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Alison Gross

1 year on StartPlaying

6 games hosted

Highly rated for: Creativity, Teacher, Inclusive

About me

I started DMing as a teen back in the 1990s (I was the one in my group of friends who always took the job so the game could run because no one else wanted it and I was the designated DM for many years before I ever got to be a player.) Other things I've spent a significant portion of my life doing are being a teacher, author, and let's player, meaning I am creative and good with words, very comfortable speaking in front of others (and maybe more than a bit of a ham), and able to think on my feet and adapt to a dynamic situation, all skills that overlap with being a good DM. I enjoy the challenge of striking the balance between making things up on the fly and holding the thread of a story for players to follow and build off of.

GM style

My first priority in a game is fun. I love a table where everyone is laughing, being silly, and making memories the players will want to tell their friends about. I encourage problem solving and creative thinking and try hard not to railroad players and support them making at least a valid attempt at most anything they come up with. I'm totally comfortable with improvising whether it involves a background NPC the players suddenly decide is super interesting or a game ruling to cover the mechanics of a bizarre stunt they've cooked up. Combat and role-play are both great but I prefer a bit of a laid back approach, where it's understood that people may forget a rule or drop character from time to time and that's okay and especially I want to foster a supportive environment for players who are just learning and getting comfortable with the parameters of the game. I tend to like game themes and settings that are a bit on the unusual or quirky side but am open to suggestions whether its a general “we want something with pirates” or you have a specific module or adventure path you want me to run. One-shots, short modules, or on-going campaigns are all welcome . As can be seen from my years of experience, I'm a bit old school when it comes to technology. While I am comfortable with using roll20 to facilitate combat (trying to point a camera at a physical battle mat would get old really fast), I prefer to shift into a more conventional video chat programs that allows full page face cams for the more “talky bits” so we can use facial expression and gesture to communicate like we could around a physical table. I tend to take a humorous and lighthearted approach to game content, even content that may skew in the darker direction and, in general, my sense of humor is a big factor in my DM-ing. Since humor is intensely personal, here is a list of things I find totally hilarious to give a feel for my sense of humor: Sergio Aragonés' "Groo the Wanderer," Z. Frank's “True Facts,” the Walking Tacos LoTR dub, videos of swans attacking people, the Black Adder series, and bizarre Medieval art (see Skallgrim's video on weird Medieval images or just look up egg horse to get an idea of the kind of thing I'm talking about).

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