Gamemaster like a Pirate: Wisdom from Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Brugess

Gamemaster like a Pirate: Wisdom from Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Brugess The game master wears a lot of hats—that of group leader to storyteller to rules adjudicator, and so on—but it surprised even me how much overlap there was running a game and teaching a class. When I was prepping to run my “Agency and Narrative in Games” workshop with Bree Kaiser-Powers for the Glitch Immersion Program, I wanted to learn more about being a teacher and connecting with students. Though I’m no certified educator, I found the recommendations in Dave Brugess’s Teach Like a Pirate book to be invaluable, not only for teaching workshops, but also for...

+1 to Writing: A Conversation with Jennifer Brozek

+1 to Writing: A Conversation with Jennifer Brozek What does the path to becoming an RPG freelancer look like? How does that path differ if you want to write tie-in stories for your favorite IP, or if you have an idea for an original story? What does it actually take to go professional in the business, and what are the writing habits and creative mindsets you need to cultivate along the way? +1 to Writing is an ongoing series of interviews with writers at different stages in their writing career, from veteran wordsmiths to emerging authors. It looks at the RPG, tie-in media, and sci-fi and fantasy fiction industries...

Welcome to TripleCrit

Welcome to TripleCrit “The heroes go on a dangerous quest and are fundamentally changed by the challenges they face.” That sentence could be describing either the plot of a novel or a synopsis of a roleplaying game campaign. That’s because they’re both built using the same fundamental ingredients of story—characters, goals, and obstacles. In both cases, the audience wants to find out what happens next, and players and authors alike must decide how the story will unfold. As it turns out, the tricks for crafting a good novel can be applied to roleplaying game campaigns, and...

5 Guiding Lights to Make Any Campaign Noblebright

5 Guiding Lights to Make Any Campaign Noblebright It’s okay to sometimes want games to be a refuge from the never-ending news cycle. When real life is already bleak, we don’t need our made-up stories to be equally depressing or hopeless. In times like these, many of us would rather tell stories of justice, empowerment, compassion, and hope. We want our characters to become reflections of the best we have to offer—in the way, the game becomes a welcome respite when we turn in from the daily struggle. Although there are many examples of tabletop roleplaying systems and settings that evoke that “grimdark” flavor, there...

5 Tricks to Make Any Campaign More Grimdark

5 Tricks to Make Any Campaign More Grimdark Image Credit: CDProjekt It’s finally October, which is the perfect time to cue up a dark, moody playlist and work on some RPG adventures to match! (Might I recommend my Dark Lakes, Dark Gods playlist on Spotify?) If you’ve played any Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Dark Heresy, or Witcher games, you know there’s a distinctly grimdark, gritty feel to those games. With a few tricks, you can bring some of that depth and despair to your own games. But GM beware: it’s a fine line to walk between simply punishing your players and making a game with...

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