Trudvang Chronicles, the most anticipated RPG of 2017, is hot off the press. Many roleplayers wait eagerly for this new and exciting fantasy roleplaying game. But what has RiotMinds, publishers of Trudvang Chronicles, more in store for Trudvang fans? Here’s what Theodore and Magnus at RiotMinds have to say. 

trudvang chronicles interview, Hot off the press – Trudvang Chronicles, Yawning PortalTrudvang Chronicles is a fantasy game based on the Swedish RPG Drakar och Demoner. Lately we’ve taken a good look at Trudvang Chronicles (see Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V) and this sure is game that looks great. Trudvang Chronicles was voted the most anticipated game of 2017 and no wonder, RiotMinds publishing ran a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, funding the setting and all stretch goals. Still, this is not the only campaign RiotMinds have run on Kickstarter, recently the publishing company also had a campaign for their game Lexoccultum, that was also funded. As have many other Swedish publishers. We decided to reach out to RiotMinds Publishing, to learn a little bit more about both Trudvang and what Riotminds have in store for us. Here’s what game designers Magnus Malmberg and Theodore Bergquist had to say.

What’s going on in Sweden?

The number of great games from Sweden are incredible and one has to wonder why. How come a relatively small Scandinavian nation designs and creates not only a handful of RPGs, but many great games, e.g. Kult, Coriolis, Symbaroum and, of course, Trudvang Chronicles. What are the Swedes doing right? Why are you so successful?

Oh, that’s a great question. One thing is for sure, that Role playing games and Sweden have a long legacy. In the heydays, the 80’s, Role Playing games was huge in Sweden and I guess that’s one of the reasons why it’s in our DNA. Compared with other countries it’s been alive all these years, and with Kickstarter (and other similar platforms) as a great funding and distribution platform we could elevate and distribute all the great stuff to an international market, so to say.

Sweden, just as the other Nordic countries, is one of the most prosperous nations in the world, with a high educational level and living standard. Children read through old fables and learn about vikings and other mythological creatures in school. Does this come into play? Does this create a groundwork for so many great RPG publishers, like you at Riotminds, to flourish?

We sure have a close relation with the sources of tales and adventures, such as the Celtic and Viking myths and Mythos. We’re basically born into all that stuff, which is also great sources for fantasy so to say. When other’s may refer to Tolkien, we know the source and could twist and bend the games to not be just a Tolkien clone. I guess that’s a two reasons we’ve been successful.

But it takes more than just that, you also need to have great designers, artist and marketers. Riotminds have used Kickstarter to a significant effect, and one has to wonder if Riotminds have discovered the secret formula to a successful Kickstarter campaign. So, what’s the secret? What have you learned through the years? Do you need to win the local market before the global market?

To be honest, from the beginning we were quite skeptic about Kickstarter, but as we launched and was successful we realized it’s more of a distribution platform than a funding platform. For a Swedish RPG-publisher the problem is not to fund the games, but to find an international audience. As such Kickstarer is great. Guess the trick is to prepare as much as you can and really know what to fund or not. I’m sure we can be better, but one thing we learned is to communicate with our backers, and above all, use their help. For Trudvang Chronicles we’ve engaged a lot of fans and backers to make a better product. We’ve tried both local and global, and must say that it’s much easier to go global than local. The amount of work you have to do is the same, but the audience is much bigger going global.

trudvang chronicles interview, Hot off the press – Trudvang Chronicles, Yawning Portal

Let’s talk about Trudvang Chronicles

The books are hot off the press and judging by the photos they simply look awesome. As many other fans of Trudvang Chronicles, we can’t wait to have to books delivered. You recently published on Social Media that a source book for the Stormlands was due to be released, can you tell us anything more? What do you have in store for Trudvang Chronicles? A Campaign? Novels or even a video game?

YES! Yup, finally some might say, but given the scope and the size of the package with all the stretchgoals that was included I’m pretty sure most backers think the delay is reasonable.

The core package we release now is just the tip of the iceberg, I think we have potentially 10 more books that we can release should we want. Obviously a lot of world-books, and campaigns, but also rule expansions and such.

First out will be Stormlands (world source book) and the hailed campaign Snowsaga. We will release that Kickstarter campaign in February next year. On a side note, the great artist Alvaro Tapia who has illustrated a lot for us in the past, now is full time employee at RiotMinds. He’s such a rare and unique talent and we’re really happy he will be on board for this great Trudvang (and LexOccultum) adventure.

In Wildheart there’s a bit of foreshadowing for the Snowsaga Campaign, Blodughadda the frost giant is presented and the power of the Snow Queen. Can you tell us more about the Snowsaga campaign?

Snowsaga is not for rookie Game Masters, but players could easily play this as their first major campaign. It’s vast and long and take the characters deep into the history of the northern parts of Stormlands. An old entity closely connected with the ice has awaken and spreads it’s darkness throughout Wildlands. The players will explore an ancient mountain castle built upon magic, but also walk into the realm of the dwarves and to the chaotic realm of death and back again. The characters will encounter the melancholic and evil frost giant Blodughadda (the main villain) but also the undead dragon Nifelfang and Mogunda, one of the gate keepers of Hel (realm of death).

Trudvang Chronicles is highly influenced by Celtic and Viking traditions and mythology. This is evident simply by looking at the great artwork in the books. Do you however have any plans on expanding the setting, e.g. adding middle-eastern, native American or Japanese cultures? Anything that you are willing to share with us?

Yes, we do have plans, and we do have some work done already… it’s in the field of Middle-East meet Japanese… more info about this later though.

Now that sounds interesting, right!?!

Reading through the Trudvang Chronicles PDFs it becomes evident that effort has been put in making sure that people of all genders feel a part of the game, and the gaming industry has been leaning towards a more gender (and sexuality) neutral games. How important do you think this is?

Inclusion is always important for sure, no matter of race, gender or religion. We want everyone to feel included in our games. If we can replace a few words and how we present things to make that happen, it’s something we want to do.

The future

In the recent years many games and publishers have put considerable effort and money into making their games digital. RiotMinds are fully onboard the digital revolution and offer on their website online character builder and game environment, RiotOnline. How much emphasis do you put on the digital part of gaming?

We developed the online service three years ago and was obviously way ahead of the game. In RiotOnline you can do all that and more. We still think the books are great but can see the online/digital suite or tools as a good complement. We have a few more interesting digital projects in the pipeline, but we will see how that unfolds. Character creation I guess is the main target for us here.

Some publishers, e.g. Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf, have opened their games and offer players and game masters alike to publish their own material on platforms like DMsGuild and Storytellers Vault. Is something similar in RiotMind‘s plans for the future?

Yeah, that would have been great, but no short-term plans.

You also had another game, Lexoccultum, more than fully funded through Kickstarter, a game that is based on the 18th century horror RPG Gotterdamnung. Have you set any release date for Lexoccultum? How is work for that game progressing?
No release-date is set yet. We said end of this year or Q1 next. We’re making good progress (most of the stuff is now translated and edited) and hopefully we will be able to release the game in Q1 as promised. What might slow things down is editing and printing.

Wrapping things up

RiotMinds is one of the great Swedish publishers that every RPG fan should keep an eye out for. Trudvang Chronicles is a great fantasy game and Lexoccultum looks promising as well. It will be interesting to see what the future will hold for Trudvang Chronicles, Riotminds have 10 more books in store for us, among them middle-eastern/Japanese expansion and an interesting campaign, The Snowsaga. Lexoccultum, Riotmind‘s 18th century horror RPG, is well underway and hopefully we’ll see it in the first three months of 2018.