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Tim Rodriguez
Technomancer, game designer, food scientist, fermenter, entrepreneur, and other hands-on things.
Technomancer, game designer, food scientist, fermenter, entrepreneur, and other hands-on things.
Tim Rodriguez's posts

I ran a game of DCO at Dreamation this last weekend, pitching my own scenario. It took a little bit of time to get used to the planning vs. the legwork structure, as I hadn't watched any of the AP videos beforehand and it took me a while to finally find the detail of how that structure functions in a sidebar (p3, Players Rules). But once we had that, we were off to the races!

Our Alchemist made a pinhole camera so that the Grifter could forge an invitation, our Brawler seduced a pit fighter in exchange for a repeating crossbow, and our Thief taught a young lady of the nobility to fly as cover for a break-in!

I'm extremely impressed with how quickly, cleanly, and completely everyone had interesting characters. And also how well the system played to my improv GM habits. I'm really looking forward to the final product now and I fully expect this game to go into common rotation in the future.

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Looking for a spooky #podcast? Check out for some hauntingly fun #rpg This week +John Holt t and I have +Tiffany E. Cook and +Tim Rodriguez on the show as we explore the dark and terrifying woods!

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I'm publishing a new game!

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Spectacular. The videos of all these guys singing is awesome.

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Found this on facebook. Original author is not sorry.
2 Photos - View album

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I'm on one panel about two-player games, and one about GMing cyberheists.
I am exhausted, yet proud to present the METATOPIA 2015 Panels, Seminars & Special Events Schedule. This is by far the deepest, richest METATOPIA panel track we've ever produced - over 100 events, featuring some of the most incredible talent in the gaming industry, ready to share their knowledge and insight with all of our attendees!

The Complete Schedule of Events, including all Playtests, will be posted on Sunday, November 1, 2015, and event reservations can be made at that time.

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aww, thanks +Joe Bardales!
Day 2: Kickstarted game most pleased you backed

The game I am most pleased I backed on Kickstarter would have to be Backstory Cards from Brooklyn Indie Games created by +Ryan Macklin and +Tim Rodriguez (although it is more of an RPG accessory than a game). Here is a link to the original Kickstarter:

Although Ryan Macklin is best known for his work on Fate Core, Backstory Cards can be used with any RPG. They come into play after PC character creation and before game play starts. You start by creating a setting grid which lists some key campaign/adventure components such as major NPCs (individuals), organizations (groups), locations (places), and events. Cards are then drawn by the players and serve as Mad Libs-style prompts to create interesting PC backgrounds plus connections to other PCs and to the key setting components on the setting grid.

The cards are cleverly designed. There are directional arrows and numbers to see which fellow PC is involved with you in the particular incident described by the card (although some cards are solo and feature only your PC). You will reference the numbered setting grid to fill in the blanks for individuals, groups, etc. The cards also include tags for solo, co-operative, adversarial etc. This allows you to pull out cards you don't want (for example, pull out all adversarial cards if you don't want the PCs having adversarial relationships in the game). There are also genre-specific cards for such things as horror and sci fi games. They really are a great way to get the players' PCs involved in the setting right from the get go and create interesting backstories and relationships connected to that setting, plus it's a fun play experience that gets the creative juices flowing. I also want to reiterate that these cards can be used for ANY roleplaying game, from D&D (OSR to 5e)  to Savage Worlds to Fate Core/Accelerated and more. 

You can learn more about Backstory Cards and download some sample setting grids and the techniques guide here:

Below is a video Ryan Macklin made demonstrating the process (and there are a few more for different genres on his YouTube Channel). I highly recommend picking up a deck when these become commercially available.

One more note: As part of the Kickstarter, I received a specialty six-sided die with the directional arrows which is useful so you don't have to keep pulling additional cards to get directional arrows. 


Just found this, after reading up on Roman Reigns.'i_family

Really interesting!

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Coming Up in the Indies

Episode 61 of the #RPGDesignPanelcast  is up, where +Fred Hicks +Shoshana Kessock and +Tim Rodriguez  discuss the ins and outs of starting business in the RPG industry. This was a great panel from Metatopia 2015 and well worth your attention.
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