say that we both felt very honored to interview the authress of several books that influenced our youth and contributed to make us the way we are. I am also happy to say that I found Margaret Weis to be very close and attentive, answering my interview request in less than 15 minutes. From here I want to thank her sincerely for her cooperation.
Margaret Weis, (1948, Independence, Missouri, USA) has written several fantasy and space opera sagas, like Dragonlance, The Rose of the Prophet, Darksword, the Death Gate Cycle, Star of the Guardians and many others. She has also worked as an editor for TSR, and has founded her own role-playing publishing company, Margaret Weis Productions (MWP), that has specialized on franchise RPGs and has recently published the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game. At 62 she still occasionally plays RPGs.
Hi Margaret! How was your first experience with tabletop Role-playing games? What was the game?
I played D&D back in the early eighties. I'd heard about the game and I thought it would be a wonderful experience for my kids. We played as a family with a friend of mine. We had a great time! After that, I went to work for TSR!:)
How lucky! May I ask what was the age of your children when they first played D&D?
David was about 10 and Lizz 8.
Could you share any funny details about that first game?
I just remember we had a great time. The DM was really good about making the rules easy for the kids to understand. (And keeping it simple!)
Did they have any particular difficulty regarding rules or concepts?
As I said, the DM made the game kid-friendly.
What would be the most important advice you would give to parents who want to initiate their children on playing RPGs? For example, throwing the rules away, toning down the violence, making the game some special reward...
You need rules. Just don't make it rules heavy. I never worried about the violence. At one point, my son saved my life from an orc attacking our party. He was so proud! We kept playing D&D and other games when I worked for TSR. My kids had great DMs!
What an interesting anecdote! Has Lizz continued playing RPGs?
Yes she does. Before she moved to Chicago, she had a regular D&D group.
After more than 30 years of hobby and Working professionally in the RPG industry, how many RPGs have you played?
I couldn't count them!
Which one is your favorite?
I have to say the RPGs my company, MWP, produces! The latest game is the Marvel Heroic RPG.
When was the last time you played? What game?
Sadly my RPG friends moved away. I'm playing a Serenity RPG game in two weeks at Gary Con.
What do you prefer: being a player or being a gamemaster? Why?
I am ALWAYS a player. I've never run a game.
Really? It's surprising... Any favourite Player Character you had?
What do you like the most about playing RPGs?
Using my imagination to create a story with my friends.
A couple of questions about your company. Being one of the most famous fantasy writers in the world, why has MWP focused on franchise RPG lines? Why not a Star of the Guardians RPG, for example?
All about the sales! Lots more people have heard of Marvel!
It's true, there aren't many that can compete with Spiderman and Captain America. Finally, how do you see the USA RPG market? Is it shrinking or expanding?
Well, it has shrunk, no doubt. But I think a lot of people are growing tired of playing video games by themselves and want to share the fun.
Thank you very much, Margaret, as I said before it's been a true honor.