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Joe Alfano (Zombie Joe)
DMs Guild Writer
Published Writer
Game Designer

3 years on StartPlaying


Highly rated for: Inclusive, Creativity, Storytelling

About me

JOIN IN FOR A PREMIUM COLLABORATIVE STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE I bring over 40 years of experience role playing and game mastering. This includes 30 years of convention and public play organization experience. In addition to organization at conventions such as Gamehole Con and Gary Con, I have game mastered for Baldman Games at Origins, Gen Con, Gary Con and Virtual Weekends (Wizards of the Coast monthly online event). Through Virtual Weekends and the online versions of the conventions I work for, I have honed my skills with Roll20, Zoom and other online tools to provide a technical level of play experience to match the storytelling I have developed over a lifetime of TTRPG games. This includes online handouts, customized maps, tokens, spell templates, safety tools and sound effects. I also use the skills from 20 years of experience in web site development and online publishing to bring a high level experience to the table. After a twenty year career in web site development for a Division 1 University Athletic Department I retired during the pandemic to a career as a TTRPG author, producer and storyteller. This includes not only running online role playing games and organizing events, but also includes authoring and producing modules for the events that I organize. The primary tasks of this is as the Lorekeeper (Lead Producer for the Writers Room) for the Border Kingdoms series of adventures set in the Forgotten Realms for Gamehole Con, one of the three Premiere Organizers for Wizards of the Coast. WHAT TYPES OF EVENTS CAN I OFFER? -- single play events (aka "one shots") -- ongoing weekly campaigns -- homebrew events tailored to the player characters -- published hardcover content from companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Troll Lord Games, Frog God Games and Darrington Press -- published content from Gamehole Publishing -- Learn to Play events -- young player events -- any party or special event that you want a special event designed for Really? Over 40 Years? Truly, yes. I started in the late 70's and early 80's as a kid. Stranger Things isn't a show for me, it's a documentary. During that time I developed a love for storytelling that overshadowed my skill at mathematics and engineering and drove me to major in English in college. This hobby has lead me to life-long friendships that have stood the test of time more than the people I spent my formative years in high school and college with. I have dedicated a lot of my life to the hobby and supporting those friendships through the years. I have taught these games and skills to my children and grandchildren among others. Why Choose Zombie Joe? You have a bevy of choices in game masters on this site. Each has their own set of skills, like a TTRPG version of Liam Neeson in Taken. My skills exist in the following... -- I run a table open to anyone that wishes to arrive ready to roll dice and foster an engaging and entertaining shared storytelling experience. -- Story is key. While I enjoy running a dynamic and thrilling combat session... I am at the heart a storyteller and want each player to leave the campaign with great stories to repeat for years to come. -- Improvisation. In my years of martial arts I remembered one statement from my master on street fighting. "There will always be someone stronger than you, faster than you... there never has to be someone sneakier than you." In terms of TTRPG storytelling, I try to always be flexible at the table. Improv is one of the strongest skills I can think of for a top-notch storyteller, and it is those skills I try to bring to the table during each session. -- Technical Acumen: I bring with me Zoom Pro, Syrinscape for sound effects, Roll20, Dungeon Alchemist for mapmaking as well as professionally produced PDFs of handouts for gaming content and prep. -- Props and Game Tools: For my in person games I use prop kits (campaign boxes from Beadles and Grimms) and will use elements where they fit in for online/streaming games. SAFETY TOOLS In my sessions I do utilize safety tools to ensure that everyone at the table is enjoying the experience. These include, but are not limited to... -- Red, Yellow, Green cards (a version of the X Card system) -- Consent in Gaming forms (for long term campaigns) -- After Session Check-Ins

GM style

I will adjust a game play experience to match the group. If left to my own devices I develop a game session that focuses on a balance of the "Three Pillars of Play" -- Combat, Exploration, and Social Interaction. In a long term campaign this involves post-session check ins to determine adjustments to the course of play that players at the table desire. In the end, it is the story that drives me and inspires me. I want you to leave with the story of that one time I used Bigby's Hand to launch the halfling barbarian at the adult red dragon as it flew in, ready to launch it's searing breath on us. Not just a collection of loot you found in a monster's hoard. In addition, I want you to leave the table with a couple more friends than you arrived with. If I have done that, I have done my job correctly.


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