Scott from Leeds is a busy bee as far as roleplaying games are concerned and offers his games for PWYW mostly.
He’s been in the business for some time, he started his own label in 2011 as Trollish Delver Games. He published adventures for Tunnels & Trolls at first followed by Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying (USR), a rules-lite universal system, including supplements such as USR Cyberpunk and Beyond Fear. Later on Scott got into the “one page system” end of things, published a game about Arthurian Times, one about pulpy space adventures and one about Cyberpunk.
Recently Scott kept himself busy with designing solo games and scored a hit with Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player as well as new scenarios for it. We asked him what’s currently cooking in his rpg cauldron.
With Tequendria: Fantastical Roleplaying you created the first roleplaying game based on the works of Lord Dunsany. How has the feedback to that been?
I suppose technically D&D was the first that was inspired by Dunsany, but Tequendria is the first that I’m aware of that is explicitly Dunsanian.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I released it. Not many people talk about Dunsany - who was this incredibly imaginative fantasy writer and a huge inspiration for authors like Lovecraft and Tolkien. But I was pleasantly surprised by the positive response the game received. It’s definitely an accessible game, with a modified USR (Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying) as its engine and I think it evokes that weird fantasy feeling of Dunsany pretty well.
The Quill series seems to be a success, not only in the solo gaming scene, but in the classroom as well. How has solo letter writing apparently hit a nerve?
Quill was a big experiment and when I released it in 2016 I had no idea if people would enjoy it - I only knew that I enjoyed it. But then it went crazy and became my best performing game. Immediately people were asking if they could make their own supplements, which made me very happy. I still hear some people say ‘well I have no idea how people enjoy a game about writing letters’, but there are more people getting really into Quill, which is amazing to see.
As you say, teachers have started using Quill in their classroom, which blows my mind. I didn’t create it to be educational, but there are some really talented and creative teachers out there who are making it work for kids. There was a great story I saw where kids who had dyslexia couldn’t wait to start writing letters with Quill. That’s such a great thing and I hope it continues.
I remember you writing about a publishing endeavour for pulp horror. How is that coming along?
Pallid Mask Press is basically something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and I’m slowly getting there. Unfortunately life got in the way recently - having a house move and very sadly my grandfather passing away I’ve not had the time to devote to the project. However, I’ve had my graphic design partner send over some cover mock ups for The King in Yellow and it’s looking great. All I can say is watch this space.
You recently started the creation of an “open source megadungeon”. What is that and what inspired you to start this project?
Basically Fortressmaze is this huge dungeon that spans space and time, crossing planes and containing cities, even countries, inside it. That’s pretty much all I know at the moment. I’m relying on the Google Plus community to help me fill in the blanks with regular polls.
Fortressmaze came about because I love the idea of having the community help create a dungeon setting. Because I’m busy with a big project at the moment I wanted to have something I can write in the background that I can some day collate into a book.
Finally, what are you currently up to, what’s on the horizon?
At the moment I’m working on a project for a big publisher here in the UK, but that’s as much as I can say really, which I know is no fun. It’s the biggest thing I’ll have done to date and the first full game I’m writing for a company with national distribution, so it’s hard work but incredibly exciting.
Saying that, recently I released Quill: White Box, which is a supplement for Quill based on old school fantasy roleplaying. It basically allows you to become a fighter, cleric, magic-user, thief etc and head out on campaigns. It works surprisingly well and I’ve seen some great letters created by players using the adventures in the supplement.
Thanks for answering my questions!