Mount Olympus Presents:

James Stubbs

Hercules: Greetings James! Thank you very much for granting us this interview. What first ignited your passion for gaming?

James: I really can't remember. I've always been a gamer ever since I was a small child and playing Chutes and Ladders and eventually moving up to games like Checkers and Battleship. I've always had an affinity for games and gaming, but I can't nail down any specific moment or thing.

Hercules: How did you first stumble upon RPGs?

James: Ah, now that I can answer definitively. I used to have to spend the summers in a day camp while my parents worked. One day one of the guys brought in the Players Handbook for 2nd Ed. AD&D and it was on from that point forward. I still remember my first character: a half-elf ranger. I also remember a mummy killed him on a train (hey, we were young and it seemed to make sense at the time).

Hercules: (LOL) Before establishing yourself in the gaming industry, what other careers did you consider?

James: I'd hardly call myself "established" but I wanted to be an artist from a young age. I even went to college and got a degree in graphic design but I quickly realized that I wasn't as good at it as others. However, I've always been a huge and voracious reader so I went and got my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and have been working as a librarian for seventeen years now.

Hercules: How did you break into the gaming industry?

James: I used to write reviews of free RPGs for many, many years ago because I got tired of seeing the same products reviewed over and over and over again. It was during this time that I ran across the 1PG games from Deep7. I was bored on the desk at work one day and wrote up a quick submarine adventure for Deep7's 1PG game, Battleforce Bravo. Todd (Deep7's head honcho) liked it so much that I wrote a few more and then I got ambitious and pitched an idea for a new 1PG that became Dime Heroes. I've been working off and on for Deep7 for years now.

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

James: My first thought was that I'm not sure I can do this. While I've seen my share of "Sword and Sandal" movies, I wasn't as comfortable with the genre.

Hercules: What is your role as Deep 7's 1PG System's Line Producer?

James: I write support material for existing products as well as new 1PG games.

Hercules: Can you provide us with an overview of Pax Gladius' approach to the Sword & Sandal genre?

James: Sure. Pax Gladius is, like all 1PGs, designed to emulate genre movies. They're not designed to have real world logic but film reality (all cars explode, heroes can get in fist fights for minutes that would have rendered normal men a bloody mess, etc.) so historical facts can and often are glossed over.

Hercules: How does the Pax Gladius Action Pack you authored expand the game?

James: It just provides new adventure scenarios for groups who have played through all the ones in the main rules and want more adventures.

Hercules: Will there be additional supplements, modules, expansions or sequels?

James: Yes! All the 1PG games are slated to get at least one Adventure Pack. There are no plans for a second round of Adventure Packs unless demand is there for more. There is a steampunk 1PG that I keep on meaning to get around to working on.

Hercules: What games have you worked on since Pax Gladius and what projects are you currently working on?

James: Yikes. I have no idea. That's been a long time back. I'm currently working on fiction for an upcoming anthology of stories set in the world of Deep7's Airship Daedalus RPG.

Hercules: Gaming as a hobby versus gaming as a profession... what are the pluses and minuses?

James: I had the good fortune of meeting Dave Arneson before he died and he told me a joke: "what's the difference between a game designer and a large pepperoni pizza?" .... "the pizza can feed a family of four."

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

James: That's easy - The 1PG Companion. You come up with a new rule that seems cool, only to find out that it breaks or overpowers the game. I probably put more time into that thing than everything else I've done combined.

Hercules: Which of them has granted you the greatest level of creative freedom?

James: The ones that I got to design from the ground up and not just an expansion of an existing 1PG game.

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

James: H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. It was written quickly after the death of Todd's wife, Samantha, and I wanted to do something in her memory. It was also the first 1PG that strayed from emulating movies.

Hercules: Beyond your work with Deep7 and Heyoka Studios, what is the rest of your personal universe like?

James: Writing. Lots of writing. I'm trying to branch out more into fiction. See previous joke about the pizza.

Hercules: What's next in the unfolding adventures of James Stubbs?

James: I have no idea. Hopefully nothing too horrid.

Hercules: How can folks learn more about you and your creative projects?

James: I'm pretty low-key but you can find me on Facebook as James William Stubbs or you can look for my author page under the pen name J.W. Stacks. I'm also on the cesspool that is Twitter at @JW_Stacks.

Hercules:Thank you very much James! I enjoyed interviewing you and wish you the very best on all of your creative endeavors.


Mythic Gaming Interviews

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