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Jonah Fishel
Professional Game Master
Jonah Fishelhe/him

8 Reviews

Player for
17 years
GM for
17 years
Hosted over
6 games

About me

I've been DMing for nearly 20 years and many editions and systems. I have an undergraduate degree in Storytelling from the College of William & Mary and am the author of the upcoming book The Game Master's Handbook of Proactive Roleplaying (next in the popular Game Master's series from Topix Media). My background and academic interest in narrative linguistics and co-telling means I excel at drawing drama, intrigue, and humor out of the characters at the table and discovering their adventures together, rather than running a predetermined story. When you play with me, I'll focus on crafting interesting and mechanically engaging encounters and we'll construct the greater narrative together. While I usually run original content, I am happy to adapt a published adventure or campaign to the table if there's something you'd like to run. I call my unusual GMing style "proactive roleplaying", since it encourages the players to craft the story together actively instead of receiving it from me. My co-author (and brother) have developed this style together over thousands of hours of play, and it's the subject of our upcoming book (in stores on October 2023!). I'd love to show you how it works in action.

GM style

ABOUT PROACTIVE ROLEPLAYING Do you ever notice that most fantasy stories always follow the same pattern? The dark lord rises (again) and a group of heroes must come together to stop them. Across settings, genres, and even forms of media (books, movies, and video games all do this), we see stories being told reactively. In most fantasy stories, the heroes always react to what the bad guy is doing, and never the other way around. It makes sense to write a video game or a movie this way, but not a TTRPG session. TTRPGs are different, because they allow players to do anything they want--so why do we limit ourselves to stopping a bad guy over and over? My games flip that script on its head. Before our first session, we'll work together to discover who your character is and what they want. The rest of our game will be about your pursuing that goal with your friends. Instead of reacting to the things that happen to your character, your character will go out in the world and make things happen. I'll use the storytelling systems I've developed over the past two decades to make the game world react to you.

Player reviews (8)

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