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Ethereal Wanderer - John

Less than a year on StartPlaying


Highly rated for: Knows the Rules, Creativity, Storytelling


Average response time: Under 1 hour


Response rate: 100%

About me

“Phenomenal Cosmic Power, itty bitty living space.” Are you in search of an experienced Dungeon Master that runs fifth edition? Frustrated with finding a consistent game with your friends? Or want to increase your gaming social circle with others that share your interests? How about keeping everything simple during play with easy to use tools, that keeps to the roots of paper and pencil? New and want a compassionate guide? I’m searching for players that love to cooperate with others, problem solving creative solutions to your group’s antagonist. To join in a virtual third space to create amazing, and imaginative stories everyone can revel in. As a kid I was smitten with choose your own adventure books. Later on I found Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (2nd edition). The red box it came in sparked my fascination with the concept of “anything is possible in a far off realm in my imagination”. Goals were simple: survive, clear off the baddies, and get the loot to town. Now I’m more about weaving a tapestry with the players’ thread. I have embraced all three pillars of play (combat, role play, exploration) and have found distinct fun derived within each. A guilty pleasure of mine is the phantom fourth pillar of character creation. My goal is to provide a fun place where you enjoy playing with others. The stories we create ensure memories that will last a lifetime. I can still recall, in detail, some of the stories I have shared with others. These moments are my juice and I want to open it up to y’all. Because of my upbringing as a military brat, I have acquired a few accents to enhance the RP fun. My professional background in sales leadership means I’m approachable and there isn’t a walk of life I haven’t met. Friends and family alike have commented that I bring an air of comfort to the room. My passion for DnD/TTRPG’s not only includes running them, but also advocating the spread of the love of the hobby universally. Watching people try on different shoes of personalities is exciting, and evergreen to me. Witnessing people come out of their shells, in a safe place, to experiment fun play styles is pure joy for me. Providing people somewhere to be comfortable with themselves, and role play fantastical characters in far off lands. Coming together to achieve greatness as an adventuring party. Escapism at it’s finest.

GM style

After years of running DnD 5e I have found that what I enjoy running the most is an open world sandbox style with the scaffolding of a published module. I’m more of a mod customizer. I tailor the story from the original authors' print, to relevant homebrew that the players can incorporate into their character’s tales. Each session will have one of the three structure pillars of play being combat, role-playing, and exploration. A consistent part of my sessions is having one combat encounter minimum. Open world doesn’t mean that you will wander aimlessly until something happens. It’s more about the plot hooks that have appeared; which does the party feel more compelled to do? Regardless of choice, the world will live on with antagonists being able to forward their plans. What happens when they accomplish goals unfettered? Players have impact on the world based on the decisions of the team. Actions have consequences. Although some may not be readily apparent. This style of play ensures everyone’s verisimilitude. I enjoy finding ways to link a players backstory into the main story. Watching a player light up because an element of the character they’re playing gets woven into the story is chef’s kiss. A table that roars in unison after a critical roll, or a boss being vanquished is a top tier experience in my book. Or the ah-has, and knowing looks that are given when a puzzle is jointly solved. So good. My game is never structured for gotchas. If there is any confusion with a call I make, I’ll have a quick conversation with the table to see if we’re on the same page. Then we'll keep it moving with a one off ruling, and look it up after the session. I leverage relevant random tables in my games. I do this to make the world feel alive with what could happen based on where the party is at that moment. They’re curated lists with appropriate encounters for the current context that tie into the world at large. You won’t find a yeti on the way to town in the grasslands. I found that the chaos of the tables is exciting for me as I won’t always know what’s going to happen next. These assist in stretching my improvisational skills, and add realism to ever changing environments. On that note, when, not if, we happen upon a yes/no question I don’t readily have a response. I’ll ask for a “you call it”, in essence a coin flip, to determine the answer then incorporate that into the cannon. For example recently at my current table, while traveling in a swamp asked “Would there be a black dragon in this marsh?” I didn’t have in my notes that there was one currently, only that an ancient one had been slain there millennia ago. “You call it.” “oooooo” the party says in unity with the player that asked. Picks up a d6 “high there is, low nope.” They then roll a five. There is now an undisclosed aged black dragon inhabiting the vast mere. This to everyone's surprise garnering cheers, as they now have a new color to cross off their party’s bucket list. I alas am not one to enable story breaking concepts to the table. So that the logic of the narrative is cohesive as we build it. That said rule of cool is applied to situations that the rules are vague about, and it brings enjoyment to everyone at the table. My initiative for combat is another modification where I have found fits the flow for efficiency. Party rolls, and I roll as per usual. The difference is that it’s per side not per player and creature. Ex. I roll creature’s initiative to set difficulty challenge. Then the party rolls their own d20. I tally the rolls that meet or exceed set DC. If players have over half of the party succeed, the party acts first. Then the creatures all take their turns. Then it alternates until combat is resolved. This has created many combinations of players acting together to pull off some amazing moves. On the other hand it builds tension when a wall of enemies do their dastardly deeds all at once. I want players to do the cool things that their choices in character creation was built for. We will have a conversation about what those choices look like in game so that any possibility of game breaking malfeasance is massaged into fun. I want everyone to feel good about their cool abilities without asking the others to suffer through long turns taken by a teammate during combat.

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