Black History Month is here once again, a chance to honor both important figures of the past and those who contribute to today’s world. Here in the TTRPG space, there are plenty of Black creators, players, and GMs who enrich the hobby every day. As such, we want to use our platform to spotlight these Black creators and their current projects.
3 Black Halflings
The 3BH crew manages to pack both entertainment and importance into their content slate, which ranges from discussion podcasts to actual play videos. One of their big recent productions was an interview with a Wizards of the Coast exec concerning the OGL controversy. This gave us one of the first glimpses into the company’s perspective on the big mistake. The hosts also pressed further into the racially charged Hadozee lore from Spelljammer 5E, gaining actual specific answers about what’s going on with diversity and cultural consulting within WotC.
Dare Hickman brings characters to life all over the streaming space. Currently, she’s bringing an emotional end to her character Gentle’s story on Transplanar’s “The Second Stranger” campaign. Along with using her voice to light up Gentle’s tale, Dare shared her journey on exploring identity through voice in TTRPGs on our StartPlaying blog. It’s an inspiring read and a testament to how the act of playing a character can help you discover who you are.
Carlos (DM's Fault)
If you're looking to learn how to use Foundry to run TTRPGs, Carlos is your guy. He runs workshops on StartPlaying teaching the tricks of the VTT, and also has video tutorials on his YouTube channel DM's Fault. He's also a highly-rated professional GM with over 150 games under his belt that specializes in using Foundry's animated graphics to deliver show-stopping visuals.
You might've seen Madam Ava Couture in one of the latest interviews with Women of DnD, where she talked about her experiences entering the TTRPG performing arena. She goes into the pressure of entering a male-dominated hobby as a woman of color, but advises those looking to be on a show to "cannonball into the deep." Her performance on Girls Run These Worlds "Roll4Luck" is a testament to her talents and why it's a good thing she decided to cannonball into streaming.
I yelped in excitement when I saw what professional GM Tsire is offering for his campaign settings: Pokemon and Naruto. He also runs hexcrawls and kingdom building games set in various non-D&D systems. Tsire is a true jack-of-all-trades Game Master who is willing to go with the flow and pull a great story out of anything the players try to do. It's hard to find a GM who truly excels at so many systems, so Tsire is worth checking out if you're looking experience something new.
There's a lot of Shan Wolf's excellent work in the Pathfinder and Starfinder worlds. He's created designs and words for several Adventure Paths as well as the Starfinder Ports of Call and Lost Omens Highhelm hardcovers. He's always down to create new monsters and lore and is also known for putting indigenous characters at the center of his anti-colonialist stories. He also just loves the Paizo games in general and works to grow tabletop into a more inclusive and safe hobby.
As a very experienced pro GM, James will probably hit 500 games run on StartPlaying by the time this article posts. He specializes in running intro games for new players, be it Star Trek, Dune, or good ol' classic D&D. Many players praise James' patience and laid-back attitude. He creates a welcoming environment for newbies and also manages to strike a great balance between social and combat systems. But don't go thinking that's all he's good at! James knows how to bring a challenge, and adventurers who aren't careful will see the expert GM behind his friendly demeanor.