Jerry Holkins and Jeremy Crawford Talk Acquisitions IncJune 18, 2019
For those that don’t know, Dungeons and Dragons partnered with Penny Arcade to produce a new Dungeons and Dragons book based on the hit show Acquisitions Incorporated.
It releases today.
At The Descent in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to discuss the project with Jerry Holkins and Jeremy Crawford about the book, the collaboration between the two companies, and what fans can expect in the future.
If you’re a fan of Acquisitions Incorporated., it will come as no surprise to you that the interview was about 40% nonsense, 52% content, and 100% fun.
Penny Arcade knew they had enough material to produce their own content, and at first, they thought they would take the project through Kickstarter. But then? Destiny. “We received a request from Liz Schuh [Head of Licensing and Publishing at Wizards of the Coast.] She pitched the idea, of pitching the idea (the book collaboration),” said Holkins. “[From there] it was about figuring out what we meant to each other,” and how they could move this project forward.
“The main thing [this book will do] is establish Acquisitions Incorporated as a faction that operates in the Forgotten Realms, and introduces famous people, history, [antagonists]…and is designed to [expose] you to our brand of weird,” said Holkins cheerily, before adding, “[you’ll] absorb the first portion of the book, with a new race and new capabilities, and then [be able to] jump straight into the campaign.”
The book includes a substantial adventure campaign for characters levels 1 through 6, that’s equal parts “whimsy and greed,” and contains all the information you’ll need to start your own Acquisitions Incorporated franchise “and conquer the world!”
Dungeons and Dragons approaches the development of each book the same way: they make darn sure that each book has something for everyone.
This is by design.
Is this [book] hitting all of our targets? Is there something in there for someone who doesn’t want to buy this book? [Ultimately] this book is eminently lootable [for DMs not looking to run an AI campaign,]” said Jeremy Crawford.
In the end, collaborations are never easy, but this one clearly worked. “Working with so many, it’s hard to effectively integrate everyone’s brand [but] we learned so much. We’re happy we got to see the book,” Holkins said toward the end of the interview.
Holkins clearly appreciated working with Dungeons and Dragons, including “[the] person who’s job it is say ‘that [idea’s] horseshit,'” Holkins said with a laugh. “One never wants to hear that, but sometimes one needs to.”
Jeremy Crawford was quick to add, with his own chuckle, “just to clarify, 85-90% was not horseshit.”
In hindsight, perhaps a 40% nonsense rating wasn’t high enough…
Acquisitions Incorporated was clearly a labour of love for both Holkins and Crawford, and having thumbed through the book already, it looks like their collaboration was a success.
Acquisitions Incorporated should satisfy fans of both the show and of D&D in general, and leaves no creature behind.
Go forth and profit, adventurers!
Thanks to Jerry Holkins and Jeremy Crawford for an engaging and irreverent interview.
All images are copyright Wizards of the Coast and Penny Arcade, and used with permission.