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RPG» Forums » Site Related » RPGGeek News

Subject: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Sandy Petersen (yes, THAT Sandy Petersen!) rss

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Vivienne Rice
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Thank you again for a fabulous RPG Geek of the Week! (For those not familiar with what GotW is, check out the wiki here.)

Now, it falls to me to introduce my choice of successor, but first I thought I’d let you know why I chose them.

Aware I would have to hand over the reigns at the end of the week, and not knowing many people on here, I started early. As in Monday. I checked out people who posed interesting questions and those who had amusing posts in threads I am watching. All had already been RPG GotW. I thought I’d try another tack. I started checking games I might like to try and reviewers who wrote in an engaging way. Same result. I was getting worried now and I’d run out of ideas.

Then one morning I idly picked up the only rules / source book I have to hand and turned it over. There was a picture ... and a name. A flurry of keystrokes later; yes he’s on here. Some more typing; no, (surprisingly,) he’s never been GotW. I GM’d him, hopefully, but with little expectation. So imagine my surprise to receive a really charming message accepting.

Now whilst his more recent work has been in video and board games, a quick scroll through the RPGs being run here and in clubs across the country shows his presence in this arena is still very much alive!

(You can’t imagine the size of my grin right now )

Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour, and my privilege, to introduce Geek royalty and Mr Cthulhu himself, Sandy Petersen .....

Sandy Petersen
United States
Rockwall
Texas
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Here’s what Sandy says about himself:
Sandy Petersen wrote:
Hi, I'm Sandy Petersen, a middle-aged balding man who, one way or another, has been involved with gaming since the very early days. Many of you will know of me from my work in the industry, so this introduction is really for those who may not - yet!

I have always been interested in games and in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In 1980 I was able to combine these loves when I joined Chaosium Games where I worked on a number of paper-based RPGs. The most widely known is (of course) “Call of Cthulhu” for which I was principal author. But I participated in most supplements and games Chaosium produced at this time - significantly on the later editions of “Runequest” and as designer on the “Ghostbusters” RPG.

In 1988, I moved into video games. At MicroProse Software I was lead designer on “Lightspeed”, “Hyperspeed” and “Dr Floyd’s Wacky Windows” and a significant contributor to the “Civilization” and “Darklands” games. And I was part of the teams on “Doom”, “Doom 2” and “Quake” whilst at id Software, designing several levels for all three.

Moving to Ensemble Studios in 1997, I continued in video game design - as lead on the expansion packs for “The Rise of Rome”, the “Conquerors” and the “WarChiefs”, and as part of the teams working on “Age of Kings”, “Age of Empires 3” and Ensemble's last product “Halo Wars”. There was also a ton of unreleased and unfinished stuff.

In 2009 I branched out into academia as a college professor, and spent two years teaching graduate students about game design at Southern Methodist University.

I have now returned to the coalface! Last year I Kickstarted my newest board game, “Cthulhu Wars” - through greeneyegames - which now has a BGG presence with active forums. And, with my partner Drew Fisher, we have resurrected Barking Lizards where we're working on some iOS games. Here's hoping they'll hit it big enough for me to buy the Geek and lord it over you all devil


Outside of game design I still play boardgames, roleplaying games, and video games and I have a gaming night once a week at my house in which we stick to paper games.

I also have a big web presence. Google Sandy Petersen to find interviews and photos and even a Wikipedia article. However, I’ve since found that you are not allowed to edit a Wikipedia entry in which you are the topic and, thus, I am at the whim of the writers! So please, be kind .....


Poll: Here are Sandy’s two truths and a lie:
Which statement is a lie?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
A huge original oil painting of Cthulhu hangs on my living room wall.
28.4% 25
I have been consecrated as a High Priest in my church.
38.6% 34
I once briefly owned a pet octopus.
33.0% 29
Voters 88
This poll is now closed.   88 answers
Poll created by Deezerma
Closes: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:00 am



Enjoy your week under the microscope, Sandy. And to kick things off, here are a couple of questions from me:

1 What motivated / prompted / inspired you to start designing games?
2 Which game(s) / system(s), if any, do you wish you’d thought of first?


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Jeff G
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California
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats Sandy!

d10-1 What were your influences (other than HPL) for creating CoC?

d10-2 Do you have a copy of the AD&D Deities & Demigods with the Cthulhu and Melboninan Mythos in them?

d10-3 Have you ever tried a Play by Forum (PbF) game?

d10-4 Do you collect dice or have any really cool ones?

Enjoy your week.
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☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations Sandy!

1) Maple syrup or honey?
2) Coup or sedan?
3) Fate or free will?
4) Couch or loveseat?
5) Professional or amateur?

Enjoy your week!
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Mark
Canada
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations Sandy!

I just want to say that I hope the lie is that all of those three things are true.
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Paul
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Grats, Sandy!
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Jacob Wood
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations!

Just a few questions for you:

1. Pie or Pi?

2. If you were about to embark on a pioneering, one-way trip to Mars, how many shirts would you bring with you?

3. If you were a zombie and were handed a glass filled 50% with water, would it be half empty or half full?
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Andrew Goenner
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats, Sandy!

1. If you had to choose where you are forced to spend eternity, would you choose R'lyeh or the Dreamlands and why?

2. What creatures from the Lovecraft mythos do you think the Ghostbusters could handle?

3. What (if any) RPGs are you playing/running currently?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
After TSR and DnD, Chaosium and Call of Cthulhu became a large part of my RPG life back in the day. You're a living legend! (good call Vivienne)

What's your favorite video game of recent times? (from the perspective of a designer and/or a player)

Have you been called out for your choice of pastime/living as not being in line with your religious views? Your response?
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Quaid Slauson
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats, Sandy. Hooray!
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Darth Thulhu?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations Sandy
(fantastic call, Vivienne!)

First of all, sir, thank you very much for S. Petersen's Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters. Being able to quickly discern the differences between Yog-Sothoth and a shoggoth and a formless spawn has been a real lifesaver!

1) How did you determine which beasties and deities made the cut?
2) Who rounded up the artists and provided art direction for the book?
3) How would you describe the "essential foulness" of a Hound of Tindalos to someone who isn't sure if they recently witnessed one?

Civilization has had several iterations and two major spin offs.

1) Which version of the core game do you most enjoy playing?
2) What is your favorite Wonder to build?
3) What is your favorite victory condition?
4) What did you most appreciate of the racial mechanics and enchantment abilities of the Master of Magic?
5) What did you think of the evolutionary and ideological themes of Alpha Centauri?

Darklands had a ton of potential that I've never seen replicated in other game systems, but didn't quite completely cohere. In particular, I've happily done a few spins on Alchemist and Saint classes derived from the Philosopher's Stone and Sanctity-to-Saints ideas in that game.

1) What game systems of your own design are you most proud of for that game?
2) What was your favorite mechanic-to-flavor fit?
3) What led to the choice of the Holy Roman Empire as setting?
4) Why Baphomet as the big bad?
5) Are there any plans to ever update and rerelease the game? What obstacles would have to be overcome?
6) If the final game had been less buggy and more of a mainstream success, what other historical eras and locations would you have wanted to explore in sequels?

When tools to create area files for Doom and Doom II came out, several of us made a huge dorm.wad file of our residence hall, for use during LAN games.

1) What was your personal favorite area file among those that made the cut to enter the games?
2) Did you later make any "personal" area files for your own play?
3) What was your favorite foe? Your favorite weapon?

In Cthulhu Wars, we finally get to be on the winning side!

1) Which Great Old One do you most enjoy playing?
2) What is the most enjoyable victory you ever played?

Finally:

1) Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Elder Party?

Congratulations, again! ¡FHTAGN!
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Yohann Delalande
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations to our newest RPG Geek of the Week.

I'm so excited to see this as Call of Cthulhu was what got me hooked to H.P. Lovecraft when I was a teenager.

So, Mr Petersen, I just wanted to say thanks for changing my life and making it *darker* when I was kid and much more interesting with your game design.

(by the way, Vivienne, you just rock!)
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Steve
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations Sandy!
Enjoy your week in the limelight.
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Ron
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations, Sandy!!! A great and worthy choice, Vivienne!

Here are my two questions:
goldencamel your favorite three music albums?
goldencamel do you use music while gaming?

Have a great week! meeple
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats on becoming RPG Geek of the Week from the BGG Geek of the Week . It's a huge mystery to me, why you haven't become GotW before. I still fondly remember going insane with my friends in Call of Cthulhu RPG, so thank you for giving me many memorable moments .
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats Sandy, have a great week!

Two questions:

d10-1 What was you most awesome moment in gaming?

d10-2 What was you most embarrassing moment in gaming?



And also congrats Vivienne, what a great choice!
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats Sandy! Great stuff that you have...simply love it.

What will you envision pen-paper RPG (including PBF) to head? With such competition as console/computer gaming, board-gaming vying for our very little precious time?

Any thoughts on D&D Next? Will it be the next BIG thing?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Gongratulations Sandy! Enjoy your week.

1. Why did you choose the mb over the other two?
2. What do dice mean to you in RPGs? What about boardgames?
3. In what movie would you like to play as a RPG character? What would that character be?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Mighty Gratz Sandy !

d10-1 Do you use music while roleplaying ?
d10-2A If yes, just as play-along in the background or selected especially for the scene ?
d10-2B If no, why not ?
d10-3 When it comes to game prep, what do you prefer: Some keywords for every scene/npc/whatever or a whole paragraph of information ?
d10-4 Open or concealed dice rolls ?
d10-5 Urban or rural ?
d10-6 Cat or dog ?
d10-7 How many dice do you own ?
d10-8 What sport do you take exercises in ?
d10-9 Did you try Play by Video (PbV, Hangouts...) ?
d10-0 What's your favorite CoC adventure ?

Have an awesome week !
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
nemesis13 wrote:
And also congrats Vivienne, what a great choice!

Yes, indeed! Congratulations to both of you.

Sandy, did Vivienne have to call your name three times to make you appear?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations, Sandy, enjoy your week!
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats Sandy on being Geek of the Week

d10-1 Bucket of dice or minimal dice?

d10-2 What is your most used RPG book?

d10-3 What is your most prized RPG possession?

d10-4 If you could visit any RPG world for real which would it be?

d10-5 If you could own for real one item off one of your player character's character Sheets, what would it be?
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congrats Sandy!

d10-1 What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame?
d10-2 Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
d10-3 Do you play an instrument? If yes, which one and for how long already?
d10-4 Having fun?
d10-5 What would have been your name if it wasn't the name you have?
d10-6 What is your favourite snack?
d10-7 What is your favourite day of the week?
d10-8 What is your favourite time of day?
d10-9 What character would you be in a Star Trek setting?
d10-1d10-0 What makes you "tick" (inspires you, why do you get up in the morning)?
d10-1d10-1 What is your life-long dream?
d10-1d10-2 What is your favourite RPG race/class?

Enjoy your week!
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Meshell Heelbeck
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations meeple
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Damon
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations! Wow, hard to believe it took so long for somebody to choose you.
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Re: RPG Geek of the Week #214: Shhh, it's a Surprise (You'll have to read the thread!)
Congratulations Sandy!!!

Some questions:

d10-1 What is your favourite role playing game?
d10-2 What are your favourite dice?
d10-3 What is your favourite book?
d10-4 And film?
d10-5 Chose one: Sword, Axe or bow?
d10-6 A genre you have never tried and you would like to?



Enjoy your week
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