Some of you might still remember my review of Legends of Anglerre which I posted a while ago. While reading this book I thought it would be a blast to do an interview with its lead writer and editor Sarah Newton. Luckily Sarah agreed to answer a couple of question for us.
Stargazer: Thanks for taking your time to answer a few questions for our blog, Stargazer’s World. Let’s start with a couple of questions about you. Can you please tell our readers who you you are? I especially would like to know what your first roleplaying game was and how you came to work in the RPG industry.
Sarah: My name’s Sarah Newton, and I work for Cubicle 7 as head of their editorial team and line developer and house writer on the Starblazer Adventures, Legends of Anglerre, Cthulhu Britannica, and World War Cthulhu lines. I’m also responsible for their translated games, including Qin and the upcoming Yggdrasil. I’ve been gaming for (cough cough) over thirty years, and am absolutely passionate about the hobby. I began with Tunnels and Trolls back in 1980 – the old pink "Buffalo Castle" was the very first RPG product I ever bought, even before the rules, and I ended up having to make my own rules to play it! After that I got into Traveller, RuneQuest, Dungeons and Dragons (White Box then AD&D), and then pretty much all major RPGs right up to the present day, with the exception of White Wolf, which for some reason I kind of missed – I’ve only recently discovered Exalted, though I like it a lot.
One of the most important things as a Dungeon Master that you can have at your Dungeons and Dragons game is a battlemat. It’s one of the items I struggled with for the longest time before I finally settled on one to buy. There are a hand full of choices for Battlemats and reviews for them are hard to come by. In the end I finally settled on the Chessex Battlemat.
The Chessex Battlemat is a “expanded” (i guess they mean stretched) vinyl mat with 1″ Squares on one side and 1′ Hexes on the reverse side. The battlemat was shipped and packaged very well. I was worried about a rolled up tube of vinyl getting damaged in the mail, but my worries where for not.
Some care instructions came with the Battlemat instructing me to use only wet erase markers (which i found at a local store) and never to use any red or orange markers. Something in the ink makes them permanently stain the vinyl. Never to fold the mat but rather just roll it up into a tube.
When I first opened the mat it had some wrinkles that you can see in my photos. But after a few games those wrinkles have dissapeard and the mat lays flat at every game.
I now currently own two Chessex Battlemats. When I first started using the Battlemats I would draw out my dungeons on the fly. Keeping my players guessing as to what was coming up around each corner. Lately however, I have switch to drawing out my dungeons before hand. This can kill the eliment of surpize for my players but it does allow me to draw very detailed maps and I almost always get some oohh’s and aawww’s from my party. That’s saying a lot for a guy who can’t draw.
In keeping with the theme of Lovecraftian Week here in Stargazer’s World I want to do a series of mythos themed top five lists inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. And since this is a gaming blog what better list to start with that my Top 5 Lovecraftian gaming products!
Hopefully it will be equal parts nostalgia and mini-review; I’ll try to include some gaming tidbits or ideas that can be of use to you. So without further ado gentle reader here we go…
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