Sunday, May 8, 2016

Harley Stroh: Game Writer for Goodman Games, Skateboarder, Blogger

I think everybody has a favorite Harley Stroh DCC RPG Adventure. Hands down, mine is Peril on the Purple Planet, it touches on everything that I love about fantasy. It reaches into my youthful introduction to Swords and Planets Fantasy literature when I was 14 years old. Lin Carter, Alan Burt Akers, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and John Norman filled that summer between freshman and sophomore years of high school. I spent those summer days sitting on the docks at my family's marina reading about the life and death struggles of Earth men transplanted to worlds that cared little for humans. Barsoom, Kregen, Callisto, Gor. Worlds populated by races and species that were stronger and smarter than us. Worlds where you survived by resourcefulness, courage, and skill with a weapon. It was your spirit that determined your survival, not your degree or bank account. 

I was addicted to those worlds back then and a couple years ago I started to revisit them. When Goodman Games announced Harley's Purple Planet adventure, I was over the moon about it. And MAN! did Harley and company deliver! Awesome, awesome stuff. Reading the modules in the boxed set fills me with the same excitement I felt 40 years ago sitting along the lazy summer river of my youth. I can't wait for Harley's next offering, which I believe touches on another passion of mine from way back when...We'll have to wait and see. Harley, thank you, Sir, for sparking my Planetary Adventure imagination all over again and giving the 14 year old who still lives inside of me a place to run wild. 2 Thumbs up, Bro!

Favorite Toys

What were your favorite toys during child hood? Like, the TOP 3 TOYS of all time and pick your favorite of these toys. What is it about any of these toys you most identified with? 

GI Joes, He-Man figures. But all were eclipsed when I found D&D at the age of 8. 
I was / am very much a kid who spent all his time daydreaming. These provided a structure to build daydreams on. 

I grew up on a ranch where our nearest “neighbors” were 5 miles or more away. Nearest friends were a half hour drive. I ran a lot of D&D for myself, or for my little brother. Once we could drive, we’d play with folks in town. 

Favorite Films and TV

What were your favorite films or TV during childhood and what age were you for each favorite? What did you identify with about these shows? Do you think these shows had an influence on the adult you? 

Our TV was run off a car battery that we had to disconnect from a VW bug and carry into the house, so we didn’t catch a lot of TV. That said: The Sting; Beastmaster; Ladyhawke. 

The Sting was great because the intelligent guys win. Beastmaster had cool animals (who doesn’t want a panther?). Ladyhawke had Mouse, the little guy who wins in the end.  

Influences from the Beastmaster temple, and the Ladyhawke dungeons are still in my writing today. And I’m still yearning to be intelligent. 

Imaginary Worlds

Think about playtime, did you create games or imaginary worlds as a child? If so, please describe an important original game or play world you enjoyed.

Constantly. Ragnarok was my first campaign world, written for my little brother. It was a fantasy- science fiction mix, with terrible rules for beating up androids.  

Play Community

As a child how did you feel about how you fit in with the rest of the world or community or friends? Like, were you very social or did you prefer spending time alone? 

Apart from family life, I spent most my time alone. Super shy, preferring imaginary worlds to the real one. I was the kid eating lunch alone in the Yearbook Room, so I could write on the computer.   

Desert Island Media

What are the top 10 things you would want to have on a deserted island - music recordings - films - books - TV shows - comics - games - or toys? 

That’s all passive, static. Read it one hundred times and it won’t change. If I’m stuck on an island I need tools for creating my own entertainment, something alive. So an unlimited supply of pencils and paper would be a good place to start. 

Harley's Blog - Choose Death:
Goodman Games:: 
Peril on the Purple Planet:

1 comment:

  1. Am I the only one that wants more info on Harley Stroh's Ragnarok