Gaming is alive and well in Puerto Rico! I’m not just saying that because of my involvement in Puerto Rico Role Players, but because I meet GMs and players every day, hear of new groups forming, there are various stores catering to gamers, many with a heavy emphasis on CCGs and miniature games, and two actively supporting RPGs, The Gaming Pit in the Metro Area of the island and Paladin Book and Games in Isabela in the north-west. I need to do a series on the various stores in the island, that’s been percolating in my mind for some time now… But I digress!
There are also at least two tabletop role-playing games I know of being developed locally. One I’ve been aware of for some time because two close friends of mine have been working on it for over two years, so I’ve been privy to the development and evolution of the rules. I’ll share more news on that game when they are ready to make it public. However I recently learned of another tabletop RPG about to be published in the next few days, Sons of Arcadia! To the best of my knowledge this will be the first published Puerto Rican tabletop RPG, I’m excited and wanted to learn more…
After some initial contact over social media with the writer this interview came about. I had a conversation via e-mail with Peter A. Mojica, a young man from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, who is getting ready to publish his role-playing game Sons of Arcadia. Thank you Peter for agreeing to this interview!
Sunglar: Before we talk about the game, let’s get to know you better. Who is Peter A. Mojica?
Peter: Hi my name is Peter and my friends call me Peyo. I’m just a simple and humble guy from Mayaguez that likes comics, games, and especially tabletop role playing games.
Sunglar: How did you get started in role-playing games?
I was the youngest among my group of friends. I watched as they played games like Final Fantasy and I became interested on those kinds of games. Later, one of my friends brought Champions, the Hero System game by Hero Games, and we got hooked!
Sunglar: What games would you say were formative in your development as a gamer?
Peter: What inspired my game was obviously D&D, but aside from that they were games like Final Fantasy, Vagrant Story, Fire Emblem, Castlevania, and Dark Souls.
Sunglar: When you first described Son of Arcadia to me you called it a high fantasy role-playing game. In your own words describe Sons of Arcadia.
Peter: Sons of Arcadia is a table top RPG based on logic, if it’s not logical you can’t do it, but that’s where the high fantasy element comes in, it allows you to bend the rules, and brings into the world many aspects that are not real, such as magic and other sources of powers which warriors can use as special attacks. Sons of Arcadia is a versatile game that lets you create a unique character in a distinctive worlds were your capabilities are put to the test, and the abilities of your characters allow you to do many things during non-combat scenarios and encounters.
Sometimes you just want some good old fashioned hack and slash fun! One cool element about Sons of Arcadia is that when you are in combat you have a statistic called Speed which allows you to pick the type of attack you can do, such as a jab or a haymaker, and perform attack to specific parts of an opponent’s body, allowing you greater strategy and control over your character’s actions.
Sunglar: How did Sons of Arcadia come about? Was it a game you developed for your own group and then decided to publish or did you conceive this as a commercial product from the start?
At first Sons of Arcadia was just a social game me and my friends got together to play, but as we got older our expectations changed and we wanted more out of the game, so we started modifying and fine-tuning the rules, which eventually evolved into the game we have today. It took us eighteen years of playing and working on it, adding what we learned from playing other types of games such as Final Fantasy, adapting and making it unique to our game.
We enjoy it so much that I decided it to publish it so other people can have the same experience, so they can enjoy what we have been playing all these years.
Sunglar: Are you the sole author or is this a collaborative effort?
Peter: I am the author, but my friends have helped me playtest what works and what doesn’t.
Sunglar: What are the mechanics of Sons of Arcadia? Are they based on any of the existing OGL systems out there or did you create your own system? Can you give us an example of the mechanics?
Peter: The mechanics of our game are not that different from what you’d expect from other RPG games such as D&D or Pathfinder. We didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but we believe our play experience and ideas offer a unique opportunity to play familiar games in new ways. For example we don’t use a d20 for task resolution; we use 3d6 because we believe the probabilities are fairer for both GMs and players. A unique thing is the implementation of combat phases which grants the players the ability to distribute their Speed into different actions.
Sunglar: I know these terms mean different things for different people but, form your point of view, would you consider Sons of Arcadia rules light, medium or heavy?
The rules are light because it is ultimately a simple game, but every aspect has extensive explanations just in case there is any doubt.
Sunglar: Is Sons of Arcadia a toolbox type of game with some implied background details or is this a game steeped in its own mythology?
Peter: The game has its own mythology based in our beliefs and a campaign setting which we have been playing for over six years.
Sunglar: How long did you work on the game?
Peter: We worked on Sons of Arcadia for eighteen years.
Sunglar: How did you go about playtesting the rules?
Peter: Through the years playing the game my friends and I have figured out what works and what doesn’t. We took an honest approach to examining thee rules, and applied what we basically do when we play any other game to Sons of Arcadia, this game system can work for any type of player.
Sunglar: In a market with so many other fantasy role-playing games, and with such hugely recognizable brand names, why did you choose to publish a fantasy RPG?
Peter: I know there are a lot of games in this genre out there, but we are not here to be the best or the worst, we just want people to enjoy a different type of game. I choose to create a fantasy RPG for its versatility; it is a genre in which you can tell any type of story, one in which the world is not as overpowered as it would be in a super-hero game, for example.
Sunglar: What do you think makes Sons of Arcadia different from other fantasy role-playing games?
Peter: Great question! I think Sons of Arcadia is a game where you can create any character you want; you won’t find a NO to your idea in the rules! You have so many options and so many different sorts of powers that any type of character you conceive can be created to your liking. Also the rules are set and balanced in such a way that any player can be their own type of hero in a party, without the restrictions of a type such as a Defender or a DPS.
Sunglar: You’ve told me you are using the Amazon print on demand services and not what seems like the RPG industry standard Drive Thru RPG. I know that they are not the only players in the game, but they do offer a lot of exposure and seem to have a good share of the market. Was there any reason for this decision? Are you sticking to print on demand for now?
Peter: I think Amazon is an international company that offers great service, with great consumer awareness, any buyer has his or her merchandise guarantied, and they offer great product design.
Sunglar: More and more games are getting digital releases. Do you plan to publish Sons of Arcadia in PDF or any other digital format?
Peter: There is a plan in place. I can’t fight the way the industry is going, but I am an old school player, with a book the battery doesn’t run out and you still can play no matter what. Also I find it easier and faster to look up information in a book, but if it helps to get the book to people here in Puerto Rico and in the States, I would do a PDF version.
Sunglar: I am assuming Sons of Arcadia is in English. Why did you choose to write the game in English and not Spanish?
Peter: Simple, no grammatical accents in English! Also English seems to be like the common language in any RPG setting, LOL.
Sunglar: High fantasy is a term that often means different things to different people. What is high fantasy for you?
Peter: For me it is medieval worlds were magic expands the imagination of any player. Monsters and heroes can be created in this world were anything is possible.
Sunglar: What would you say where the biggest influences when developing Sons of Arcadia? Be it games, books, movies or any other influence you can identify.
Peter: Like I said D&D and video games were a big influence to Sons of Arcadia, but also Krull was a big influence for me and my the game.
Sunglar: What are the options when ordering the book through the print on demand service? Can you get it in softcover or hardcover, color or B&W? What is the physical book like? What’s the page count?
Peter: The first edition will be a softcover trade paperback with black and white art. Next year we plan to revisit the book, add more art, and eventually offer it as a hardcover.
Sunglar: Did you work with any particular artist to illustrate the book or did you use stock images? If you collaborated with any artists, are any of them local artist?
Peter: I worked with a local artist to illustrate the book.
Sunglar: I know there is a Facebook page for Sons of Arcadia, is there any other online presence for the game? Where and how can people contact you if they are interested to learn more?
Sunglar: Anything else you want to tell us about Sons of Arcadia that I haven’t touched upon?
Peter: Sons of Arcadia is game were any setting is possible. The rules of the game are simple, and they should be familiar if you’ve played other tabletop RPGs, but what makes it unique is that with Sons of Arcadia we’ve taken many of those familiar rules deconstructed them, updated them, and morphed them into a unique rules system so that when you play, if you can imagine it you can do it.
Sunglar: Lastly, where can people get Sons of Arcadia?
Peter: For now via Amazon, but we are planning to do a tour around Puerto Rico, visiting local stores to play demos of the game and sell the book.
Thank you Peter for taking the time to answer this questions. Much success with your game, it is exciting to see the RPG from Puerto Rico being published!
Note: The art used in this post belongs to Peter A. Mojica and is used with his permission.