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Phillip McGregor
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Phillip McGregor
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From Phalanx Games Design website:

I have been playing Role Playing Games since the days of the little White Box Dungeons & Dragons rules and have been involved in the Role Playing Game business since 1978.

I am (I hope) well known as a co-designer of Space Opera (FGU) and writer of supplements for the same, as well as for Chivalry & Sorcery (FGU).

In more recent years I’ve written the very first edition of Rigger Black Book for Shadowrun and, since then, have published a number of well received games and supplements under my Phalanx Games Design (PGD) imprint on RPGNow.com (and its sister site, Drive Through RPG) … including Farm, Forge & Steam (Guidelines for designing a realistic campaign background, mainly for pre-modern games), Displaced (One way time or dimensional travel), Orbis Mundi(What the real late medieval world was like, in some detail), Audace ad Gloriam (a supplement usable with assorted SF RPGs) and Road to Armageddon (the latter for BTRC’s EABA rules).

All as a part time thing, while I pursued a career as a professional Historian (well, a High School History Teacher, 7-12, with a BA from Sydney University, which included a double Major in History & Politics) from 1977-2014. Which I think counts … YMMV).

I taught all over NSW – a year in Newcastle (West Wallsend High School), two years in Menindee (just this side of Broken Hill on the Darling River, the arse end of nowhere) at Menindee Central School, then (yay!) back to Sydney – Granville South High School, Davidson High School, Cromer High School and, finally, Mackellar Girls High School (the last two eventually part of the Northern Beaches Secondary College)

Teaching History was always a pleasure, even if teaching wasn’t (don’t ask) … and I got into it in the first place because I was interested in history from a very early age, and this passion developed through exposure to wargaming (Strategy & Tactics, Avalon Hill and GDW mainly, discovered through adverts appearing in AnalogSF magazine) and, from there, got into RPGs (as noted above) …

I was always interested as much in why things happened the way that they did and not just the what of what happened. History teaching tries (at least in NSW it does) to do more of the latter, especially in the junior years (7-10), but a superficial amount of the former … years 11-12 (University preparation, in effect) does a little deeper digging into the why of things, so that was always good.

However, the depth of the ‘why’ was always relatively superficial … even at University to (pardon the pun) a degree … so I always read voraciously … and was encouraged by reading a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy as well.

Books like Lest Darkness Fall by L Sprague de Camp and Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H Beam Piper led me to an interest in the economics and technology behind the ‘why’ … and that led, eventually, to Displacedand Farm, Forge and Steam which look at the underpinnings of historical change through a lense of what was possible within existing economic and technological realities … and why those realities changed a hell of a lot more slowly than anyone would expect, with, of course, perfect 20:20 hindsight.

Road to Armageddon is based on that – plonking a bunch of early 21st century soldiers and civilians down in a far future world that is regressed technologically and, to a lesser extent, socially and seeing how they can cope with the challenges … a trope that has become increasingly popular in recent years with books like those of Eric Flint’s 1632verse and similar. RtA is, however, quite different, and I’ll expand on it elsewhere …

Now that I am retired, I have more time to devote to writing and publishing my next major project – a massive update and expansion of the Road to Armageddon background using a standalone game system (based on a D10 dice pool) which I hope to Kickstart ‘real soon now’ (later in 2015) … the first tranche of books (at least 7, 3 Core Rules and 4 Adventure) set in the precursor (3rd World War) phase of the RtA world … to be followed by second phase post-nuclear Exchange RtA books and, then, far future SF-Fantasy 27th millennium RtA background.

After that? Well, there are projects in hand and, with luck, I’ll get some of them done before I am too old …

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