Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch

Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch Whether you’re writing a one-shot for a convention or an adventure for your home campaign, sometime between when you wrangle a group and when you start playing, you have to create said adventure! There are many components that go into roleplaying game adventures—encounters and maps, non-player characters and stat blocks, the list goes on—so beginning to tackle all those things at once can be daunting. By popular request, I’ve turned my method of crafting an RPG adventure from scratch into a step-by-step process you can bring to your own prep routine! The following...

Make Your Next Celebratory Pub Crawl a Dungeon Crawl Instead

Make Your Next Celebratory Pub Crawl a Dungeon Crawl Instead Frustrated by society’s unspoken rules that your pre-wedding festivities have to be with members of the same gender (all-women’s bridal showers, ladies-only bachelorette parties, etc.), I decided to buck tradition and invited over my best guy friends to help me party in style: adventuring party–style. Some of my most memorable moments have been spent around the gaming table, whether they be reveling in a triumphant roll or despairing at my disastrous dice luck. As my schedule became increasingly hectic with wedding planning and adulting and the like, all I wanted was...

Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 16 – Katrina Ostrander

Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 16 – Katrina Ostrander The Id DM recently invited me on his podcast, Ego Check, an interview podcast series hosted by a licensed psychologist, Michael Mallen, Ph.D. The podcast delves into a variety of game types (e.g., tabletop roleplaying games, boardgames, videogames) from a psychological perspective. Dr. Mallen has been interviewing members of the gaming community for articles on his blog, The Id DM, since 2011 and is now posting these interviews for others to enjoy. Check it out as well as the other fantastic episodes with other guests from the gaming industry and beyond! I’m joined...

How to Become a Better Game Master According to Science

How to Become a Better Game Master According to Science So you’ve got a collection of guides for game masters, a playlist’s worth of GM tips from Geek & Sundry, and a group of players who are happy to be your test subjects. In order to become a great GM, all you have to do is clock in ten thousand hours* of practicing those techniques in order to become great at gamemastering, right? Not so fast. According to the research, simply reading a book, watching a video, or listening to a podcast and giving those concepts a try isn’t going to make you better. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson...

Discover the Narrative Worlds of Play-by-Post Roleplaying

Discover the Narrative Worlds of Play-by-Post Roleplaying Sometimes, our schedules are so hectic or weird—or we live so far away from other gamers with similar playstyles—that getting a good tabletop group together seems impossible. Other times, we are looking to roleplay in a specific kind of fantasy or sci-fi world, or within a TV/book/anime fandom that really inspires us. Perhaps writing a detailed character backstory is one of your favorite parts of the process. Or maybe you’ve felt that roleplaying would be so much easier if you didn’t have to fumble through speaking in-character but could instead take the time to...

GamerNationCON 4 Debriefing

GamerNationCON 4 Debriefing Last weekend I flew down to Plano, Texas, for GamerNationCON 4, a tight-knit tabletop gaming convention put on by the amazing folks of the d20 Radio network. They’d invited me to the guest of honor and run some of my favorite games, as well as to give a talk on gamemastering and developing roleplaying games. I’m so happy they did, as I had a blast meeting the GamerNation tribe and getting to put some faces to the names of people in the Star Wars RPG fan community. And there were some unforgettable gaming moments to boot! Besides running events of my own, I was also...

What I Learned From Women RPG Groups

What I Learned From Women RPG Groups Like many women who are part of the hobby, my first experiences in role-playing games (RPGs) were with groups predominantly composed of men. Although I had a blast playing with them and quickly grew to love the hobby, it wasn’t until many years later that I had a chance to run games for groups that were made up of mostly women or all-women. I was shocked by how the tone of the group seemed so different from what I was used to: cooperation and camaraderie reigned over competition and power gaming. As a game master (GM), these groups that skewed heavily female pushed...

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