Professional Game MasterBar-D-McFlyhe/him
I'm a full time educator, husband, and father, and a part-time tabletop gamer, comic book nerd and storyteller. I love that games bring people together, and that role playing games transport them together to another world; a world that they shape and define through collaboration, imagination, and a little bit of luck! I've been playing D&D and other table top RPG and wargames for over a decade. I've been a DM for about three years now, mostly in my capacity as an educator, where I run the D&D club for middle and high school students at the school where I work. I love working with players of all ages, and I have seen the incredible power games have in developing social, emotional, and other important life skills in both the young and old! I was looking for ways to do more of that, and one day found an article online about StartPlaying, and decided to give it a try! For me, the four cornerstones of gaming are Fun, Safety, Inclusion and Communication! Fun is the most important because this is, after all, a game! My goal is to always bring the fun to every campaign and session. The rules to any game are vital in providing consistency, fairness, and shared expectations, but they should never get in the way of crafting a fun and memorable story! For example: I may not always be familiar with that homebrew subclass or spell you're interested in trying out, but I sure will try to make it work in the campaign if it's going to make the game more enjoyable for everyone at the table! Safety is key to a good game, especially one that involves role play. Role play is risky, pushing people to step out of their comfort zone and to be vulnerable. My job is to create a safe environment for that to happen. Furthermore, good stories involve conflict. Sometimes that conflict is violence, sometimes it is bigotry, injustice, or inequality. Having said that, my philosophy is that people come to the gaming table for positivity and connection, not for conflict and heartache. I do everything I can to ensure players are comfortable with the content of our adventures, forewarned of potentially triggering scenarios, and treated with kindness by myself and everyone else at the table. Inclusion is what gaming is all about! There is no one who doesn't belong at my table, as long as they aren't out to hurt anyone else. We all have our blind spots, and that includes me, but my experience as an educator, school counselor, and history teacher have taught me to think critically about some of the things we take for granted as "the norm" and work to dismantle false notions in my own thinking and in the way stories are told. My goal is always to think about how a storyline, character or adventure can be viewed from multiple perspectives and presented in a way that treats all people and groups (even fictional ones!) with dignity and respect! Communication is key to making all of the other cornerstones happen! Without open transparency and honest reflection, we can't have fun, be safe, or ensure everyone is included. I like to check in with my players frequently, and am responsive to their needs. I will sometimes make mistakes, say something thoughtless, and even put my foot in my mouth. We all do it! What is important is that we are clear with each other about our boundaries and expectations, and humble enough to hear what others are saying. If at any time I or someone else at the table says or does something that makes someone uncomfortable, I encourage you to send me a private message sharing your concerns. I always strive to be discreet and diplomatic, but can be direct when I need to be. There is seldom a situation that can't be resolved with a little humble, honest, communication! And that's me in a nutshell! I hope you give me a chance and join me on a shared adventure someday soon!
I like a healthy balance between role play, exploration and problem-solving, and good old fashioned combat! I like to bring characters to life through fleshed out backstories and "voices" (I can't always promise my accents will be on point, but I do my best to make them memorable!), and immersive role-play. I try to give my players space to do the same, but also recognize that many players would rather just describe the things their character says or does, rather than act it out. There's room for all of it at my table! I try to tailor the campaign to what players are looking for, but otherwise my default is to keep things balanced between comic relief and gritty drama. Mostly I want players to feel comfortable, and to let them shine! Above all, I'm about fun, communication, and telling a great story!
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