A blog about sewing machine repairs,but mainly my hobbies which include old school role playing games, science fiction,films, horror, and general geekery. Sit down and stay a spell.
Monday, December 23, 2019
Interview & Sit Down With James M. Ward About The Troll Lords Games Star Ship Warden Rpg Game & Kickstarter Part II
"Near the beginning of the 24th century, humans began the largest construction ever undertaken by their species. Larger than most cities, the project was forty-nine miles long, twenty-four miles wide, and more than six miles in height. The manufacture of this colossus required decades of labor by thousands of skilled craftsmen. It was a feat unequaled in human history at that time. Too large to be manipulated in planetary atmosphere and gravity, this behemoth was built in earth'sorbit. It was developed to provide safety for more than a million souls and was to be filled with myriad forms of life.
Packed with the latest technology available at the time, the starship was capable of 90% of the speed of light. A trip to Alpha Centauri was but a mere 6 years. A host of other systems were well within reach, and this vessel was to take humanity to the stars. The planning for this mission was meticulous, the courage of her crew unquestionable, and the hopes of mankind ever present. She was named the Warden after her designer, and she set off for the stars in the late 24th century.
Less than two decades into her mission, she simply disappeared. There has now been no word from the Warden for more than 300 years...."
So I had the opportunity to shoot a rather long email to James M. Ward with whom I've been friends with on Facebook & met at a Gencon long ago but never got to play with the man.
However I did send a rather lengthy part II interview email about the Star Ship Warden Kickstarter for Troll Lords Seige Engine.
With the continuing popularity
of the Star Ship Warden Kickstarter & the Kickstarter campaign
hitting well over the fifty thousand dollar mark. What do you think
of the incredible interest in the Warden & her backstory that
grabs at gamers today?
JMW: I'm lucky that lots of
people have played MA over the 40+ years of its existence. I think
they might want to get back some of the fun they remembered years
ago. Plus the product is way cool.
You've got such a detailed
timeline & solid backstory with the world & setting of the
Warden. Growing up did you have a keen interest in science fiction &
I started with the Tom Swift books when I was in 5th
grade. The school libraries were well used after that.
Can you see other adventures &
stories being told in the universe of 'The Star Ship Warden' in the
JMW: Amazon is right now
selling three MA anthologies and an MA novel. Red is the Android
Will fans of James M.
Ward be seeing more 'Star Ship Warden' supplements & adventures
from Troll Lord games?
JMW: There are lots of stretch
goals of product. Also Goodman Games is producing a convention
tournament MA adventure.
The events from 'The Star
Ship Warden' Kickstarter seem ripe for a writer/designer of
your caliber to exploit into more opportunities for modules & so
forth. Does this opportunity excite you as a writer or a
designer? Can you elaborate on this a bit?
JMW: As a freelancer I write
what I'm paid for. If people want more MA things I will be happy to
What is your routine for
writing these days?
JMW: I get up around 9 in the
morning. I go on AOL and Facebook looking to see if someone wants to
hire me for work.
I start writing on the product
with the soonest deadline. At noon I break for food and read a bit of
science fiction. In the afternoon I take up a different product. I
usually stop at 3 or 4. From then on I surf the web and do some more
you ever see yourself doing an adventure like S3
Expedition to Barrier Peaks with 'The Starship Warden' for Castles &
Crusades? Asking for a friend of mine whose backed the Kickstarter.
Just color me curious?
JMW: I am
writing a C&C adventure for the Warden called THE SAVING OF WREN
about a poor half elf that got cruel transported to the deck of the
Warden and has been there for over 40 years and really needs saving.
Warden is a massive ship & filled with all kinds of adventure
opportunities. Where did the idea of the Warden come from?
always claim it was an idea I got from Brian Aldess and his STARSHIP
novel. I've read lots of novels about colonization starships.
the years you've turned this simple star ship into your legacy &
so many people respond to the idea of the Warden & her ill fated
crew. But what really draws you back into her again &
want the starship saved and put back on course. I want to write the
MA Planet Campaign.
Star Ship Warden seems to have so many layers & turns for
adventure about her? Can you talk about some of your influences for
writing & designing the Warden?
always call the Warden the Adventure in a Tin Can. Over the years
I've read thousands of SciFi books. It has all rubbed off.
You've had some really impressive products with Troll Lords but two
of my favorites are the
But where did the idea for those come from? It seems to me that
'The Star Ship Warden' is the perfect venue for those books to get
a work out. I think out of the Troll Lords lines these two books
are some of my favorite.
The Storytellers books are Steve Chenault's idea. He was kind
enough to give me and Anne Brown the task of writing them.
you have a favorite book or adventure that you've done for Troll
This is an awful question. It's like saying which of your many
daughters is the prettiest. I like all the things I have done for
them. I like CASUALTIES OF THE CURWSED WOOD because it is an
adventure that uses a ton of gunpowder. I like TOWERS OF ADVENTURE
because you really can make a huge tower adventure in just five
minutes. I like THE HAUNTED LANDS boxed set because it's a horror
themed product and it was very difficult to write. OF GODS AND
MONSTERS was great to write because I found a way to make the
deities of the campaign world lots more reactive to the players.
I'm just saying. . .
you could snap your fingers Jim & have a fantasy product
assignment for the table top hobby what would it be?
I'll take a pass on that one as I don't want to give other
designers great ideas.
the ever changing faces, systems, etc. of the table top hobby what
do you think is the appeal of the Seige engine & Castles &
Crusades in your opinion James?
It's very easy to learn. There is lots of gaming material to be
Star Ship Warden book seems to cement the USS Warden into the
universe of Castles & Crusades. There's always been a large
theme of science fiction which turned into science fantasy in your
writing as the years have rolled on. How do you feel about the
fact that writing & designing has inspired countless writers &
designers over the years?
I don't know that I have done that. I do enjoy people saying they
like my work.
do you think that 'The Star Ship Wardens' Kickstarter will do for
the table top rpg hobby scene?
I'm hoping everyone things it's as good as I think it is and
useful in any SciFi game system.
Do you think that
this 'Kickstarter' is the indication of a new trend in the table
top hobby for other science fiction or science fantasy games?
Lords has always supported your work & had a solid working
relationship with you. Could you tell me a bit about that
relationship & what its meant to you over the years?
I greatly respect the talent of the Troll Lord people. They tell
me I'm one of the few designers that turn over product on time and
in good condition.
you for taking the time to answer some questions with us. And this
has been an extremely exciting opportunity to talk with you James
M. Ward. Thanks very much. From all of us over at Swords & Stitchery we really
appreciate all that you do for the table top role playing hobby &
for Troll Lords over the years.
If your a fan of the Metamorphis Alpha rpg then your going to want to