Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interview: Stephen Peek

J. Stephen Peek was a game designer for Yaquinto.  He is credited with several board/war games, but more importantly (for purposes of this blog) he was the developer of Man, Myth & Magic and co-developer of The Egyptian Trilogy.  Recently, he was gracious enough to answer a few questions...

Thoul's ParadiseMM&M was Yaquinto's first RPG.  What was the impetus for entering the RPG market?

Stephen Peek:  During this period Role Playing games, (read as Dungeons & Dragons) were rising to dominate the hobby gaming industry.  War games required each player to read and fully understand tedious and long game rules.  Role playing required one player to understand the rules and be the game master.  The rest of the players in the group only had to understand the aspects of their character for the adventure.  Other companies were beginning to compete with Dungeons and we needed a game that allowed us to jump into the market.

TP:  Why did Yaquinto go with MM&M as its first RPG and not some other game/genre (Timeship, for instance)?

SP:  Herbie approached us with Man, Myth and Magic.  We loved the idea that it was rooted in history and ancient mysteries instead of pure fantasy.  Herbie offered us Timeship sometime later.

TP:  You have a “developed by” credit.  In collaborating with Herbie Brennan, how did you influence the game?

SP:  Herbie had created a great game system.  What I tried to do was expand the world in Man, Myth & Magic so that it had a better chance of competing with D&D which had, by that time, an enormous world for gamers.

TP:  The setting for the original Man, Myth & Magic rules was circa AD 41.  The Egyptian Trilogy allowed for campaigns in 1375 BC.  Were there any long range plans to adapt the rules for other times and/or places?  Were there any times and/or places you would have liked to address?

SP:  Eventually Man, Myth & Magic would have allowed players to play in any historical period through the middle ages.  Targets would have been:  The Hollow Earth, Mu, Incas, Maya, a Lost City series and a few others were on the drawing board.

TP:  I doubt you would remember this from thirty years ago, but the nerd in me is compelled to ask.  Page 14 of MM&M Book II states:
Distant Memory is a very important concept in ADVANCED MM&M. It is the key to the ultimate character – a skilled, experienced amalgamation of all classes; and the ONLY character entitled to strive toward the final goal of ADVANCED MM&M.
What was the “final goal”?

SP:  The premise was that once an advanced character died there was a Distant Memory role for his next incarnation.  Only high level characters had a chance of achieving the Distant Memory roll.  If the player did then his next incarnation possessed his own newly created skills plus a percentage of skills from the previous character.

TP:  Several Yaquinto games (including your own Mythology) command respectable sums on E-Bay.  What is the feasibility of reprinting some of these games?

SP:  Zero from me.  Yaquinto was purchased a few years ago by Carte Mundi and I don't think they have an interest in these old games.

Thanks you for your interest.

1 comment:

  1. This is cool.

    I loved the *idea* of MM&M, I was not as sold on the execution.