Origins Game Fair is a really great convention, especially for designers and aspiring designers — nearly every publisher you can think of has a presence there, and many (most!) are willing to talk to just about anyone about their publishing process, what kind of things they are looking for, and occasionally able to set up ad-hoc meetings for pitching or socializing. I’ve made a ton of industry friends there: gamers, designers, media people, and publishers alike. Relationships are the lifeblood of the tabletop industry and I’m really grateful for all the ones I’ve been able to cultivate. And Origins has been one of the best ways to meet people.
I’ve been talking to some of the folks in my local designers meetup that they should get out to Columbus this summer if they can (Oh god, it burns even typing that… #GoBlue). It’s taken me a few years to really feel like I’ve got my legs under me going into ‘con season’, and all the questions they have are the same ones I had my first year, so I suspect others jumping into the game design game may have a similar experience. So here’s a little strategy guide for the run-up to Origins. Maybe I’ll do another one for how to make the most of your days there, but we’ll call that one a “survival guide” or something.
Man oh man, the websites for some of these venerable conventions are a trip. Getting registered for Origins is only the most confusing thing you’ve ever had to figure out… until you try and get a badge for GenCon. Continue reading
It’s finally here. The first adventure in the Short Story RPG library: “The Wackiest Race” is on sale now!
Graham Elliot of Denver weaves a nostalgia-soaked adventure through a world born out of love for 80s cartoons. One player takes on the role of ‘StoryMaster’, facilitating a collaborative storytelling experience with four other players, each of whom plays a member of the intrepid Channel 9 News team, investigating a mysterious letter which arrived at the station.
Check it out here!
“…Wait, but what is Short Story RPG!?”
For a long time, I’ve been of the opinion that tabletop role playing represents a really powerful and unique way to interact and bond with friends and family. People are being cheated of these experiences by imposing barriers to entry — from complex rules, to weird dice, time commitments, and too-nerdy genres. With Short Story RPG, I’m going to change that. Short Story RPG employs: very basic rules, dice you can borrow from your Monopoly set, stories you can complete in one sitting at a dinner party, and themes everyone can relate to reaching across all genres. I hope you’ll give it a try. Our first offering, “The Wackiest Race” involved a lot of work by a group of super talented individuals: Graham Elliot, Charles Reid, William Niebling, and Jared Diganci.
And this is just getting started — the production pipeline is built, and several adventures are currently underway. Make sure to get on the mailing list to get the early drop on new stories as they come out!
This is the third post in a guest series on One-Shot RPG adventures. Today, we check in with Jarin Dnd. Jarin is a frequent contributor/game master to the Facebook One-Shot Group, which has been mentioned previously in the series. – jw
In my 30 years involved with Dungeons & Dragons, Spelljammer, Shadowrun, and a few other tabletop roleplaying games, I have been both a player and a Game Master (Dungeon Master) on numerous campaigns, one-shot spin-off sessions of longer campaigns and adventures that lasted only two or three sessions. After moving and taking almost a year off, I found myself missing the storytelling and friends I had made over the years. As this yearning to return grew, I found several YouTube channels focused on the Tabletop RPGs that I grew up loving and quickly started watching them daily. As I listened to live game plays and discussions by such people as Esper the Bard, DawnforgedCast, Fistful of Dice, Tabletop Terrors, and BeABetterGamemaster, I remembered the 30 years of good times and the awesome stories I had helped tell, including a campaign that I ran several times with no single group lasting long enough together to complete it. Continue reading
This is the second post in a guest series on One-Shot RPG adventures. This week’s post comes to you from Justin Helmer. Let’s go! – jw
I guess I’ll start with a little background. The first time I had ever played was in 1978 (I know to some of you that was before time began!), my 1st game was a one-shot adventure and I was hooked. Anyway, I digress. Personally, I don’t run a lot of one shots. Most of my games feature very long, very dark storylines. So my setup can take months to even a year or more. Lately I’ve run a few one shots (Thinking they may require less setup, less writing, less fuss); I was wrong in some ways and correct in others. Continue reading
This is the first post in a guest series on One-Shot RPG adventures. This week’s post comes to you from Ian F. White. Ian can be found online at his site. Without further ado, I turn you over to him! – jw
In my time as both a Player and a GM, I have probably spent the same amount of game time in one-shots as in campaigns; until fairly recently campaigns had outnumbered one-shots.
I joined the Facebook group “Tabletop RPG One Shot Group” about a year ago and have – I hope – improved my preparation and presentation of my one-shot skill-set since then. The reason for me concentrating on One-shots are varied but in the main concern availability for regular campaigns and also the fact that I can try out so many different RPG systems, Players (and GMs).
However, in this article, I am simply concerned with sharing with you a little advice – including an overview my process for planning a one-shot scenario. Continue reading
An unexpected side benefit of sending off Valour to a publisher for evaluation, is that I got a chance to turn my focus to a project I’ve had cooking for a while but has been stalled (much to the chagrin of my collaborators) while I worked to push my board game across the finish line.
That project is Short Story RPG. I love tabletop role playing — it’s such a dynamic medium for human-to-human interaction, and a few dice and a little bit of imagination, you and your friends can spin a tale to rival many mainstream movies. Some of my fondest memories involve sessions of Dungeons & Dragons or Call of Cthulhu.
But those games have a problem. Two, actually: Firstly, while I understand that nerdy genres like high fantasy and sci-fi are gaining ground in public opinion, let’s face it… they’ve still got a long way to go. Ask a person on the street what they think of Dungeons & Dragons, and you might as well have said Dungeons & Dorks. Secondly, even those of us who are into such things have an entirely other problem: Scheduling. An ongoing tabletop RPG campaign requires coordinating the calendars of five or six people with jobs, other hobbies, possibly kids, etc. etc. etc. We’ve all been there, the group misses a session, then by the next session, half is spent catching everyone up on what was happening, then your mage has to leave early… Continue reading