A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with the original Round Table crew. Rudy BassoAlex BassoGreg Blair, and Vegas Lancaster talk about the new actual play series on SeesoHarmonQuest and then chat about the new Netflix phenomena Stranger Things. This podcast was recorded on August 11, 2016.



If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of the podcast Rudy Basso and I make, Have Spellbook, Will Travel, is up on the show’s site!

47ee0-1462462559930

New story arc!  It’s filled to the brink with romantic gestures and zombies, of course!  Because what goes together better than brain chewing and love… chewing?

I am very tired.

Tweet your Levels Question of the Week at us or #levelsq on Twitter!

Send your mailbag questions via the Contact page.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with game design legend Monte Cook to discuss Gen Con and the currently ongoing Kickstarter for Monte’s new RPG Invisible Sun. This podcast was recorded on August 11, 2016.


Please rate and review the Tome Show on iTunes. It helps us a bunch!


DMs Guild Pick of the Episode: The Lightborn

Links:

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Today’s blog post may look short, but I assure you it’s actually about 3 hours long. I had the honor and pleasure of being invited on Fuzzy Dice: The DM Show from Brian Podell. The weekly Twitch series features GMs waxing poetic about their games and taking questions from the audience. Alongside Brian and I was the amazing Guy Sclanders of How To Be A Great GM (if you haven’t seen this YouTube series, check it out!) We talk Roll20, D&D 5e, worldbuilding, and a whole lot more in the episode below. Check it out. If you like this one, you’ll love the episodes with Mike Shea of Sly Flourish and Matt Mercer.

This has already been a heck of year and I’m headed out on vacation today. There won’t be a normal update next week, but I will see you all back here on September 1st with some awesome new content. Thank you all for being great!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new behind-the-scenes episode of the podcast Rudy Basso and I make, Have Spellbook, Will Travel, is up on the show’s site!

47ee0-1462462559930

Tune in to this latest BTS episode with ensemble member and professional law practitioner Lili Timmes.  Hear about her hatred of law school, MOOT COURT (!!!), and the frustration of being D&D-adjacent but not actually playing it (which will be remedied!).

Tweet your Levels Question of the Week at us or #levelsq on Twitter!

Send your mailbag questions via the Contact page.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

I had the honor to be the first game master to run a game in The GM Showcase, a new podcast from the people who brought you Dungeon Master’s Block. Join Mitchell Connelly, Neal Powell, Morgan Jenkins, and Matthew Parody as they play through my free Exploration Age adventure available on this site, The Wererat Den.

All of the episodes of the podcast have dropped at once – Netflix style! So enjoy five delicious episodes of a great new podcast. Other awesome GMs will be making appearances, so this is one to hit subscribe on!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down at Gen Con with Rudy BassoLiz TheisDan DillonJeff Greiner, and Shawn Merwin to discuss the Faithful Unearthed Arcana article and the announcement that Roll20 has an official Dungeons & Dragons license. This podcast was recorded on August 5, 2016.


Please rate and review The Tome Show on iTunes. It helps us a bunch.

Noble Knight pick of the episode: Broncosaurus Rex



If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Last week was pretty amazing. I went to my third and best yet Gen Con. I was busy as ever and I’ve got some great news to share. This very site took home the Gold ENnie award for Best Blog! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for World Builder Blog. I am still over the moon with this win and honored to have such an award on my wall.

While the win is exhilarating and a great recognition of the work done on this blog (not just by me, but also by Geoff Winn and Greg Blair), that was not actually the high point of Gen Con.

For many creators, working on RPGs can actually be a solo business. Adventure writing, mechanic design, worldbuilding, blogging, podcast/video editing, research, and story writing are generally done alone. This is true if you’re working on something professional or for your casual homebrew game. Even projects done with other collaborators are often completed by emailing a draft created by an individual with the message, “Let me know what you think. Thanks!”

Don’t get me wrong. All of that work is fun, but for most of us, it’s not the reason we play roleplaying games.

The Beauty of Gen Con

Gen Con is Nerdvana. Games everywhere and plenty of people eager to sit down and play. Every person you meet knows what Dungeons and Dragons is, understands how to roll initiative, can tell you which edition of the Star Wars RPG is their favorite, and is ready to debate the finer points of story verses mechanics in almost any game. You can buy nearly any gaming product desired, meet your favorite authors, designers, artists, podcasters, bloggers, and streamers, eat nerd-themed food, drink nerd-themed drinks, and sit in panels where big names announce new products or wax poetic about the philosophies of Lovecraft. Throw in a little deep cut cosplay, a few old-school arcade cabinets, and the chance to play exclusive alphas and betas and you can understand why more than 60,000 people flood Indianapolis every year. Holy crap do the people who organize this thing deserve HUGE ups, thanks, and high fives!

While all those things are heavenly, none are the main reason many of us head to Gen Con. The reason we go to Gen Con is the same reason we game. It’s the same reason we go to smaller gaming conventions and sometimes organize our own private weekends with our best friends.

Why We Game

I’ve had a great year in this industry. The blog won an ENnie, Rudy Basso and I launched a new podcast, I got to interview some amazing folks for the Tome Show, got paid to work on at least four published or soon-to-be published adventures, created and sold multiple best-sellers on the DMs Guild, and DMed two games for awesome people at Roll20CON. At Gen Con I got to record a live Round Table Podcast with an audience, moderate a panel about the digital future of Dungeons, record panels with people like Ken Hite, Rob Bowes, Ben Loomes, throw a party for Tome Show fans, and co-run a three-table epic written by Rudy Basso and me.

I’m going to pat myself on the back and say I’ve put in a lot of work these last two-and-a-half years. I am a better designer, writer, podcaster, and worker than I was long ago. I am proud of the accomplishments I’ve made and the person I’ve become in the industry. Without all that I would still play tabletop RPGs. I have since I was nine, and I have no plans of stopping.

Now you can say it’s all about story, which is partly true. It’s fun to play pretend. Or you could say it’s mechanics, which is also true (clearly it plays into our choices of Pathfinder vs D&D vs 13th Age vs Dungeon World). You could say it’s the perfect combination of both. But really, that’s not it either.

We play these games because it brings us closer to our friends. It gives us a reason to get together every week and interact. We can be silly and play pretend together like we’re kids again. Is there anything better?

Think about it. How many times have you sat down with a stranger to play an RPG and by the end of the game you are more comfortable talking to that person than you are some of the folks you see at work everyday? How many of those people go on to become your friends that you see or talk to outside of gaming? How many of those people introduce you to new friends through games?

It’s not just new friends. We stay in touch with our old compadres through gaming. How many people have a gaming group that’s run for years? How many old friends have you re-connected with thanks to virtual tabletops or forum games? How many people have something new to talk about with their friends because they want to praise or tear down the latest supplement for their favorite game? How many people have friends who actually listen when we talk about our character or our campaigns?

These games make our lives better. The people we meet make us better people. The memories we make are good and stay with us forever. The stories we tell together entertain us and ignite our creativity. The mechanics we encounter make us better teachers and students. As a community we build and create something we could never make individually. More importantly, we have a blast doing it.

These games are a communal experience. Never forget that. A horror game only works if everyone agrees to embrace the scary. A gritty game only works, if everyone agrees to think of hit point loss as more than just numbers. In other words the games only work if we all play. If we all pretend.

Thank you all for playing with me over these last few years. I look forward to all the imagining, pretending, and worldbuilding to come.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of the podcast Rudy Basso and I make, Have Spellbook, Will Travel, is up on the show’s site!

47ee0-1462462559930

Behold!  The oft-mentioned “Night at the X-Mansion” or “Bottle Episode” episode!  Enjoy some character development as our adventurers take a much needed break to drink, cook, and… date?!

If you’ve enjoyed listening to the show, do us a big ol’ favor and write a review on ouriTunes page, or just tell a friend about it.

Tweet your Levels Question of the Week at us or #levelsq on Twitter!  

Send your mailbag questions via the Contact page.  We want to hear from you!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with Robert AdducciRudy Basso, and Round Table newbie Michael Ross to discuss using humor at the table. Inspired by the boom of comedy actual plays, we dish on when and how to use comedy during games and live plays. This podcast was recorded on July 26, 2016.


Please rate and review The Tome Show on iTunes. It takes 30 seconds and helps us a bunch!


DMs Guild Pick of the Episode: Puzzles, Riddles, and Traps


If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!