Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Interview: Jarrod Shaw of Mythoard

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Shaw of Mythoard. For the uninitiated Mythoard is a monthly subscription box filled with RPG material. The typical content consists of modules, supplements, dice, minis, zines, maps, accessories and more. If you are looking for a gift this holiday season for someone who enjoys RPGs then consider Mythoard. Or maybe you just want to give yourself a gift subscription?  Hey, it’s a lot of work being a game master and Mythoard delivers inspiration every month!

As a small DIY publisher I was excited to include Tales from the Game Tavern #1 in the October 2015 Mythoard. I definitely will be back to the hoard in the future and encourage other publishers to consider it.

Without further ado’ here is the interview:

Interview: Jarrod Shaw

Date: 24 November 2015

For background how long have you been a gamer?

First introduced in '89, I was 8, then got my first book, Rules Cyclopedia in '91

For those readers new to Mythoard can you explain what it is?

Mythoard is a monthly subscription box, which only contains TTRPGs.  Each month, our members get a box mailed to them that is packed with great gaming material, primarily from small press and indie publishers and makers.

I really like the name, Mythoard. Any particular inspiration when deciding on it?

I was spit-balling ideas for the company around with several folks at the time. When speaking with Michael Tresca about name possibilities, he tossed out Mythoard, and the family and I were instantly in love with the name.  I can't take credit for that!

I suppose the name indicates, at least in my brain, a mammoth cavern, full of rare treasures.  Definitely a quest location!

So in November Mythoard was celebrating its one year anniversary. Looking ahead what can we expect in 2016?

We have a lot planned for the upcoming year!  We are just finishing up an upgrade to our site which will allow members to sign into their own account. A feedback system is in the works, which will allow members to rate and comment on the items in the hoard each month.  We would like to get custom boxes soon.  Also, we plan on doing at least 6 cons in 2016, as opposed to 2 this year.  More Prizes.  More Press.  More Mythoard!

What separates Mythoard from all the other subscription boxes out there?

Content.  Absolutely.  To my knowledge, no one is doing what we are doing.  Not only are we offering only TTRPGs, we are focused sharply on the small press.

How should a potential RPG maker or DIY publisher contact you?

Email is the best route, info@mythoard.com.

If someone was skeptical of subscription boxes what would your advice be?

Give us a try.  It's only $25 shipped, and it could change your life.  Seriously, our boxes are sexy, and when someone sees you reading material from it, they will praise you unending for your outright coolness.  If not, well, it's only twenty five bucks.

What is your go to tabletop game at the moment?

DCC.  Dragon Quest is a close second right now though. I have only gotten to run it a handful of times, but the mechanics blow me away.

THACO, love it or leave it?

It confused the hell out of me as a youngin'.  Haven't ran 2nd in a decade I bet, but THAC0 has never scared me off.

I see the OSR is dead posts now again and they make me chuckle. What are your thoughts on that?

Seems pretty damn vibrant to me!  OSR is not a simple, one size fits all label. People like to slander things that don't adhere to a definable protocol.  Haters gonna hate.

I was curious if Mythoard will ever assemble some themed boxes down the road?

Yes.  It's a beast to arrange a regular box, so the curating for a themed box seems scary, but I'd like to try it out one month.

The MEGA HOARD seems like a good marketing opportunity. Can publishers donate items to that?

That's the primary source of acquirement!  Absolutely!

OK, you are in a dark corridor and your torch is about to flicker out. A nasty gash on your head from a battle with a goblin has left your vision blurred. The way behind you is clear but ahead there is chest filled with treasure. You sense the presence of something else in the corridor. What do you do?

There's likely more goblins here so I'd say in broken goblin.  "I've still got a good fight in me, so if you wish to leave unharmed, we can half this treasure and go our separate ways." Then try to backstab, backstab, backstab.
Some past spoils of the hoard!

OK, now for some really fun questions!

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?

Elfin.  Or Fissure.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Music. Gaming. Cannabinoids.

What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word

Sh*ta$s (it’s a compound word)

What sound or noise do you love?

When its really quiet and a hundred birds just take off, all at once.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Babys Crying. Fake twang.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?


What profession would you not like to do?


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Finally...  What took you so long? Get on in here! Here's the keys to my mansion, Maserati, and moonshine cabinet.  I am going out for a while and I don't know when I will be back.  Watch over my creations.  Don't be afraid to toss some disaster down there if they get unruly!  Heck, throw some down there anyway.  Keeps em on their toes!  My boy is around here somewhere.  He's a big fan and was wondering if you wanted to split a bottle of wine and throw some dice.  Just shoot him a text when you are settled in.  And remember, above all else, take your shoes off in my dojo!  I just had that floor refinished..."  Something like that anyhow.