TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
Hi… I'm Curtis Lyon. I'm a freelance writer and editor, and currently one of the line developers for Savage Mojo's Savage Suzerain. I've been a gamer since the late '70s, but I only jumped into writing for the RPG community a few years ago, in late 2009. For that leap I can give equal measure of thanks and blame to my wife, Sarah, who also partners with me on writing projects. We live in the United States (California, in particular). In addition to the roleplaying, I'm pursuing a career in writing fiction – keep an eye out.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO GAMING?
It was my brother. He had a friend in school who's father was in the Navy and would come home on leave. My brother came home after visiting his friend on one of those occasions and began telling me about this amazing game they'd played – he regaled me with stories of trying to pick pockets and running from the guards and fighting in an arena… and something about a quest for some big treasure in a dungeon somewhere. I'd just finished reading The Lord of the Rings and was an avid wargamer, so I was naturally fascinated and wanted to know what sort of board they'd used. What? No board? Just maps? I got my brother to drag me along to the next game, and I was hooked. Fortunately we had several hobby stores in the region (amazing for 1977), and parents who were willing to indulge us in this strange new hobby. I've been a roleplayer ever since.
WHAT IS IT YOU FIND SO APPEALING ABOUT GAMING?
I'd have to say there are several aspects to it, depending on if I approach it as a player or a game master. I've always loved the interactiveness of RPGs – one doesn't tune out the rest of the world like one must with a book, nor does one simply sit back and be entertained like one does with a television. You have to think, and act, and communicate. I'm also something of an actor, so taking on the roles – especially as a GM – can be quite entertaining. Ultimately, as a player I enjoy the raw escapism, while as a GM I enjoy creating a living and vibrant story to entertain the other players.
Wow… There have been so many. But I think the one that stands out revolves around an old Cyberpunk game I ran, and centered around a character named Sonora. She was a biker – a ganger – who was picked up off the street and sold to a corporation for the purpose of testing some experimental cyberware. While there was a great scene when she woke up from the surgery and the head honcho told her what was going on (She looked him square in the eye and told him she didn't work for anyone, capiche? He looked her square in the eye, showed her a remote control, and explained that the little button would blow her head off if she didn't cooperate, capiche?), the best moment was at the climax of the story. Suffice it to say it was a brutal firefight, but the heroes won the day, the villain was killed and justice was served. The adrenaline and emotion had been running so high that the entire group of players got up from the table, walked into the living room, and literally collapsed on the sofa and chairs in exhaustion to begin happily comparing notes and revisiting the conclusion. I felt I'd succeeded in my role as GM.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLAYING?
I don't get to play much right now – I'm usually either writing or running games for playtests and demos. When I do get to play, it's usually Savage Worlds, although Sarah has been running one of the Pathfinder adventure paths on occasion, using the QUERP rules to keep it light and simple.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES ARE?
Sure: almost everything Savage Worlds – although I'm particularly fond of 50 Fathoms and Suzerain. I'm also a big fan of the 2nd edition BESM rules, QUERP, anything using the Barbarians of Lemuria engine… and I'm developing a love affair with Castles & Crusades.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GAME YOU PLAYED?
Um… I suppose it would be Interface Zero (Savage Worlds). We've got a demo game going on at a local game store that alternates between IZ and a Savage Worlds Fallout homebrew, and we've been trying to get some of the players to take the reins and begin running the games. I still have to give a certain amount of support to the new GM, but at least I can sit back and get some play time in.
WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED IN?
Most of our writing has been for Savage Mojo (Suzerain) or Gun Metal Games (Interface Zero)… Sarah and I tend to work as a team.
For the first, we've done Noir Knights, Shanghai Vampocalypse (which won an ENnie last year), Caladon Falls, and we put out an Adventure Deck for Suzerain that's similar to the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck. We also did some work on the Pocket Universe edition of Suzerain.
For the second, we've done Zeeks: Psionics in 2088, Boston: Broken Cradle of Liberty, and San Francisco: Ruins by the Bay. We've also got a little bit in the Hacking 2.0 update.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY GAMING-RELATED PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?
Absolutely. In fact, we're up to our ears in projects. Some of them I'm not at liberty to discuss (other than to say we've got several projects going for Savage Mojo and Gun Metal Games), but I think I can safely mention Millennium Knights (a sequel/prequel to Noir Knights) for Savage Mojo which should begin release soon(ish), and Machine Nation (an android and robot soucebook for Interface Zero) for Gun Metal Games. We're also helping out on the IZ 2.0 release. Additionally, we plan to have some content in the next premium release of Savage Insider (Mystical Throne Entertainment) – as well as the next regular SI installment – and I've begun working with Basic Action Games to put together an adventure for their recently-released Honor + Intrigue.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEBPAGES OR SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS WHERE FANS CAN FIND YOU?
We have a fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/curtisandsarahlyon.