In 1987 a buddy of mine came to me in the lunchroom at school and said, “Hey, let’s try this Dungeons and Dragons thing! It’ll totally annoy our parents.” He showed me the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide – the one with that excellent looking ifrit on the cover – and I was immediately sold on the idea.
“It says here that someone has to be the Dungeon Master. It looks kind of hard. Who’s gonna do that?” I asked.
“Want to paper-rock-scissors for it? Loser has to be Dungeon Master.” He replied.
After losing that fateful round of paper-rock-scissors, I fully embraced my role as a forever-GM. I’ve run everything from intimate, emotionally driven tabletops with just a few players to large scale fantasy boffer LARP’s with hundreds of players.
In 2012, I joined the plot team for Dying Kingdoms, a large scale campaign-style boffer LARP in Southern California. During my two successful years as a Lead Storyteller for DK, I honed the personal-plot driven GM’ing style that I would later become known for. And I began creating hype posts and “vignette” fictional blurbs to engage the player base and community while building excitement for upcoming events. In my tenure as a GM, I have developed community tools that were seamlessly adopted into sister games such as sharable documents between plot members, pacing plans for releasing information to the player base for maximum engagement based off of storytelling principles, advanced record keeping, budgeting plans for games, and social media marketing practices that are still used today.
More recently, I designed and ran my own campaign-style LARP called Undying. Undying is a dark fantasy Americana-inspired boffer/NERF LARP located in Southern California. It tells the story of The Undying, a factionalized community of sentient undead who are struggling to carve a place for themselves in an ancient realm of corruption and evil. Together with my team I wrote rules, ran games, and community managed a radically inclusive group of gamers. You can find our Player’s Guide, Advanced Player’s Guide, and supplemental materials like Vignettes and Fell Songs in the included links.
In 2017, I was asked to record a full album of maritime music as a stretch goal for the wildly successful 7th Sea 2nd Edition Kickstarter. I worked with the design team to adapt real-world historical folk music to the game’s setting, then I arranged the songs, recorded all of the instrumentation, sang the leads, and ran group sessions for the background vocals and harmonies. To this day, that collection of songs remains one of my proudest achievements.
My games tend to center pretty heavily on roleplay, exploration, and pathos. As a GM, my number one goal is to get you to FEEL something in character, and any session where I can accomplish that is a victory in my eyes. I also supplement my tables with my own content creation, be it moody music or prop videos when necessary.
I have a number of tools in my personal toolkit to accomplish this: 30+ years of GM experience, professional music training, sound design experience, improv training, decades of professional acting education and experience, years of LARP theory study, and most importantly, the understanding that I’m here to help you tell YOUR story, you’re not here to help me tell mine. I have been running games and gaming communities for the better part of my life, which amounts to tons of RPG and Table Top Gaming book and accessory collecting, as well as running and playing in table tops for all that time.
I have been professionally running Table Tops and Live Action Role Playing Games for the last solid decade. But I have been a member and leader in the gaming community for much longer.
I have run and played in Dungeons & Dragons (all versions but most recently 5e), Savage Worlds, Marvel Super Heroes SAGA, Star Wars RPG by Fantasy Flight Games, 7th Sea, Deadlands, Genesys, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Vampire the Masquerade, Wraith, Shadowrun, The Supernatural Role Playing Game, and most notoriously SenZar (if you know you know, and if you don’t know, definitely find yourself a copy for the gaming collector at heart with a sense of humor). And for the random one off game, I have had lots of fun with Fate and Fiasco.
I run in person and online, utilizing Roll20, Zoom, and Discord as my main digital platforms. Roll20 isn’t just for digital games, in live gaming sessions I use the maps and campaign tools to project onto an screen table in my personal home “gaming tavern,” which also serves as a nice set backdrop for my digital sessions. I have a dedicated high end Alienware gaming machine for running my creative content, and a suite of editing tools like Premiere to cut personalized media. I also have a dedicated music Mac that runs Logic Pro, and the Izotope RX 8 tools. I leverage these tools to enhance the experiences I craft. I can edit video and sound, and am more than comfortable being the talent on camera.
One final important note: my table and any community I run is LGBTQIA+ inclusive, feminist and equality focused, and POC friendly/inclusive. If those values don’t appeal to you, then I would encourage you to seek out any number of the other wildly talented GM’s that are more in line with your values.