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's orbit. 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.

'My captain,my captain', really digging this piece of MA style artwork from
The Starship Warden Kickstarter. 

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 & fantasy?

JMW: 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 near future?

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 write them.

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 fiction reading.

Could 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.

The Warden is a massive ship & filled with all kinds of adventure opportunities. Where did the idea of the Warden come from?

JMW: I always claim it was an idea I got from Brian Aldess and his STARSHIP novel. I've read lots of novels about colonization starships.

Over 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 & again? 

JMW: I want the starship saved and put back on course. I want to write the MA Planet Campaign.

The 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? 

SIR: I 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 
Storyteller's Dictionary &  Storyteller's Thesaurus. 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.
JMW: The Storytellers books are Steve Chenault's idea.
He was kind enough to give me and Anne Brown the task of writing them.

Do you have a favorite book or adventure that you've done for Troll Lords Jim? 

JMW: 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. . .

If you could snap your fingers Jim & have a fantasy product assignment 
for the table top hobby what would it be? 

JMW: I'll take a pass on that one as I don't want
 to give other designers great ideas.

With 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? 

JMW: It's very easy to learn.
There is lots of gaming material to be had.

The 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? 

JMW: I don't know that I have done that.
I do enjoy people saying they like my work.

What do you think that 'The Star Ship Wardens' Kickstarter
will do for the table top rpg hobby scene? 

JMW: 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? 

JMW: Nope

Troll 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? 

JMW: 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.

Thank 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 

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