Interview with Marc Miller

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If you are a fan of science fiction roleplaying games, then you probably know of Marc Miller. Back in the late 1970s he designed Traveller, which is without doubt one of the most well-loved scifi games out there. Last year I got in touch with Mr. Miller and asked him if he was interested in answering a couple of questions for our readers and luckily he agreed.

I have done quite a few interviews with game designers in the past, but this time it was special. As some of you may know, Traveller was the first roleplaying game I bought, and even though I played it less often than I wished, it always had a special place in my heart.

Just recently I started to read up on the history of Traveller, its ups and downs, and I also started collecting Traveller material (in print and PDF). But I still didn’t know much about its creator, his ideas and his dreams for the future of the game. So when I had the chance to ask for an interview I immediately grasped the opportunity. But I digress. Without further ado, here are our questions and his answers:

Stargazer:  Let’s start at the beginning. Could you please tell us about how you got into roleplaying games in general? What was the first game you played and what made you want to write your own?

Marc_Miller_in_2009Marc Miller: When Dungeons & Dragons came out, I was a wargame designer. In a sense, the fantasy role-playing idea was new, but in another sense, it was a familiar concept. I had done political role-playing exercises in college: model UN and model Organization of American States, and some campaign simulations.

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Kickstarter – Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs

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Recently Tristran Zimmermann got in touch with me and let me know about his awesome new Kickstarter project: “Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs”. The book is already written, laid out and ready to print, they are basically looking for money to fund a first print-run.

So what is Archive all about? As the name implies it’s a sourcebook for the real world, it’s places, important persons, its history. You can use it to do some research for your game set in the real world or read it as a history book. By the way, it’s a follow-up of a book he kickstarted five years ago: “The GM’s Real-World Reference“, which is available on DriveThruRPG right now. So if you are intrigued by Archive, I recommend checking it out as well.

Of course it doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a collection of articles on various persons, places and events in real-world history. In the pages of Archive you find information on the Dartmoor, the Jakarta slums, the Hinterkaifeck Murders, and Omar al-Bashir, just to name a few. I had the chance to look at an advance copy and it looks just awesome! Each article not only gives you dry facts, but also provides you with tips on how to use the event, person, or place in question in your game. The book’s layout is simple, clean and spiced up with some gorgeous photos.

If you’re a history buff, or someone running a game set in the modern world (or its history), you definitely should check Tristran’s Kickstarter out!

The New Alternity Game: An Interview with Richard Baker

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I’ve talked about Alternity here in the blog before. Both Stargazer and myself are fans, and have posted about it numerous times. We even had an April’s Fool post back in 2011 about a 2nd edition of the game coming out. Who knew we were not merely pranksters but we were predicting the future!

Well not quite… Like Michael wrote last year when the initial announcement came out, Sasquatch Game Studio is publishing a new version of the game. As a longtime fan, I was onboard as soon as the idea was put out there. When the Alpha play test came out I was lucky enough to be part of that.

I got together with some friends at out FLGS and we played the play test adventure. We tried to broadcast the experience via Facebook Live, and while that was not totally successful, it did inspire us to create a video blog for Spanish speaking gamers Desde la Fosa. (You can read more about that project on the post I linked to in that last hyperlink.)

As soon as the new Alternity Kickstarter was live I became a backer. Wanting to support the project and spread the word I reached out to Richard Baker to inquire about his availability for an interview. Richard was extremely graceful and not only did he answer a written interview, which makes up most this post, but he sat down to do an interview for the Desde la Fosa vlog via Google Hangout. So, we are doing a two-for-one, and the first collaboration between Desde la Fosa and Stargazer’s World! Continue reading The New Alternity Game: An Interview with Richard Baker

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