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Writer’s Q&A: This RPG Writer and PhD Talked Us Into Pursuing Escape From New York

When we were a poor nobody publisher, we reached out over the interwebs looking for writers. Only one answered the call. We asked him what he wanted to write and he said “Escape From New York… Best movie ever.” So we commissioned him to do the writing long before we had the official license.

Let’s start with a simple question. Who are you? How did you get into gaming as a hobby and as a profession?

It all started with Blood Bowl and the local library. I’d been reading fantasy books for years, and even played some of the Fighting Fantasy books that were available at the time, but the local library had a Blood Bowl club in the basement underneath. I joined and on the first night, the Blood Bowl was canceled. But they WERE played this thing called D&D, set in the Dragonlance world (that I knew a bit about from the novels), and did I want to join? After that, I was hooked, and have been since 1993.

Doing it professionally came to a lot later though, with RPG Superstar as it was run by Paizo Publishing. I’d participated once or twice, but never really “for real”, usually because I forgot all about it. But in 2014, I’d submitted an item for the competition, but another appeared in my head at the same time — though it was never committed to paper. In 2015 though, I nearly missed out until my wife reminded me. I sat down and finally got it on paper, with less than 24 hours to go, and out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions – it made it to round 2. I never got past that round, but it got me started with 3rd Party Publishers, and today, I’ve got more than 100 books behind me, in less than 6 years.

What drew you to Evil Genius Games, what about Everyday Heroes™ appeals to you and your writing style?

Honestly, it was the open call from the Evil Genius Leader himself, and the opportunity to try to play with Intellectual Property that wasn’t normally available. I pitched, for something that I don’t think was in the card at the time — Escape from New York — but it seems my pitch was good enough to get me on board. 😊

As for Everyday Heroes itself, it’s the chance to take a well-known and loved system (5e) and take it from its intended Fantasy roots and bring it to someplace new. It’s always a challenge, especially in the early going, but it is often worth it.

What do you think of the concept of Cinematic Adventures? Why did you want to write one?

I’m a great fan of the Cinematic Adventures, as it gives you (as the player) a chance to engage with adventure in a slightly different way. For most modern adventures, you (as the player) rarely know too much about what you’re going into, but for a Cinematic Adventure, you have a bit of forewarning of what you’re going to see. They’re also, generally speaking, a lot more action focus and “in the moment” than most adventures tend to be, which is refreshing.

Tell us about your thoughts on Escape From New York. When did you first encounter the property and what was your initial reaction?

Escape from New York was one of my first loves as an action film and was introduced to me by the GM of the Dragonlance campaign in fact. (We were best friends and played together for many years until I moved to a different country). My initial reaction to it was “Wow, this is different”. At the time, when I saw it for the first time, the big action stars were Arnie, Sylvester, and Van Damme, and seeing this Plissken character portrayed was completely different from anything else. This guy was fallible and not overly muscled or capable of kicking your head off. Instead, he was smart and ruthless and capable of reacting quickly to changing circumstances.

What excites you the most about bringing this movie franchise to life through a tabletop roleplaying game?

The opportunity to expand the world and tie some more of it together. Unlike modern films, the “Plissken-verse” of Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. were never expanded upon to the same crazy degree that we see today with so many films and universes. Being able to do that, and tie some of the disparate parts of the two Escape films together was something I was very excited about.

What would you tell fans of Escape From New York to ensure them that the movie property is in good hands?

Rest assured, I’m a fan, just as much as you are. And even if you might not get to play Plissken, you’ll get to experience some of what he did.

The Escape From New York Cinematic Adventure will be available now. You can pick up this Cinematic Adventure and more on our store.

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