Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's your turn! - An interview with Eric from Bloat Games

1. How did you get your start roleplaying? What system did you use?

I remember very clearly knocking on the door of a guy I didn't know too well, to see if he wanted to hang out.  When he let me in I saw around 10 people huddled around a dining room table.  There were books, and papers and dice everywhere.  They were all standing, shouting and laughing.  I had absolutely no clue what I was seeing, but it looked and sounded awesome!  

Turns out, they were playing 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  They asked to play, so I made a character and haven't stopped since.

2. How and when did you discover the OSR?

It was in late 2015.  I was doing random RPG related searches on YouTube and I don't remember where I heard it first but I do remember after hearing it a couple of times, I had to Google OSR to see what the acronym abbreviated meant, and then I fell down the rabbit hole only to find what I'd been looking for in gaming since my early days in the hobby.

3.  Tell me about Bloat games, how did it start?

I've always been a writer and a creator and as such always wanted to create my own RPG or to write for TSR/WOTC or Palladium Books.  Around the same time that I discovered the OSR, I also found Drivethrurpg.  I saw that there was an avenue for self-published authors and creators to create RPG products and get the product to the consumer.  I decided, having absolutely no idea how to do it, that I was going to start a game company.  I asked some of my childhood gaming pals if they wanted to help me and Bloat Games was established.  

4.  Tell me about "a city full of sinners"

To understand A City Full of Sinners, I have to first tell you about The Vigilante Hack:  The Vigilante Hack is based off of the very popular RPG The Black Hack by David Black.  It shares most of the same rules (some adjusted to better serve the genre) but whereas The Black Hack is based in a fantasy setting, The Vigilante Hack is set in a modern day crime riddled city.  I am HUGE fan of the Superhero Genre/comic books/Superhero Movies and TV shows so naturally I always wanted to create a Supers game but when I looked at Superhero Games most focused on Powers and Abilities and I wanted to do something street level.  Think Batman not Superman, Hit Girl not Wonder Woman, The Punisher not Spider-Man.  The Vigilante Hack is heavily influenced by Marvel & Netflix's Daredevil and Batman The Animated Series.  The more I worked on this game, the darker and grittier it became.

After the release of The Vigilante Hack, it really found it's audience.  People really liked the tone and setting meshed with the quick rules of The Black Hack and the potential lethality in the tradition of the OSR.  Based on the feedback as I was getting I wanted to write a supplement as kind of a thank you to the small but growing audience the game was garnering.  That's where A City Full of Sinners comes from.

I've always been fascinated by great random city generators like Vornheim by Zak S. or Augmented Reality by Paul D. Gallagher.   But those books while amazing are very large and complex and I didn't think doing something like that would fit with the rules light approach on The Black Hack.  I decided to take but inspiration from Vornheim and Augmented Reality, and shrink it down, run it through a Black Hack filter so to say, and once I got started I found a really companion piece for The Vigilante Hack.

A City Full of Sinners comes with an optional setting, random city generator, gang generator, Equipment kits, rules for automobile chases and vehicle upgrades, drugs (borrowed from The Cyber-Hack by Mike Evans), Contacts and a starter adventure.

5.  What are you currently playing?

WhiteBox Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game by Charlie Mason with White Box Omnibus by James M. Spahn

6. If you could campaign in any world which would it be?

Rifts Earth (Palladiums version) because in Rifts Earth, anything and everything is possible!

7. Tell me about the Zombie hack?

My first game was SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies!, a White Box inspired OSR game about trying to survive a Zombie Apocalypse.  The Zombie Hack was created because I really liked The Black Hack ruleset and I had all this Zombie Art that I had access to use in my games, so it was kind of a no brainer (pun intended).  

As a pleasant surprise, porting The Black Hack into a Zombie Apocalypse, turned out much better than I initially thought it would.  I had a great round of playtesters who gave me a ton of great suggestions.  I think it's a really solid game.  

8. Who is your favourite artist and or author?

My favorite RPG artist is Kevin Long of Palladium Books fame.  His work is amazing.  Even when doing simple line work, it's so clean and crisp, I don't think anyone can touch him. 

For currently working, I really like the work of Doug Kovacs from Goodman Games and DCC RPG fame.  It's like he has access to my imagination from when I was 12 and first starting to play RPGs.
However, I got to say, Bradley K. McDevitt is amazing too and such a pleasure to work with.  

Taking out Gary Gygax as I just don't think it's fair to compare him to others, probably James M. Spahn from Barrel Rider Games.  His White Star & The Hero's Journey are two of my favorite books to read to inspire me to want to play games.

I would like to give an honorable mention to Harley Stroh (Goodman Games).  His adventures are the best around!

9. What is one of your favorite adventures other than something that you’ve released (or worked on)?

Sailors on The Starless Sea by Harley Stroh and Goodman games.  I love reading it, running it, playing in it, dying in it.  I just really, really like it!

Editors Note:  I LOVE The cover of that book! 

10. When you get a chance to play a character, what type of PC do you like to play?

I tend to play the Warrior type or the Healer.  I'm not a very competitive person when it comes to RPGs so I usually let the players pick what they want to play and then I'll play whatever works best for the party.  

11. What are you most excited about in the RPG scene currently?

I think we are in a Golden Age of roleplaying games and I'm most excited to see the new products offered from the OSR community and new creators stepping up from our community to publish for the first time.  

12.  Would you rather be an Ogre or a Halfing?

If it's DCC RPG then a Halfling, otherwise give me an Ogre.

13. What are the plans for Bloat Games this year?

For the rest of 2017 Bloat Games will be focused on launching our first Kickstarter for our game SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons, an OSR game set in the 1980s.  This will launch in late SEP/Early OCT.  Dark Places & Demogorgons is fully written, layed out, has art and is ready to go!  It is also the game that I'm most proud of.  I can't wait for it to get a wide release and get it into the hands of the people who want to play it.  

14.  Taco's or burritos?

Burritos.  You can stuff more food inside them.  

But for the record, I'll NEVER turn a taco...unless it's a seafood taco...those are gross.

Editors Note:  Try a fish taco man, I'm in LOOOOVE with them! 

15. Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me here:

you can find Bloat Games at

and on Instagram @bloatgames

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