• Dead Poets Society

    Working With New Players

    Now that I’ve got my do’s and don’ts out the way, I want to start to dig a little deeper. One thing that’s definitely changed about my games over the

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  • Jamie Smart, Get on with it then

    TPKtalk for Mar 1

    It’s a brave new world here. My house is soon to be occupied by eleventeen people as we edit some video like mad. It’s going to be exciting, and I

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  • Ray gun grandma

    My Do’s

    Today’s post is a bit late in part because there was much fretting about what I consider an essential “Do” in a game. Things like “Cooperate” and “Don’t be a

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  • Science Pony

    TPKtalk for Feb 22

    Today I’m hurling my pasty body into frozen water to help children with special needs in the KW Polar Plunge. I am excited but no doubt already cold. To keep

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  • Dexter

    My Don’ts

    The 40th anniversary of D&D gave me a chance to really reflect on how my GMing style has changed since I started playing. I’ve gone from teenage autocrat to adult

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  • moulin-rouge-photo

    Valentine’s Grab Bag

    One of the things on my GMing bucket list is to have a PC fall in love when it’s not their idea. It’s one thing to have a PC dream

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  • default-image

    TPKtalk for Feb 1

    Just a short roundup this week, but a good one. A dice rolling hammer, the LEGO you always dreamed of, and some pretty good advice about some pretty good things.

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  • default-image

    Playing With Others

    Breaking Down the 20 The last three questions of the twenty question background are probably the hardest to answer because they’re usually answered in a state of ignorance. It’s difficult

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    TPktalk for Jan 25

    It’s the 10th anniversary of Opportunity! That little rover has been running around Mars for ten years! That’s a whole other planet! For weird space things, art things, and other

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  • Scrooge McDuck

    Money Isn’t Everything

    Once, when collecting my student loan money at university, I found out I’d already been approved for a grant. I wasn’t about to say no to a free $800, and

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  • Beholder (Dungeons & Dragons)

    My Beholder Hatrack

    Recently, my D&D character helped kill a Beholder. A small one. We did what adventurers do, looting its treasure and making off with its prisoners, and I paused for a

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  • D&D alignment defined by GM attitudes

    I Love Alignment

    I know I’m practically the only one, but I do. I love that it’s super vague, and I don’t like the move away from it in newer editions of D&D

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  • Farm Boy

    Adding Some Depth

    Breaking Down the 20 Very little of the twenty question background explicitly asks players to tell stories, these ones definitely do. No one cares that your character has a memory

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  • Final Fantasy IV

    Religion as Values

    Two weeks ago I wrote about three ways I’ve seen religion used as a cultural force in rpgs as a preface to talking about the way that I like to

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  • Magic Sword by Capcom

    TPKtalk for Nov 23

    Wicked things are happening this week. If you’re local to Kitchener-Waterloo, you can find me tonight and tomorrow playing at the G33K Art Show, from 6:30-8:00 tonight, and 4:30-6:00 tomorrow!

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  • Gary from Pokemon

    All About Enemies

    Breaking Down the 20 I just added a number of new players to both my D&D games, and was reminded that it’s high time to finish this series. Every D&D

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  • Batman

    TPKtalk for Nov 9

    Remember, when failing a blogging challenge, it’s important to fail it as much as possible kids. No, really I’ve just had a lot going on and had trouble finding my

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  • Vladimir Putin judo throw

    Stealing Like an Artist

    30 Days of GMing Day 5 Today’s topic is Stealing like an artist: what inspiration have you drawn from other games, books, movies, etc? I struggled with this post a lot.

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    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,

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    Stewriffic

    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.

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TPKtalk for Dec 7

underground_Quarry

Hope you’re having a great Saturday so far. Just to let you know, there’ll be no posts from Dec 16 to Dec 30, on account of us taking a few weeks off for the holidays. Still, many more things to come after that. Also, if you’re local, you can catch me live at next week’s Nerd Nite, playing music as their artist in residence! It’s at 7pm on Tuesday, Dec 10 at the Rum Runner Pub in Kitchener, Ontario. Anyway, lots of great links this week, including mini hacks, good games, sounds, and real-life D&D.

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TPKtalk for Nov 30

It’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday and all manner of other things that we don’t have here in Canada. It’s a busy weekend. However, all of our links are free and contain no calories or trans fats, so take a look around and I’m sure you’ll find something you can take home with you.

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Reforged!

Wiki Update

Today’s wiki update is quick, and more of an upgrade! Obsidian Portal, the site that hosts our wikis, just went through a wicked update thanks to their Kickstarter campaign at the beginning of the summer. Every wiki is more mobile friendly, has some more customization options, and they’re slowly rolling out additional features as they get their code working. This has me really excited, not just because I love having websites, but because I like managing information about my game and encouraging people to participate. So even though it means a big reformat for me, I’m looking forward to overhauling it, and I thought I’d psych myself up by posting a couple of things that I want to do with my wiki.

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3 Ways to Use Religion in Your Game

Peeling sticker

Getting back in the habit with a post I’ve wanted to write for a while. Religion at the gaming table can be an interesting and sticky subject. There are a lot of ways to treat it, and I could write for months about it. I’ve played with people of a few religious stripes, from those with none at all to pagans and various flavours of Christian, and they’ve really helped me define my idea of what belonging to a religion means, and how it can matter narratively. I’m an apatheist myself, but I understand the power of religion as a cultural force in the lives of millions of people, so I’ve always wanted to give it a treatment that resonates with faithful people without disincentivizing secular players. There’s a wide gulf between representing real-world religion vs. fantasy religion, but today I want to pay attention to fantasy religion. We’ll talk about the way I do it next week, but here’s three other ways you could treat religion.

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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.

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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.

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