Hey there and welcome to another TTRPG Community interview! These are low key, prewritten interviews which are available to fill out on this page. If you are a part of the TTRPG space in almost any way at all, there should be something for you!
Today, we’re hearing from Neil, the creator of Fey Earth!
Please introduce yourself and the content you create!
Hello, my name is Neil, pronouns he/him. I am the creator of the ttrpg Fey Earth. Fey Earth is a ttrpg set in an alternate 19th century Earth where all the creatures from folklore and fairytale are real and live openly alongside humanity. It is a book that is heavily based on folklore so when you play you will come across creatures whose names are very familiar such as goblins, kobolds and hobgoblins but who are very different to what you are used to. This is because the fey in my world are based on their descriptions in the original folklore they came from and are not portrayed in the way they are in popular media.
Fey Earth uses it’s own unique D20 system. It is similar to other d20 systems such as 5e, but is still different enough that you will not feel like you are playing the same game, but similar enough that you can pick up the rules very quickly if you are familiar with other D20 games.
How did you get started making TTRPG content? What motivated you to begin?
One day a thought popped into my head “What if all the creatures from folklore where real and had always lived alongside humans?” After several days this thought wouldn’t go away. So I started writing down my ideas of what I thought that would look like. Six years on I’m still writing!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes heavily from folklore. I’m very lucky having been born in Ireland which has some of the richest, most detailed and well preserved folklore and mythology in Europe.
What was the first thing you ever made? Are you still proud of it?
The first game I actually created and released was a small game called Escape to Willowbrook Woods. This was a game I cowrote with the wonderful Kat (@loremistress93). It was inspired by a beloved 90s cartoon called The Animals of Farthing Wood, and was part of game jam for the Caltrop Core system. It is a really fun, simple game you can pick up and start playing in under an hour. You will laugh and cry by the end and have a very enjoyable, memorable evening.
What’s your favourite TTRPG system to create content for?
My favourite system would have to be my own system, Fey Earth. However in general I really love simple, rules light games. I have very little free time as I am so busy trying to be a successful creator. So I really love to pick up a small indie game I can quickly read over and immediately play. There is a really great horror RPG called Shiver which I have read but not had the chance to play that I really want to play sometime. It has really great mechanics that work to make you feel like you are a character in a horror movie and a lot of the core mechanics are based around common tropes in horror movies.
What motivates you to create content for this system specifically?
I have always loved folklore and wanted to see it authentically represented in a game. So many games look to folklore for inspiration, but then will greatly change the source material and I wanted something that was faithful to the stories. I have found that as I have created this world that I feel I have a setting that has the chance to promote diversity too.
When I eventually am successful in publishing Fey Earth, my next big kickstarter that I want to run is an Africa expansion as the current game is set in Western Europe. This expansion would involve African creators adding their folklore to this world and I would hope to continue to do this with other cultures from other continents.
What other TTRPG systems do you enjoy playing?
I don’t really get the time to play other games. So I like to play small indie games with simple rule systems I can pick up easily. An example of this would be the game No Bump in the Night by @blackgirlmage. It is a wonderful game in which you are toys protecting your child from the monsters under the bed and boogie men in the closet and is one of my favourite games. I also love the Shiver system I mentioned above. If I was looking at more mainstream games I’d love to be a player in a Vampire the Masquerade game and I’d love to run some sessions of Kids on Bikes or maybe Kids on Brooms.
AI has proved to have a huge impact on the TTRPG community. As succinctly as possible, what is your general opinion on the use of AI for writing/content creation?
I do not use AI in my writing or artwork and will never use it in my games.
Are you a part of the LGBTQIA2S+, BIPOC, AAPI, Disabled or any other marginalised community?
No. I’m a cis het white man.
If yes, do you reflect this in the content you create? How important do you think it is for folks of all identities to feel recognised within the games they play?
While I’m not a member of a marginalised community, I have always thought diversity is essential to creating games. When I first started playtesting Fey Earth nearly six years ago my first group of players were all women, some of whom are LGBTQ+. While this group changed slightly over time it was always a majority femme group and after a few years we were lucky to add a woman of colour to the group.
This was always important to me because it has meant I have had a much more diverse set of ideas at my table than I would have if I was just playing with cis het white men. When we started streaming I picked my playtesters for the stream as they are all experts with my system. But I also wanted a stream that wasn’t just another bunch of white men playing ttrpgs.
What’s the next project people will see from you?
My next project is Fey Wanderer. I hope to launch a kickstarter in the summer, probably July. After that I hope to relaunch my kickstarter for Fey Earth, most likely in September or October
Of all of the things you’ve created, which one is your personal favourite?
Despite working as a creator for many years I have been almost exclusively working on one big project so I don’t really have a list of things to choose from to pick a favourite.
Tell us about your process when creating. Do you have any tips or tricks for other creators in the same space as you?
When working on a project, whether it is a new ttrpg system, a supplement for an existing system or an adventure I think it is important to ask yourself what are you trying to say? What is the story you are trying to tell? Also, in what way is it different to other stories?
This way you will have a grounding in the central theme of what you are creating. When we start to write often we can get led in all directions and it’s important to always be asking yourself if you are still telling the same story. Not every idea is a good idea, and even if it is a good idea, it might not be a good idea for what you are currently working on. Sometimes you will think of something but have to put it aside for your next project because it doesn’t actually fit with what you are doing right now. By reminding ourselves of what we were trying to say when we started we can better maintain our focus on our projects.
Shout out a fellow creator! Who in the TTRPG community inspires you? Why do you admire them/their work? Please provide a link to their website/social media.
There are so many amazing creators it is difficult to pick one. The team at Parable Games @GamesParable https://www.parablegames.co.uk/ who created Shiver are incredible. Not only did they create an amazing horror RPG everyone should try out, but they have been incredibly supportive of me, helping me in many ways from emotional support to very real and practical advice and support.
I am very inspired by the incredibly talented Sara Thompson @mustangsart who created the combat wheelchair. There are a lot of people trying to bring disability representation into gaming and she has done an amazing job.
The wonderful Penny Blake @PennyBlake1827 is one of the kindest and most supportive people I’ve had the privilege to meet in the community and is currently working on a really fun horror solo RPG I had the luck to playtest and can’t wait to see the finished product.
I could keep naming people, there are so many in our community that it is hard to pick individuals out. But here is a few.
Are you playing in any TTRPG campaigns at the moment? Tell us about your favourite character!
I am the forever GM. My current campaign is found on our stream.
What’s your favourite book, TV show, or film?
Book – 1984
TV show – constantly changes. If I’m looking for a classic I’d probably put on firefly. But I really loved season 2 of Shadow and Bone. I love Kaz and Inej so much!
Film – yet again there are so many. Really depends on my mood but my all time favourite is probably Sunset Boulevard, an old black and white film from 1950 about a once great silent movie era actress who is convinced her come back is about to happen and who sucks a struggling screenwriter into her world of delusion.
Tell us a fact about yourself that others might struggle to believe.
I hate pancakes!!!! Everyone constantly tells me they are the most amazing food in the world but I can’t stand them.
Which subject do you wish you knew more about?
I would love to be better at languages. I struggle to speak a few words of my native Irish and I am always jealous of people who know several languages and can learn new languages easily.
What is your favourite smell?
I have a terrible sense of smell. But if I had to pick probably something like lavender.
If you could listen to only one song for the next 7 days, which one would you choose?
I don’t actually listen to a lot of music. My favourite artists are bands like Muse or strong female vocalists like Florence and the Machine. But I have grown to really love Måneskin so possibly I wanna be your Slave. Maybe not their best song, but probably the catchiest.
If you could give the current chapter of your life a name, what would it be?
What is the worst gift you have ever received?
Maybe not the worst but the funniest and oddest. When I was young, maybe 11 years old my sisters bought me a cassette tape (I’m very old!) of a single of a British boyband called East 17 that was in the charts that for some reason they thought I would really like.
What is the strangest food combination you enjoy?
I really love to cook and have been told I’m very good at it. However I don’t tend to try lots of weird food combinations. But when I was a teenager I used to love it when my mother would make me tuna, raw onion and mayonnaise sandwiches for my lunch and I still really love it, despite the smell!
If time, money and skill were no object, what would your ultimate cosplay/Halloween costume be?
Al from full metal alchemist would be really cool. If not that then maybe a space marine. I don’t play 40K but I still think they look very cool.
Would you rather own a horse the size of a cat or a cat the size of a horse?
Horse the size of a cat. A cat the size of a horse would be a very dangerous animal.
Please add anything extra that you’d like to share below.
I can’t really think of anything. I try to be active on twitter so love it when people reach out to me. If you like the idea of my game and would like to know me feel free to message me on twitter or jump on chat when we’re streaming.
Where should folks go to find out more about you, and/or check out your content?
You can find me on twitter while there still is one @FeyEarth. I'm also on tik tok @Fey_Earth. But you can also find us every Tuesday over on twitch twitch.tv/feyearth. We are streaming weekly but hope to add some more streams over the coming months.
Disclaimer: The information and answers contained in the interview posted above represents the views and opinions of the interviewee only and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of myself (gothHoblin). The appearance of an interview on this website does not constitute an endorsement of the interviewee or their statements.