Kickstarter: Author Interview with Michael J. Ward – DestinyQuest: The World Companion 

This is an exciting time for fans of the DestinyQuest adventure gamebooks series. Michael J. Ward, the author of The Legion of Shadow, The Heart of Fire, The Eye of Winter’s Fury and The Raiders of Dune Sea has announced that The World Companion will be hitting Kickstarter on 17 May at 10.00 EST (3.00 in the UK). 

The Kickstarter will be running for 30 days and offers a range of pledge levels to cater for different fans who might be interested in a beautifully illustrated guide to the fantasy world of the bestselling DestinyQuest series.

The World Companion is a special hardback collector’s item, that provides the following: 

  • A detailed history of the world, from its creation by the celestial Fates, to the current ‘end days’ of crumbling empires and war-weary kingdoms.
  • A comprehensive timeline that charts the key events that have shaped the world of Dormus, right up to the present-day narratives of the gamebook series.
  • An overview of the magic system, detailing the chaotic forces of the Shroud and the effects of its demonic taint, as well as the runic magic of the dwarves and the dangerous arts of elemental sorcery.
  • Exciting character stories and biographies, exploring some of the key heroes (and villains) who have influenced the DestinyQuest world, including the legendary witchfinder, Eldias Falks, and the enigmatic archmage, Avian Dale.
  • Detailed summaries of the main factions that vie for power and influence within the Kingdom of Valeron, from the secretive enclaves of the Arcane Hand to the scheming masters of shadow, the Nevarin.

Whether you are a fan of the DestinyQuest series or a gamemaster looking for a new and immersive setting for your home-brew roleplaying campaign, The World Companion delivers a wealth of exciting secrets and discoveries – everything you need to arm yourselves for epic adventures ahead.

With over 20 interior illustrations by the talented David Wyatt, GBN expects that The World Companion will be a desirable collector’s item for both fans of the series and those looking for an interesting campaign setting for their RPG campaigns. 

As a huge bonus, Michael J. Ward agreed to give GBN an interview about his up-and-coming Kickstarter and this is what he had to say:

Even though GBN has interviewed you before, would you like to introduce yourself and the DestinyQuest series?

Sure! I’m Michael J. Ward and I’m a writer and (unapologetic!) gamer. DestinyQuest is essentially the fusion of those two passions – a gamebook series where you get to make the decisions for your character, battle monsters, complete quests, and gain sweet loot! The books are heavily influenced by my former addiction to online RPGs such as World of Warcraft, so there is a heavy emphasis on tactical combat, character customisation and special abilities.  

Surprisingly, The World Companion is not a gamebook. What can readers expect to find within its pages?

That’s right, this is actually a guidebook to the world of Dormus – which is the setting for the DestinyQuest series. So it provides a wealth of background information on the history, magic system, factions and characters of that world.  

How did this project come about?

Last year I was working with a team in America on a roleplaying game system based off the DestinyQuest books. As part of that project, I was asked to write source material for the core rulebook that would give players/game masters information on the setting, so that they could craft their own exciting adventures based in the DestinyQuest world. Sadly, the project was cancelled early this year; an amicable decision made by the team based off a number of factors. I was therefore left with a ton of material that I had written, which was now just sitting on my hard drive. I figured fans of the books would really love to read it – so I decided to go ahead and publish it.     

It has to be said that the artwork for this book is stunning! The previous DestinyQuest books only had map artwork, is that right? 

Yes, the DestinyQuest books have map art and some incidental art pieces for puzzles, but this is the first time that I’ve really had the opportunity to bring some of the characters and landscapes of the DestinyQuest world to life. I was amazingly blessed to have David Wyatt on board as illustrator. He has a real eye for detail and respects the lore, so it has been a joy collaborating with him on beloved heroes (and villains) and other visuals that help make this book a really special collector’s item.

The World Companion is coming to Kickstarter on 17 May. Am I right that this is not your first DQ campaign?

There was a Kickstarter run a few years ago for the fourth DestinyQuest book, The Raiders of Dune Sea. That campaign was organised and run by Megara Entertainment – and had a bit of a rocky ride, to put it politely. It was frustrating that I was caught up in a lot of that drama. Thankfully, this Kickstarter is being run by myself. It is my first Kickstarter that I have personally set up, so I am excited (and a bit scared!). One thing that I can assure backers is that the book is written and is in the advanced stages of typesetting with my publisher – and the art is also completed. So, there is zero risk involved. 

DestinyQuest has its fair share of hard-core fans, but will this appeal to the casual market too? 

I’m hoping so. The book was originally written as a source book for the roleplaying game market, so I imagine that any gamer who is looking for a fresh and exciting setting for their home brew campaigns could pick up the book and delve into the lore, history and characters – then marry those to their favourite system, be it D&D, Pathfinder etc. Also, the fact that the book contains short stories and background info on a host of characters and factions and is beautifully illustrated by David Wyatt means it is likely to appeal to fantasy readers of all backgrounds.  

What can backers look forward to with the Kickstarter campaign?

First off, there are a number of pledge levels that people can back for, depending on their financial means and passion for the project. Some pledge levels come with added rewards, such as loot cards and digital art packs, as well as a signed copy of the book. I’m hoping that we will also unlock some stretch goals over the course of the campaign, which will provide further rewards and even extra content for the book! 

And finally, where can people go to back this project – and find out more about the DestinyQuest series? 

Sign up for a notification of when the Kickstarter goes live (10.00am EST 17 May). Once live, this link will take you straight onto the campaign page.

If people want to find out more about the DestinyQuest series, then I advise heading over to the official website.  

GBN would like to thank Michael for taking the time to talk to us and we wish him all the best for his imminent Kickstarter!

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