Salue! ("Hello" in Latin) My name is Gandalfina Face-and-Heart* and I use three different sets of pronouns: e / em / eir / eirs / emself OR fey / fem / fear / fierce / femself OR be / bim / bos / bos / bimself Before I start introducing myself, I wanna say two things. First, I am in the San Francisco Bay Area; if all of my players are from that area (and safety allows), I am MORE than happy to meet in-person, rather than running online. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, if your ability to hire me is adversely affected by being a member of a marginalized group, please contact me; I will work something out with you that works with your financial ability. That being said, on to the introduction... I am, quite literally, alive because of role-playing games. As a young, genderqueer child I often wondered if my own existence was imaginary. Even in a progressive state like California, there wasn’t a word for my feelings - not until Riki Anne Wilchins coined the term genderqueer - before I had already entered puberty. The many worlds of TTRPGs, and the ways in which they were actively created by the players at the table, were among the first spaces in which I could exist, joyously free from the bonds of cisgender heteronormativity. For this reason and many others ~ including the breakdown of mass media's objectifying relationship to stories by emphasizing the shared subjectivity of all participants in a story ~ I am quite the champion of interactive fiction. I've been on a number of TTRPG streams and podcasts at this point, and plan to be on as many as I can! You can find the list of every show I've been on by looking at my Curriculum Vitae (there's a link to it on my Linktree at https://linktr.ee/queermythopoeia ). I also (sadly inconsistently) maintain a blog where I present new RPG material, session write-ups, and analyses of RPG sourcebooks for all manner of games (also find-able by means of my Linktree). * I use 18 different names interchangeably ~ choose a few favorites and change it up as often as you can! Here's the list: Christopher Douglas Salvatore Hughes Flurp Seruus Ualerium Tristissima Liber Grok Amiri Staci Everheart et alia laughing and weeping Wizard Lizard Princess Teacup Pope Uncommon the Dainty Gandalfina Ixtliyollotl Face-and-Heart Merlin Monroe Darcy Marie Salvadora Hughes Dionysia Sacredmirror Kaleidoscope Eyes Skunkheart Emily Loretta Flummox An-Sisa Toy Pay-it-no-mind Saulson
Player agency is central to my GMing style ~ I tend to approach adventure-writing as creating a landscape with which players can choose to interact. Do not expect a railroad from me, or even necessarily a plot for you to follow. The players create the plot. That being said, I am very comfortable running more plot-oriented adventures, especially those created by other people. I am currently compiling a document of published adventures that I feel comfortable and excited to run with less than a week's notice. When you create a character for my campaign, do please give me an extensive background, NPCs to whom your character is connected, and/or a detailed breakdown of their personality. I love weaving those things into the landscape and/or plot of the adventure I will be running, hoping to make the events of the campaign feel like they have evolved organically from your character's past and inner world. I do not expect all of the characters at my table to get along (their players, of course, are a different story) and often enjoy it most when I can sit back and throw in interesting complications to party interactions. My highest goal is what J.R.R. Tolkien called "mythopoeia" ~ which I define as art that produces its own meaning. Although escapism is vital to life and mental health, I aspire for my escapism to also **say** something. Mythopoeia is different from allegory, however, in which meaning is shackled to our experiences of quotidian life; instead, mythopoetic meaning is generated by the mechanics and understanding of a world from within. That autochthonic meaning can then inspire new ideas and new approaches and new understanding of that quotidian world. That was quite academic and abstract, huh? Think about, say, Steven Universe and fusion. Fusion quite clearly serves to allow the writers to tell stories about relationships, sexuality, consent, and more. However, it is also invested with its own meaning within (if you'll pardon my bad wordplay) the Steven Universe. There are stories about fusion that don't make sense when applied to the things for which it is ostensibly a metaphor. I am thus an immersionist first and foremost - while mechanics are by their nature oriented towards a certain theme or genre, games should be created to be seen from within. In my RPG design and writing, I elevate the small and the ignored, the mundane and the pests. Everything and everyone is deeply valuable, and role-playing games are a powerful way to assert this fact of life. Whether it's a werewolf pack following the spirit of Poison Oak, homeless superheroes, the angel of Bedbugs, or the Sewer Kingdoms that lie beneath the wizards’ city, I love to take the ignored things of the world and give them the attention and the fantasy they adore. Similarly, grand adventures can and should be encouraged and ready to sprout from even the simplest-seeming interactions ~ like dinner with Grandma, setting up an illegal school for neighborhood children, or desperately trying to grow crops on an alien planet not just for dinner, but for oxygen as well. Hope is too often forgotten, and is the punkest thing. I love to play games that are cozy, games that are creepy, games that are sexy, games that are esoteric, and games that draw heavily from the many cultures I love and study: Rome, Sumer, and the Nahua, to name just a few. Even better is a game that throws all those things in a blender and produces new emotional experiences! While I do not eschew escapism, it is not the only important function of role-playing games - representation matters, especially when communities can represent themselves in their own voices.
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