Professional Game MasterNick Luckenbaughhe/him
Like many, Dungeons & Dragons was my first step into tabletop gaming, and I wish I'd come to it much earlier that I did. But since I started playing about five years ago, it's become a true passion. There's nothing like being able to put the world aside and step into a new reality of heroes, monsters, and epic adventures. I love crafting an immersive, inclusive, and intensely personalized world in my games: one focused on character development and story arcs that players will remember as much as a great book or an amazing film. And more than anything, I love riffing off player choices and taking a story in new directions that surprise even me. D&D was of course just the first step. Since then, I've taken players on epic monster hunts through Monster of the Week and helped them live their medieval fantasy through King Arthur Pendragon. And for all you David Bowie/Jim Henson fans, look no further for your next step into the Labyrinth. With regard to experience, I've been a regular DM and GM for the past three years with games both in-person and online. I host a weekly table at Hex & Co in NYC with original adventures taking place in the Forgotten Realms setting. I also have experience with new players, creating a fun and easy-going atmosphere for people just learning the game. And a little bit about my non-D&D life. I'm a fundraiser and songwriter based in NYC, where I've lived for the past 15 years. I love film, theater, food, good (and bad) wine and Teeling Whiskey, and aggressive karaoke sessions. A huge fan of horror as well as camp classics. And as much as I love Marvel, I will always be a DC guy.
Someone once told me that my style as a GM was like the Wonder Woman comics: epic, grand, full of heart, and character-driven. I take that as an incredible compliment. As I mentioned, I'm all about story and character. I run a variety of games, ranging from published adventures to my own homebrew to original stories set in existing D&D worlds. Regardless, I always tailor my plot and setting closely to the game's players and their character backstories. I love an epic adventure, one in which my players can influence the world and have choices that matter deeply. In the same vein, I love roleplay and am a firm believer that downtime or exploration of a new city can be just as exciting as hacking apart a small army of wererats. I also love being challenged by my players and having to think up a new direction for a plot based on surprising, split-second decisions. The collaborative storytelling is half the fun. While I thrive on epic adventures with grand themes, I also love hilariously ridiculous character choices and crazy side adventures. (It shouldn't always be an intense fight to save the world!) I love the way that environment and weather has an effect on an encounter. And I've never met a warlock pact that I didn't milk for every penny that it's worth... Most importantly, though, I believe in building an inclusive game that is comfortable for all of my players and reflects a variety of perspectives. While our own world has a lot of growing to do when it comes to equity, I try to adopt a more aspirational approach in my storytelling. I also encourage my players to let me know areas in which they may feel personally uncomfortable as well as areas in which I might be able to improve and create a more inclusive game for everyone. I should also add as a final thought that while I love a good weeks or months-long story arc, I'm a big fan of a fast-paced one-shot, having taken players on a timer-based adventure to save Waterdeep from destruction or a campy rescue mission to save the High Diva of Christmas (yes, you're right, it was Mariah Carey).
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