Robert N. Charrette

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Robert N. Charrette (born 1953) is an award-winning graphic artist, game designer, sculptor, and author.[1] Charrette is known for his wide-ranging talents which include game design, illustration and graphic design, sculpture of miniatures, and supporting novelization of fantasy and science fiction worlds. Charrette has authored more than a dozen novels and was lead designer on numerous successful games. His gaming materials have received many Origins Awards, and Charrette was inducted in the Origins Hall of Fame in 2003. Bob's artistry is known for a clean, realistic style which invoke themes from Feudal Japan and Chanbara films, and in particular, historical and fantastic representations of Samurai culture. His early work in game design and miniature sculpting set the tone for depictions of Japanese mythology in American fantasy and science fiction. His 1979 role-playing game Bushido was one of the first role-playing games with a non-Western theme, and has been in print for more than three decades. Charrette has produced gaming products for Fantasy Games Unlimited, Grenadier Models Inc., Ral Partha Enterprises, FASA, and currently operates Parroom Enterprises, LLC, a boutique miniatures game company.

Early life[edit]

Robert N. Charrette grew up in Rhode Island and graduated Brown University with an interdisciplinary degree in biology and geology. Bob is a lifelong fan of dinosaurs and participates in the La Belle Compagnie, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about daily life during the Hundred Years War.

Career[edit]

Bob Charrette's broad artistic range has been driven by a curiosity which drove him to pursue new creative avenues. He began his career in 1976, as an illustrator for Little Soldier Games.[2]:130 He continued on at the company's successor, Tyr Games, which became Phoenix Games in 1980, and folded into Fantasy Games Unlimited that same year.[2]:130 Building upon his interest in history, mythology and art, began working with Paul R. Hume, a game designer with whom Charrette co-wrote and illustrated Bushido (1979), Aftermath! (1981) and Daredevils (1982).[2]:74–75 Charrette also co-wrote Spacefarers with Ed Lipsett.

Charrette had already begun a relationship with Fantasy Games Unlimited as a sculptor. He created 25 mm miniatures to accompany Bushido, and Fantasy Games Unlimited's Gangster! and Space Opera game worlds.[3][4][5] Those initial Japanese-themed figures began a series which he would revise many times throughout his career and he produce similar lines for Grenadier Models Inc., Ral Partha Enterprises, Reaper Miniatures, and others.

Charrette became a prolific sculptor. He joined Ral Partha in 1984 and contributed to Tom Meier's The Hoplites, 1200 A.D., and CS/02-xxx Collector Series lines.[6] In 1985, Charrette inaugurated figures for Chaosium's RuneQuest and a line of pulp era adventurers which were initially called "20th Century Plus", but were later renamed 20-xxx The Roaring Twenties.[7] They were an update of the line of figures he sculpted in 1979 to accompany Fantasy Games Unlimited's Gangster!.[3][4][5] and included new cinematic themes such as the intrepid archaeologist.

Bob Charrette was part of a team of sculptors producing a line of miniature robot war machines for Ral Partha in 1985. The miniatures were for a game that was first called "Battledroids" and renamed BattleTech in 1986, for FASA's game of the same name.[8] It was the beginning of a permanent relationship between the two companies that would eventually lead to Ral Partha's sale to FASA. For Charrette it opened a new avenue for his artistry and he began a long-term relationship with FASA as a sculptor, game designer and novelist.

In 1986 Charrette introduced Ral Partha's 53-9xx Bushido, an expansion of his earlier line.[8][9] Ral Partha's Bushido series coincided with TSR, Inc.'s 1985 release of Oriental Adventures supplements. A gaming world which much resembled the one crafted by Charrette and Hume in 1979.

At the time that integrated campaign worlds like Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy Battle were showing early success, Ral Partha introduced the "Chaos Wars" theme into their 1986 and 1987 product lines.[8][10] It was the first step toward unifying a collection of disparate product lines into an integrated game world. Charrette add a fantasy component to Ral Partha's existing Rules According to Ral for medieval battles and it was released in 1987 as part of a boxed set Rules According to Ral: Chaos Wars.[8][9][11][12] Chaos Wars unified numerous existing product lines and their packaging was marked with stickers. Among these sets were Charrette's popular Fangs of Fury beastmen. Still nascent, the Chaos Wars theme was dropped in 1988 in order to give attention to a new contract for a line of official miniatures for TSR, Inc.'s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game.

As Ral Partha became engaged with TSR, Charrette solidified his relationship with FASA. In 1988 he joined his longtime partner Paul R. Hume and others to construct FASA's 1989 Shadowrun game world. Charrette provided design elements, artwork for Shadowrun, and sculpted a line of figures produced by Grenadier Models Inc.. While at Grenadier, Charrette also crafted a line of miniatures for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (by West End Games), Lost Lands range of dinosaurs, and 15 mm Warlord ranges.[13] As the creative focus of Grenadier Models Inc. moved to the United Kingdom in 1991 and 1992, FASA moved its production of Shadowrun figures to Ral Partha.

Charrette had quickly became an integral member of FASA's creative team. In 1989 he expanded his design concepts for FASA games into supporting novelizations. Over the next six years, Charrette produced nine novels for FASA's Shadowrun, Battletech, and Mechwarrior game worlds. As FASA's attention turned to video games, Charrette continued his career as an author and wrote his Strange World of John Reddy Trilogy (1994-1995) for Warner Books, Chronicle of Aelwyn Trilogy (1996-1997) for Harper Collins, and two Interstellar Defense League (1999, 2004) novels for Eos and under the pseudonym "Richard Fawkes."

In 2001 Charrette returned to game design, and began Parroom Enterprises, LLC. and miniature and games company which offers miniatures, games and supplements with fantasy themes inspired by the Victorian and medieval Japanese periods.

Bibliography[edit]

Roleplaying Games and Supplements[edit]

  • Knights of the Round Table (illustrator, with Phil Edgren, The Little Soldier, 1976)

Bushido

  • Bushido: Role Playing Adventure in Feudal Japan (with Paul R. Hume, Tyr Games 1979, Phoenix Games 1980, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981)
  • Bushido Book 1: The Heroes of Nippon (Phoenix Games 1980, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981)
  • Bushido Book 2: The Land of Nippon (Phoenix Games 1980, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981)
  • Bushido Adventure Pack: Valley of Mists (Fantasy Games Unlimited 1982)
  • Bushido Gamesmaster's Screen (Fantasy Games Unlimited, 1980)

Aftermath!

  • Aftermath! (with Paul R. Hume, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981)
  • Aftermath! Book 2, Survivors of the Aftermath, a Player's Guide for a Post-holocaust World (with Paul R. Hume, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981).
  • Aftermath! Book 3 the World of the Aftermath, a Gamemaster's Guide for a Post-holocaust World (with Paul R. Hume, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1981).
  • Aftermath Scenario Pack 1 Into the Ruins the City of Littleton (with Paul R. Hume, Fantasy Games Unlimited, January 1981).

Spacefarers

  • Spacefarers Guide to Alien Races (with Ed Lipsett, Phoenix Games 1979)
  • Spacefarers Guide to Sector One (with Ed Lipsett, Phoenix Games 1979)
  • Spacefarers Guide to Sector Two: Rourke's Diadem (with Ed Lipsett, Phoenix Games 1979)

Daredevils

  • Daredevils: Role Playing Action and Adventure in the Two-Fisted Thirties (with Paul R. Hume, Fantasy Games Unlimited Inc. 1982)
  • Daredevil Adventures Featuring Deadly Coin Tosses (with J. Andrew Keith and Stefan Jones, June 1983)

The Mines of Keridav

Rules According to Ral

  • Chaos Wars: Rules According to Ral (Ral Partha Enterprises, 1985)

Runequest

  • Runequest: Land of Ninja (Avalon Hill, 1986).

Shadowrun World

  • Shadowrun - Where Man Meets Magic And Machine (with Paul R. Hume and Tom Dowd, FASA, 1989)

Earthdawn

  • Denizens of Earthdawn (FASA 1994)

Parroom Station

  • Skyrunners: Martian Aerial Race System
  • Valor & Steel & Flesh

Novels[edit]

BattleTech Series—FASA, ROC

MechWarrior Series—ROC

Shadowrun Series—ROC, Fanpro

Strange World of John Reddy Trilogy—Warner Books

Chronicle of Aelwyn Trilogy—Harper Collins

Interstellar Defense League (as Richard Fawkes) -- Eos

  • Face of the Enemy (1999)
  • Nature of the Beast (2004)

Non-Fiction

  • Fiore deie Liberi’s Armizare, the Chivalric Martial Arts System of Il Fiore di Battaglia—Freelance Press (Sept. 2011, ISBN 978-0-9825911-7-8)

Sculpting[edit]

  • Adina Corporation, C-Series (1978)
  • Broadsword (1979)
  • Fantasy Games Unlimited, Gangsters! miniature series (FGU G01-04 - 1979)
  • Fantasy Games Unlimited Bushido miniature series (FGU N01-08, 1979)
  • Fantasy Games Unlimited Space Opera Starships and Spacemen (FGU 1050, 1979)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Macedonians in Tom Meier's The Hoplites, 1200 A.D. series (1984)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Fantasy Collector CS/02-xxx Collector Series (with Tom Meier, 1984)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises 25mm Samurai (1985)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises 20th Century Plus, 20-xxx The Roaring Twenties (1985)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Runequest (with Julie Guthrie, 1985)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Bushido series (1986)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Battletech series (1986-1989)
  • Ral Partha Enterprises Mechwarriors series (1986)
  • Grenadier Models Inc., Star Wars series (with Julie Guthrie, 1988)
  • Grenadier Models Inc., Lost Lands series
  • Grenadier Models Inc., Shadowrun series
  • Grenadier Models Inc., 15mm Warlords series
  • Lance and Laser, Villains and Vigilantes (V&V10-27, with Sandra Garrity, 2009 acquired by Team Frog Studios)
  • Parroom Station, LLC., Of Mars and Martians
  • Parroom Station, LLC., Victorian Science Fiction
  • Parroom Station, LLC., Victoriana
  • Parroom Station, LLC., Heroes of Nippon (includes Ral Partha Bushido line)
  • Parroom Station, LLC., Secret Science
  • Jeff Valiant Studios, Tyrannosaur
  • Em-4, Oriental Blades box set.
  • Texas Miniatures Bushido
  • Reaper, Daimyo Range (includes most of the Texas Miniatures range)
  • Dark Horse Designs, Robotech
  • Dark Horse Designs, Bill Willingham's Elementals
  • Highlander Studio, Sculptor's Choice
  • Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), Clan Wars series
  • Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), 7th Seas series
  • Battle Honors, WWII Germans and Americans
  • Lance and Laser, Villains and Vigilantes, (with Sandra Garrity) renamed Living Legends in 1991. Sold by Team Frog Industries in 2009.
  • Gallo Pewter

Awards[edit]

Origins Awards / H.G. Wells Awards[16]

  • 1985 – Best Historical Figure Series – 25mm Samurai (53-7xx Bob Charrette, Dennis Mize)
  • 1986 – Best Vehicular or Accessory Series – BattleTech Mech. (20-8xx Bob Charrette, Julie Guthrie, Tom Meier)
  • 1987 – Best Historical Figure Series – Shogun Hardguys: The New Samurai (53-7xx Dennis Mize, Bob Charrette)[17]
  • 1988 – Best Vehicular or Accessory Series – BattleTech Mechs (20-8xx Bob Charrette, Julie Guthrie, Tom Meier)[18]
  • 1989 – Best Vehicular Miniatures Series – BattleTech Mechs and Vehicles (20-xxx Dave Summers, Sandy Garrity, Richard Kerr, Tom Meier, Bob Charrette, Julie Guthrie)
  • 1991 – Best Vehicular Miniatures Series – BattleTech Mechs & Vehicles (20-xxx Jeff Wilhelm, Dave Summers, Sandy Garrity, Richard Kerr, Tom Meier, Bob Charrette, Julie Guthrie)
  • 1992 – Best Vehicular Miniatures Series – BattleTech Mechs & Vehicles (20-8xx Jeff Wilhelm, Dave Summers, Sandy Garrity, Richard Kerr, Tom Meier, Bob Charrette, Julie Guthrie)

Origins Hall of Fame[16]

  • 2003 – Bob Charrette

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robert N. Charrette." The Writers Directory. Detroit: St. James Press, 2012. Gale Biography In Context. GALE|K1649570624. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  3. ^ a b Report on Origins '79, Dragon Magazine #29, September 1979.
  4. ^ a b [1], Mirror of FGU website, Accessed December 17, 2008
  5. ^ a b Molten Magic in White Dwarf #14, August/September 1979
  6. ^ Ral Partha 1984 Catalog, Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.
  7. ^ Ral Partha 1985 Fantasy Catalog, Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.
  8. ^ a b c d Ral Partha 1986 Catalog, Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.
  9. ^ a b [2], Bob Charrette Games, Accessed November 23, 2008.
  10. ^ Ral Partha 1987 Catalog. Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.
  11. ^ [3], Board Game Geek, Ral Partha Games, Accessed November 24, 2008.
  12. ^ [4], TMP: Chaos Wars, Accessed November 23, 2008.
  13. ^ The Grenadier Bulletin, vol. 2.1, Summer 1993, Kim Eastland, editor
  14. ^ "A Prince among Men." Voice of Youth Advocates Dec. 1994: 284. General OneFile. GALE|A34350522. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2012.
  15. ^ "Forecasts: Paperbacks." Publishers Weekly 241, no. 30 (July 25, 1994): 47. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  16. ^ a b [5], Origins Game Fair, Accessed November 24, 2008.
  17. ^ And the Winner Is... Dragon Magazine #139, p. 56, November 1988
  18. ^ Dragon Magazine #149, September 1989.

External links[edit]