Todays interview is with Mike Nystul, an author who has worked on various role-playing products since the 1990s. Interesting fact: Nystul's Magic Aura, a spell in D&D, is named after him!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I have been a gamer for most of my life and a professional designer for more than 25 years. Yikes. That's a lot of time but it never felt like it. It was just a natural part of my lifestyle and my primary social outlet. I'm a sometime teacher and dad of two. Over the past few years I have also developed an infatuation with Improv comedy. I love movies and have contemplated making a few of my own. So far all I have is a few false starts in that direction.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO GAMING?
My dad brought home a Dragontooth Orc from the very first GenCon. I was hooked and even though I was pretty young I became the GM who usually ran for my family and friends. At one point, when I was just out of high school, there was a game being run in my world every day of the week, mostly by me but with the help of a few other DMs, including my mother. Eventually I went "pro" and worked both as a freelancer and in house for companies like FASA, Mayfair Games and TSR.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLAYING?
Usually Pathfinder but I like to try out new systems from time to time. I dropped out of the hobby when my kids were young so I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. I also tend to run homebrews for pickup games. I do a lot where I improvise a system with a D12 and few simple guidelines to provide just enough structure to give the game tension.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES ARE?
D&D was always there but I seem to go through infatuations with other systems. I was big into Stormbringer and Call of Cthulhu in high school. After that there was Champions and Fantasy Hero. I settled into a LARP period for a while but have come full circle back to the dungeoneering I loved as a kid.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GAME YOU PLAYED?
Played? Savage Worlds. It was a Indiana Jones meets John Carter kind of a thing. I dug it. Fun system, fun world. I also play with Jeff Dee whenever I can. His V&V stuff is top notch. His Cavemaster rpg is pretty amazing by the way. Well worth looking into. It just became available on RPG Now.
WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED IN?
Let's see (I'm sure I will forget a few) in no particular order: Dragon Magazine, White Wolf Magazine, Champions, Fantasy Hero, In Nomine, Torg, BattleTech, MechWarrior, Shadowrun, DC Heroes, Underground, Dungeons and Dragons.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY GAMING-RELATED PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?
Yes, several. I'm doing a Pathfinder convertion of Jeff Dee and Talzhemir's game Quicksilver. I am designing a horror RPG called SOMA as a collaboration with Joel Biske. I'm currently involved in a Kickstarter for Nystul's Infinite Dungeon. There are also several things I can't talk about (yet). It's a good time for me - I love being busy.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEBPAGES OR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS WHERE FANS CAN FIND YOU?
Yes. I have a "Mike Nystul" page on Facebook where I try to keep folks up to date on what I'm up to.