So, I’m a Game Master for a group of nerds and geeks in the DFW area. I award bonus XP to anyone who brings snacks or drinks for the group. Now, it’s not a lot of XP, just a little something on the side to encourage people to pitch in. I sort of see this as helping the gaming environment and therefore helping the story. No different than awarding roleplaying XP right? Wrong. One of my players, we’ll call him Thaylod, gets it in his head to buy me one of my favorite drinks: a huge monster. I’m grateful but I remind him I can’t award him bonus XP for just getting me a drink as that would be unethical. It has to be something for the whole group. Then he gives me this look like he wonders if he can get the drink back or if I would be willing to split it with the entire gaming group. I shake my head and whisper “no dice.” Then I smile, thank him for the monster and take a huge gulp. After all, it would be unethical of me to award players for catering specifically to me outside of the game world. Let this be a lesson to you who seek to break the game by bribery. For I am the LAWFUL GM. Defender of truth, enforcer of justice, master of games, drinker of monsters, slayer of spiders and twiddler of thumbs. Mwahaha!
PS: Sorry about that, Thaylod, in retrospect I was kind of a dick.
There’s nothing like playing a tabletop roleplaying game with friends on a weekend after a stressful week of work, school and relationships. There’s a soul-soothing sensation to being able to ease into one’s own imagination and take on the role of a heroic character much like the person you always wished you could be. There’s something to be said about roleplaying games and the way they capture people’s imaginations the same way well written novels do but with an interactive flare not available in any other media. Tabletop RPGs allow gamers to socially interact with storytellers and contribute to stories as well as take on roles of characters in stories. For many people this is something strange but for those who are “in the know” there is an unspoken understanding of this phenomena. It can be addicting, engaging, uplifting and even enlightening. Recently there’s been a second boom in the tabletop RPG realm and it seems that more and more of the public is becoming familiar with tabletop RPGs. However, with so many out there to choose from, it’s difficult to get people to unify under one game system to actually play games regularly. Recently, a new phenomena has begun appearing in the tabletop RPG community: video conferencing. Even though video conferencing has been around for a while, only recently has it picked up in popularity amongst tabletop RPGers. Online gaming has been around a while as well but always lacked the flare of seeing people face to face. Real social interaction is important for capturing a lot of the emotion and subtlety of roleplaying. This leaves one to wonder where tabletop RPGs are headed. Obviously video games have improved with interactivity in MMORPGs and competitive FPS games and now it seems tabletop RPGs are improving with their ability to reach people outside normal social interaction and across the world wide web. It makes one think that soon the gaming genres will inevitably fuse together in cyberspace just as more and more other aspects of our social lives do from online dating to random chats. Until then, try to remember to bring your own dice to the table.
So, the reason I vanished several months ago is because I’ve moved all my efforts from my webcomic to a new tabletop RPG that my brother and I have been working on. We intend to publish in a couple of months. I’m the game designer and business manager and he’s the story writer and head artist. It’s been rough and has taken a lot of work and I’m still faced with the unsettling “customer risk” all producers must be concerned with, but I feel we’ve come up with an incredible game that will shine in the continually expanding RPG market. I am planning to update the webcomic once winter rears its head again and boy do I have plans.
A typical Friday with my friends is always full of excitement...
Ten points if you can guess which one is me…
A look into the sophisticated art, of Dungeons and Dragons:
“Okay guys, so you have a character who is strong, fast or magical and you’re in this mysterious dungeon. What do you do?”
“Okay so the lower you roll the better you do…except sometimes the higher you roll the better you do. It really all depends on the time of the month and what the DM ate the night before.”
“Here’s a calculator…you’ll need it. Oh crap, where’d I put my spreadsheet? We can’t play a game without my SPREADSHEET!”
“Okay, so if you select this power you can attack his mount’s mind in order to damage her magic position with your speed or your health, whichever you decide would cause more PWN to occur at your convenience.”
5th Edition (coming soon)
“You can do whatever the hell you want however the hell you want whenever the hell you want! Just buy my pretty picture books! Buy it! BUY IT ALL!”