Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project Zero 2's Lessons In Brief

1. Give the setting character with some moody set design.
2. Encourage the players to interact with the scenery so that they pay attention.
3. Have the Enemy warn the players through the scenery or use it to Its advantage.
4. Have characters handle, build, or enter obviously threatening areas or objects in order to achieve some stated goal. It builds anticipation and uncertainty.
5. Get the players comfortable with some rule (camera exorcises ghosts when they are photographed) and then change the rules to make an Entity scarier (just not THIS ghost).
6. Force the players to make their characters run or hide on occasion rather than relying on intellect or physical strength.
7. A sense of history is important, either to showcase the power of the threat (everyone died) or to establish a sense of normalcy now perverted (the doll's history).
8. Include complex characters with complex histories.
9. Increase character vulnerabilities to make them seem more real and to increase the feelings of jeopardy.
10. The threat is more frightening when it is impervious and inevitable.
11. A complex history with elements of tragedy will make the enemy more memorable.
12. Slow-moving, insane things can be scary because they don't HAVE to move fast.
13. Providing the lesser threats with depth keep them interesting and thus keep the players engaged.
14. An edge of tragedy, or a moral dilemma, surrounding the ending will make it more poignant.
15. Motifs can make gameplay awesome! Butterflies can be scary.

*spoiler alert* An analysis of Project Zero

This is a Playstation 2 videogame but some of its skill in presentation can be borrowed for a horror roleplaying game. Project Zero (Fatal Frame for you Americans) is set in modern times in a lost village hidden deep within a Japanese forest. It utilises the setting to its fullest effect with traditional Japanese architecture meshed with some 1920s technology such as an old film projector that can be used to play old films of the Forbidden Ritual and other creepy scenes in all of sepia's flickering glory.

The faded partitions, warped cupboards, dolls and human-like bulges hidden underneath rugs all give the place a decidedly creepy look. Here and there something will twist, rattle, or fall at opportune moments. Cloth waves gently in hallways, hang from the ceiling and obscure what is in front of you.

The setting is only deepened by the hints of the few ghostly NPC's living days. A little girl with a bell died in one house, hidden in a cupboard and starving to death. Even now, the bell tinkles in certain rooms and when you finally track her down to her cupboard and slide open the door ... well, you do the math. In another cupboard, you hear sobbing and when you look inside you see nothing. Raise the camera and you see black Japanese characters write themselves on the wall and a girl's voice plead for help. Through such scenes the connection between the victims and the houses they died within is made distinct, each component heightening the anxiety of the next until finding a new room is about as nerve-wracking as finding a new ghost.

The complete lack of corpses and sparse use of gore (really just a few bloodstains or broken ghostly bodies) are really unsettling because there is evidence of tremendous violence but it is almost as though the victims were bodily drawn into some abyss or perhaps the corpses were cleaned away by ... something. It's never explained.

The character's active participation in the handling and construction of dangerous items also enhances anticipation. This is shown when Mio - the protagonist - must find and assemble a doll in order to open the door to an underground bridge. Now in this town, every so often a pair of identical twins will be forced to undergo a ritual where one must strangely the other before tossing the dead twin into the void. Now one surviving twin, a very young girl, was very upset and so her father carved her a life-like replica to console her. The little girl treated her doll like a friend and there's evidence that it began speaking back, urging her to kill. This doll was taken apart by her family and must be reassembled by Mio - knowing full well what may happen when she does.

Oh, and by the way, the doll certainly has a creepy scene with the girl and the doll on opposite sides of a hallway and Mio in between. One says "Kill her" and the other says "Don't kill".

Another good device in the game is Mayu. She deepens Mio's character as she has a limp and can't run due to the time Mio she fell down a slope while trying to keep up. Mayu follows you around, gentle and passive, but over time you see the influence of the place slowly corrupt her. Slowly, she becomes possessed by the poorly sacrificed victim who had spilled forth the abyss, a ghost called Sae, but this happens slowly and inexorably. There are several interesting scenes which reveal signs of Sae's growing control as well as her shared clinginess, such as when she asks: "Are you leaving me again, sister?" Mio obviously can't abandon her but nor can she trust her and it's this duality of needs that also makes it very interesting. You can imagine how this might be brought to bear in a horror game where a player is forced to reconcile clashing needs such as safety vs. loyalty.

Sae is the shown to be the ultimate threat. Unharmed by the exorcismal camera (she's invisible when you peer through it at her) and she is able to kill with a touch, so you have to flee her. There is no fighting her until the very end and even then only under the right circumstances. This certainly gives her a fear factor that would have been missing if she'd been like the others. Her painful history also makes her a far more interesting character. She attempted to flee with her twin, Yae, but she slipped down a slope and was recaptured. They couldn't find Yae who left without her (much to her own horror) and so Sae was hung and then thrown into the pit. When she was thrown from the pit, the village was plunged into endless night and Sae took her vengeance on the inhabitants.

To make matters worse, the sacrifices of the twins - as horrible as they are shown to be - are necessary for the village as the dreaded nameless pit (referred to as * in writing) will unleash something horrific if the sacrifices don't occur. Heck, the failed sacrifice of Sae caused enough badness to occur. This is shown through the two endings. The 'bad' ending where you sacrifice your sister and free the village or the 'good' ending where you banish Sae, save your sister, and flee the village to its fate - until some other set of twins are called within it.

It also helps that Mio was a normal girl with the usual vulnerabilities but for the exorcismal camera. She is also driven by the very human urges to find her sister and escape.

The Joys of Holidays and the Pain of an Inspection

Well, I've taken Annual Leave this week which is pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, in between the socialising, the gaming, and all the rest, Adam and I also need to get the house ready for an inspection. On the plus side, I've fixed the bottom drawer of my computer desk to be my games filing system and so it's easier to clean up after game than it used to be.

I also discovered that we have Mafia II! I can't believe that I forgot that we had that game. So I've got a lot of videogames to catch up on. I still need to finish Fall Out 2. I want to get my Red Dead Redemption on (I love cowboys). Then there's my survival horrors like Alan Wake, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Homecoming, and Penumbra.

Also, I totally need to get Hard Rain.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Carrion Crown

Yay! My lovely fiance will be running me some Carrion Crown tonight! I was originally planning to run it (because I love the idea of it) but Adam piped up and said he was planning to run a Pathfinder campaign. Which is perfect because it's just the sort of campaign I'd love to play in. I'm also a real fan of my Dhampyr gunslinging Inquisitor, if I may say so myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Getting everyone on the same page

One of the trickiest parts of starting up a game is ensuring that all of the players and the ST are on the same page as to what the game is meant to be about. As much as some of us Character First players might hate to admit it, there are certain meta-game considerations that generally should be kept in mind when creating a character. Some of it is in the attributes chosen, but a lot of is about the mentality.

If I were creating an elf barbarian whose fear of her own rages convinced her to be a pacifist, then I'm not going to have much fun in Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder which requires a certain degree of hack and slashing. Sure, I could use the system to portray it well enough but the game itself, and the system, is not designed for it and both the DM and the other players are likely to be annoyed by that. A certain degree of wanderlust, racial tolerance, desire to band together, and willingness to do violence is important in the grand majority of games in those systems.

So what do you do to ensure that everyone is willing to at least take those meta-game needs into consideration?

Well, as always, it's better if you can get them out into the open - especially if you're playing using a more tool kit system like GURPS that gives you a lot of leeway in what the game could be about. The ST (generally, though a player could do so) needs to figure out the basic rules of the style of game and literally state those rules and point them out to the other players who might not realise it.

If you're running a gilded cage game set in a small location, ensuring that the players know not to create globe-trotting scientists is probably a good bet. If it's an investigative game, it's important for the characters to be curious and willing to delve into things rather than simply running away from it. In a survival horror, the opposite may be more valid. In truth, a lot of it is about the mentality of the character.

Yes, some people may shudder at the immersion-breaking thought of putting too much stock into gameplay considerations during (or after) character design, but it's important to do so just in case you accidentally paint your character into a frustrating corner. What happens if you don't find it fun to play the guy dragged from crime scene to crime scene by his hunter friends?

It's also best to remember that the game itself will provide some of these boundaries or encourage the characters to behave in a certain way, either for or against your guidelines. For example, if you have a spirit claim a werewolf character's wife in a very locally-based game and then have that claimed victim run off inter-state to her mother's house, then the game will become far less local no matter the suggested rules.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Motivating players to play the game YOU want to run

Doesn't it suck when you want to play a psychological horror game (or an adrenaline-fueled escapade, or whatever strikes your fancy) and your players want the same old routine that was either never your style or was your style last year? Well, all hope is not lost. There's a few things you can do to try your hand at your dream game.

Firstly, sit down and have a chat with all of your players both individually and together. Ask them what they prefer. Is it a Doritos-fueled hack-and-slasher where grunts and die rolls are one’s sole contribution to the roleplay? Or a social game of comedy and daring-do that no one need take seriously? Or do they want an immersive, whole-of-mind acting experience where they want to delve into the deepest nooks of a character’s mind? Or a hyper-realistic monstrous lifestyle simulator where they must figure out how a person would live if they suddenly became a vampire?

There are benefits to each and every one of these styles. Repeat this like a mantra in your own head before you question the players. Accept it. Don’t disparage any other style because it’s not your own but do consider where your own preferences lie. Then start a realistic conversation with a mind toward making compromises.

Let’s take a worse case scenario and assume you want to play a psychological horror game and you find out that one player enjoys the puzzle of figuring out the most powerful stat combinations, another player delights in the aforementioned hyper-realistic simulator, and another one just wants to play a comedic, larger-than-life character. What do you do?

Firstly, accept the differences. Appreciate it. It’s hard, but try to do it. Now, after taking a few deep breaths, move into the negotiation phase. IMPORTANT NOTE: Never promise something you aren’t willing to deliver.

Are your players willing to at least try a psychological game? If not, why not? If you’ve got a hankering for Call of Cthulhu but they prefer to have consistency in their characters, agree to reduce the lethality and make it more investigative with more mundane threats rather than a sanity-rendering horror around every corner.

Pay a lot of attention to your player’s interests during these sessions and try to free form it if they start getting excited about a tangent. If they’re more interested in de-programming a cultist than stopping the cult, relax the time-lines and give them plenty of interesting, minor complications. If they’re keen on what they’re doing, they’ll happily give you extensions to your promise, and this is often how some of the best campaigns are born.

Don’t railroad them. If they come up with an answer that could work, let it work. They’re new to this particular style of game so don’t come hard on them because they didn’t think to door knock the neighbour’s house or they didn’t realise there would be red herrings and so are trying to find some way to include all the information in the plot list. If they’re think they’re right about the suspect, consider letting them be. It’ll give them more confidence which, in turn, will make them more prone to enjoying the game. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have twists and turns and pleasant (or unpleasant) surprises. Just consider whether the game might be more fun if their ideas were true or if they turned out to be wrong, after all. Certainly never make them feel stupid about their assumptions.

Don’t get time-sensitive. If you are concerned that they’ll hold you to the three session rule and you won’t get to finish the adventure, talk to them as players. Tell them that you love the way they’re taking the game but that it may take another session or two on top of the promised three to follow the new leads they’ve discovered. Empowering them in such a way to make the decision will probably make them feel all the more confident to continue playing. After all, it builds trust and passes a little bit more of the responsibility for the game over to them, allowing them to feel a slight sense of ownership that, if done right, will only enhance their enthusiasm to play more.

What are your thoughts? Ever tried this tactic? Did it work for you or not?

Next week, another avenue to take for when your players decide they do want to go back to playing their preferred game.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Balancing Act 1: Personal Investment

Horror is a delicate thing because you need to balance the elements of good horror against the elements of a good game. It's also tricky because you really need to get player buy in to pull it off. If the players are working against you, your horror game will fail. There are tricks you can use to help reinforce the genre, but do remember that you're better off talking to your players about some of this advice and seeing if they can work alongside you to assist you with it.

First of all, if the players aren’t personally invested in the story, they won’t care about its outcomes. This mini-essay will give you a lot of food for thought, handy tips, and advice for how to foster personal investment in the game and, more importantly, how to avoid damaging it.

There are a number of ways to boost or reduce a player's levels of personal investment.

Player investment tends to come with time as attachments form over the course of gameplay to both their characters and those around them. This is one of the reasons why games like the World of Darkness often encourage the use of a prelude. A good prelude strikingly draws the mundane world to which the latter insanity will forever be compared (hence making use of the 'corruption of innocence' and the 'subversion of the mundane themes') and will also give players a chance to get to know their characters and, hopefully, get attached to them before all the terrible events come to bear.

The right protagonist choice is also very important. Help each player make a believable, engaging character that they would enjoy roleplaying. Try to ensure that each person can fulfill a niche so that they don't get bored or frustrated. Reminding them that they're creating a victim, not a hero, can also re-set their frame of mind and enable them to grow fond of their characters for surviving rather than being irritated that they're not kicking ass and taking names.

Draw vivid and three-dimensional Non-Player Characters (NPCs) as the depiction of NPCs and their reaction to surrounding events is a powerful tool. Players generally enjoy taking risks with their characters' lives which, in a horror game, might lead to either an irritatingly high mortality rate that frustrates them - or a growing sense of safety as they consistently survive their risks. Having a trusted and respected NPC grow frightened, suggest caution, or even flee for the hills can often show the players a new perspective and highlight the danger without the need for a single maiming to occur.

Compelling and engaging NPCs also assist in immersion, allowing the player's a sense of a rich and compelling world. Just as players may fear for well-liked characters in a book or a movie, so will they likely fear for a well-drawn and interesting character. Foster these attachments by avoiding the death of well-loved NPCs where possible and only killing them off at the most opportune moments, and even then, only rarely. If they die too regularly, players will become jaded and will avoid feeling any attachment to them. It is best that the protagonists either get the opportunity to try and save them (with a risk of failure) or that they die in similar ways to the protagonists - by the hands of fate and some unlucky rolls.

Do feel free to put the favorite NPC in jeopardy. Just don't do it so often that it becomes trite and cliche.

Do feel free to kill off the average likable NPC. Only well-loved recurring NPCs deserve increased odds of survival.

An easy way to find sources of recurring characters is to give names and faces to those identified in their characters' backgrounds, or in the World of Darkness (WoD), by turning social merits like Retainers and Allies into people. These should ideally be the best sources for well-loved recurring NPCs but you really can't tell with players. They might end up preferring that walk-on bartender you invented on the fly as a bit of local colour over their own character's pain-stakingly drawn wife.

Players are notoriously curious creatures, which can cause them to bravely take careless risks rather than act with the caution of a nervous player frightened for their character's 'life'. Use this curiosity yourself to motivate that caution and fear. If possible, create a personal plot arc for each character that intrigues the player so that they're desperate to know the ending. If they lose their character in the general story plot, they'll never find out what happened to their sister or what that relic might do if activated.

In line with this, if their character dies and the players asks what could have happened or did happen, resist the urge to tell them. Make them stew on it. They'll worry more next time. If you really want to tell them, give it six months and make a show of how you wouldn't generally do this, but... etc.

Basically, a player knows that they can simply create a new character so the loss of a character, per se, isn't much of a threat. So make that loss matter. Whether that is the loss of an interesting relationship (platonic or romantic), an engaging NPC, a story arc, or the ability to answer a vital question, is irrelevant. All that matters is that you create something the players are afraid to lose, and then put that in jeopardy on occasion.

Oh, and don't worry, I'll discuss how to create engaging and sympathetic characters later on. In the meantime, you can always pick up a How To Write book and flick through to their chapters on characterisation if you'd prefer.

So, how do you all boost personal investment in your games?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Tuesday Game

I'm the Pathfinder Game Master for Tuesdays' games and I've gotta admit that the game has certainly grown on me. I originally started running it simply to get the old gang together and get my fantasy on but it wasn't hugely my thing. As I've said before, characterisation is my big ticket item alongside how players interact with the plot.

As I'm running a campaign path, the Crimson Throne, I've found that a lot of the players have done the right thing and kept to the path in question. The only problem is that in order to do that they've had to keep to more predictable reactions (so they don't venture too far off the campaign path) and so the focus is a bit less on roleplay and a bit more on achieving the next goal.

I mean, their reactions aren't always predictable (please don't take this as a dare, my players, you're all good). Such as the time when Guenmarcus accepted lycanthropy to stop a war and when Sith mated with all the evil women despite being Chaotic Good just because he was desperate. But we all recognise that if we veer too far off the path, it won't be Crimson Throne anymore.

So that kinda damped down on my enthusiasm a bit as I kept running it but now I'm starting to get more enthusiastic again. Partly because Book 5 is waaaay cool and it's just coming up.

The current problem I'm facing in the game is the need to help ourselves get out of conversation and into the game. At the moment the start time is so diffuse that it kinda spreads out over an hour of chit-chat and half-hearted almost starts. So I'll probably be enforcing a No OOC (Out Of Character) comments for the first twenty minutes rule or else take a -2 penalty to your next roll, cumulative, per comment.

I'll let the players vote to see if they want it. If they want a more social, chit-chat and dice-rolling game, then that's cool. It's something I'm running for the players more than something I'm running for me so I'm not about to enforce seriousness if they want to muck about.

I'll let you all know later how it goes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why do I ST?

Every Storyteller has a particular reason for why they run games. For some, it's a desire to share their cinematic vision of exciting battles and thrilling worlds. For others, it's an interest in a shared world where they can unleash their players upon a sandbox. Or they want to set an investigative puzzle spree like some slightly friendlier version of Jigsaw from the Saw movies. Some STs simply enjoy the social aspect of getting several friends to sit down, roll some dice, kill some werewolves, and indulge in some carnage.

Me, I like getting together a group of players with interesting characters and watching them interact. I'm like a really mean kid with a magnifying glass, some tweezers, and 4 - 6 different bugs to play with. I like seeing how they will interact with different NPCs and whether that will change as new information comes to light. I enjoy putting a puzzle before them and seeing if they'll engage with it or move away from it. I like smirking at their jokes, tempting them with their desires, and turning their worlds upside down. Rewarding them is fun as is seeing how they will react to their punishments.

In short, I'm a bit of a laboratory ST. I'm happiest when my players create deep and engaging characters with nuanced behaviors that are sympathetic enough to be likable but flawed enough to be interesting.

How about you? How do you get your ST jollies? Why do you run games?

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Roleplayer Credentials

Since I'll be writing tons of articles, tips, and other bits and pieces, I figured I should let you know my background. That way you can see for yourself if I'm a total n00b who probably doesn't have much to say or if my interests in games are so different from yours that my advice probably won't even apply.

So, what's my background?

I, like most kids, LARPed without knowing it. There weren't any dice or systems but there was an over-arching world and I ran around in it with my friends, defeating monsters as Magic Cats, or even playing around with television worlds like Sliders. I once brought mum's remote control to work (minus the batteries) and used that as the Sliders remote. I played these games longer than most kids, however, and stopped in Year 8 only because I was home schooled for a couple years and didn't have other players.

I started gaming again at the late age of about eighteen by being an assistant Dungeon Master with my then boyfriend. I'd discovered Dungeons and Dragons at his house one day and suggested we should run something. That game only lasted a couple sessions but it opened a whole new world to me. I didn't game again for awhile but I did start researching a bunch of different games systems and spent hours reading mostly Dungeons & Dragons books and World of Darkness books. I also discovered Kult and Call of Cthulhu at around that time.

It wasn't until I started my university degree that I gathered together a bunch of gamers who hadn't played in years and ran my first game. A sprawling Demon: the Fallen (old World of Darkness) game set back at the start of WWII. It was a real zoo crawl where the players got to poke all kinds of things. There was no central theme or even goal but there didn't need to be. The players were happy enough to just run around the world exploring things and pushing red buttons. I even managed to groom a self-confessed hack-and-slasher into a roleplayer. This game went weekly for about a year and a half, though only a month of actual in-game time past. I don't know how we managed that trick, but we did.

I started playing, and running, Play by Posts for a few years in a wonderful Call of Cthulhu forum and I learned a lot about the methods behind making that work.

I also had a spot of roleplaying as a player in Dungeons and Dragons, twice, under two different Dungeon Masters. One lasted for a single session and was pretty cool though I was a terrible influence and when the party was split by a steel grate, I convinced my half of the group to go have a picnic. True Neutral rogues, huh? Gotta love them.

The other lasted for about four or five sessions where I played a 12-year-old psion from level 1 who leveled up to about level 3 with another player before joining the party of level 6 or 7s. That ... was a learning curve. It is very difficult to play in a game where everyone else is of significantly higher level.

Later, in my third year of university, after my Demon game ended, I started going to a Camarilla Vampire LARP (where I met my fiance). I played a fairly popular, albeit quiet, Daeva called Holly Jenkins and had a bit of fun creating a bidding war for my new foster sire. I also tried my hand at the Camarilla Mage and Changeling games. The latter effort lasted longer than the former but my attendance has been spotty at best.

I started playing Dungeons and Dragons weekly again with my new boyfriend and his friends. I learnt a fair bit about how to make battles sound suitably dangerous and exciting from that Dungeon Master (hello Chris!).

After a year or so of LARPing, I ran the Camarilla Vampire LARP of about 30 players as an ST. That didn't work out too well. I had difficulties with the realities of a global game, dropped out, and started my own Invite Only Vampire LARP with a smallish group of about 12 players. I ran that for about a year and a half. It was incredibly fun. I made a big cardboard coffin for an ancient to climb out of. I created a forum to streamline the IC conversations between sessions and to make it easier to deal with downtimes (creating a resource-based section of the game that enthralled some players but, unfortunately, irritated a few others who dropped out).

Eventually, after about two years, my Vampire LARP drew to a close due to a slow but steady player attrition that eventually beat my ability to attract new players. So I created a new World of Darkness version of Demon: the Fallen that was part-LARP, part-TABLETOP, part-PLAY-BY-POST, for six players (one is now my co-ST) that was designed to handle my busy player lives and thus allow a fortnightly game regardless of if five or only one player attended.

Later on I'll spotlight these games, where they went right and where they went wrong.

I'm also a psychology honours graduate and a budding novelist so I have (or at least think I have) a solid grasp on characterisation, particularly what makes people tick, and I like to apply both those skill sets to my NPCs and the ripple effects of player actions.

I have a writing blog that I'll sometimes link to from here as I've found that a lot of the advice that works for novelists on plotting and characterisation also works with storytelling. Of course, you have to be aware that your plots are more guidelines than true plots and you have absolutely no control over how your player's perceive or react to NPCs, but so long as you bear that in mind, you can apply a lot of the tools of the trade.

Wow, so that's a fairly long biography so if you bothered to read this far, here's a cookie.

I promise I won't be so long-winded next time. Or at the very least, I promise that I'll break up long-winded posts into multiple posts and call each piece of the rant something trendy like Part 1 and Part 2.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The 10 Balancing Acts of Engendering Horror

I have always been fascinated with the horror genre. I think its the queer mix of humor in the face of adversity, the strain of watching others in jeopardy, the fright factor of scary concepts, and the grittier ker-thunk of wretched realism which takes a look at just how bad a certain something can be. Since I've always loved horror, I've always wanted to run it.

The trouble is that a horror game is bloody hard to run.

After all, a horror game is a tight rope walk between opposing concepts, some of them intrinsic to the genre and others to the format (roleplaying in general). So to help wrap my head around what to do and how to do it, I've written up a series of articles on how to deal with the issues of balancing the various needs of the game to bring out the most horror potential.

Balancing Act 1: Personal Investment

Balancing Act 2: Dealing with Competent Heroic Personalities

Balancing Act 3: Pacing

Balancing Act 4: Threatening Nature

Balancing Act 5: Playing Environment

Balancing Act 6: Props

Balancing Act 7: The Flow of Information

Balancing Act 8: Immersion

Balancing Act 9: Scaring the Characters

Balancing Act 10: Rigging the Challenge

Stay tuned every Thursday for the next Balancing Act article!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mission Statement

This blog has been created so that others can access the articles, tips, and hints that I've compiled for my own pen-and-paper roleplaying games. I wrote them up so I wouldn't forget them or just so I can organise my thoughts so someone else might as well gain an advantage from them.

While I largely run Pathfinder and various World of Darkness games, I often take inspiration and advice from a multitude of games such as Call of Cthulhu and Kult-RPG. Heck, some of my articles will also be inspired by videogames that helped me cotton on to something that would help my storytelling. Every so often I'll link to an article from a writing forum (either mine or someone else's) as I've found that writer's guides are very helpful for world building and character design purposes.

Oh, I do generally ST / DM / GM but I'm occasionally a player so I will create the odd article from the player's eye view.

Feel free to comment on your ideas or suggestions or just to say hello!