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How The Witcher Tabletop RPG Was Made

Mike Pondsmith, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020, tells the story of how his company acquired the rights to make a Witcher tabletop RPG.

It's been three years since the Witcher tabletop RPG was first announced, but the wait is nearly over. The game is finally slated to launch this August, and it's coming courtesy of R. Talsorian Games, the company behind Cyberpunk 2020--the renowned tabletop RPG that serves as the basis for CD Projekt Red's highly anticipated sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077.

Mike Pondsmith, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020, recently sat down with GameSpot to discuss his involvement in Cyberpunk 2077. During the interview, he also shed some light on how his company acquired the rights to develop the Witcher tabletop RPG. In the video above, Pondsmith recounts how the idea for the project first came up during work on Cyberpunk 2077, when CD Projekt Red expressed interest in bringing the world of The Witcher to tabletops.

"A couple years back, CD Projekt approached my business manager and said, 'We'd like to do a tabletop version of The Witcher,'" Pondsmith recalls. "And they said, 'Do you know somebody we could get to do this?'" Pondsmith, however, had reservations. "I said, 'I don't do fantasy. I mean, I love Witcher, I've enjoyed playing it. But I'm not really the best fantasy guy, I'm a science-fiction guy, so I don't know...'"

It was at that point that Pondsmith's son, Cody, volunteered to take on the project. Pondsmith agreed--but only on the condition that Cody would handle pitching, writing, and overseeing the project without any of his assistance. Much to Pondsmith's surprise, his son accepted and successfully pitched the game to the head of marketing, even completing most of the design work and roping Pondsmith's wife, Lisa, in to help write it.

The Witcher tabletop RPG is scheduled to launch at the tabletop convention Gen Con next month. Ahead of its release, R. Talsorian Games announced it will hold a community Q&A session with lead designer Cody Pondsmith on July 25. R. Talsorian is also working on a new Cyberpunk tabletop RPG titled Cyberpunk Red.