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RPG» Forums » Site Related » RPGGeek News

Subject: RPG Geek of the Week: Phil Reed (PhilReed) rss

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I think the most embarrassing thing I can say about myself and Phil Reed is that... I don't know a thing about him. As Managing Editor and Chief Operating Officer, he has a role in many a Steve Jackson Game board or card game that I've played and GURPS supplement I've read. That's about it.

Okay, I lied. There's one thing I know about him.

RPG Geek has resurrected the 24-hour RPG event. It was originally suggested in April, 2003, as the RPG version of the 24-Hour Comic Strip, attributed to comics persona Scott McCloud. But, as far as I can tell, the 24-Hour RPG is barely alive. The 24-Hour RPG site is defunct, now part of the free RPG site, 1KM1KT (One Thousand Monkeys, One Thousand Typewriters). The 24-hour RPG Yahoo groups no longer exists. The 24-Hour RPGnet Wiki's last reference was 2008. Only three 24-hour RPGs were submitted to 1KM1KT in 2010.

Then RPG Geek came along. This year, the 2010 RPG Geek 24-Hour RPG event has attracted more than ten times as many RPG submissions. My own was the Cthulhu Dice: The RPG. And, yes, I have an idea for next year.

Thanks to RPG Geek for holding the event, and thanks to the man who originally suggested the 24-Hour RPG. Now tell us what you actually do.

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PhilReed wrote:
Should I start with my days rolling bones in a garage-bound boat as we played Lords of Creation or should I begin with the Oatmeal Creme Pies and all-night AD&D sessions? Or maybe the summer in which we played far too much of an RPG of my own creation would make a fun point of entry into this introduction.

Regardless of the starting point -- and you really don't want to hear about some of those older tales -- today I thank Sam and Max for bestowing upon me the title of "RPG Geek of the Week." For the next seven days I'll suffer as many of you look at this thread and, almost at the same time, say "Huh?" And it's not a surprising statement, since the bulk of my work in the game industry has been behind the scenes.

From writing to artwork to layout to planning to editing to print buying . . . well, there's almost nothing in this industry that I haven't done. I've self-published PDFs, I've put together books that are loved and hated, and I've even wasted time on long term planning that never led to anything. And that was just in the first ten years of my time working professionally in the game industry.

Today I spend most of my time handling the day-to-day operations of Steve Jackson Games as "Chief Operating Officer." What does that even mean? Simply, if something goes wrong at the company it's my fault and I had better already have a plan for cleaning up the mess. If something goes right, like Steve sitting down and designing a game like Zombie Dice, then that means I've done a good job and taken some pain off of Steve so that he can focus on game design.

Zombie Dice selling out before the all-important Christmas sales? Yeah, that's my fault for not anticipating demand and reprinting the game in time to keep a steady supply. (Not really, but in the end I need to work with the staff and the factory to keep hit games available. And besides, it's only funny if a positive is a negative. Right? Bah, forget it. You guys don't appreciate my humor.)

I'm told that the introduction is meant to tell you who I am and what I do, so it's about time I get serious and say something useful. Instead of that, I'll point to a couple of ways I keep myself sane and then close with "two truths and a lie."

To relax I waste time with art and toys, writing about both at my website -- www.battlegrip.com -- and even going so far as to build resin toys in my garage. And sometimes I write systemless roleplaying game material -- www.gmoracle.com -- but there's a lot less of that because it uses more brainpower than it takes to play with toys. I also post to Twitter way too often -- @philipjreed if you wanna watch the nonsense -- and I could almost say that's another form of relaxation.


Poll
Where was I? Oh yeah, "two truths and a lie" for the pleasure of everyone. Here they are:
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
I started roleplaying in my high school years.
36.7% 11
I have so many dice that there are dice in the fish tank at home.
20.0% 6
I love the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide.
43.3% 13
Voters 30
This poll is now closed.   30 answers
Poll created by Sam and Max
Closes: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:00 am


RPG Geek of the Week Wiki: http://rpggeek.com/wiki/page/RPG_Geek_of_the_Week


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Jaime Lawrence
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Congratulations, Philip! Great to see some industry people getting a moment in the spotlight!

My questions:

Imagine you were deigining the ULTIMATE RPG.

What dice/randomiser would it use?
Would it be more narrative or tabular in design?
What genre would its setting be?
Give us the names of 3 vital NPCs in the game's backstory.
What other mechanics would you like to tinker with?
Who would be the target audience for the game?

(For the benefit of regular readers, I've retired the mega-question. On request, new GOTWs are more than welcome to answer it )
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Congrats Phil!

1db Hrm... Do you currently have an RPG group? What do you play?

d10-2 Is there anything (non-SJG ) that's been released or will be released that you are dying to pick up?

Enjoy your week!

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6 What's your favorite set of bones? Color? Style? Material? Manufacturer? Sentimental reasons for prizing them?
5 Dice towers are good or bad for gaming?
4 Do you have any rituals for getting good rolls (e.g. blowing on the dice, invoking Loki, shaking the tumbler a certain number of times, etc.?)
3 What's the best RPG random-______ table for rolling?
2 Have you ever stolen dice?
1 Will "Die, Monster, Die!" be a Steve Jackson dice game tribute to Boris Karloff any time in the near future?
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CONGRATS!!!

And now, some questions:

Best RPG for a group consisting of...

...good friends?

...family members & significant other?

...total strangers?

Maps & minis: Critical or crutches?

AND THE SUPER-BONUS LIGHTNING ROUND QUESTION:

I need to find a copy of Munchkin 2: Unnatural Axe in the old school sepia-tone.* Best bets?

*I picked up a complete set of Munchkin -- save M2:UA -- just before the full-color print was announced... and now all I can find is the full-color one.

ENJOY YOUR WEEK!!!
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Congrats Best-Secret-Santa-Ever Phil!!
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Hi Philip, and crograts on being Geek of the Week.

I see you were a designer on Star Wars Heroes and Rogues. I do like that book, what were your inputs to it?

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Hida Mann wrote:
Congratulations, Philip!


Thanks. I was shocked when I was notified, but it's a neat feeling to be chosen.


Hida Mann wrote:
Imagine you were deigining the ULTIMATE RPG.

What dice/randomiser would it use?


Probably just d% since a 1-100 system would work fine for what I would attempt.


Hida Mann wrote:
Would it be more narrative or tabular in design?


More narrative, with a detailed character creation system with lots of options.


Hida Mann wrote:
What genre would its setting be?


Transformers Generation One.


Hida Mann wrote:
Give us the names of 3 vital NPCs in the game's backstory.


Feels like cheating, but since it would be a licensed property pretty much any child of the eighties should be able to guess more than three NPC names.


Hida Mann wrote:
What other mechanics would you like to tinker with?


I've wanted to create a card-based character design and advancement system for years now. The basics are in my head, and every character uses exactly nine cards, but I've never put the cards together.


Hida Mann wrote:
Who would be the target audience for the game?


Guys like me who were kids in the eighties and would be suckers enough to buy a classic Transformers RPG. There have to be at least a dozen of us out there.
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Ugavine wrote:
Hi Philip, and crograts on being Geek of the Week.

I see you were a designer on Star Wars Heroes and Rogues. I do like that book, what were your inputs to it?



Thank you. That was one of my first professional jobs in the industry, and I created a few of the characters in the book. The one that still stands out for me is the Ithorian storyteller.
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brumcg wrote:
1db Hrm... Do you currently have an RPG group? What do you play?


Unfortunately, no. What little roleplaying I do these days is at cons; usually all I get are board and card games at home.


brumcg wrote:
d10-2 Is there anything (non-SJG ) that's been released or will be released that you are dying to pick up?


I've got the new Gamma World pre-ordered. Looks like it might be fun.
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Congrats Phil! Thanks for all your work to make our hobby cooler

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the 'Geek, what would it be?

If you could snap your fingers and import one aspect of BGG into RPGG, what would it be?

If you could snap your fingers and import one aspect of RPGG into BGG, what would it be?

thumbsup Can you snap your fingers?

Enjoy your week!

-Dave
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Congratulations Phil! Here are my usual questions.

1 What's you're favorite monster?
2 What's you're favorite beer?
3 Wich boardgames do you prefer?
4 What's you're favorite meal?
5 Will you congratulate you're BGG counterpart and ask him/her some questions?
6 What was the most strange character you've ever created?
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PhilReed wrote:

Hida Mann wrote:
What genre would its setting be?


Transformers Generation One.



You totally rock. I tried to write this RPG when I was 10. I'd totally be at it again now.

Which TFs are your favourites?
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Congrats, Phil.

What's the story on how you ended up working in the games industry?

Chris
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Congrats on Geek of the Week. Hope to see you again, at Protospiel 2011, or Essen (you going to Essen?).
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Congratulations, Phil.

If I could ask you any question at all, what question would it be?
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Congratulations! Time for the weekly standard:

d10-1 Do you watch anime? If so, how did you get started?
d10-2 Do you ever read RPG setting/adventure material for its own sake, or only with plans to use it/lift the better ideas for later?
d10-3 What's your favorite RPG setting?
d10-4 What RPG item are you happiest to have in your collection? (i.e., hard to track down, or otherwise lucky to have, and you wanted it.)
d10-5 Spending any time on VGG?
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Jeremiah_Lee wrote:
Congrats on Geek of the Week. Hope to see you again, at Protospiel 2011, or Essen (you going to Essen?).


No Essen this year, but I should be at Protospiel again next year. Maybe Essen again next year.
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Hida Mann wrote:
Which TFs are your favourites?


Shockwave and Soundwave are my top two.
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ctalbot wrote:
What's the story on how you ended up working in the games industry?


I started with writing as a freelancer, but in early 1999 I started working as a freelance production artist for Steve Jackson Games. As the year progressed I worked on several books, including interior art and a few covers, and by the end of 1999 I had moved to Austin, TX to work for SJGames full-time.

Throughout 2000 I worked on book design and layout, some ads and other graphic projects, and eventually became Art Director. In 2001 Frag was published and I was promoted to Creative Director, and over the next few years I worked on several projects.

In 2004 I quit working at SJGames to publish PDFs full-time through Ronin Arts. That was a lot of fun, and kept my insanely busy, but market changes in late 2006 and early 2007 sucked the fun our of PDF writing and publishing. Talking with Steve one day in early 2007 led to me rejoining the company as Managing Editor and before the end of 2007 I was also handling overseeing the production department and some of the print buying responsibilities.

Since early 2008 my official title has been Chief Operating Officer. My job is to manage the company on a day-to-day basis, buying Steve some downtime and a chance to spend time designing new games and expansions (which is what he would like to do).

And that, in the short form, is what I've been doing in the game industry for over a decade. I've cut various freelance jobs from the summary, but if you're interested there's bound to be a list of things I've worked on somewhere online.
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ejcarter wrote:
If I could ask you any question at all, what question would it be?


You would obviously ask me if you could ask me a question. I would say yes, and then you would ask me how many pets are at home. I would scratch my head and give this answer:

2 dogs
3 cats
2 birds
? fish

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Rindis wrote:
d10-1 Do you watch anime? If so, how did you get started?


No, I do not. I want to like anime, but can't get into the storytelling.


Rindis wrote:
d10-2 Do you ever read RPG setting/adventure material for its own sake, or only with plans to use it/lift the better ideas for later?


Constantly, but I think we're all guilty of that.


Rindis wrote:
d10-3 What's your favorite RPG setting?


The Forgotten Realms of 1987-1989, before it got massive and before 2nd edition hit. Actually, the FR Adventures HC is awesome so let's make that the cut-off.


Rindis wrote:
d10-4 What RPG item are you happiest to have in your collection? (i.e., hard to track down, or otherwise lucky to have, and you wanted it.)


I think I'd have to say my (almost) complete set of WFRP 2e. And once I find that damned adventure that's somewhere in my house the collection will be complete.


Rindis wrote:
d10-5 Spending any time on VGG?


No. My computer/video game playing is pretty limited and I don't need to be tricked into spending more time on playing those games.
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Congrats! I hope it's been a great week.

I see everyone has steered clear of GURPS. Let's fix that.

1. Did you play GURPS before coming to SJ Games? (The assumption being you are playing GURPS now, even if it's under duress ). And if so, how far back did you start?

2. PDFs have been used extensively to increase both the breadth and depth of the material available for GURPS. Do you ever use PDFs when playing? If so, do you print them out or look at them on the screen?

That's it for now. (I've managed to resist the temptation to ask questions that you can't answer due to job restrictions, but I should let you know there's at least a couple of us who have been waiting rather impatiently for GURPS Low Tech for 4th ed for a long freakin' time)
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PhilReed wrote:
Rindis wrote:
d10-1 Do you watch anime? If so, how did you get started?


No, I do not. I want to like anime, but can't get into the storytelling.

Ooo-kay....

What have you generally tried, and what do you normally like? (Just hit a couple highlights, no need to provide a life's story.)

Looking forward to the answer(s) on GURPS.
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Okay, I'm hungry and everyone likes food. Let's talk food.

1) What's your favorite sort of food, in general?

2) What's your one favorite dish, in specific?

3) Game night rolls around. What do you usually eat on game night? Do you have a fast food run before game night, or do you cook meals specifically for gaming?

PhilReed wrote:
No, I do not. I want to like anime, but can't get into the storytelling.


That's gotta be the most curious "no" I've ever read!

Would you you elaborate on what about the storytelling disinterests you?

(Or just answer Rindis... he asked the same question while I was composing mine...)
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