A few years ago, when I first discovered Talislanta, the first thing I wanted to do was find a gaming group. The nearest game store was about an hour away and I didn’t own a car at the time. So I hopped online, did some searching, and happened across PenAndPaperGames.com. While there I met an individual who went by the name of Drohem. Back at that time I knew so very little about the hobby and I had an absolute truckload of neophyte questions. Drohem was by far the most supportive and informative individual I met during my education.
After a falling out with the owner of the PnPG website, yeah I did a lot of free work for this project too, I moved onto new projects and stopped posting in their forum (where I met Drohem). We kept in touch for a little bit but my life was hectic and I stopped using the computer altogether for a little while. Over the next two years I would see Drohem occasionally on different RPG forums (Steve Jackson Games, SHARD, RPG.net, and quite a few others) with the most recent event occurring shortly after the launch of Talislanta.com, right here on our own forums and Tal Yahoo Group.
Much to my surprise SMS forwarded an email to me a few days ago. He received a genuine email from a “Drohem” who very much wanted to sign up for the position. Here are a few snippets from that email;
- I would be truly disappointed to see your gift to the role-playing community lose its momentum.
- Rather than sitting back and waiting for someone to take action and watch the website wither and die…
- …I would be willing to take the mantle and make the commitment.
His only lament was his lack of technical skills, something I have made myself available to offer advice upon or to take care of directly whenever needed. I also knew quite a bit about Drohem’s personal life and character which made him a desirable candidate. I know Drohem is extremely involved in various RPG communities, is a bonafied pen and paper connoisseur, has a little bit more free time than your average 9-5 work horse, and is a very dedicated and dependable individual. So it is with great elation that I announce Drohem will be taking over my position as active webmaster. So please give him a warm welcome and enjoy this little interview we put together for a proper introduction to this fine community.
Marques: So can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Married, kids, huge Macintosh fan, line of work, etc…?
Drohem: My name is Michael Radzichovsky, and my online handle is Drohem. I live near Denver, Colorado with my wife, two daughters, and Parson Russell Terrier. Our son is due any day now as his due date is May 12th of this year. My daughters are 4-years-old and 2-years-old, and they are very excited about their baby brother’s anticipated arrival. My wife, as you can expect, is more than ready to be done with the pregnancy and see our son get here already. I am very lucky in that I am a stay-at-home father. I enjoy reading fantasy and science-fiction, and, of course, role-playing games. I was introduced to role-playing games in the fall of 1984, shortly after starting my senior year of high school. My gateway role-playing game was 2e Gamma World, and I was immediately hooked on role-playing games after my first session.
Marques: When and how did you discover Talislanta?
Drohem: I discovered Talislanta in 1987 at the Last Grenadier in Burbank, California. It was the only real gaming store in my area at the time. By this time, I had already discovered and acquired the other Bard Games titles of The Compleat Adventurer, The Compleat Alchemist, The Compleat Spell Caster, The Bestiary, The Lexicon, and The Arcanum. When I saw The Chronicles of Talislanta on the new arrival shelve I immediately picked it up. The cover art was so cool and evocative to me that I started looking through it and I was blown away by the art. I bought it on the spot and was later mildly surprised to discover that there was no game system inside, and that it was really just the memoirs of one wizard named Tamerlin as he journeyed across the lands of Talislanta. However, the writing was evocative and it fueled my imagination of this new world, and any reservations melted away immediately after starting to read Tamerlin’s tales.
Marques: I happen to know personally that you’re quite the RPG aficionado and that your knowledge of game systems is remarkably vast. Talislanta is well known for its intricately detailed and vibrant setting. Knowing most of us are the type of gamer who find such a level of immersion absolutely tantalizing, what are two other setting rich games that you would highly recommend Tal folks should check out before they die?
Drohem: I have recently become enamored with the SHARD role-playing game in the way I did with Talislanta all those years ago. The game world is called Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn. In many respects it reminds me of Talislanta. It is a richly detailed world that falls outside the norm for most fantasy worlds. The setting is based off Eastern philosophies and concepts rather than Western medieval tropes. Also, the art is just as imaginative and evocative of that of Talislanta. There are no humans, dwarves, nor elves in the world of Dárdünah, and, rather, the world is populated by anthropomorphic animals. However, even in this, SHARD deviates from the standard tropes of anthropomorphic games. In most games that have anthropomorphic races, those races are usually only based off mammalian species. In the SHARD role-playing game, not only can you play a mammalian species but you can also play an avian, and reptilian species; which also happens to be similar to the Talislanta role-playing game in that respect.
My second recommendation would be the fairly obscure and out-of-print game called Justifers by StarChilde Publications. Like SHARD, this game also contains anthropomorphic races, however, that’s were any similarities end. Justifers is a science-fiction role-playing game set the a grim future of the early 24th century where the world’s governments have collapsed and mega-corporations have taken over the function of governments. Star exploration has been achieved with the advent of Transmission of Matter (TransMatt) technology. However, it is limited in the volume and distance that matter can be transmitted. Through genetic manipulation and by splicing animal and human DNA, the Corporations have created a new race called Beta-Humanoid Constructs to use in their greed for new resources and world exploitation. Using humans for star exploration was simply too costly in insurances premiums. At first, the Betas were held in complete slavery, owned by the Corporation that spawned them. However, recently the Corporations have bowed to public opinion and have granted Betas semi-human status with the ability to buy their freedom from servitude to the Corporation. In addition to being able to play a Beta, you can also play a normal human, a human from a heavy-G world, or a genetically and/or cybernetically altered human who is the survivor of the last big Corporate conflict.
Marques: Do you have any plans for the Tal website in the near future? Any articles you would like to see written for the site?
Drohem: My goal is to continue the excellent work thus far on the Talislanta website by making it the central hub for all Talislantan information. I plan to consolidate any Talislantan information that is already out there on the Internet. I would definitely like to see articles regarding actual play experiences, and also personal experiences with the Talislanta setting and game system. I would like to see a fan repository of art, House Rules, player characters, non-player characters, and adventures for all editions of the Talislanta game system.
Marques: This being your formal introduction, is there anything that you would like to say to the community regarding your new position?
Drohem: It is my sincere goal to due this wonderful gift by Stephen Michael Sechi proper justice on Talislanta.com. Words fail to express how grateful that I am for this gift to the role-playing community by SMS. It has touched me so that I am galvanized to action in making sure that Talislanta remains fresh and vibrant in the role-playing community.