The story behind the Dresden Files RPG might make us sound cooler than we are, and we’re okay with that. A few of us behind the Hat have known Jim Butcher for a while, and we were pretty psyched when his Dresden books took off the way they did because we like him and it made us cool by association. After a while, the books began generating interest from RPG companies, and Jim’s agent, who is also a gamer, asked him, “Don’t you have a couple award winning game designer friends you could license it to?”
That would be us. We’d developed one of the earliest versions of Fate as a free downloadable, and it won a few indie RPG awards. But we hadn’t really moved from “people who do free stuff and run games because it’s fun” to a “real gaming company.” Dresden gave us the kick in the pants to make it happen. In retrospect, there are things we would have done differently—the process took a lot longer than we’d expected, and we didn’t quite know how to approach it. We ordered art before we had words to go with it, discovered uncomfortably late that our system had holes, and generally waded in and learned by trial and error. We took on Spirit of the Century to help refine our process and test the system (Fred and Rob have said that this experience was something like birthing a kraken, which is something we don’t really want to dwell on, image-wise), and we tested our publication cred on Don’t Rest Your Head. Add on an epic playtesting experience, and you’ve got the Dresden Files RPG. Without it, Evil Hat simply wouldn’t exist in its current incarnation
Given all of that, we were absolutely thrilled when it started to win awards. This was a labor of love and perseverance, and we can’t thank Jim enough for his patience while we tackled it. We can’t recommend his books any more than we do. If you decide to buy one, we’ll geek out over it with you.