Professors at the Table

Geordi La Forge

While there are a lot of other relationships going on at a university, the one between professors and students is the foundational one. Ultimately it’s a place where experts educate people. That said, the differences between professors and everyday teachers are pretty extensive. Today I want to go over some of the key ones to give a picture of what life is like as a university professor, and describe some of the ways professors might fit into your game.

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TPK Talk

Basically all my favourite posts this week came from various writers at Gnome Stew, which isn’t that surprising seeing as it’s one of the best gaming blogs around. We’ve also got a great video from Epic Level TV. Lightning round!

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The Tanril Agezar, Fingers of the Empty Hand

Wiki Update

Every fantasy world needs an assassin’s guild. Well, that’s not true, but spies, thieves, and killers do have a tendency to hang out together in fantasy worlds, and when they spend too much time together, they unionize. The conflict between the Tanril Agezar, or the Empty Hand, and the Camonna Tong is based on the same idea as the one between the Aecha Ostai and the TSR, though battlegrounds are completely different. Old blood versus new. That’s what Temir is about. Progress, change, and the collision of the ancient with the enterprising, and the Tanril are the ancients who inhabit the shadows. Read more

The Campus as Dungeon

University of Waterloo Math Building

Games can be influenced by the principles of higher education, but also by its spaces. Every campus doubles as a dungeon. After all, what’s in a dungeon? A good dungeon imparts a feeling of mystery and apprehension. It presents an opportunity for exploration and has an ecology all its own. Treasure, traps, and monsters are almost incidental to the feeling that the space gives. They’ve got all of that and more.

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Higher Education


Feels good to be back on Mondays. Anyway, Ryan and I both spend a lot of time around universities. After grad school I began working for a faculty association, and he’s just gone off to a new one to begin his doctorate (This is his first week of his phd, so hop over to one of his posts and congratulate him). Universities often seem like afterthoughts in settings, abstract places where education happens. They see play in contemporary college setting games, but I want to talk about how they can make for great stories in other settings, especially medieval fantasy.

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Multimedia Array

Belle of the Ball, designed by Daniel Solis

TPK Talk

There’s a lot of neat stuff going on, and we’re starting to get into the swing of things. I’ve been doing some more GMing work designing encounters and dungeons, and our first video came out this week! Starting Monday we’ll be talking about higher education and gaming, and how you can use universities in your setting to broaden the culture and create neat adventures. This week’s roundup has some awesome Kickstarters, a ton of new games to try in different media, and how to use media to augment your gaming experience.

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Things I Wish I’d Known

Chuck vs. the Cheese Balls

New GM

This is the post my dental horror kept me from writing, the one I was really looking forward to. I’ve been running rpgs for twenty years now, from my secondhand copy of Darksword Adventures all the way to my playtest game of D&Dnext. I’ve run live-action games, story games, adventure, horror, and mystery. It’s given me plenty of time to take risks, and plenty of time to make mistakes. So here’s a lightning round of things I wish I’d known when I started.

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