Name: Robert Rice
Preferred Game Systems: D&D (2 and 3.5 for now), Champions, Paranoia, Star Frontiers, Custom System(Work in progress, "Immortal Destiny"). I'll be expanding this list with some new games over the next year.
Background: I've been on hiatus from role-playing for several years and I'm coming back with a vengeance (as player and GM). I first started GM'ing around 1986 or 1987 with Star Frontiers, and then Ghostbusters. Over the next couple of years, I was exposed to more games and was regularly playing and hosting for Paranoia, D&D, Champions, Battletech, Mechwarrior, and a bunch more. By early 92 (before I turned 21) I had opened a comic book and gaming store (hey, I was addicted). Games, comics, anime, sci-fi, fantasy, and so forth. I immersed myself in play, design, and study (I am a voracious reader to this day). Anyway, I moved on from the store to working at some tech startups in virtual reality, virtual worlds, online games, etc. advancing my skills and craft. Recently though, I've been spending all my time on running and managing startups with zero time for the fun stuff. Well, enough is enough and I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. There are maidens that need savin', loot to be stolen, glory earned, and legends made.
GM Merit Badges:
Relaxed, Fun, Social GMing Approach [Games should be fun and memorable]
Rolls Made In Open - The Dice Fall Where They May [Unless GM invokes rule zero to overrule the role for the sake of the game]
GM Improvises Material [There is always a plan, but with plenty of room for improvising based on player actions and decisions]
Rule Zero In Effect - The GM's Word is Final [Never abused and usually invoked for the player's benefit...unless they are being jerks]
GM Mirrors Back Player Ideas [Players are awesome and underutilized idea machines. If a player has a good idea, I'm likely to improvise a bit and run with it]
Focus on Mystery, Exploration & Puzzles [Just because you wiped out the zombie horde in the graveyard, it doesn't mean there isn't more to discover or loot. Look around...notice the pattern of gravestones?]
PvP Interaction Is Allowed [Because sometimes, you just need to settle a score]
Story-Focused Games [It isn't role-playing if there isn't some story, reason, or meaning to things, but that doesn't mean there won't be dramatic bits of combat either]
Tactical Thinking Is Encouraged [Thinking = longer life, more loot, greater glory]
Player Skill Is Rewarded [Even more so if there is fantastic role-playing in-character to go along with it]
GM Tinkers With Rules [Usually to fix problems with a system, but not in a way that leaves players guessing what the rules actually are]
Name: Rick Steeves
Preferred Game System: 1st Ed. AD&D+ (incorporating Arcana and house rules)
Background: I started GMing in 1981. My first game was AD&D 1st ed., and while I've played a OD&D, Harn, Champions, Paranoia, Top Secret, and few home-grown systems, I've always come back to 1st ed. I've been GMing regularly (and occasionally playing) since I started, with no major breaks. I'm an engineer, not a story-writer, so I tend to build worlds by linking multiple modules together and integrating them all instead of building things whole cloth, which lets me spend that time managing the world moving about. I also enjoy trying to figure out how something the PCs want to do can accomplished within a consistent rules set.
I have two long-running groups (and campaigns) - 19 years and 3 years respectively.
GM Merit Badges:
While I tend to use canned things, I put a lot of work at integrating everything together within the world and the characters.
And then it's all tweaked as part of a cohesive whole.
Mind you, we have some house rules as well, but we stick by them!
If a rule needs changing, we change it, and use that from there on out, with the goal being something practical and easy.
Not quite likely, but you need to be paying attention. The GM won't save you.
Combat is very tactical, and permits a fair amount of action subtlety.
Preferred Game Systems: Hero System (any edition), AD&D (1st or 2nd edition)
Background: I've been formally playing RPGs since early 1981, my first mainstream game being the D&D basic set (the old red box), though I was gaming informally without rules with friends for several years prior to that. Since then I've played games up and down the spectrum... D&D, AD&D, Traveller, Traveller 2300, Car Wars, MechWarrior, RoleMaster, M.E.R.P., Paranoia, GURPS, Shadowrun, Twilight 2000, Top Secret, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, The Atlantean Trilogy, Call of Cthulu, Doctor Who (FASA), Star Trek (FASA), Heroes Unlimited, Star Wars (West End), James Bond 007 (Victory), World of Darkness... and that's just the stuff I can remember easily, mostly during the 80's.
But, the most important game of the lot was Champions, which later came to be called the Hero System. A friend introduced me to the new rules back in 1982 (the published rulebook looked like it was photocopied from a typewriter) and I was hooked. For me, it's still the most versatile and enjoyable multi-genre system ever devised and I've always found my way back to it. I'm willing to branch out and experiment a bit as a player, but these days I no longer feel that it's worth devoting the time and energy I will always put into game-mastering a game unless I'm using a system I truly believe in, hence the very small list of systems that I will GM with.
I made this meme sometime ago to express my feelings towards another popular gaming system, with the Hero System in the role of... the Hero of course, hopefully you're familiar with Star Trek TNG
I've also done a great deal of live action role-play over the years, everything from Amtgard to S.C.A. to Killer to Mind's Eye Theater, but I'd like very much to get back to some good old-fashioned table-top role-play.
GM Merit Badges:
My games will tell an interesting Story.
My games often focus on Exploration & Mystery.
My games provide opportunities for Characters to roleplay and explore aspects of their personalities. (though I prefer that Player-vs-Player or Character-vs-Character drama be kept to a minimum)
Characters in my games are destined for greatness, not random death, so they are relatively safe. (to be clear, I will not annihilate characters because of accidents or random events, or even a certain amount of well-played heroics, but I am capable of dishing out death should it be dramatically appropriate or a player insists upon "committing suicide," i.e. doing something monumentally foolish like attacking a napping dragon by themselves... no joke, one idiot actually did this to me, I *had* to eat him)
My games use pre-made maps and pre-scripted content as a starting point (mostly created by yours-truly), but will move from there into improvisation and whatever paths the players choose to travel down. Player ideas & decisions will primarily dictate where the story goes, but I *will* ease people back on track if we digress too far.
My games feature a great deal of Non-Combat roleplay, but combat will still occur occasionally. I am very happy with any group that manages to painlessly bypass the obstacles I have laid in their path.
I will use a definitive set of rules that players can depend on, but modifications can be introduced if necessary to keep the gameplay entertaining.
GM Merit Badges defined. (the original site is defunct, but this mirror has been put up in its stead)
Edited by Carleton on Sep 3, 2014 9:53 PM
Name: Randy Pinion
Preferred Systems: Pathfinder, Fate Core, D&D 5E, Adventurer, Conqueror, King
I'm also familiar enough with D&D4E and some Fate hacks like Accelerated and Mindjammer to run them, but am less comfortable
Background: Lifelong nerd and gamer, I got my start with consoles in the early 90s and picked up Magic: The Gathering soon thereafter. I had a few formative experiences with tabletop RPGs (mostly AD&D2E and 3.0) in my early teen years and high school, but never got anything significant going, so I transitioned mostly to PC games and contented myself with RPGs there. Since graduating college, I've made more of an effort to play tabletop games again, including GMing a long-running Pathfinder game here in Raleigh, plus many one-shots for RTR and a new Fate Core game, too!
I'm heavily influenced by the fiction I've consumed. I'm an unapologetic Lord of the Rings nerd, but Harry Potter, Malazan Book of the Fallen, Name of the Wind, the old Wing Commander novelizations, and the entire collected works of Bruce Coville also influence me a lot. In film, LotR, Star Wars, and Stargate (movie) are my all-time faves, while on TV I've strongly gravitated toward Doctor Who, Star Trek, House, and Record of the Lodoss War over the years, though I did spend a regrettable portion of my youth obsessing over Dragon Ball Z, too. . .
I love fantasy and scifi equally, and have attempted to write books and stories my entire life. Somehow, gaming seems like a better outlet than long-form fiction, and I greatly enjoy the social element of it.
GM Merit Badges
- My games will always strive to have an Interesting Story. While improv and mirroring crop up (more later), I have somewhere I'd like to take you and I always hope we can tell a good tale together.
- My games will always strive to be Light-Hearted Fun. While a rules-heavy system might require a bit of sober calculation and while a properly dramatic moment should be savored, humor and laughter are vital to me in a game.
- I always Roll Dice in the Open. I think telling a story together takes a lot of trust, and I want you to always be able to trust me. If things go sideways, we'll figure it out together!
- I love to Tinker. My years-long PF game is on a fully custom world with new races, and in a one-shot, I'm always looking for ways to keep ponderous systems moving quickly. I'll be fair and consistent, but don't be surprised by something new when gaming with me!
- Be ready to Run! Not everything in every game can be solved by fighting; sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor in my games.
- A great idea deserves to get used, so I practice Player Mirroring. Just don't be surprised when the impossible deathtrap you joked about shows up. . .
- I always feel comfortable with a solid outline for a session/campaign, and like to prep cool encounters/situations that take a little work, but once we're in-game, I'm heavily driven by Improvisation. This is strongly tied to the previous badge about mirroring; I want to stay nimble and responsive!
Hope that's helpful :)
Name: Casey Clements
System: Pathfinder, Others are nice, I'll try anything but run pathfinder
Background: Played everything from 1st Edition up to 3.5 D&D. Switched Over to Pathfinder. Started to GM in High School with AD&D. 3.5 was great and 3.75(Early Pathfinder) fixed a lot of these issues. Took a break when I got married and started having kids. Got back into Pathfinder to run clubs at High School where I teach. Introduced to Pathfinder Society. Started to GM more and write material whenever I can.
Focus on Player Skill over character stats.
I like to make the game better and tinker with rules for my home-brew games
I try to make a very interesting story for the players
Play smart and remember: to run is sometimes the smartest thing to do.
I love to play off player input and encourage creative solutions
Edited by Casey Clements on Nov 15, 2014 11:32 AM
Name: Johnathan Byerly
Preferred Game Systems: New World of Darkness (nearly all flavors), D&D 4E, Call of Cthulhu, Exalted, Iron Kingdoms RPG, Mutants & Masterminds, Shadowrun, Through the Breach
Background: I started roleplaying in college 15 years ago. I played White Wolf games nearly exclusively for the first several years, mostly in long-running campaigns (3 year Exalted campaign, 2 year Changeling the Lost campaign, etc). A friend introduced me to D&D with 4th edition and became the Living Forgotten Realms/Encounters/Lair Assault organizer for Game Theory. Hanging out there got me exposed to Shadowrun and IKRPG, both of which I now run as home games. Throughout all of this, there have been short run games of D&D 3.5, Mutants & Masterminds, HERO, Star Wars Edge of Empire, Pathfinder, Aberrant and Call of Cthulhu.
GM Merit Badges:
My games will tell an interesting Story
My games can be Scary. A number of my games will be in the Horror genre. However,
All of my games use the Red Rule: A player-controlled character can only be seduced or otherwise put in a disturbing situation if the player is okay with it. Otherwise, any such attempt fails automatically. I'll also let players know ahead of time if these themes will be in my game or a particular session.
My games focuses on Exploration & Mystery. Probably too much.
I'm often by-the-book when it comes to rules, but this isn't firm.
Character Death happens in my games. And can be permanent and instant.
I use a lot of modules as the basis for my games, but will completely go off-rails
I will use player ideas in games. Players often have the more diabolical ideas.
While I don't usually encourage PvP, I don't prevent it.
I don't balance all encounters in my games to the character abilities. Certain decisions will leave characters with the choices of run or die.
Edited by Johnathan Byerly on Aug 3, 2015 10:11 AM