Categories
technology video games

Building My First PC (Part 1)

For years, I have considered building a gaming PC. From the cost to the high-minded desire to not play more games, I have always found reasons to not do it. On the flip side, I never found a good enough reason to do it. Until this past year. A few months ago, we watched the […]

Categories
parenting 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 […]

Categories
D&D

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. […]

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tabletop games

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 […]

Categories
parenting personal video games

Changed My Mind: 2021 Edition Part 2

This post is a followup to Part 1 where I reflect specifically on cases where I have learned, grown up, or adapted to new circumstances. Physical Books This one is a cop-out because I still actually prefer reading ebooks for myself. However, I have a new reason to want to have physical books around. I […]

Categories
tabletop games

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 […]

Categories
D&D tabletop games

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 […]

Categories
tabletop games

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 […]

Categories
D&D tabletop games

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 […]

Categories
D&D tabletop games

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 […]