SDCC 2018: Lion Forge Editor Steenz Talks “Rolled & Told”
“You got your comic in my tabletop game!” is what someone might say about Lion Forge’s newest publication, Rolled & Told. Published through their newest imprint Quillion, Rolled & Told is a periodical with a little bit of everything. There’s a tabletop module for Dungeons & Dragons 5e in every issue along with a comic and a lot of other goodies.
We sat down with associate editor Christina “Steenz” Stewart who gave us details on the floor at San Diego Comic-Con about what fans can expect from Rolled & Told.
Katie Cardwell: To start, what can you tell me about Lion Forge’s newest publication Rolled & Told?
Steenz: So Lion Forge has a couple imprints already and Quillion is our newest imprint, that’s our game imprint. The kind of things under there [is] not going to just be Rolled & Told but also games as well. We’re going to be working in gaming development in getting board games, card games, and stuff like that.
Rolled & Told is a gaming magazine that focuses on D&D 5th edition and it is specifically for casual players who have played a couple times and are interested in learning how to DM their own games. So we decided we would put together a magazine that has full adventure modules in there. You can play them as one-offs or you can put them into your own campaign if you like.
Every issue has a full adventure module which is 4-6 hours, a mini module which is about 2 hours — well you know, it depends on how your people play.
Yes, who knows when they’ll follow an NPC down a rabbit trail.
Steenz: Exactly! Every issue also has three articles in it that are about gaming, whether it is about running the game or crafting the adventure, or sights and settings you can use, to memorable monsters that these writers want to talk about it, every issue there is a two page comic that goes with the full adventure module. Everything else has artwork that goes with it. There are spot illustrations all throughout the book.
What’s great about all this is that Rolled & Told is a book that is done by not just gaming people, but comics people too. Leila DeLuca, Miguel Valderrama. Jen Vaughn of d20 Dames did the cover for the zero issue and will be doing illustrations for later issues. There’s a lot of people that I’ve been really excited about working with but also a lot of new faces to. I want to make sure the book isn’t just about people who have already done it. I want to bring in new faces, new creators that are looking for a way into the industry whether it is gaming or comics.
I’ve got people where this is their first job, but then I have people who have been doing this for years. All of the articles are really straight to the point: this is what you want to do if you want to be a great DM.
Who is working on the modules?
Steenz: As of right now, EL Thomas is our lead game designer but after the fifth issue we will branch out into other writers. Kat Kruger who is also on d20 Dames, Gabe Soria who has done other comics as well, and we’ve just started getting into people who are mostly into gaming.
It sounds like you’ve got a pretty great team coming together. How does it feel to get to premiere it here at San Diego Comic-Con?
Steenz: It is pretty amazing actually. It is a huge project and it has taken a lot to wrangle all these people into one magazine but this is the perfect place to debut it. So many comics people play D&D or any kind of tabletop game. If they don’t currently play it, they’ve always wanted to play it, or they played it in their past and that’s what encouraged them to do comics. The Venn diagram of comics and gaming overlaps and that overlap is where Rolled & Told is.
Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop games have seen a huge resurgence in recent years. Why, from your perspective, do you think that is the case? What has contributed to the desire to get back around a table to play games like D&D?
Steenz: I think what’s happening right now is people are excited that they feel welcome in that community. It is kind of how it was with comics a few years ago — “It is back, and women and people of color are getting into it” — like, no, we’ve always been into it we just never had our voices heard. Right now a lot of us are getting our voices heard.
With Adventure Zone and Critical Role and D20 Dames, libraries and educators bringing D&D into the classroom and trying to branch out, people are making an effort to branch out and make sure people who always wanted to play are finally getting that representation. I think now the kind of entertainment focused on that is making it so great.
Do you play D&D?
Steenz: I actually play Mage: The Ascension and Starfinder. I have played D&D but the DM didn’t really know what they were doing.
Sounds like they needed a copy of Rolled & Told.
Steenz: Yeah! Now is a good time for it. But yeah, I’ve played other tabletop roleplaying games but this is the first time I’ve really jumped into D&D.
If you had to choose one thing you’re most excited about regarding the release of Rolled & Told what would it be?
Steenz: Oh my gosh, so everyone at this panel is getting dice and dice bags. They’re beautiful dice bags, they are velvet and purple and big so you can put things in them that aren’t dice. So that’s what I’m excited about for the release today.
I’m looking forward to the panel! Thanks so much.
We attended Steenz’s panel on representation in gaming right after the interview and heard about it as well as more about Rolled & Told. As promised, all the panel attendees walked away with a gorgeous velvet dice bag and a new set of dice, perfect for testing out a new module.
Want to know more? Be sure to check out Lion Forge’s website for more details.