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This month’s game designer interview is with author and game designer Paul Kidd of Kitsune Press.

In the beginning…

SRGA:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in gaming.

Paul:  Well, I was one of the first generation of role playing gamers back in the 70’s. I found my way to a wargames club when I was 13 or 14, and began playing miniatures games. Then I started playing ‘brown books’ D&D with friends in high school, and the wonderful ‘Empire of the Petal Throne’. From then on, it was Runequest and Traveller, and more fun with friends. We were involved with playtesting material for Traveller, and I corresponded with designers overseas.

Paul:  Well – back in the day, I did the RPG games…

RPGs!

  • Albedo (1st and 2nd Edition) – Anthropomorphic science fiction. Many supplements and adventure books. 
  • Lace and Steel – A swashbuckling RPG with a rather legendary card-based system for combat, romance and repartee. One adventure book published, and my novel “Mus of Kerbridge” used the L&S setting. 

Recently, I’ve put out several RPG games – all with sandbox campaign settings as additional books. 

  • Genestorm – Post apocalyptic RPG with a slight wild-west tang to it. 
  • Heroes of Morhost – A fantasy RPG using animal based races as player characters. 
  • D20 to Yuma – A blend of fantasy and wild west. Great fun! 

I’ve done some setting books for other games: 

  • The Lucanii drift – A setting for the classic game “Starships & Spacemen” by Goblinoid Games (usable for any SF RPG).
  • City States of Mars: Korium – A setting book for the RPG “Mars” by Adamant Entertainment. 
  • Town of Kalas – AS setting book for “Castles and Crusades” by Troll Lord Games. 

Novels!

Apart from D&D and Gammaworld novels, I have dozens of others. Victorian paranormal, samurai adventure, SF and fantasy. These are very much books by a roleplaying gamer, for role playing gamers. You can find them on Amazon.com and Lulu.com 

On the way at the moment are 2 new RPG products: 

  • Snarkberry’s Academy – A delightful sandbox campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons, allowing players to run characters through the mayhem of a sorcery college (dozens of adventures!  Tons of fun!) 
  • Stars and Sails – A swashbuckling science fiction RPG. 

Miniatures!

  • The Hawkmoon miniatures game 
  • I have a big new miniatures combat system in final development at the moment. All based on legendary novels by Michael Moorcock. The game includes a complete range of miniatures and models to go with it.  

SRGA:  What motivated you to start creating your own game?  

Paul:  I love to contribute to the things I adore! Role playing games have always been my great love. They spark my ideas, they give me joy. (and frankly – I seem to have lived my life as an RPG character). 

The Australian gaming industry

SRGA: What has surprised you most about your experiences creating / producing a game in Australia?  

Paul:  Initially, making games here was damned hard. We had to arrange for printing and warehousing in the USA – fly over to Gencon and San Diego comic con to try and bring the games to the gamers. This was only possible while bringing in money from elsewhere: It was an enormously expensive labour of love, done purely for the hobby itself. There was no chance of a project breaking even. 

So – it wasn’t sustainable. 

Thank the god-fish for these days of DriveThruRPG.com and print on demand! 

The American games design community (and in later years, the European/Scandanavian community) have always been incredibly welcoming. There was another surprise. 

Writing process

SRGA: Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Do you meticulously plan every detail, or spontaneously go with the flow when creating your game?  

Paul:  Games are all about feel. They’re an emotional communication.  System-wise, I wait for inspiration to strike, and then fling myself into ‘going with the flow’. I want a game to communicate love and excitement for the setting. 

SRGA: What is important to you as a player, and how have you incorporated aspects of that into your own game?  

As a player… I love exploration. I love vistas, and I love wonder and discovery.  

RPGs focus again and again on combat. I like to bring other things to games as much as I can. Danger and excitement, yes (hell – I’ve been a wargamer for 40 years!) – but not a narrow focus upon combat. 

The Future

SRGA:  What do you think will change about the Australian hobby gaming industry over the next 5 or 10 years?    

Paul:  Well – the solidification of services that allow board games to be created is an excellent development. POD and e-book games are all the go. I’m hoping we can get some great activity happening here.  

I have to say, I worry about a culture that is arising that is telling people  

Quick Questions

SRGA:  Finally, some fun questions to finish off (give quick answers please!): 
SRGA: If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, and who would play you? 

Paul: A movie of my life? Let it be a musical! Hell – given events in my life these days, I should be played by Elizabeth Taylor or Vivien Leigh. 

SRGA: If you could bring back any fashion trend throughout history, what would it be? 

Paul:  Fashion trends? Let it be 18th centry wigs! 

SRGA: What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble?  

Paul: Personal trait that has gotten me into the most trouble? To be honest, it’s my ongoing drive to always try to see the best in people. But trouble aside, I’d prefer to be as I am! 

Wrap up

SRGA: Thank you for your time, and for being part of the Australian role playing community. If readers what to find out more about your game, or purchase copies, what is the best way for them to do that?  

Paul: You can find my Roleplaying books on Drive Thru RPG, and my novels on on Amazon.com and Lulu.com. 

You can read other SRGA Game Designer interviews here:

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