Interview with Stephen Hughes of Utherwald Press
Stephen Hughes is the founder of the new Savage Worlds licensee Utherwald Press. His first setting will be Frozen Skies, which takes place in the arctic frontier of a dieselpunk world.
To start off, tell us about yourself and your history in gaming.
I’m a twenty-something Brit who first cut his teeth in gaming on an Amstrad PC1512, later graduating to a Megadrive.
I first got into tabletop gaming in 2003 in the form of war gaming with Warhammer 40K, then joined a D&D group playing 3.5 a couple of years later. I ended up playing/running different games, including D20 Modern, Serenity, Savage Worlds, Rogue Trader and the new Iron Kingdoms RPG.
Describe Frozen Skies for us in the form of an elevator pitch.
Characters from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it big in a Pulp Action based frozen frontier.
What works of fiction helped inspire Frozen Skies?
The inspirations were Indiana Jones, the TV series Firefly and Crimson Skies.
Have you adapted any real world legends of arctic tribal cultures into Frozen Skies?
Well there are Wendigos, the creatures of North American legend that have appeared in various different forms. There are also the mummies of the Aleutian Islands, plus legends from much further afield which have provided inspiration such as the Lost Dutchman’s Mine.
Your setting is described as dieselpunk. Will such gadgetry be presented as purchasable gear, the Weird Science Arcane Background from the Savage Worlds Core Rules, or a mixture of the two?
I’ll have the Weird Science Arcane Background from Savage Worlds.
Many Savage Worlds settings feature what is known as a Plot Point Campaign. Will Frozen Skies have one, either in the main setting book or a future supplement? If so, are there any details about it you’re willing to reveal at this time?
Initially Frozen Skies will not have a Plot Point Campaign, though the door is open for something in the future. There are a couple of plot lines that I have in mind for the setting, though I’ll accept some input from fans/players as I feel they should at least have a say since ultimately they are the ones playing and enjoying the setting.
If Frozen Skies proves to be successful, are there any additional supplements you would like to publish for the setting?
Yes, I plan to expand and build the rest of the world that makes up the setting. This will be under the overall name of Realms of Darmonica, I’ll be looking at giving details on the various nations and more rules for the setting.
Thank you for taking time out to answer some questions for The Gamer’s Codex. We wish you much success!