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

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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 Nineteen: Best way to learn a new game?

Being a former educator, I know several learning styles exist. Some work best for some and may not work as well for others.

As for me, I've found the best way for me to learn a new game is to create a character from scratch and learn how the combat system works. Creating the character exposes you to a lot of the nuances behind how characters work and interact within the game. Taking a character through a sample combat or two helps you learn how to apply a lot of what you learned through the character creation process in game play, and combat is a foundation for almost any game system.

It's that simple.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Seventeen: What fictional character would best fit in your group?

I'm assuming they're referring to the character being a player in my group. At least, that's the way this question makes any sense to me.

A lot of fictional characters are flooding through my mind as I write this, saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" I also have to determine the group into which this character will be fit. Should I use my Alliance campaign group? What about the most recent group for whom I ran games?

Deciding to go with my Alliance group from college and after some consideration, the fictional character I believe would best fit into the group as a player would have to be Captain James T. Kirk. He knows how to jump in with both feet and get right to task. He's cunning and smart to help with those puzzling situations I threw at my players. He can fight with the best of them and come out with only a few scratches and a torn shirt. And, he knows when to kick back and have a good time.

Captain Kirk, welcome aboard High Orbit Station. You have an open invitation to Kinthalin's Room. I'm sure you'll be well received.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Fifteen: Your best source of inspiration for RPGs?

I have gained inspiration from a number of sources: books, movie soundtracks, video games, other RPG books. But, the one source that tops it all for me is movies and television shows.

While the other sources I've mentioned allow you to gain knowledge and experience using one sense, movies and TV shows (and in a few instances, video games) hit multiple senses in such a way that spark that level of creativity within me more than the others. Movies like Star Wars: A New Hope, Jurassic Park, or Marvel's The Avengers immerse me so well that I can't help but be inspired.

As long as moviemakers continue to produce movies that tantalize my brain, they will continue to inspire me.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Thirteen: What makes a successful campaign?

When it comes to having a successful RPG campaign, a number of factors come into play. It isn't just one magical aspect that brings it all together.

The people at the table play a big part of it, of course. Having players eager to play and contribute to the game and a GM who can not only run an exciting adventure but is willing to listen to their players and bring to the table the kind of game they want to play is important.

A successful campaign also needs a game system that caters to the kind of game the group wants to play. Do they want hard-and-fast rules? Do they want lots of details to help define their character? The group needs to consider this.

The setting in which the campaign takes place is also a big contributing factor. Not everybody may enjoy playing through a dungeon crawl or starship combat or superheroes. This also falls back on the first point.

A culmination of all these elements, in my opinion, help make a successful campaign.
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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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#RPGaDAY 2016 - Day Twenty: Most challenging but rewarding system have you learned?

I haven't played with very many game systems. Usually if I find a system I like, I'll stick with it as long as I can. That said, I'd probably have to say the most challenging system I've played that was rather rewarding would have to be MERP (Middle-Earth Role Playing). Mind you, I last played it in the late 1980s. So, I imagine the game has changed quite a bit since then. Back then, it was so detailed that you'd spend five minutes finding out just how bad you got scratched by a goblin mother's pin cushion. At the same time, the amount of detail really made imaging the game rather vivid.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Eighteen: What Innovation could RPG groups benefit most from?

This is a good question, one that requires a lot of thought. (Who comes up with these questions, anyway?)

I suppose that, before we can truly answer this question, we need to define how new the innovations have to be in order to be even considered: the past year, five years, twenty years, etc.. For the sake of my answer, I'm going to go with innovations over the past fifty years. Yes, I know that covers a lot of territory, but I don't have much of a choice. (It's my post. I'll do what I want!)

The innovation I feel RPG groups could most benefit from is the internet. With so many sources of inspiration (i.e.: stories, settings, characters, etc.) that people have posted on their personal websites or may even be listed on news sites, players and GMs alike should have little difficulty finding ways to enhance their games. With so many people offering their gaming advice and demonstrations of games to play (i.e.: podcasts, Tabletop, Geek & Sundry, etc.), players and GMs can learn to improve their overall gaming experience beyond where they already are. With so many online stores offering gaming products for purchase (i.e.: Drive-Thru RPG, Amazon, eBay, etc.), gamers can obtain source materials for games they may never have experienced before or want to experience again.

Okay, we're all familiar with the internet. After all, you're reading this post through it. And, I'm sure we're all familiar with the avenues I've listed above. Well, I had to write something today, and I felt this was the best answer I could muster. (Again, I say...it's my post. I'll do what I want!)
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Sixteen: Historical Person you'd like in your group? What game?

A number of historical people come to my mind as possible choices. But above all, I would like to spend just one evening with none other than Gary Gygax playing D&D.

I've always enjoyed the notion of sitting down with a property's creator and just talking about it for hours on end. But if I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with one of D&D's creators, I'd spend it not just talking, but playing the game he helped create. I've heard he was a lot of fun at the table, and hearing his insights would be an unforgettable experience for me.
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#RPGaDAY  2016 - Day Fourteen: Your dream team of people you used to game with?

This one's easy for me. It would have to be my players in college when I ran the Alliance campaign.

Often, my mind stretches back to those wonderful days, when I would gather with them on those Friday evenings in the basement of I'm Game, the ground floor lounge of Diemer Hall, or the top floor lounge of Foster-Knox Hall and roleplay the adventures of the crew of the ASC Starspeed (or later High Orbit station).

These people were not only my players, but they became lifelong friends. You may have even heard of one or two of them. Andrew Mahon (original owner of Pulp Fiction Comics in Lee's Summit), David Miller, Kenneth Reed, Karen Thronebury, +Trampas Whiteman  freelance game designer of D&D 3rd edition Dragonlance [yes, THAT Trampas Whiteman]), and (certainly not least) Michelle Swanson (the woman who would eventually become my wife +Michelle Stutzman).

This is my gaming dream team. No need to applaud; just throw money.
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#RPGaDAY 2016 - Day Twelve: Which game is your group most likely to play next? Why?

That's a good question. Considering I currently don't have an active tabletop group, I can't really answer this one. If I was to gather my previous group together, however, I would have to say it would be probably Pathfinder, Shadowrun, or Unwritten: the MYST RPG.

Why? Simply put, we have unresolved storylines from each game.
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In his circles
120 people
Have him in circles
1,585 people
Evan Klimpl's profile photo
dave watson's profile photo
Sunil Saini's profile photo
Susan Ee's profile photo
Lisa Cochran's profile photo
Ryan Mac Donald's profile photo
Alex Stutzman's profile photo
Jenn Thorson's profile photo
Rob Bignell, Editor's profile photo
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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Male
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Tagline
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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Previously
Grandview, MO - Independence, MO - Seattle, WA - Lynnwood, WA