Joseph Erwin – Freelance Dungeon Master

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Art to Inspire 3

Once again we stand upon the field of art-gushing! One should never underestimate the power of visual art in creating effective inspiration for RPG sessions. Without further ado, let’s get into it! Steampunk! Generally I think the artistic genre is overdone, or so hyper-stylized that it becomes meaningless (gears on hats, goggles everywhere, idolizing VictorianContinue reading “Art to Inspire 3”

Magic Tech and The Overlap

Something which pops up a lot in my games: technology so advanced and powerful that it appears as magic. And yet, the players or the characters (or both) know that it is more than just “magic sparkles and earth energy.” We’ve all heard the Arthur C. Clarke quote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishableContinue reading “Magic Tech and The Overlap”

Why I Don’t Over-Plan Sessions

I recall something I heard about Matt Mercer of Critical Role: he once asked his players where they would like to go in a massive city. “The Bank,” they said. Whereupon, Mercer produced a fully detailed map of the bank’s layout. When they asked how he knew they would go there, he said, “I didn’t,Continue reading “Why I Don’t Over-Plan Sessions”

Using RPGs to Tackle Philosophical Questions

In a world of make-believe, anything can be done, within reason. As such, I’ve used RPGs to provoke meaningful questions. It’s amazing what a bit of context can add; a question or situation is more compelling when it’s someone’s character in that situation. For example, in a sci-fi game I ended up proposing a questionContinue reading “Using RPGs to Tackle Philosophical Questions”

Re-Interpreting Familiar Creatures

What with all the discussion surrounding brand and copyright of familiar creatures (yes, the OGL has been restored, but let’s not forget just because one battle has been won; many elements of the hobby are still tied to The Brand, and WoTC won’t back down forever), I thought it would be prudent to cover somethingContinue reading “Re-Interpreting Familiar Creatures”

Can’t Say We Didn’t See This Coming…

You know, when I made that post about the future of the hobby, I kind of discounted the role WotC would play in the changing landscape of RPGs. But then again, all the signs were there, weren’t they? D&D had been getting more and more marketing publicity, and major properties like Critical Role had beenContinue reading “Can’t Say We Didn’t See This Coming…”