The best TTRPG games allow you to draw from a plethora of cultures and histories to create a fully realized world. Many players desire fantasy elements that give them a way to escape their real world problems for a few hours, but just as many players want to see themselves reflected in the game world. This need for detailed, respectful renderings of culture is why it’s important to include designers, artists, and players from all walks of life. So, to celebrate Black History Month, let’s highlight Black creators that are changing the landscape and putting out amazing work.
Everyone only really needs three things to start as a Dungeon Master or Game Master: a decent grasp of the game’s rules, dice, and imagination. To take it to the pro level, however, you’re going to need more–particularly in the tech department. That’s not to say that a professional GM needs an epic home studio like Critical Role. Like any career, you can start small and build up as you go.
Rob Perez, creator of RPG Mastery, is all about the NPCs. He considers interaction with NPCs to be about 2/3rds of a Dungeons & Dragons game, core to both the exploration and role play pillars of the game. His players love his NPCs to the point where they bring them along for adventurers and even get invested in entire story arcs about their favorite side characters. Rob plays along by making character sheets for recurring NPCs so they can showcase unique talents without overpowering the players. Balance and flexibility are key for a great GM, and they’re qualities Rob has in spades.
Roll20Con is a great time to get acquainted with the vast universe of tabletop RPGs. StartPlaying is partnered with Roll20 for the event, which runs November 12-14. The connected games, however, go from November 12-15. A lot of Roll20Con’s games are online one shots aimed at welcoming new players and helping lone players find a group to play with. Since so many people will be relative newbies, this makes Roll20Con a great event to sample a new TTRPG system.
Sergio is a lifelong gamer, part-time cosplay boyfriend, and on-again off-again cleric of Bahamut. That is, when he actually gets to be a D&D player. Like most forever DMs, he's constantly preparing the next session, usually in Eberron because airships. His favorite part of TTRPGs is creating a shared story, and he's always eager to discuss new ways to merge game mechanics and narrative into a unique experience.