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Little Earthquakes

rc_newlogoSo this past weekend I ran my first convention game at ReaperCon, here in North Texas. How did it go?


I ran a Dresden Files RPG/Fate Core game set in Portland, Oregon called “Little Earthquakes.” The players were all friends and colleagues of a murdered college student who died on the very day that a series of earthquakes began plaguing the city.

I had a great group of players who really took my pre-gens and ran with them. There was a mix of experienced players and those that hadn’t played this system, but I provided quick reference sheets, which helped. I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful the players were and how important they were in making this a great game.

I was nervous, but was able to rein it in and run a successful session. I luckily had the help of some players who were veterans to keep me on the path, rules-wise, but still, I feel pleased with the job I did–which is rare. I usually beat myself up after a session with all the things I know I did wrong. This one, not so much.

Some things I learned:

  • Schedule more time. I only allotted myself 3 hours for the session and I needed at least an hour more (we went over, but, fortunately, no one had my table reserved after me).
  • The props I had helped. The help sheets and photo-quality placards to place in front of players to identify their character helped immensely.
  • Get with the con folks about “goodies” for scheduled games. I wasn’t really briefed by the con organizers, but apparently I should have had ‘Reaper Bucks’ and badge ribbons for my players when they completed a game. I managed to get them afterwards, but now I know.
  • Give each player a moment to shine. This is something I did right and it really helped everyone have a good time.
  • Give bennies for creativity. It’s a convention game, not a campaign. If a character is being creative with the rules or the setting, go with it. As long as its fun, roll with the punches.

Would I do it again? I think so. I really enjoyed myself and the players seemed to enjoy themselves as well. I felt really good–elated–afterwards. Yes, I just might do this again.


See You at ReaperCon!


ReaperCon 13, sponsored by Reaper Miniatures, will be held October 20 – October 23, 2016 at the Premier Event Center in Lewisville, Texas. I’ve never attended the convention, though it’s only a few miles from my home. This year not only will I be attending, but I will be running a game at the con.

I’m more than a little bit nervous.

I’ve never run a game in a convention setting before. I’m nervous, but am looking forward to the experience. I’m getting myself well-prepared with my scenario, making sure that I have plenty of supplies so that folks can just sit down and play, and trying to make this as much of a welcoming experience for my players as I can. I figure if I can do that, I’ll be less nervous as well.

So, if you’re in North Texas in late October, come on by. There are 10 player slots at my table. I’ll be running a Dresden Files RPG/Fate Core game for the Red Dirt Roleplayers group on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.

Here’s a schedule of gaming events for the con…

Hope to see you there!

Campaign Assessment: Taking Stock

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Anytime you participate in a long-term endeavor, it is good to take stock of how you are doing and why you are doing it. The same can be said of a role-playing campaign. You want to be sure that the players are still invested in their characters and that they are still getting something out of the campaign. You want to sure that the campaign is still on-track with their goals. If you don’t have player buy-in, you are not going to have a successful campaign.

Recently, when my players reached 6th level in our Pathfinder campaign, I decided to do a campaign assessment. I wanted to know how things were going in our campaign and if I needed to change anything to make things better.

These are the questions I asked of my group. I asked them to answer them as players, not as their characters, and to answer them as honestly as possible.

  1. Overall, are you enjoying the campaign so far?
  2. What, specifically, are you enjoying about the campaign?
  3. What, specifically, are you not enjoying about the campaign?
  4. When you created your character, what were some of the goals you set for your character?
  5. Have you met any of those goals? Are you on track to meeting any of those goals?
  6. Going forward, what are some of the short term plans you have for your character?
  7. Going forward, what are some of the long term plans you have for your character?
  8. Do you wish to continue with the campaign?

I then took all of these answers and applied them to the campaign. Turns out I did need to make a couple tweaks. I ended up changing the experience track from the moderate to the fast track and have also made some behind-the-scenes changes to the storyline to try and accommodate some individual character goals. Now, I hope, I’m going to have more player buy-in and a more successful campaign. And I wouldn’t have necessarily known I needed to make these changes if I hadn’t stopped, taken stock, and asked questions.

Pathfinder Humble Bundle


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Be warned–this great deal is really dragging down Paizo’s servers, so be prepared to wait for your downloads of product. But it is worth the wait.

Click on the link below to check it out!

This great deal only runs through March 9, so be sure and visit the site today!

Lifehacker: How to Level Up Your Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

There is a great article over at Lifehacker on how to really enhance your experience with table-top roleplaying.

I think that one of the most important pieces of advice given is to get all of the players on the same page. Whether you use one of the worksheets provided or simply have a conversation, it’s important that everyone understand their roles in the process and the expectations that everyone has for each other. Of course, I should take my own advice for my own roleplaying group. This could be a New Year’s resolution for me as a gamemaster.

What about you? What do you think you can do to level up your game? Share your thoughts in the comments!