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Jeffrey Vanarsdall

3 years on StartPlaying

About me

I've been interested in the worlds that TTRPGS offer since I was young, but I grew up with a religious mother in the 90's, when the media had many mothers thinking Dungeons and Dragons was fully and vehemently tied to Satanism. When I became an adult, however, able to make my own financial decisions, I started looking for a group: someone who could introduce me to this vast world I knew so little about. After a few failed attempts at trying to find a long-lasting table, I took the reins myself. I built a world from scratch, designed a creation myth and Parthenon, then filled it with intrigue. I have a tendency to improvise a lot of details, as I've found that players are infinitely mischievous and clever, and no matter how well thought out a plan may be, it rarely survives First Contact with the players. I know how hard it can be to find a group, especially if it's your first time, and I hope to be an approachable and competent Game Master during my time here. I'm most versed in 5E D&D, but have dabbled in both 4E and 3.5 as well. I'm currently playtesting SW5E as a player, with Chill 3E, Mongoose Traveller and Starfinder currently on the docket of systems I am eager to try. I am, however, willing to try any system given enough time to adequately prepare. I love TTRPGS for the sake of them, and there's no world I won't do my best to guide an intrepid party through. I see no reason to create any means of barring entry to a table beyond toxic personalities. I have no tolerance for any player who deliberately makes another uncomfortable or bullies them. The Table is meant to be a place where one can step away from the tribulations of life and any stressors that come with it. If you bring another player's stressors to my table, there is no room for you. An it harm none, do as ye will.

GM style

I'm a very informal GM. I curse, I occasionally go off on tangents, and sometimes I will explicitly ignore a Rule as Written because I thought it would be more interesting if it wasn't followed in that particular situation. I tend to give voices to all of my NPC's, although some are subtler than others. I love RP, and my favorite moments as a GM are where I can sit back and simply watch in awe for a few minutes as the players debate or discuss a plan of action in character. That being said, sometimes I will forego a voice and direct dialogue when I'm trying to push for player understanding. I like combat as much as the next guy, and sometimes will make it the only way forward, but I enjoy watching players circumvent my encounters as much as I enjoy watching them struggle with it. I'm a bit of a softie, and see no joy in a TPK. I often include contingencies and instances of Deus Ex Machina in the event of a TPK. If a character dies, permanently, I likely worked out the event with the player in question beforehand, discussing new characters, any secrets and equipment they would like divulged to the party, and am not above playing out an in-game funeral or two. I'm always willing to try out a new system, even if it's one I have no experience in. I'll always be welcoming to people who are, themselves, welcoming, but I can't tolerate exclusion or elitism. Games are more fun when everyone is allowed to play. To put it shortly, I deliver a very casual GM experience. I won't hesitate to help a new or struggling player understand what they're doing, but I also won't hold the hands of an experienced player when they forget to use Hellish Rebuke after being attacked. I am trying to be better, but I take poor notes: I may ask players for names of NPCs that I have forgotten, or invent a whole new one in the case that the players are also unsure. In the case of rules arguments, I think moving our time along is more important and will typically come to a ruling on my own so play can move on rather than waste time searching for a clear answer. I'll do research after the fact, however, so I know how to approach these situations in the future. If I've piqued your interest, then I can't wait to hear from you! It'll be my pleasure to be your guide and referee through whichever world strikes your fancy.


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