I had the pleasure of chatting with Liz (Elizabeth Chaipraditkul) and Steffie (Steffie de Vaan) recently about their new Patreon. Their goal is to create and share 12 games over the course of the year. You can read about their goals and credentials on their Patreon page but continue on for a bit more about these two, their dreams, perspectives, and love of gaming.
What spurred your love of and foray into gaming?
Steffie: I got into gaming because I didn’t like the ‘real’ world. It woefully lacked dragons and magical swords. The books I read held all those things, but I wanted to share those stories. I wanted to live them. Enter tabletop roleplaying. My very first game was Dragonlance, which is still one of my favorite fantasy settings. From there, friend invited me to their Vampire the Masquerade LARP and that just blew me away. I loved everything about the World of Darkness. It was, well, dark but also sexy and liberating. Still one of my favorite settings ever, and I am very grateful I had a chance to work on the official books in my career.
Liz: My mom was a big part of my nerdy upbringing – the first book I remember her reading me is the Hobbit and watching Star Trek with her was a weekly tradition. Like Steffie said, I wanted to live in those worlds and this may be in no small part to a huge crush I had on Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike from the Star Trek pilot episode ‘the Cage’ which my mom had recorded on VCR and I would watch over, and over, and over again. I was a weird kid – weird worlds suited me – and when I found online roleplaying it was a very short step into playing D&D and all the other amazing games out there.
How did you come up with this project idea?
Both: We met on the Huntsman Anthology, which is the short fiction companion to the second edition Changeling the Lost line. We struck up a conversation, and about halfway through realized we both spoke Dutch, and that we both lived in the same country (the Netherlands, which is roughly the size of Maryland). It just grew from there. We kept bouncing ideas off each other for small games, and finally decided to just do it. Start a Patreon together, bring all those games to life.
What are you hoping for most with this project?
Steffie: The Patreon, for me, serves a dual purpose. Creatively I want to MAKE THESE GAMES. I want to get them all finished and polished, and share them with players. And then there’s the practical aspect that if enough people support us financially, this is a long term thing we could do. Right now the Patreon is 12 minigames over 12 months. With enough financial support we could really carve time out of our schedules and make larger games next year. But that’s for later–first I want to see what 2019 bring, and then at the end of the year we’ll ask our Patrons for input on 2020.
Liz: I love the concept of our Patreon – it allows us to try out all these weird game and mechanics that have been rattling around in our brains – without producing a full blown 200 page book. I love that type of creative freedom and I hope our backers will love it too. Also, Steffie and I have worked on an off again with each other over the years so I am also just really excited to work with her on a long term project.
How has your personal identity helped shaped the games you create?
Steffie: I am a pansexual woman, although I have chosen a monogamous relationship. I think all of my characters are pan too. I sometimes specifically designate one as gay or lesbian, but the default is pan. I also include queer, trans and people of color because those are the people in my life. That’s magical realism, right? Trans princesses having tea with queer dragons.
Liz: I grew up in mainly Thailand, but also lived in England and three different states in the USA. I was fortunate enough to have a parent who taught at international schools so that meant that I could get an excellent education for free. It also meant that I was exposed to the many different cultures and peoples who went to the school. I am a mash-up of a Thai and an Italian parent and being part of a school filled with a bunch of cultural misfits always just felt right to me. I tend to look at all culture as world culture, what makes each peoples unique also connects us – there’s a red thread connecting us all and that is beautiful. This influences my game design as I am often mashing different parts of how I grew up, what I’ve experienced, and where I’ve lived into different settings.