No gamer worth their salt can pass up reading a strip of 'Knights of the Dinner Table,' a fixation that no doubt pleases the people at Kenzer & Company. We were lucky enough to speak to an insider at the company, Mark Plemmons, who kindly took us on a wild ride through Kenzer and its products.
First off, we had to know whom we were talking to: Mark is the Comic Book Manager of Kenzer & Company. At 27, Mark holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina. He is a gamer of about three years playing such games as: D&D, Cyberpunk, Rifts, Alternity, and Vampire. After trying his hand at Gming Deadlands for an evening, his players insisted on more, so he ran games for almost two years.
He also talked to us a little about his favorite role playing games. "Well, in general, my top favorite of all time would have to be Deadlands: the Weird West. The whole "alternate history / western / horror / steampunk" flavor really appeals to me. Funny thing is, I never even liked Westerns until I started looking at the Deadlands books. And then there's the timeline that ties into the futuristic Hell On Earth and the upcoming Lost Colony setting. I love being able to play a western, or post-apocalyptic, or sci-fi game all in the same universe."
"My favorite fantasy game would be D&D 3rd edition. I started out on 2nd, and thought it was okay, but I think the revised three new core books really make the game something special. I can't wait until our Kingdoms of Kalamar setting comes out, because then I can play the world's best fantasy setting with the best fantasy rules (and that's not my employee side talking - that's a FAN!)"
His favorite character, though is a necromancer name Vrillam. "I took him all the way to 8th level, until my Dungeon Master decided to transport the entire party to Ravenloft. Word of advice - don't run a necromancer character in Ravenloft. And if a voice in your head asks you if you want ultimate power, don't say 'yes.' *laughs*"
"So when he got turned into a lich, my DM said I could keep playing him until the end of the night. Of course, that lasted about ten minutes until a fellow party member blew up the furnace on the magically-powered ship that Vrillam was on. The running joke among my former group was that, even a year later, you could still see Vrillam hurtling through the air, screaming."
Though his work is pressing, Mark enjoys comics, role-playing games, reading, writing, hanging out with my friends, and partying. His comic interests includes all of the KenzerCo line (obviously) and extends to: Authority, Blue Monday, Desperadoes, Hellblazer, JSA, Midnight Nation, Planetary, Queen & Country, Rising Stars, Starman, and several others. Mark refrains, however, from picking a favorite hero or villain, though he says that 'Shade' from Starman would probably qualify.
Considering that work that takes up so much of his time, we asked Mark just what his responsibilities are. "Well, our bimonthly comic book titles include: Dungeons and Dragons: In the Shadow of Dragons, Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated, HackMasters of EverKnight, and Travelers (affectionately known as D&D, KILL, HoE, and Trav, respectively). While our flagship periodical, the Knights of the Dinner Table, is comic-sized, it's technically a magazine and so doesn't fall into my responsibilities," Mark says.