Finding Players

Where's Wally - Railway Station

30 Days of GMing

Finding players can be a challenge in a lot of ways. When I started I knew no one who played rpgs, and later I knew so many people that it became hard to pick just four or five for a campaign. I usually keep a mental list of people who tell me they want to play D&D, and when starting a game or filling a spot, I draw from that in order. But there are lots of other considerations.

Read more

Favourite GMing Tools

Stack of D&D manuals

30 Days of GMing

I love tech at the gaming table, but use precious little of it. My 10 year old battlemat is still being drawn on with washable markers, and we only just moved to using minis from using dice to represent characters. Such is the ghetto table of the starving student. I use a lot of tech in my online game, Google Hangouts, Gametable and Xsplit, but they all seem like pretty simple tools to me. Just software that gets the job done. But not all tools are tech.

Read more

Advice for New GMs

30 Days of GMing

It’s my first post in the 30 days of GMing, and I’m excited to get this challenge going. I’ve written a lot of new GM advice, from things I wish I’d known when I started to how to put a party together to the absolute basics. I love the thought of new people sitting around tables and living rooms all over the world and having fun while telling stories and smacking monsters. But I can write more about it. My biggest piece of advice for a new GM is don’t panic.

Read more

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.

Read more

Fantasy Grad Students

Hero-Academy-Review-Logo

Having just started a new grad program this month, I have been incredibly swamped. So for Education month here at TPK, I wanted to take a look at fantasy grad students because no matter how bad my workload gets, at least I’ll never have to deal with a dragon. I know first hand what grad students are like in the real world today but what would a fantasy grad student look like? Lets take a look.

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.

Read more

Higher Education

Mortarboard

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

1 2 3 4 8