Word of Mods and Old WoJ’s

Link back to the main Dresden Files WoJ compilation


Word of Mods:
The term “Word of Mod” is a relic of the old forums.  Several of the mods there were friends of Jim and/or Beta readers.  There are a few statements by those Mods that I have found significant enough to have been quoted several times in theory discussion, and I’ve archived them below -Serack

Fred Hicks (Iago, lord of the DFRPG) Interviews:
2007 interview with Fred and Rob Donoghue at The Game’s the Thing (audio)
2007 RPG Virtual Tabletop with Fred
2008 Dabble Brothers interview with Fred
2009 Buzzy Multimedia interview of Fred Hicks about the DFRPG (written)
2010 2D6feet interview with Iago about the DFRPG supplemental book
The Walking Eye Interview about the DFRPG with Fred Hicks (Iago) and Jim audio (also linked in OP)
Interview on German website (skip the brief german part)
Rho Pi Gamma podcast
You can hear more from Iago and Priscillie in The Butcher Block linked in the interview list.

Iago posted this with reguards to the RPG canonality

It is not Word of Jim, but it’s close.  The blacked out stuff that folks can discover in the PDFs are 4th wall breaking stuff, mainly an in joke for people who figure out how to read it. Beyond that there are elements of the text that are at least slightly inaccurate or more often incomplete because the rpg as presented is being filtered through Billy — a version of Billy who was more clued in prior to Turn Coat, so the rpg itself is at least a little alternate universe in its conceit.  But regardless we made it as close to the spruce material as we could manage, because we wanted the setting parts of it to work as a legitimate fan guide too.

Iago posted this on another RPG forum:

Point of order!

I feel like the WoD thing is good if you’re Hollywooding the idea of the Dresden Files (“it’s like Sam Spade got dropped into the World of Darkness after growing up all Harry Potter!”) — I’ve done the “Hollywooding” thing myself and it *is* useful for shorthanding — but suggesting that the Dresden Files was “taken from” the World of Darkness is observably and factually incorrect. (Please note I’m not saying that you’re making this claim. At worst it’s implied in what you wrote, not stated overtly.)

Jim is in fact pretty frustrated by this claim when it’s made.

I gamed semi-regularly with Jim back in 1995-ish when he’d already drafted the first novel or two of the series. At that time he’d never read, let alone played, anything by White Wolf (I think it took him until novel 6 or 8 or so before he got any direct exposure). The man is a diehard fan of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, with some strong D&D in him as well (the game I was in that he ran was a Birthright game). You can see amusing glimpses of WFRP and D&D whenever a few details of Arcanos (the game system that Billy and the other Alphas play at their gaming table in the novels) pop up. In one short story, Harry bitches about how it’s completely unrealistic that a fireball would stop at a very precise radius out from its point of origin.

The thing to remember here is that the World of Darkness quite simply was not the point of origin of many/any of its concepts, and moreover, is practically unknown outside of gaming circles. It’s a pastiche of folklore that has existed for hundreds of years. Factionalized vampires are a natural extension of human politics and society, after all; you more or less *have to* have them if you want them to be a) sustainable rather than a one-off story detail, and b) numerous. At any rate, White Wolf no more “invented” this stuff than Bram Stoker “invented” the vampire. Popularizing is not the same as innovation.

As I recall it when Jim was working on Semiautomagic (eventually renamed Storm Front), he was a fan of the Anita Blake novels, was playing Amber Diceless online via AmberMUSH (along with me), and so on. The lines of influence may trace more directly to that stuff than the World of Darkness. The White Court vampires, after all, are pretty closely modeled on a house of Chaos we both played in on AmberMUSH called Thanlis. Their blood was a little more silver than pale pink, and they could shapeshift like any Chaosian could, but every time the WCVs pop up in the novels I see shades of Bassor (Jim’s character) and Mitre (mine) all over ’em.

Priscillie posted this about when Ghost Story is supposed to take place in the DF timeline

It’s set immediately after “Changes” AND about seven months later.  Simultaneously.  Wrap your heads around that. :D

WRT timeline placement of “AAAA Wizardry”

From Jim, when he handed off the story to Fred and me to beta: “It’s set between Small Favor and Turn Coat.”

Mickey Finn posted this about Mister and the guy that Harry’s physical frame was modeled after.

Yeah, I discovered that Jim & Iago played on a close-knit online text game that I was on for years, quit…they came on, made a big splash, left…I came back.

This was before I had read him. When I read him and saw Mister, I said “Wait a minute….” (Mister was the RL cat of a friend of his that played on the game when I did) (editor’s note:  Here is a record of Jim’s comment on Mister being based on this cat)

Also, I have a good friend from Manchester I met on another game years before who met Jim on the above mentioned game while I wasn’t on it. Not only did I not know Charlie ever PLAYED above game, I found out his build was the model for Dresden. ( We used to put yellow CAUTION tape on our stairwell when Charlie visited from Manchester, as he always hit his head coming down the stairs)

Shecky posted some very interesting information about LtW and Ebenezer McCoy in the quote below

A black staff
Flannel shirt (several to choose from, actually)
Work boots
and I’m growing a beard, which comes in appropriately grey.

What I still need to know:

Does he regularly carry any other gear besides the Blackstaff?
What color flannel shirt?
Does he have a pentacle like Harry’s and Thomas’?

Be sure you get old-school overalls, not something fancy and trendy; Ebenezar uses his clothes to work in. I don’t remember where, but he was also described once with a white t-shirt, which will help with the Atlanta weather. Finally, he also wears spectacles—it’s only mentioned in TC, but some fake wire-rims wouldn’t hurt.

When I went to NYCC 2 years ago as Ebenezar, I used black latex to show the “infection” on his hand from the Blackstaff (which, oddly, only has the descriptions of “dark” and “twisted”). It was a fun little bit to add.

FWIW, I was a bit leery of shaving my head, so out of pique and a “what the hell” attitude, I sent a question to Jim about whether Eb wears a hat. He was MOST emphatic (“You bet he has a hat”); turns out he has a black leather OOOOOLD-style hat. Listens-to-Wind gave it to him at the end of their very long feud (Jim said the details are really horrible). LtW had taken it from the last surviving paleface from the group that killed his family, so yeah, it was an ugly thing all around. Anyway, this is the hat that I got and Jim approved fully:


Sadly, this hat is apparently no longer available. But that should give you some idea if you want to go that route.


This area is for WoJ’s about topics that were resolved within the series later, and thus are rather outdated.

Crescent Blues 2006 interview:
Will Harry survive?
He will. You know, I don’t see how he could possibly get through this whole thing alive. But then again there’s all these heroes getting killed and coming back now so I may have to come up with something better than that…
2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#318 “Does Dresden’s current condition mean that the Knights power has flowed back to Mab?”
That’s one of those questions that will be more fun to answer in the book. :)
But merely being dead does /not/ necessarily get you out of promises to Mab all by itself. I mean, come on. Like she’s never heard THAT lame excuse before… :)
Jim: RT @fredhicks: Double shot of @longshotauthor  cover art: Ghost Story and Side Jobs: http://bit.ly/by0Jvj
LugD213: @Longshotauthor  No glove? Is that significant?
Jim: @LugD213 It is accurate.  :)
Amazon.com post May 2011
Anyone else wondering why Harry’s wearing his duster on the cover, if it was destroyed at the end of Changes?
I love it when readers notice the little things. :)

2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#248 “I don’t remember reading that the Doom of Damocles on Molly was taken off, so due to Harry’s current situation, what is going to happen to her?”
Good observation. It was never removed from Molly, and without Dresden around, there is no one speaking up for her and intervening with the death sentence already passed on her.
As for what is going to happen, well… we’ll see. :)

2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#269 “I seem to remember at a Q&A a few years ago, you said Tera West would be showing up in Book 13 aka Ghost Story. Is this still happening, or has her character been shuffled down the line a bit due to the change in total number of case file books?”
My first answer is “bump her down a couple.” But on the other hand, it might be interesting to see her again in this book.
We’ll see what happens. :)

2010 Bitten by Books Q&A: (emphasis added)
#175 “In most, if not all of the previous short stories/novellas you could easily miss them without missing anything in the main books, will this hold true for Aftermath? Yes I am trying to gauge how important the story is so that I can speculate on what will happen in Ghost Story:)”
If you read “Aftermath” it should reduce some of the system shock that’s going to happen in Ghost Story.
The events of Changes… well, /changed/ /everything/ in the story world. You get to see the first of many, many dominoes starting to fall in “Aftermath.” Pay attention to Will. He might be nearsighted, but he’s got great vision for the big picture.

2009 Bitten by Books Q&A:
Q:  “Do we get to see more of Jake in volume #12??”
A:  Probably not. Maybe in book 13.

2010 Lee’s Summit signing
What is the first line of Aftermath?
I can’t believe he’s really dead.
2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#37 “Jim, will we need to wait until next April for the next book to find out about what happens to Harry and his friends, or will the short stories that are coming out sooner tell us what happened?”
Most of the short stories take place well before the events of Changes. The exception to that is “Aftermath,” which is a full novella told from Murphy’s POV, and it gives you some information about what happened to a few of the folks who went on the Chichen Itza mission.
2010 Lee’s Summit signing
What’s the first line of the next book ? (Ghost Story)
Living is hard, dying is easy.
What is the timing of the next book?  Is it the usual span, or will it take place right after Aftermath?
More like the usual timing – about a year after Changes.
LugD213: @Longshotauthor  Any chance that youre gonna be wacked out enough to tweet some Ghost Story spoilers?
Jim: @LugD213 Why not. Smiley It begins immediately on the heels of Changes. Like the transition from Back to the Future 2 to BttF 3.
LugD213: @Longshotauthor  How soon are we talking? Immediately after Aftermath, or maybe during?
Jim: @LugD213 Immediately-immediately. Like, there’s a train coming at him. :)
2010 Powell’s books Q&A off of Youtube @9:05
2010 Dragon-Con @5:15
Can you give us a teaser for Ghost Story?
Ghost story is so named because Dresden gets stuck with solving his own murder.  He actually gets sent back to handle it, except there’s no body available, so he has to do it as a ghost.  Dresden has to deal with all the laws of being a supernatural spirit, and a ghost from the other end of the stick.  Which I have a really great time with because he’s so non-competent at that.  One of my favorite bits so far is when he’s learning the basic ghost stuff and he’s like, “You know, I finally understand why it is that ghosts are always howling and moaning when they appear out of the floor or the wall.  Passin through that stuff hurts.”
SFBC @ 2010 NYCC @1:31
Could you share a little bit of what’s in store for Dresden in Ghost Story
In Ghost Story, it’s the 13th book of the series, Harry gets sent back to Chicago as a ghost.  He has to solve his own murder, and if he doesn’t there’s going to be horrible consequences to the people he loves.  So we get to see Chicago through a slightly different lens as Dresden is coming back as a ghost.  Of course the real problem is that as that with 12 books going before him with various bad guys coming to mess around in Chicago, Harry has left a few ghosts around the city himself, and you know they are looking for some payback.  It’s kinda like what happens when the cop gets sent to jail.
2011 Marscon Q&A
So do you want to talk about Ghost Story?  Is there anything you can say about it?
Ghost Story, for me to get it done, in…it’s been a difficult story to write, on account of, normally Dresden can…I mean, if I run into a problem when I’m writing it, I can just have Dresden kick down a door somewhere, and hat up and get tough.  Being a ghost and all, he’s actually having to use his brain, which means that I’m actually having to use my brain, and that’s hard.  So, it’s been a difficult story to write.  If I’d finished it in time to come out on the April date, it would have been a very half-assed story, and I believe in full-assed stories, so in order to make sure the story has a complete ass, I had to ask for some more time to get it done, so it’s going to be out in July instead of April.


Link back to the main Dresden Files WoJ compilation