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Patrick Stutzman
Works at UMB Bank
Lived in Grandview, MO
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Patrick Stutzman

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Morning already?! (flops back down onto the bed)
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Nine: You can game anywhere on Earth, where would you choose?

Aww, we're confined to Earth?! That limits my possibilities.

If I had to choose just one place (and this is not an easy task, as there are a number of wonderful locales and environments from which to choose), I'd have to go with Stonehenge. The natural beauty, combined with its mysterious history, would make an excellent setting to sit down with a gaming group and play through a session or thirty.

Plus, who knows? Maybe I'd be lucky enough to connect into a ley line.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Seven: Most unusual circumstance or location in which you've gamed.

Most unusual? I've spent most of my gaming time in either college dorms, friends' homes/apartments, or gaming/hobby stores. I suppose the most unusual in my life was while I was driving with my wife to her parents' house while we were dating. She was playing Elexia Nightstar, while I GM'd her situation. Not very exciting, but there it is.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Five: What makes for a good character?

I'm sure many players would argue with me, because this question can be so objective. Different games may call for different types of characters, so players will create characters to fit into that style of game.

From my standpoint, this question could apply for any work of fiction as well as RPGs, since my games are presented as stories the players help create. A good character is one who contributes to the story in a positive manner and is not perfect.

What do I mean by this? I'll explain each of my two points.

"A good character is one who contributes to the story in a positive manner." Every character brings something to the proverbial table. What they bring may not always be conducive to a good story. Min-maxed characters, while from the player's point-of-view is one who is pushed to its maximum potential, tend to be unfair to the rest of the group unless they (including the GM) are willing to follow suit. For example, I played a game several years ago, where a friend of mine each played a monk in a D&D3e game. I rolled mine up normally, while he min-maxed his character. In every encounter, he acted earlier than me, hit almost every time, and wiped out the enemy before I or several other players had a chance to do anything. While he was having fun, I was feeling left out. To me, one of us was not contributing to the story in a positive manner. Some would argue it was me, because I didn't do anything. I would argue it was him, because he stole everybody else's thunder. Contributing positively means working within the group for everybody's benefit, not just your own.

"A good character is one who is not perfect."

Nobody in real life is perfect. Everybody has flaws, quirks, what have you. Likewise, a character in a roleplaying game is one-dimensional if you play just your class and two-dimensional if you play just your class and alignment or how your stats appear on your character sheet. Adding a personality to your character, complete with wants, needs, history, and even imperfections, make them a living, breathing character and can be more fun for the group. In a different D&D3e game I played several years ago, I played a rogue. People think of different things when they hear about such characters. To help liven things up, mine who spoke with a bit of an Australian accent (which I did when I spoke in-character), liked to collect little baubles, and had to have his clothing all in black. Little characteristics like that gave him personality and a more likable character, despite his misgivings about rushing into combat and his tendency to keep more than his fair share of loot.

If you're looking to make a good character, please consider the two points I've presented, and see what you can come up with to make your next character one of the best you've ever played.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Three: Share one of your best "Worst Luck" stories.

In my earlier days of gaming before the dawn of the Alliance campaign during my freshman year in college, I played in a 1e AD&D Lankhmar dungeon crawl campaign DM'ed by my friend David Christopher (R.I.P.). I played Sir Alan Devashar, cavalier, and portrayed him as a true chivalrous knight.

One evening during the spring semester, we took in a new player. I don't remember her name (I think it was Patricia, but I'm probably wrong.), but she rolled up our new female cleric of Issek of the Jug. Being the chivalrous knight, I swore to protect her during our adventures into the dungeon beneath the city.

We descended into the lower levels of the dungeon, inhabited by cruel, evil beings from beyond our world (all manners of demons and daemons), to rid the world of their ilk. The dice were not with me that night. I must have rolled at least 1-2 fumbles in each battle we fought that night.

At the height of the evening, we faced a multi-armed daemon who had defeated us previously and was using our magical weapons against us. Being the cavalier I was, I moved between the daemon and the lady I protected and charged just as it launched a fireball at the party. I rolled my save, which turned up a natural 1...again. The fireball exploded with me at its epicenter, taking maximum damage. On top of that, the blast threw me across the room and slammed me into the wall. I dropped to the floor with 1 hit point remaining before death took me.

One good thing came out of it, though. Since I was burned, I wouldn't bleed to death.
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#RPGaDAY 2016 - Day Twenty-One: Funniest misinterpretation of a rule in your group?

Honestly, I can't recall any misinterpretations that turned out...wait a minute. I just thought of one.

Back when I was running my Alliance campaign in college, I had a player that loved to take advantage of rules loopholes. The instance that comes to mind is when he decided that throwing one shuriken at a time was a big waste of time and believed he could throw multiple shuriken from each hand. Since they were all going the same direction, he figured they had a good chance of all hitting the target. I allowed him a to-hit roll for each shuriken that left his hand. And to my surprise, he was rather successful with each attack he made.

After a while and multiple attempts to improve his attacks, he finally managed to squeeze four shuriken between each of his fingers on each hand, totalling thirty-two shuriken thrown in a single round.

Yeah, that one really got out of hand...no pun intended.
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#RPGaDAY 2016 - Day Thirty-One: Best advice you were given for your game of choice?

Honestly, I don't think I was ever "given" advice for my games. It was more like learning by example. With that said, I'd say the best I got was from Robert West: run your game like you're weaving a story together with your players. Don't just present a setting and throw monsters at them. Give them a logical reason to be there. Why would the old wizard build his tower by the ocean? What would cause the demon to torment the villagers? Only do random for random encounters. Everything else must make sense.
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#RPGaDAY 2016 - Day Thirty: Describe the ideal game room if the budget were unlimited.

Where do I start? The room would be designed to look like the conference room from the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. The walls would have a steel gray sheen with oval-like lights embedded inside, and include cabinets and shelves hidden behind secret panels to store books and gaming materials, non-refrigerable snacks, and other assorted supplies. While I'm thinking about it, let's throw in a refrigerator to store drinks and leftovers and a microwave to warm up any food that might need it. The table would be that round one with the polished black surface. I'd love to throw in a holographic projector in the middle, but we're not to that level of technology yet. Until then, we'd have to settle with a 60" plasma screen 3D HDTV installed into the table. Each seat at the table would have a keyboard and mouse set up to allow each player to enter information, such as character stats and positioning of their virtual miniature on the map displayed on the screen, and a built-in cup holder which could double as a place to keep your dice. Finally, the room would be wired with a state-of-the-art surround sound system, because I like to include music and sound effects in my games.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Eight: Thing you'd be most surprised a friend has not seen or read?

Very few things surprise me anymore. But by this time in my life, I'd expect most, if not all, my friends would have seen either the original Star Wars trilogy and/or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If they haven't seen either one, it would take me a moment to come to my senses.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Six: What hobbies go well wtih RPGs?

Today's post doesn't look to be long. I'm simply listing the hobbies I feel work well with roleplaying games, such as miniatures painting, drawing/painting, writing, and model making. Some people have even made careers out of these hobbies from their love and involvement with RPGs, myself included (since I became an author and game designer).

Do you know any others to add to this list? Let me know what you think.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Four: What is the game you are most likely to give to others?

Giving a game to other people, in my mind, is akin to introducing them to tabletop gaming. To that end, introducing them to roleplaying games is a great way to introduce them to this fantastic world. While a number of roleplaying games are excellent examples of what can be done to bring RPGs to new heights and bring wondrous adventures to new and veteran players, I have always found one particular game to be one of the best ways to bring new players into the fold: Dungeons & Dragons.

The first game most people think of when they hear the term "roleplaying games" is D&D. With familiar tropes from such great stories like Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, and more, D&D eases people into the game and opens them to the countless worlds available for them to play.

I started with D&D as a teenager and played it well through my college years. During that time, I was introduced to other games, such as BattleTech/MechWarrior, Champions, Cyberpunk 2020, GURPS, Marvel Super Heroes, Rifts, Shadowrun, Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. But, D&D was my first RPG and is my choice to give to others to let them experience the joy of tabletop gaming.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Twenty-Two: Supposedly random game events that keep recurring!?

I can recall a few "random" game events that happened over and over again. Probably the one that has stuck in my mind through the years was the player whose character threw dozens of shuriken in a single round (Remember him from yesterday?) and his rolling of critical hits a large amount of the time. Yeah, that was the last time I allowed a player to use a "Player's Screen". Laugh all you want. I deserve it. I was young and stupid at the time.
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Author, game designer, and self-proclaimed geek (not the chicken head-biting kind).
Bragging rights
Author of The Chronicles of Anna Foster (ALONE ON THE EDGE, ALONE IN PARADISE, ALONE IN THE CROWD, AND ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE); game designer for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Grandview, MO - Independence, MO - Seattle, WA - Lynnwood, WA
Work
Occupation
Author and roleplaying game designer
Employment
  • UMB Bank
    Online Banking Agent III, 2004 - present
  • Self-employed
    Author/Game Designer, 2007 - present
  • Science fiction author and published roleplaying game designer (worked on Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition for Wizards of the Coast, e20: System Evolved for GMSarli Games, and various projects for Super Genius Games and The Game Mechanics), check my website at http://www.patrickstutzman.com for an excerpt from my first novel and a free short story
    present
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