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Erik (Plyxlstyx)
Published Writer
Game Designer

1 year on StartPlaying

62 games hosted

Highly rated for: Creativity, World Builder, Storytelling

About me

Hello! I’m Erik, a husband, father, retired chef and, according to my wife, ‘such a geek.’ I've had a passion and fascination (passionation?) for fantasy and adventure fiction since my mom thrust a novel into my hands when I was a wee lad. That was a slippery slope that landed me in the roleplaying game section of the bookstore, and I've been a roleplaying game hobbyist, storyteller and writer ever since. I'm drawn to tabletop roleplaying because of the opportunity it provides for collaborative storytelling without predictable results. I love the 'cooperative tug-of-war' between players and gamemaster that allows a story to change in ways that no one anticipated. We're all the storytellers: players and game-master. I believe we're working together to make the story interesting and fun and memorable, and that's how I like to approach games as a game master. Even if it sometimes _seems_ like we're working against one another, we're actually working together to tell a story. Thank you for your time! Please scroll down to read the ‘GM Style’ segment for more about me as a game master. Feel free to contact me with questions or interest about any of the one-shots or campaigns I'm offering, or - to my wife’s delight - just to remind me how much of a geek I am. Cheers!

GM style

'Unscripted Cooperative Storytelling' best describes my intent when approaching the table as a game-master. I enjoy helping players experience every aspect of the roleplaying adventure: character development, adventure, combat, intrigue, roleplay, victory, defeat and Phenomenal Cosmic Power! Ultimately, however, my goal is to work together to create a great story! Below are some notes on what you can expect from me as your game-master, or insight into my thought processes when developing a campaign. COMMUNICATION I highly value my players’ enjoyment of the game. Communication about the game, your expectations, concerns, frustrations, desires, concerns, approvals and appreciation are encouraged. You’re welcome to contact me on discord at any time to discuss your character or the game. Communication is vital. The best way to ensure you are getting a game experience you enjoy is to communicate your likes and dislikes. NEW PLAYERS WELCOME Newcomers and inexperienced roleplayers are welcome at my table. I’ll always endeavor to treat and teach you with respect and patience, and without condescension. I expect the same from other players at the table. I remember a time when we roleplayers kept our hobby a secret on account of the mockery and derision that was heaped upon us for no reason other than it was unusual. I have zero interest in being a part of anyone else experiencing the same indignity. INCLUSIVITY AND TOLERANCE Adults are welcome at my table if they arrive with a positive attitude and an open mind (or a closed mouth). I do not tolerate any racism, sexism, ableism, or any other expression of discrimination, oppression or prejudice towards real-world persons or groups. I don't tolerate toxic, abusive, hostile, or overly argumentative behavior at my table. ONLINE EXPERIENCE My goal for online games is to emulate the feel of an old school, pen-and-paper roleplaying game as much as possible. My hope is that our game will feel like we’re a handful of friends sitting around a table. I would provide tacos if I could. I utilize a virtual tabletop primarily as a replacement for maps and miniatures. VTTs do come with many other conveniences that I utilize (such as dice rolling, character sheets, lighting and music integration), but I don't use VTTs with any desire or intent of turning a tabletop roleplaying game into a multiplayer video game. Technology too often obfuscates the real reason we choose roleplaying games over videogames, which is the people sitting around our table. NARRATIVE Each of my campaigns begins with a clear narrative foundation, wherein I highlight the intended theme and anticipated path of the adventure. Traditionally, campaigns stick to the theme for several chapters while the characters adjust to their role within the world. Once that comfort is established, however, characters often start making unexpected decisions or showing interest in an alternative storyline. When that happens, I like to modify the narrative to follow the path that the players are most heavily embracing. I always know where the story begins, but where it goes is heavily influenced by the characters' decisions, actions and which plot hooks most interest them. The story structure of my campaigns benefits from having a variety of concurrent narratives, with interconnected plot threads spread out over the course of a campaign. Though the serial threat of the Big Bad Evil may always hang over the characters, not every subplot needs to address it directly. Sometimes a plot thread is episodic in nature: a monster-of-the-week story; a character development story; a mystery-of-the-week story; a make-new-allies-or-enemies story; etc. These episodic narratives exist within the serial narrative, and can either be connected or wholly unconnected to it. Some of these threads are thought-provoking and emotional; some may be dark and twisted; some are light and humorous. This is the cadence I consider when developing plot threads and presenting plot hooks within a campaign. CHARACTER-DRIVEN NARRATIVES I always watch for ways to adapt the narrative to account for your character’s behavior and show that, for good or ill, in-character actions have in-character consequences. I enjoy offering side-quests related to your character's history or personal growth, and I’m a huge fan weaving character backstories into a plotline. I believe player-characters should be highlighted as the protagonist heroes of the story, which means finding a way to showcase their personal struggles and growth (or decline). Tangentially, it's important that you have the opportunity to create a unique character befitting your vision of the character you want to play, provided it fits within the setting. I’m always willing to listen to unique ideas regarding character class or the manner in which their abilities are manifested or executed. I’m also open to creating home-brew modifications to class abilities to help you play the character you want to play. Note, however, that for both thematic and narrative reasons, I am not very open minded regarding special requests for a character race that is not listed as permitted within the campaign. CHARACTER DEATH Unless your character intentionally does something extraordinarily stupid, heroically stupid, or proceeds on a dangerous path when cautioned of the consequences, I am not inclined to make characters suffer an inconsequential death. Important encounters, however, do come with the threat of player-character death: sometimes our heroes don't get the ending they deserve, and there’s both a narrative and emotional value in tragedy.

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