Category Archives: Interview

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Q&A with Mark Reed

Yesterday I posted about Heroic Journey Publishing’s “Erinbour: Places of Power” Kickstarter. What excites me the most about the setting is two things: first it will support DwD Studios’ Barebones Fantasy, which is a system I like a lot and which should be supported by way more developers, and secondly one of its early stretch goals includes a book which will allow Birthright-meets-Pendragon gameplay with BBF. I’ve never played Pendragon nor Birthright but I was intrigued by both and a combination sounds just awesome. Heroic Journey Publishing’s Mark Reed has luckily agreed to answer a couple of questions. With further ado, here’s the interview:

Stargazer: Before we go into the nitty-gritty details of Erinbour could you please tell us about yourself and Heroic Journey Publishing? One thing I am always curious about is what was your first roleplaying game and what turned the gamer into a game industry professional.

634776968932mark-reed_227x235.largeMark: Great question. My first game was AD&D experienced on a Boy Scout Jamboree when I was 11 maybe. It was cool, I played a wizard and irritated the Teenagers cause I played him “Wrong”Didn’t matter I was hooked. From there my go to games I ran were Marvel Super Heroes (I had the Basic and Advanced boxes) and the TMNT Palladium books. Ah good times. Slightly later I found WEG Star Wars and frankly by that time I was running full AD&D campaigns in this not quite forgotten realms variation that really skirted the realms as source material.

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mindjammer

From the Mindscape network: An Interview with Sarah Newton

Back in 2011 I published my first interview with Sarah Newton, RPG designer and author of the SF novel Mindjammer. We talked again two years ago, shortly after she left Cubicle 7 and formed her own company Mindjammer Press. Recently I’ve posted my “first look” of the 2nd Edition of her Mindjammer Roleplaying Game which is currently available for preorder from Modiphius. I thought this would would be the perfect opportunity to have a chat with her again.

Stargazer: Hi Sarah. At first I want to thank you for taking your time to answer a couple of questions for us again, Sarah. How have you been?

Sarah: Very good, thanks, Stargazer! It’s been a terrifically busy couple of years, both with the publication of the first parts of my “Zero Point” campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu, the “Great Game” campaign for Leagues of Adventure, “Burn Shift” for Fate Worlds, Monsters & Magic, and of course Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game at last!

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Seekers Unlimited, bringing live action role-playing and education together!

SU_V01_Color_WBHello all! Been away for a while… Gone but, hopefully, not forgotten! For the three of you that were wondering where I was, I was finishing my MA classes. All that’s left now is the thesis. Once that is done I’ll have finished my MA Education with a concentration in Curriculum Development. Before you wonder why I’m posting about this here instead of LinkedIn, I recently discovered a Kickstarter campaign that combines my love for all things role-playing and my passion for education, Seekers Unlimited!

Their Kickstarter campaign is a project that aims to create educational live action role playing games. I am a long time role-player but have done little larping (live action role playing for the uninitiated), but I can see the benefits and how this can be put to good use in a classroom. Their Kicstarter pages explains that they have developed six edu-laps aligned to California Standards and aim to align them to the USA Common Core Standards through the Kickstarter.

The concept of engaging children in a creative endeavor, while at the same time facilitating exciting learning experiences really captures my fancy so I had to reach out to the Kickstarter project creators to get more information. Aaron Vanek, longtime larper, larp creator and author, who also happens to be the Executive Director at Seekers Unlimited, was kind enough to answer my long list of questions.

Sunglar: Aaron, your bio certainly shows your passion and experience for larps, but I’d like to hear it (read it) in your own words. Who are you and what do you do?

Aaron: Years ago, on a cross country trip to Chicago with my then-girlfriend, now wife, we stopped in a mall outside Denver. I had long hair then, and wore a red bandanna over my skull to keep my flowing locks out of my face as we rode with the windows down. Inside a store, a little girl looked up at me and asked her mother “Is he a pirate?” Her mother said, “No, he’s just a guy.” The girl replied, “Is he a pirate?”

Depending on my attire and your imagination, I could be a pirate. I could also be a starship commander, a wizard, Rasputin, Harry Houdini, or a ghost. But I’m really just a guy.

I do too many things, really, none of which makes me any (or very little) money. But they keep me exceptionally busy 24/7. Like many liberal arts college graduates, I scratch and claw for scraps. I’ve mostly been involved in motion pictures, running a film festival, freelance writing, game design, running a film festival, and of course, live action role playing.

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