Today's interview is with Darren Pearce, who is a prolific author for Dark Quest Games, Mongoose Publishing and Cubicle 7. I am personally a big fan of his work on the Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
Hello, I’m Darren W. Pearce. A writer/author/game designer and roleplayer that’s been involved in the hobby for 33 years so far. I’ve worked in the hobby since around the year 2000. I live in the United Kingdom with my wife Gill and our four cats. I am also into video games and I love to write, I’ve got several sort stories published in various anthologies and there’s more on the way!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO GAMING?
This is a question that I get asked a lot. Along with the question regarding how I got into the game industry in the first place. Gaming though, now that takes me back to my formative school years when I was just around 9 and playing a ton of wargames (Axis and Allies etc) in my local wargaming club. One of my teachers brought in this red box game with the words Dungeons and Dragons on it and explained that we were going to try something a little different. From that first session I was hooked, I was always into the fantasy side of things thanks to my dad reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to me from a very early age. My mom and dad picked up the red box for my 10th Birthday and I spent nearly a year with it, looking it over and so on. I started GM’ing the following year and never looked back.
WHAT IS IT YOU FIND SO APPEALING ABOUT GAMING?
I think for me it’s the social aspect, and the chance to tell these amazing stories in a medium that’s so much more like drama (I was always into drama at school). I love telling stories and I think I would have been that guy sat around the camp fire telling everyone about the dragon and the maiden in the past. I tend to be pretty fond of accents/voices in RPGs so I do a lot of those kinds of things for my games. Then there’s the actual world building side of gaming that I thoroughly enjoy, making a whole place from scratch and letting your imagination run wild is another appealing factor.
SHARE A FAVOURITE GAMING MOMENT WITH US
I think most recently one of my all-time favourite moments had to be in the Savage Worlds: Fantasy game that I’m running in a homebrew world. The world is very feudal in a way and one of my players is the bastard son of the local lord. Unknown to the player though, his father was at the centre of the whole mess the party had found themselves in. So when the player returned to his dad’s castle to seek help, he discovered the truth and the look on the guy’s face out of character was priceless. He bounced back though and in the final confrontation pulled a master stroke when he outbid his father’s offer to an NPC assassin...thus ending his father’s reign of tyranny without having to lift his own sword.
I had a big smile on my face from that one.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR HOMEBREW WORLD.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR HOMEBREW WORLD.
Rather than tell you about the previously mentioned homebrew world, which is going through some severe reconstruction. I would rather describe my Hestonia setting that is a vehicle for my short stories, novels and even a webcomic.
One caveat I always mention is that the comic is mature and can be a little unsafe for work.
Swashbuckling is a way of life, dashing heroes abound and lock swords with a ruthless church, defending the weak and innocent from tyranny, sweeping fine ladies off their feet as they steal a kiss from their lips, before crashing off into another misadventure. Expect to see magical cannon fire sweep across the sky, steam-mecha horses riding through the streets and dangerous beauties that can command whole armies with a sweep of their lace covered hand.
The mighty fortress cities of the Church of Progression, held aloft by science and magic are your playground to adventure, where you will face enemies of all kinds, some of them built by the Renaissance science of inventors such as Vincent Daroni, steam warriors, walking spider-like battle tanks and more. There are treasures ripe for the picking hidden away in the near-impregnable stronghold of the Imper Vatica, secrets that would fetch a pretty penny if they were unearthed, legions of the Cardinal’s finest stand between you and your goal...the Inquisition, the Justicars and the rumour of Fate’s Hand himself – the right hand of the Cardinal.
You have allies, the folk of the three-tiered City of Wyrden, your friends and confidants in ports such as Mistvale and Sullavale, your connections built through parlay, trade, romance and much more. "
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLAYING?
At the moment since I don’t play much anymore. I am running a Savage Worlds campaign set in my own homebrew world. It’s based on a world that I created when I needed something to run my D&D games in when I was 11...but this version is a lot darker and more Witcher-esque than anything.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES ARE?
Savage Worlds ranks up there high on my list. West End Games D6: Star Wars, 4th Edition D&D using Eberron and Dark Sun. Warhammer Fantasy RPG (Green Ronin edition). Star Wars Saga Edition (Legacy Era), Cyberpunk 2020, Shadowrun, Traveller, Lone Wolf MPGB series, Pathfinder, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GAME YOU PLAYED?
4th Edition Eberron as run by Keith Baker, a good friend of ours. Keith’s Eberron convinced us to buy it for 4th Edition and we haven’t actually looked back since. In fact there’s a few Eberron games running at the moment for various people.
WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED IN?
I’ve worked for quite a while since 2000 and most of it has been for Dark Quest Games. I’ve been in all sorts of books for them, but most recently I’ve been working on the Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook series for Mongoose Publishing and I wrote Sommerlund and the Bestiary for that. As well as two bonus adventures for the Lone Wolf books themselves, book 8 and 17. I’ve also been working on the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space RPG for Cubicle 7. If you want a list of some of the things I’ve done, there’s my Amazon author page for anyone who wants to know more!
I put both in because there’s some stuff that differs between the two pages.
Non-gaming related materials are also there, but they are usually fantasy and science fiction, perhaps sometimes horror short stories, so they tie in at least some to gaming in general.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY GAMING-RELATED PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?
I have quite a few projects in the works at the moment. I’m not allowed to talk about a lot of them though, there’s some work ongoing for my Savage Worlds, Savage Suzerain Campaign book as well as my own City of Shadeside project that will also be coming out via Savage Mojo once we tie down some more details. Then there’s Doctor Who related work on the RPG where I am putting together a couple of crazy adventures for Adventures in Time and Space.
Needless to say I have a pretty amazing work calendar and as one project ends, I usually scout out for another. I work pretty quickly though and as a freelancer, I am always looking to fill my coffers with coins!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEBPAGES OR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS WHERE FANS CAN FIND YOU?
I don’t have a webpage per-se but I have my Facebook page and Google+ accounts that people are welcome to add me on. I post quite a lot and it’s a good place to keep up with what I’m up to. If I have fans that is, I think I do...I’m never quite sure!