Will Patterson: Ferrell, I understand you are OG Gauntlet. When did you first become involved?
Ferrell Riley: Oh geez, like I wandered into a random Dungeon World game in 2013, back when Kerry was running Gauntlet, before Jason Cordova really took it over and shaped it into the glorious citizen-state it is now. Part of the time it was run out of a conference room that belonged to a company Kerry worked for, so he'd let us in the back basically and we'd be sitting there rolling dice surrounded by like 10 people. It was a bit of a mess, at times.
About 2014 though Jason started hosting events at his place, which is where I got my taste of "World of Dungeons".
It helped that Dan Lewis was on hand; he and Jason both really pushed for and brought these things to the table, and made sure that everyone knew how to get people on board. They also ensured that we had plenty of "social time" before the games where they'd both talk up what we were doing, and what was coming next. That really made sure to keep you on board with it all.
So you have been here since the beginning. What has been your favorite part of the evolution to today’s Gauntlet?
My personal favorite probably was seeing Codex take off. I love that we can fairly compensate artists, that we are generating and introducing new product to the market, and just in general making a more creative world.
Now if you ask, I think the most impressive step was hosting GauntletCon. It feels like a trite answer, but going from a few people at tables to online, that felt pretty natural. Going to hosting an entire online event over a weekend? I have worked conventions, and even small single targeted cons require a massive volunteer and coordinator response.
I loved GauntletCon. It was my first chance to game with the Gauntlet. Is there a particular moment from GauntletCon that stood out for you?
It feels indulgent but I loved my character best in Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers. He was someone who was just resigned to being in servitude forever to their patron, and no matter the job, he was gonna do it just to live another day. And that lead to a moment when the job required we “escort” a lady back to the surface, and it was obvious she did not want to go back to her adviser/stalker. So we had a scene where I’m standing over her battered form in the burning husk of her home, and I told her “there’s nothing left for you here. Come with us.” And yes, we did our job, but man, I felt like a terrible person, and it lead to an amazing betrayal of our employer at the end of the game.
Love it! What brought you to the hobby originally, and what keeps your around?
I don't think I ever have been outside the hobby. I grew up in a comic book store that my dad ran, and adopted both PCs and Video Games at an early age, so RPGs were always around me. My first game was the Zanzer Tem module that came with the 2nd Edition box set (I think) and I played D&D from basically 5th grade onward. As for what keeps me around? Community, and a desire to see what was left behind here at Gauntlet Prime to keep growing and going. There's a bit of pride being part of the seed of all this, ya know?
Absolutely! Imagine your perfect game night. What game are you playing, and are you the GM or a PC?
Hard question. I think perfect game night is still up in the air, and I'm doing Bluebeard's Bride or Lovecraftesque with Jason, Kate, and a former Gauntleteer named Jessica. Something dark and twisted that leaves us all gasping for breath once we're done. I'd be playing, not facilitating, because while I love dark deep emotions, all my games seem to end up going down the Camp/Gonzo route when I GM. It's not bad, and everyone loves when I do Dungeon Planet as a terrible 70's rip-off of Star Trek, but I crave tapping into the Feels Aquifer. I really wish though I could GM a game and just at the end, have everyone completely devastated from the emotional fallout. Also, there's pineapple pizza. Cause pineapple pizza rules. All the haters can deal.
Pineapple pizza is mandatory at my events too. Thanks for your time Ferrell, and for holding things down in Houston!