Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Interview with Tim Shorts from Gothridge Manor

And now its Tim Shorts turn for an interview.

1.  How did you get your start roleplaying? What system did you use? 
In the winter of '79 we were off of school for a couple of days, my neighbor/good friend, Dwayne, called me to come on over to play a game.  I ran through the three feet of snow to see what he had.  He had B2 Keep on the Borderlands.  He told me it was a game where you kill monsters and collect treasure.  "Great, where's the board?" I asked.  This game sounded cool.  "There is no board."  So he and I hashed out as much as we could of the game.  And since we had no dice or any real rules to go by we made up our own system on the spot.  Since the Yahtzee and Monopoly only had 6-sided dice to steal.  Armed with 6-siders we developed a simple rule system.  A 1 is a kill.  A 6 is a wound.  Two wounds and you are dead.  We played for hours.  Tweaking it along the way, allowing 'followers' as we called them then, to take on some of the monsters and allow us to get farther into the caves.  We had a blast.

2.  Tell me about the Gothridge Manor Blog.  
Gothridge Manor is strictly about fun.  What I find fun in gaming and what's going on with me and other folks.  You won't find any edition war talk, no political bullshit or social warrior causes.  My blog is my hammock in the backyard, the place I go to to relax, sip some ice tea and talk about something I really enjoy.

3.  You publish an awesome zine called the "Manor".  It’s available in print and electronically.  What kind of stuff can a new reader look forward to? 
The Manor is a mish-mash of whatever is going on in my head and what some of my on-line friends send me.  The majority of what I write is system neutral.  You'll find your standard fare of random tables, adventures, new monsters and magic items.  In my first issue, in the introduction I set the tone of the zine.  I had six points, but the last point I made I think is the most relevant.  "I do this for fun, not to change minds or challenge gaming philosophies.  I roll dice, laugh and try to make my funny voices sound convincing."

4.  What was the first adventure you published? 
I published Knowledge Illuminates in February of 2011 I believe.  In PDF format on RPGNow.  It was an adventure I created years before as a start-up for a GURPS campaign.  I had my good friend Rob Conley redo the maps for me, to give it a more professional feel.  And switching the stats from GURPS to Swords & Wizardry was easy.  A few years later I had asked Dylan Hartwell do the art for a print version of Knowledge Illuminates.

5.  You are doing a patreon with micro adventures, how is that going? 
Micro-adventures is going exceptionally well.  I love coming up with these small settings or situations that can be throw into a game.  I've gotten a lot of great feedback from folks who've used them.  What I also like about doing the micro-adventures is it forces me to keep going.  To push beyond my comfort zone and try different things.  Recently I did a sci-fi one and I have a three part adventure that deals with the fey realm.  I probably wouldn't have ever written them if it hadn't been for Patreon.  

6.  What is your favourite OSR clone? 
Swords & Wizardry Complete is my favorite.  But you can't go wrong with any of them.  Castles &Crusades is what brought me back to d20 and since then I think I have tried them all.  But if I was going to run a game today S&W Complete would me the one I use.

7.  What are you currently playing? 
I've been playing a lot of different systems lately.  I just finished an Exoterrorist game and now we are two weeks into a Pit & Perils adventure.  This past weekend I ran a DragonAge game and the same group is going to give the generic version of the AGE system a try, Fantasy Age.  And once in a blue moon when I play with the b-team we were playing S&W Complete, but tried Far and Away Land last time we got together.  So a lot.

8.  Starter adventures is awesome.  Where did you get the idea? 
Starter Adventures was an idea that came to me after a night of gaming with my wife, she got her own blog The HappyWhisk.  Many of the 1st level adventures were toward beginning characters, not beginning players.  I thought having one-on-one adventures, that would help someone learn which dice are which and how the basic mechanics work in simple, short situations would be a great way to learn.  And being its one-on-one there is no pressure, so the player and GM can take their time to explain things or ask questions.  

9.  You seem to be a big fan of Mythboard, I haven't quite wrapped my head around it yet, what is it? 
Mythoard is a subscription based service that seems permeate our culture these days.  There are so many out there these days.  But Mythoard targets RPGs.  So each month Mythoardships a box of random RPG products to your mailbox.  I love getting fun stuff in the mail.  I even had the privilege of being Mythoard's first exclusive, The Stone Fields of Azoroth.  What I like about Mythoard is getting the products I'd never heard of before.  I get to sample products I probably wouldn't have known about otherwise.  And that's what makes it so cool.

10.  What is your favourite published module other than yours? 
Oh boy.  This is tough because I like so many adventures for so many reasons.  Zzarchov and Simon Forester put out great adventures.  One of my favorite Pathfinder adventure path is Kingmaker.  I honestly can't say I have a favorite.  But the adventure I most prefer are the smaller ones, like your Abandon Mines.  Short, but fun adventures that can have prolonged effects on the larger campaign.  

11.  If you could campaign in any world which would it be? 
I've been reading a ton of Dragon Age lately.  I enjoy the video games and really like what I've read so as of now, probably a Dragon Age would be my choice.

12.  What are the plans for the future of GM Games? 
Completing one or two Manor before the end of the year.  I need to finish a couple of bigger projects, doing a Manor compilation of the first five issues and some longer adventures.  Plus, I'm hoping to recruit a few other writers for some other projects.

13.  When you get a chance to play a character, what type of PC's do you like to play? 
I prefer to play PCs that are alive, but with my penchant for rolling 1s that is rarely the case. I like to play good guys who in the end do the right thing, but has no problem busting knee caps along the way.  And I do like to play a...not so nice guy, but I guess I play them too well so the group has banned me from playing the not so nice guys.

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