Professional Game MasterColbyhe/him
I've been running RPGs since 2015, mostly D&D then later branching into other systems. My first experience with TTRPGs was two and a half sessions of Rolemaster run by a friend of a friend who didn't have time to keep the campaign going. I was hooked, so I started my own campaign of 5e D&D and have been a forever GM ever since...and I like it that way. I've been a player in a few campaigns, and enjoyed myself, but I prefer the intense engagement and constant improvisation of being a GM and reacting to the players' wacky ideas. I run RPGs for the stories, the surprise, and the drama. My goal is always to create an atmosphere where the whole group can explore the stories that interest them. My favorite moments in any game are when things feel cool, cinematic, heartfelt, or badass. That moment when the barbarian leaps through the wall of flame, clothes smoldering, screaming in rage. Or that moment when the Netrunner finally breaks into the top-secret mainframe to loot secrets from the rich and powerful. But most importantly, the very best moment is when I can tell that the players have forgotten that they're sitting in a chair at a desk, and are having a real and shared experience that takes them away from their lives. I also have experience running custom one- and two-player campaigns, which can be a great way to have a more in-depth, character-driven experience, and also help to alleviate scheduling difficulties. If you're interested in something like that, please feel free to DM me or hit the button that says "Book GM," and we can start talking about the specifics! Just be aware that I'll have to ask for a somewhat higher rate than I would for a larger group.
I'm always flexible in my approach, focusing on making sure that everyone is supported and able to enjoy the experience. For some groups, I focus on punishing difficulty and puzzles. For other groups, I run campaigns that are 90% role-play. My default style is to strike about a 50/50 balance between action and role-play, because I like stories where the stakes are life and death. I know my way around multiple VVTs, and love to include artwork and ambient audio whenever possible. That said, I prefer to steer away from making a TTRPG feel like a video game, and will always work hard to make the game feel evocative and real in a way that video games can't. If I have one specialty as a GM, it's introducing new players to the game we're playing. At this point, I've probably introduced 20-30 people to TTRPGs for the first time ever. I've cultivated a lot of patience, and a sixth sense for when someone needs help or isn't having a good time. Here are the main things that I believe about how to have a good time with TTRPGs: * The game MUST be inclusive. Everyone at the table has a responsibility to contribute to the fun for everyone else. * The GM is NOT an adversary, just a set decorator/referee/world builder. The GM wins when the game is fun, not when things go badly for the characters. * There will be no drama without real danger. The stakes shouldn't always be life-or-death, but a player who risks nothing will have a bland and boring experience. * Your character is competent. The dice represent things outside of their control, so if you roll badly, it's not because you did something stupid; you just had bad luck. * If it's possible to retcon something, and there's a good reason for it, then we'll do it. I'll never punish you over the one detail you didn't plan for. * NPCs should make realistic choices. In social situations, they should have goals, quirks, and thoughts of their own. In combat, they should do everything in their power to win. If things aren't going their way, they should act like their life has value. * NPCs shouls NEVER steal the show. * As the GM, I avoid writing stories. Instead, I write characters and situations. Story comes from the players' reactions to those characters and situations. * Games should have choices that matter, and choices only matter if: 1) there are actually multiple different outcomes, 2) the players know what the options are, and 3) there are meaningful and interesting consequences of different choices.
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