The 5 Steps of Minimum Prep GMing

I was recently given a challenge. The GM for my regular 5th Edition game session was taking a break, and I offered to run a one shot. I ended up having less than 24 hours to prepare and needed to make use of the same characters and world we’d been playing in (in addition to looping in the GM’s character, a pact of the book warlock styled after a lovecraftian ‘mad scholar’). Due to family and job obligations, I had -effectively- 2 hours to try and get everything set and ready. The session went great, everyone had a blast, and I thought I’d share my methodology for getting this done.

To Module or not to Module?

The simplest solution would simply to have been to Continue reading

Corruption of the Tarrasque: Mutation Supplement Available for Salt in Wounds Campaign Setting

monsters, mutations, tarrasque, dnd dungeons & dragons, pathfinder

Now available for sale. In the Corruption of the Tarrasque: Mutation Supplement you’ll find a new aspect of the legendary monster to threaten or empower PCs: via the corrupting influence of its mutagenic blood! While designed specifically for the Salt in Wounds Campaign Setting, this supplement adds options for any game where the Tarrasque has bled or some equivalent taint mars the land. This booklet includes:

  • Rules on Tarrasque-Fed Mutations.
  • Brand new fiction.
  • Alchemical Services to induce or remove mutations.
  • 20 new Mutations for PCs and Monsters alike ranging from beneficial ‘Favored’ Mutations to debilitating (or even deadly) ‘Blighted Mutations.
  • The Tarrasque-Transformed monster template which can transform even a lowly cur into a deadly miniature avatar of the Tarrasque.
  • A brand new Sorcerous Origin: Primordial Bloodline which empowers sorcerers with the uncorrupted essence of the Primordials to create and transform the world and even magic itself.

Whether you’re a GM or a PC there’s options and lore to help flesh out your creations and get into the game. Note: this purchase includes two pdfs one for the Pathfinder ruleset and one for the 5th Edition rules of the World’s Oldest RPG.

 

My Birthday & Other Updates

Happy Birthday to me! Today, I’m 34 years old. This last year has seen me experience some of my highest highs, incredible adventure, and unfortunate suffering due almost entirely due to my anxieties. But I’ve learned a lot, grown tremendously, and I’m looking for the coming year to be my best one yet.

Still working on it, like I’ve been working on it and will be working on it for the conceivable future. Hired the incredible Neal Powell as my project manager (of DMNastics, Whelmed, and much more besides) to help me herd cats and get this thing done. I’ll be releasing supplements (bi)monthly until the project is complete, and you can now pre-order via Backerkit. I’ll also be appearing on a podcast interview about the project which should be released soon. More updates as they come.

Inspired by the 200 Word RPG challenge, I created & released a (micro)RPG called ‘There is Only IKEA: Forever & Eternal’ about becoming lost in an infinite IKEA. It’s available as a name your own price title (even free) and you can learn more and check a preview here.

I released a first look at my horror story Salt Lick as an exclusive Patron only update. If you’d like to check it out (along with all the other Patreon exclusives) you’re welcome to support my creative life by becoming a patron.

San Diego Comic-Con

 
Thursday Night’s Outfit

I had a great time at San Diego Comic Con this last month, and am submitting my professional credentials (which if approved) means I’ll be going for years to come. That said, I’m realizing more and more that my favorite moments don’t involve the convention proper: they’re getting drinks with friends at the hotel bar, wandering around in costume (my Pac-Man suit is always a big hit), and generally taking part in the expansive carnival atmosphere rather than trying to optimize my schedule with booths to see and panels to attend. Moving forward, I think I’ll work the convention more, spend more time outside it, and just generally avoid the convention proper.

And that’s pretty much it for now. I’m moving away from social media, and moving back towards blogging/longer posts. Expect to see more here beyond a quarterly update.

In My Friend’s Story, I’m the NPC to Their High Level Bard

Note: ‘NPC’ means ‘non-player character’ in a video or tabletop game which is contrasted with PC or ‘Player Character’ the avatar of a real person in a game world.

 

I have a friend, let’s call them the bard. The bard is kind, enthusiastic, and playful. They talk a lot about how much our friendship means to them, have given some wonderful gifts, and we’ve had some great times together. And yet, there’s a something there that frustrates me… a way in which this friendship feels unsatisfying that is difficult to wrap in word and explain.

And I think I’ve finally realized what it is: to my friend the bard, I’m an NPC. An NPC they’re fond of certainly, but like all NPCs there is a way in which I’m not truly real. Oh, certainly, the bard will act like I’m real; when they’re interested we’ll go on adventures together or fight monsters. But the moment the bard isn’t interested, they’re fully not interested. We only hang when I’m relevant to the adventure or crisis de jour for the bard; they’re fundamentally bored by the details of my life (as a Player Character in an RPG would be uninterested in the mundanity of an NPC’s farming unless therein lay adventure to be had there).

The bard’s problems are always the bigger issues, the ones that are more pressing and need to get worked on first. There is also the assumption on the part of the bard that I will be interested in whatever the bard is working on/that I’ll be along for the ride; but this never works both ways.

I’ve begun to suspect that, moreso than my other friends, the bard doesn’t quite see me; they see (and interact with) a simplified version of me.

Is this bad? No. Am I being mistreated? No. But it takes work to remind myself that when I’m shiny, when I actually have their attention it can feel amazing; it can feel like we have this amazing depth of connection but that it will always shift off of me when they find something more compelling to focus on. We’ll still go on adventures together now and again, but ultimately I’m increasingly interested in all the work I do tending my shop, practicing my craft, and thus I end up spending my time with people who want to share in all my life; whether we’re adventuring or not.