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.


Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US, a time of plentiful food and good cheer for many. Unfortunately, fevers have broken out among my relatives, so we’re staying apart for at least a few days in hopes that we can prevent spreading disease to each other. We’ll have a day of turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and all the desserts a little later. Maybe Saturday will be our day of gluttony this year. A Day of Reflection, A Day away from Devices […]

Players roleplaying at a store

Hip Pocket Games aren’t a real classification or genre of RPG. Instead, hip pocket games are scenarios that you’re always ready to run. They’re there in your hip pocket, ready to whip out and play on minimal notice.

Sometimes, these games are full game systems, like A Penny for My Thoughts, which is a GMless game designed for a single evening’s play. Other times, they’re specific scenarios, like Secrets of Sokol Keep (a D&D 5e scenario), or Dark*Star, the Fate adventure (and setting).

Any game that you can run with minimal prep is a good hip pocket game for you. You’re basically taking something big and amorphous, like everything a D&D game can be, and mastering a specific version of it. When you meet someone new or attend a con, you can leap into play and always be ready to contribute. It’s much like having a board game in your backpack that you love and can teach effortlessly.

One of the mechanics built into Primetime Adventures is called Screen Presence. It’s a mechanic that goes on everyone’s character sheet, but has to be coordinated by everyone before anyone can set it. Screen Presence is awesome in Primetime Adventures… and might amp up your current game too. What is Screen Presence? In Primetime Adventures, Screen Presence measures how central your character is to the episode and how much the episode revolves around your character’s issues. Screen presence also affects your character’s competence. When your […]

Eric rearranged into blocks

I love Fate Core, and I enjoy running it at cons. For a long time I spent my efforts making pregenerated characters (for example: Dash-Dot-Dot-Dash), but many players don’t deeply identify with pregens. I wanted a system that led to quick identification with characters, but also a system where character creation didn’t take too much time, since it needed to fit into a con slot. One solution that can develop characters quickly is right in the Fate Core rulebook: on the fly character generation. I’ve […]


I recently completed a pair of short series of Primetime Adventure games, whose beginnings were described in Pitching Primetime Adventures: Two Recent Series. A Brief Recap Primetime Adventures is an independent roleplaying game, first published back in 2004, which proved to be an instant hit in the indie-roleplaying scene. The game was recently republished in a brand new third edition by the original designer, Matt Wilson, and his company Dog Eared Designs. I was eager for the new edition; when I got the PDF, I […]


Con season has begun; Walt’s already been to Origins, I enjoyed my first Kublacon over Memorial Day weekend, and the big summer shows, GenCon and DragonCon, are still to come. Summer can be a busy time for GMs, giving you even more sessions to prepare for than normal. (Hopefully, a con will offer you a chance to be a player, especially if you’re not getting to play regularly.) I got into Feng Shui at Kublacon, which I’ve long been interested in trying out. I had […]


A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about taking the first step to becoming a GM. It can be nerve wracking to cross the screen and run a game for the first time. Our organized play society, though, needs more GMs. I fear that if we ask our existing GMs to provide all the games that players want, they’ll burn out and leave those GMs who remain stretched even thinner. A few GMs volunteered to run from the very first day they joined our […]