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Interview with Steve Turner of Brittannia Game Designs Ltd.

TGC: Steve, you are the Managing Director of Brittannia Game Designs Ltd., the current publisher of Chivalry & Sorcery (C&S), the original medieval roleplaying system. How did you first become involved with C&S as a gamer?

Steve Turner: I first became involved in C&S back in 1982, shortly after the release of the 2nd edition. I was introduced to the game by Andrew Cowley (author of Anderia) and Steve Betney (co designer of C&S Light) as an alternative to AD&D. We had been playing AD&D for three years (those older gamers may remember having to use White Dwarf 13 until the DM's Guide was released) and had gotten tired of dungeon hacks, and C&S offered so much more.

TGC: It is a giant leap from gamer to publisher. What prompted you to make that leap?

Steve Turner: I had served a sort of apprenticeship writing scenarios for conventions such as Gencon, when the opportunity arose in 1997 to first submit a scenario to Highlander Designs, the then publisher of 3rd Edition. Following discussions, I secured a licence to publish supplements based on the campaign world of Marakush (the design of which originally began in 1982). To do this required the formation of a company, so Brittannia Game Designs Ltd was born, and the roller-coaster ride began.

TGC: Chivalry & Sorcery first sprang into existence in 1976 (as Chevalier). It's had a name change and three editions since then. How would you briefly describe the current third edition of C&S

Steve Turner: All I can say is that 3rd edition is the last edition to be produced in the USA. I would like to await opinions on Chivalry & Sorcery: The Rebirth being released later in the year. This brings back some of the elements of the older editions dropped in the 3rd edition (to the dismay of many fans).

TGC: An excellent reason to keep an eye on the new release shelf of local game stores.

TGC: Returning to the present, one of the first products to be released for C&S by Brittannia was C&S Light, which we reviewed here in our November 1999 issue. Do you see this product as an introduction to the full third edition of C&S or as a parallel thread of development?

Steve Turner: C&S Light was intended both as an introduction to 3rd edition but also as a game in its own right. It also contains some ideas carried forward into C&S:TR.

TGC: Do referees who want to advance player-characters beyond fifth level need 3rd edition C&S or is an alternative route available for those who prefer the easier mechanics of C&S Light?

Steve Turner: For those who wish to continue using just C&S Light then Armourers Companion not only gives the rules for creating magical weapons and armour, but also gives rules for taking characters in C&S Light beyond 5th level (price is GBP 5.95 or USD 9.95).

TGC: Very competitively priced, indeed. C&S has enjoyed several diverse settings during its history. Today the game world developed and heavily supported by Brittannia is "Marakush". How long has Marakush been in development?

Steve Turner: Well, Marakush began life in 1982 as a result of a game run by Andrew Cowley. It has had many incarnations over the years being touched by C&S 2nd and 3rd edition, Harnmaster and of course AD&D.

TGC: Could you sum up the theme of Marakush in a single sentence?

Steve Turner: Marakush aims to be a campaign of high adventure with structured societies with rules and politics.

TGC: Where would you advise would-be referees to start their exploration of Marakush?

Steve Turner: For anyone wishing to begin play in Marakush, I would recommend the border region between Urtind and Darken. Despite the non-aggression pact between the two nations, border raids persist. You have the Fighting Orders and adventurers (and expansionist Barons) in Urtind, and Orc and Goblin raiders (with the odd Dragon wishing to extend their fiefs) in Darken.

TGC: Are the "Marakush" sourcebooks easily accessible to referees who are not using C&S as their rules system?

Steve Turner: Yes, as mentioned before, it was my personal campaign world. I have used many game systems in its development, and whether I like it or not, these systems have seeped into the world.

TGC: "Anderia" details the kingdom of the same name on Marakush. What noble quests and dangerous deeds can player-characters pursue in this realm?

Steve Turner: Anderia should be viewed in a similar manner to the Wars of the Roses and the civil war under King Stephen. Characters can side with factions, change sides, help the resistance in the conquered province in the south east or simply hunt out orcs in the mountains to the east.

TGC: Some other fantasy role-playing games pay lip service to the ideals of chivalry. And in other games, fighters are the least interesting character type to play. How does the Knights Companion bring knighthood to life and make the warrior as interesting to role-play as any wizard?

Steve Turner: Chivalry & Sorcery has always been about the social standing of the player-character in the setting. The Knights Companion gives greater detail about the ways of the Knight, the warrior at the very top of the social ladder. It details the historical fighting orders and offers the means to play a Knight of varying backgrounds, such as the Robber Baron, a knight who seeks the Holy Grail or simply the Knight who pursues a life of courtly love as a royal courtier.

TGC: You commented earlier on The Armourer's Companion. This is billed as the first in the Magus series. What's the link between armourers and magi in this book? And what future types of Magus will be introduced in later volumes?

Steve Turner: The Armourer's Companion details the Armourer-Magus as a player-character with all the relevant rules and spells. The Armourer-Magus appeared in both 1st and 2nd editions but for some reason was dropped from 3rd. We intended to rectify this error. It gave us the opportunity to bring the Armourer-Magus back, along with creating the first in the Magus Companions. The intention is to give a detailed sourcebook on all of the various Mage types for C&S, such as the Shaman, the Alchemist, the Enchanter and so forth.

TGC: What does the near future hold for Chivalry & Sorcery and the world of Marakush? And what are Brittannia's goals for the long term future?

Steve Turner: Well, the short term aims are to get C&S:TR released and hopefully see it capture a reasonable amount of the market place. We shall continue to support C&S in whatever manner we can, and for as long as the gaming market wishes to see C&S material, we shall continue to produce it. We are working on "Lands of the Rising Sun" (C&S Japan), "SPQR" (C&S Ancient Rome) and many Marakush products.

TGC: Where can our readers find more information on C&S and the world of Marakush?

Steve Turner: For those readers wishing to find more information on C&S and Marakush check out
http://www.britgamedesigns.co.uk
http://members.aol.com/marakush
http://locs.org

TGC: On behalf of The Guild Companion and our readers, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, and to wish you the very best of luck with all your current and future Chivalry & Sorcery endeavours.

Editor's Note

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