Author: Scott Martin


About Scott Martin

Scott is an engineer turned gnome and game store owner. He lies awake at night building intriguing worlds and plotting your character's demise.

dnd basic

I was speaking with a friend who enjoys roleplaying, but hasn’t done a lot of it until recently (he’s first a board gamer, but loves a number of geeky games). He began running the Starter Set for friends, but given the other more recent releases, he was confused about what’s necessary, what’s required, what’s optional, etc. for D&D. Joe, and anyone else who is wondering how to start off with this new edition of D&D, here’s my overview of what’s out there and what you […]

A picture of Lem's character card

Even when your group is lucky enough to have multiple GMs, sometimes you need a backup game in a hurry. Or the GM didn’t have time to prep, but everyone has gathered and is ready for an adventure. There are a lot of solutions in that circumstance–you can wing it, improvising a story on the fly, or play a different roleplaying game like Fiasco or Kingdom that doesn’t rely on a GM’s prep. A different solution is to step out of the realm of roleplaying […]

Picture of an old-school dungeon

If you don’t follow him regularly, you might not have noticed that Chris Chinn is on fire these days. He’s long been writing great articles to help you diagnose your group and provide awesome tools, like the Same Page tool, or the super quick one sentence character motivator. Some of the more interesting ideas for 4th edition plots and stories came from his site, including The Five Blades of Bahamut– a game I’d still happily play. Now that Fifth Edition is out, he’s got a […]

We recently had a chance to play an interesting scenario, set in an interesting time. We played a Deadlands: Noir scenario set in 1935 New Orleans. We’re a group that has played together for years, though our Savage Worlds experience isn’t extensive. While the characters were new to us (we were testing out pre-gens for a con scenario), we’re quite comfortable with each other as players. Despite that advantage, we hit a rough patch where one of the players felt de-protagonized due to the intersection […]

Birthday cake photo

As a GM, you have a lot of characters with serious issues to explore–both yours and the players. Sometimes, though, it’s the small questions that reveal characterization–and reveal more about the world you’re building. One of the most common celebrations in our world is birthdays. You can copy birthdays and bring them into your world, build a culture with a different birthday analog, or even use a culture that doesn’t care about your day of birth at all. There are many options. Let’s play with […]

Free RPG Day is coming up later this month (on June 21st), and we’re having a mini-con to coincide. In the past, I’ve gone light on running games to be available for emergencies, but the store is well staffed this year… and I’m eager to GM. (I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a few games recently; my batteries are recharged. It’s time to reciprocate.) One of the games that I enjoyed running earlier this year was Kingdom. It was a very interesting game; though […]

X-Files_intro

The truth is out there… This world looks very much like the one we all experience; birthdays, taxes, and grinding jobs. In that world, however, there is a secret organization, dedicated to protecting everyone from… something. Depending on your game something can be a lot of somethings, or one subtle difference. I have always loved alternate histories—including the old TV show Voyagers. Sometimes the tiniest twist is all it takes to make a radically different reality… if you indulge in some enthusiastic fallout from the […]