Category: Tabletop Games

  • Forced Fun

    Currently, the only game that I’m running is at the local teen community center. It’s an after-school drop-in space for teens to play games, do homework, have a snack, and otherwise hang out. Although I have mostly been running for a consistent set of players, I always have to be ready for a teen to […]

  • My Hot Take on One D&D

    Big news from Wizards: there’s not a new edition of D&D. There’s just One D&D. More info here. Before I dive into my hot take, I want to disclaim my extreme ignorance. I honestly haven’t kept up with either a broader D&D community nor have I even really incorporated more recent rulebooks into my game. […]

  • Running My First Solo Adventure

    Normally when I know I only have one player available, I just cancel the session and pick up next time. Last week, however, I made an exception for a few reasons. The player was behind on experience from the rest of the group We had already skipped a few weeks beforehand We were between major […]

  • 5 Player Rewards That Won’t Break Your Game

    Players love to be rewarded just in the course of playing. I won’t wade into the argument between “participation trophy” versus ”90% of success is just showing up.” However, there is a narrow middle path that should make your player happy. I worry about giving players too much good stuff: that Potion of Invisibility sounds […]

  • GMing Without… Anything

    Recently, I proudly wrote about trying to run an analog campaign. After years of adding more and more digital tools, I dropped all of that for paper. I thought that restriction was good enough. However, last week, surprise constraints pushed me even further. On the day of my weekly game, I took my car in […]

  • How to Start Without Session Zero

    Common advice on the internet about starting a campaign is to hold a Session Zero. Rather than starting with the game itself, GMs instead are told to first gather information and set expectations about what will happen in the rest of the campaign. In principle, it sounds like a good idea. A playgroup can get […]

  • GMing Without Devices

    When I was running games for my adult friends, I didn’t worry about phones or laptops at the table. Sure, they checked social media and texts during most sessions, but they were mostly attentive, and I didn’t want to be “that GM” with them. However, when I started this campaign with teens, I wanted to […]

  • The Minimum Acceptable Session Length

    D&D takes a long time. Movies are around two hours long. MLB has been shortening baseball games because three hours was too long. The average commute (during the before times of 2019) was about a half-hour. And yet, when you ask people about their weekly games, it sounds like sessions commonly go on for around […]