I have one more question if you don't mind, which is probably too imprecise to be answered properly, but since you're here, I'm going to ask it anyway:
You have been connected to D&D for a long time, do you think nowadays people who weren't involved with it before can still get into tabletop D&D, and is 5th Edition easier to grasp for that than the older ones? Or is it mostly something for people who have played all their lives and are familiar with the older rulesets as well?
I only know D&D rules from their adaptation in cRPGs, and there I found the jump from 2nd to 3 or 3.5 very complicated with a confusing amount of customization not really friendly to an inexperienced person, or which requires a lot of reading for an optimized build, stacking one level of too many different classes on the other instead of a more natural and intuitive leveling process.
Supposedly 5th Edition is somewhere in between? Or are the computer adaptations not comparable to the pure tabletop ruleset at all?
Also, if you run D&D campaigns yourself as a DM, from your experience, what are the biggest mistakes a new player can make?
And one more: Except for your trip to Iceland and your interest in Norse mythology for this project, what have been the things that inspire(d) you most in your work?
Edit: Okay those were three questions. The big lizard can't count well. But at least you were warned so I'm not offering drinks.
Hi & thanks for the questions.
5e is way easier to grasp and I think there are lots of new people getting involved all the time. It feels far more popular than when I was growing up with it. And lots of people experience D&D because of videogames. When I did an AMA on Reddit I had numerous messages about "I started playing D&D because of Dragon Age or Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate")
I don't honestly know if I would compare the computer adaptions to tabletop. When you play D&D with a group there's a lot of talk with the other players and the DM and you all get to figure out things together. Most people I know who play a wide variety of games including tabletop, for example, found 2e (as portrayed in BG) horrifically complicated (Thac0!) Which is probably partly why Neverwinter sold a lot more than any of the BG series, etc. Third edition was easier for someone with NO D&D experience to get into than Baldur's Gate was.
In terms of running new campaigns, I wouldn't say players really make mistakes. It is a group storytelling effort. The only issues I have with players is sometimes there are personality types that try to dominate the session -- do all the talking, talk over other people. Or those players who constantly want to split off from the rest of the party -- that can be hard for a DM to manage (when there are 2-3 different subgroups).
In terms of inspiration... honestly everything. Everything I read (I've read a lot of history, fiction, howto) & everything I've played. Obviously the things that I experienced when younger probably have the larger impact -- Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Indiana Jones, the Star Wars movies, The Stone and the Flute, Prydain Chronicles and Stephen King! More recently the Vikings series & Last Kingdom & the movie The Ritual (2017) has had a large effect on Raiders (I hope to have the time this week to blog about that before the Kickstarter ends).
Again, thanks & all the best!