Mount Olympus Presents:

Hercules: Greetings Andrew! Thank you very much for granting this interview and sharing your memories of Pax Gladius. What were your favorite games growing up?

Andrew: I was (still am) a huge fan of Games Workshop, so played pretty much everything they released in the 90s, from Heroquest and Space Crusade to Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda and Blood Bowl.

Hercules: How did you discover RPGs?

Andrew: I spotted a shelf of Fighting Fantasy choose-your-own adventure books in the shop when I was 10 or 11, which turned me on to how books could be more than just books. Soon after Heroquest was released, alongside a tie-in issue of White Dwarf – which had an article about Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in it. It took me a while to fathom out what all this stuff was, but I was hooked right away.

Hercules: Before finding your niche in the gaming industry, what other career paths did you explore?

Andrew: Rather appropriately, I trained as an archaeologist at university, but the reality of digging in rainy, muddy ditches in the British winter didn’t quite live up to the swashbuckling adventures of Indiana Jones I had in mind.

Hercules: How did you break into the gaming industry?

Andrew: We gamed a lot at uni, and in our quest for something new to try my RPG group signed up for a playtest of what became Arrowflight 1st edition, written and published by Todd at Deep7. We struck up a friendship during the playtest and I eventually started to write for him too. I freelanced for a bunch of companies as well as started my own indie publisher, Steampower Publishing. But I never worked full-time as a writer – I didn’t make the move to full-time in the gaming industry until I switched to editing.

Hercules: Before Pax Gladius, what games did you work on?

Andrew: It was fairly early on in my career, but my biggest project at that point was writing for Deep7’s Red Dwarf RPG. That was such good fun and led to me eating dinner with all the cast and crew at a convention – fond memories!

Hercules: What were your thoughts about Pax Gladius when you first heard about the project?

Andrew: How can you go wrong with swashbuckling and sandals? I’d loved the other 1PGs so when me and Todd started to talk about the idea of a Sword & Sandal version, it was love at first sight. I’d just finished writing my dissertation on Roman movies too, so was properly steeped in the tropes of the genre.

Hercules: What differentiates Pax Gladius from other games set in the Sword & Sandal genre?

Andrew: Well, for a start there aren’t many games in the Sword & Sandal genre! Even though there’s been a bit of a comeback at the box office in the last decade, it’s not been accompanied by much more in the way of games. That said, Pax Gladius – like all the other 1PGs – is so slick and streamlined it doesn’t get bogged down by mechanics, and you can be up and running in a couple of minutes. It’s not too bothered by historical detail too – despite being a ancient historian, I don’t have much time for historical minutiae at my table.

Hercules: What games have you worked on since Pax Gladius?

Andrew: I wrote for a bunch of D20 titles back in the early 00s, including the Slayer’s Guide to Lizardfolk for Mongoose Publishing and Lords of the Night: Zombies for Bottled Imp Games. I also started self-publishing my own games and supplements too as Steampower Publishing, including an ancient historical supplement of my own, The Gates of Troy and a horror rpg, Dead of Night. My biggest gig was getting to write for Black Industries and Fantasy Flight on their GW-licensed games, Dark Heresy and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. That was a dream come true for me, really.

Hercules: I'd like to learn more about Dead of Night....

Andrew: Dead of Night is my own horror RPG, co-written with my good friend Merwin Shanmugasundarum. It takes a similar tack to Pax Gladius, actually, evoking the genre with some good, quick, flavourful mechanics without getting too bogged down in rules. In this case, rather than ancient history it’s a game of campfire and B-movie horror. You don’t play a character, you play a ‘victim’, and you have a pool of survival points that act as hit points, sanity points and luck. When they run out, your time is up… The first edition garnered a fair bit of critical acclaim, but looked a little ‘home made’. The second edition came out about 5 years ago (and is still in print) and with the help of the amazing artist and designer Paul Bourne, I couldn’t be prouder – it still holds its own, graphically and mechanically.

Hercules:. And what of your subsequent work with Cubicle 7 and Games Workshop?

Andrew: Working on WFRP and Dark Heresy led to me working full-time as an in-house editor for Games Workshop, both in their Design Studio and on White Dwarf, eventually becoming its editor. This brought things full circle for me, back to where I started out in the hobby. I left GW back in 2013 to work for Cubicle 7, one of the largest UK games publishers, and had the honour of working with both the Doctor Who and The Lord of the Rings licenses, as well as many other great settings.

Hercules: Which of your projects has offered you the greatest  level of challenge?

Andrew: Every project brings its own unique challenges! When self-publishing, it’s overcoming my own need for perfectionism to actually finish the damned thing, whereas when working for larger companies its more pragmatic things like hitting deadlines and making sure the team works well together. Every project – no matter how challenging -- provides a great learning experience though!

Hercules: Which of them has granted you the greatest level of freedom as an artist?

Andrew: Undoubtedly my own self-published games. I’m my own boss on them, which means I get to commission all the art, enlist all my favourite writers and deliver the vision as I want it. Certainly Dead of Night 2nd edition is the game I’m most proud of, for that reason. It was myself and my colleagues firing on all cylinders.

Hercules: And which of them has provided you with the greatest level of gratification?

Andrew: I’m really proud of the work I did both on White Dwarf, both as editor and as part of the 2012 relaunch, and more recently at Cubicle 7. I loved helming the latest editions of the Doctor Who RPG and The One Ring RPG, which were both firm favourites at our games table before I joined the company. It was very gratifying to work on such great properties.

Hercules: Beyond your work in the gaming industry, what is the rest of your personal universe like?

Andrew: Oh, it’s wall to wall gaming of course!

Hercules: LOL What projects are you currently working on?

Andrew: For the first time in some 15 years, I’m not actively working on any roleplaying games! That’s quite a big deal for me, actually, but it’s with good reason…

Hercules: What's next in the epic of Andrew Kenrick?

Andrew: Well, I left Cubicle 7 back in the summer of 2016 after winning a place on a prestigious creative writing program. I’m a semester in, studying for a postgrad qualification in non-fiction and biography. Bringing it back to where we started, I’m writing about the ancient world!

Hercules: How can folks connect with you and learn of your latest creative projects? 

Andrew: My website, Steampower Publishing, is where folks can buy copies of Dead of Night. And they can follow me on twitter@andrewkenrick

Hercules: Thank you very much Andrew for granting this interview! I wish you great success in all you attempt!


Mythic Gaming Interviews

Andrew Kenrick

Larger Than Life Living in the World Today

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