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Ray Otus
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Those of you who REALLY know me, know that I sometimes get liquored up, virtually or actually, and throw some love around. Well, my peoples, this is the day I do it. It has been too long.

If I name your name, listen to this effing song (linked below) and think about how untouchably great you are!

Mad love to +Logan Howard, +Greg Gorgonmilk, +Tim Callahan, +Reid San Filippo, +Carl Bussler, +Eric Hoffman, +Cédric Plante, +Gavin Norman, +Brian Holland, +Jason Cordova, +Oli Jeffery and other zine makers. Thank you for bringing the hobby back down to a human scale and focusing on fun, energy, and ideas over dollars and status! The fecundity of ideas in your zines beats 95% of the polished, published products I read. Good stuff. Good stuff.

Ridiculous gratitude to +Jason Cordova, +Jim Jones, and +Eric Nieudan for strengthening my own exploits (Plundergrounds) with their unguarded feedback and insightful comments. The zines I make are WAY better for the input from these creative people. Like 40% plus better. People who will read your shit and tell you what they honestly think in a way that's helpful is ... well it's pretty damn helpful! And rare. And probably not easy for them to do.

All the plusses to +Sean Poppe, +Karl Stjernberg, +Juan Ochoa, +Doug Kovacs, +Cédric Plante, +Moses McDermott, +Thomas Novosel, and other fantasy artists who inspire me with their awesome pieces and non-mainstream styles. I mean, I like mainstream stuff, but it doesn't inspire me anymore. It's too boxed into the tropes. Stuff like Cedric's weird, androgynous, biotech drawings or Kovacs' ridiculous narrative maps, or Novosel's "living" urban sprawls, or McDermott's thumbnail landscapes. That stuff pushes my buttons in a good way.

Respect and love to +Jason Cordova, +David LaFreniere, +Sean P Kelley, +Brett B, +Forrest Aguirre, +Oli Jeffery, +Ralph Lovegrove, +Megan Pedersen, and other podcasters whose shows I consume on my way to work. Soooo many hours that you all have inspired good and interesting thoughts to run through my gray matter! I'm particularly into Ralph's Fictoplasm lately, as it features intelligent discussion (aside from the upcoming episode in which I talk) of literature and then directly (and easily/seemlessly) relates it to the tabletop RPG play. It's GREAT. Go through the back log (, find a book you know or are curious about, and have a listen! My thanks to all of you for putting yourself out there. It's hard, I know, to keep up your energy and to endure criticism (fair or unfair or nonexistent). THANK YOU.

Another shout out to +Apocryphal Chris for keeping our book club rock solid, despite up-and-down participation by some members (cough, me). If you read and game, you should join us!!

Humble gratitude to +Slade Stolar, +Michael G. Barford, +Sophia Brandt, (and the visually-impaired dude I can't find on Google+ who added so much to the conversation) for helping me put together my first online hangout! I hope that video survives as a kind of perennial resource for people who are tempted to try solo RPG play! You all made it great! I felt like a rock star facilitating when you were so "on point" with your comments.

Superpowered energy and positive thoughts go to +David Schirduan and +Marshall Miller for running another 200 Word RPG Contest and to +Satine Phoenix, +Jason Cordova, +Kate Bullock RMT, +Brent Newhall, +Abstract Machine, and other judges who are devoting a ridiculous amount of time to reading/evaluating! (Don't pick mine! Not that you would.) Dang, some of the entries are great this year!

Finally, to all my indie-game-creating, online friends and people I hope to be friends with: +clash bowley, +Marshall Miller, +Brad Murray, +Epidiah Ravachol, +Slade Stolar, +Meguey Baker, +J. Walton, +John Harper, +Jacob Hurst, +Eric Nieudan, +Maxime Lacoste, +David Black, +Stras Acimovic, +Jeremy Strandberg, etc. etc. etc. Keep the faith! Creativity is its own reward. Thank you for investing your time and energy in the hobby. Thank you for being givers and not just takers! Producers and not just critics! You are all awesome, influential, and motivating to me. Mad love.

Whew. If I'm gonna go any further, I need more scotch. Thanks everyone. Do good. Keep your chin up. The little, sweet moments in life ARE enough. People DO matter. (Well, not shitty people, but all the others.) Love y'all.

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Help me decide the next Plundergrounds Hangout topic.

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Great stuff.
Great advice from +Jeremy Strandberg

First, work on your skills as a GM. Lead by example. You should be describing constantly, setting the scene, visualizing it, clarifying it. Relative location, what the PCs see, hear, feel. The momentum of PCs and NPCs and hazards.

You don't get to say "the orcs approach" or the "the orc attacks you." And you damn sure don't get to say "the orc attacks, Defy Danger with DEX." No, you gotta be like "the orcs advance, leering and weapons drawn, spreading out to flank you, what do you do?" Or "The orc on your left lunges suddenly, swinging it's homemade meat cleaver down at you like HA! What do you do?"

If you don't give them good, compelling fiction to interact with, then you can't expect them to them to think beyond the moves on the sheet.

When you ask the players what they do, and their eyes drift down to the moves sheet, be like "forget that. Look at me. The orc is swinging it's huge, pitted meat cleaver at your skull. What do you DO?"

If they reply with something basic like "um, I dodge?" then be positive but prompt for more detail. "Okay, cool! Are you just jumping clear and trying to get away from him? Dodging to the side so you can counterattack? What's this look like?"

Then, whatever they do and whatever move triggers and whatever the result of their roll, fold that description into the results! If they dodge backwards and just try to get away, and Defy Danger with a 10+, then they get away. "Okay, so you hop back from the orc's attack and put a few more feet between you and them. But they're still blocking the way in front you and they're gonna close any second now. You wanna turn and flee back down the hallway you can, no problem. Or you can re-engage. Or whatever. What do you?"

Now, if you ask "what do you do?" and they reply with the name of the move, that's cool. There's nothing wrong with that, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But your job then is to clarify the fiction. "You Hack and Slash? Cool, tell me what that looks like?" "You Discern Realities? Okay, how exactly are you doing that?" "You Volley? Okay, but that orc is right in your face and gonna gut you if you don't try to get clear first."

Respond to their actions positively and enthusiastically, but don't let them off the hook with poorly visualized action. If you can't picture it in your head, it's not clear enough. Talk it through, ask for detail, clarify.

Don't play "gotcha." The book talks about making a hard move when they give you a golden opportunity, but you shouldn't treat that as a surprise. If someone declares that they do something that you think is a golden opportunity, and you think it's clear that they're doing something stupid, then clarify it first. Tell them the consequences and ask. "You're going to charge the hydra and try to stab it's torso? Okay, but that'll mean dodging past its seven snapping maws. You'll be Defying Danger with DEX just to get close, and on a miss, it's gonna be bad. Like, fish-in-a-blender bad. You do it?"

Reward creative solutions. If they tip a statue on the orcs pursuing them, offer them an opportunity to escape or to take one of them out without a fight or whatever. If the wizard grabs a tapestry off the wall and tosses it over the orcs, let them Defy Danger with INT for quick thinking instead of rolling STR for heaving the tapestry. Be a fan!

And always, always, bring it back to the fiction. After a move resolves, reframe the scene. Describe what's happening now. Make your move. And ask "what do you do?"

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Roy G. Krenkel (mentor to Frazetta)

30 Photos - View album

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Raawrrrr!!!! I hit 100 Patreons today!


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Pinning this here for ideas.
Help¡ I am running the last battle for my months long Campaign and would like some help making it special. The bbeg Tiamat is finally coming to town. Please help me with moves and any boss mechanics that will really make this session powerful for my youth club kids.


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14. The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges
1967, 256 pages, mythology/fable

Meh. I started this book over a year ago and got bored with it about 1/2 way through. I finished it up tonight for the sake of being complete. This is the Borges you're used to if you love his short fiction. The book is a collection of 1-3 page essays on various monsters chosen, almost at random it seems, from myths, legends, fables, and literature. Some are pretty fascinating. Others are treated in a pretty lackluster manner.

200 Word RPG Challenge Favorites: Segmentation Default by S. Tan

Why do we even buy RPG games longer than 1 page!? If +Daniel Fowler's Carry On is Star Trek in 200 words, this is Shadowrun (or at least The Sprawl) in 200 words.

Styles, classes, specialties, character advancement, and a mission generator. It's all in there. Makes me sick (with jealousy). Thumbs up.

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Another good roll. Create a story using 5 or 6 cubes. The cubes you choose all have to come from one (or both) of two 'tic-tac-toe' lines you draw across the dice. 

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Yay, an AP of Kazarak!
I ran +Ray Otus 's Kazarak for 2 people who had never played an RPG before (and 1 DW veteran) . They loved it and want to start over with a 'proper' Dungeon World campaign. I'm excited to start GMing a weekly Dungeon World game again, it's been awhile. 
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