Joseph Erwin – Freelance Dungeon Master

Join in the Adventures!

How to Get Started

I have experience with a variety of game systems, and I am always striving to learn more. Below are the systems I am willing to run, with a light overview of each.

For game system specifics (races, classes, world building, etc.) just contact me, and I will give the low-down!

Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition

The most popular D&D edition to date and most people’s introduction to role-playing games thanks to shows like Stranger Things. D&D 5e is a system filled with high fantasy adventure and battles, with a greater focus on role playing than earlier editions.

Play as Elves, Dwarves, Wizards, Bards, and much more in the popular and exciting system that created the phrase: “Roll For Initiative!”

The Erwinian Universal System

Written in the 1980s by my father, I have since touched up and made available for sale this multi-generational legacy project. This universal system can run any setting desired, including any one of the detailed Settings we have available. Engage in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, and Eldritch adventures, and experience one of the most diverse character development and magic systems out there!

The mechanics of the Erwinian System are designed to emulate realism as simply as possible, allowing for great complexity to be covered in only a few moments. Combat is fast and sometimes quite deadly, and there is a large amount of room left over for character focus and creativity. If your character wants to learn or develop it, it is possible.

The Mouse Guard RPG

Based on the works of the same name by David Peterson, this cooperative RPG focuses on character interaction and perseverance in a wild world. Help repair settlements, run mail, drive away dangerous animals, and perform missions to protect Mouse-kind!

The game mechanics are simple and fun, using a slick d6 “dice pool” system. This game also has the most open conflict system I have ever used, easily adapted to any situation!

Vampire the Masquerade

In Vampire the Masquerade, the players take on the roles of vampires in the mystery-shrouded World of Darkness. You must delve into the dark politics of vampire society, battle vampire hunters, and drink the blood of others in order to survive. I am most familiar with VtM Second Edition and VtM Fifth Edition.

Vampire the Masquerade has a diverse skill system, along with a selection of unique “bloodlines” which reflect what type of vampire you wish to play. The gameplay revolves around grappling with the cursed nature of Kindred “life,” the loss of one’s humanity, and the dangers of a world filled with hidden supernatural dangers.

Shadow of the Demon Lord

A fantasy setting of in a world which is slowly falling into darkness. The great Empire has fallen apart, terrifying monsters howl at the borders, and an unfathomable Demon Lord grows stronger by the day… This is a terrifying horror setting which instills terror through brutal combat and chilling monsters.

This system is quick and easy to learn, with extremely fast character creation and slick rules. The potential for role playing and character customization is huge (over 4000 potential character path combinations), and is all very well presented. If you want a dangerous and thrilling fantasy adventure in a world of horror, then this system is for you!

Vaults of Vaarn

A far-far-FAR-flung science/wyrd fantasy setting taking place untold millennia in the future. The world is littered with countless remains of previous civilizations, the sun is a massive red giant, and one never knows what adventures lie in wait over the horizon.

The system is very easy to learn and is adaptable and fast-paced. Mechanically, it is OSR-inspired, but is lighter on the rules. If you like grafting living cybernetics onto yourself or exploring ancient ruins filled with incomprehensible technology, this one is for you!

The Cortex Universal System

Popularized by off-shoot settings such as the Firefly RPG and the Demon Hunters RPG. A slick system with easy-to-learn rules that can apply to any story! This is a great choice if you have a custom setting you want to adventure in, or want to try a setting from a favorite show or book!

This universal system is capable of anything you can imagine, balancing challenge with character-focused role playing. The Traits mechanic allows for characters to diversify themselves outside of their skills, and provides great opportunities for both role-playing as well as combat.


Paleomythic is a sleek and well-designed fantasy adventure RPG set in the ancient world of Mu, where stone-age humans must strive against beast-men, wild animals, and harsh environments. Heroism abounds in a wild and open world filled with ancient mysteries…

Mechanically, Paleomythic is very easy to learn and smooth to run. Players start by choosing a few core attributes and talents to define a character, and they are good to go! The game uses a simple dice pool system to determine the outcomes of most skill rolls, with enough variety to keep things interesting!

Fantasy Age/Dragon Age

Fantasy Age is a non-D&D system set in a world of adventure and fantasy. It also has a spin-off setting for the world of Dragon Age, popularized by the video game series of the same name.

With a character class system which starts narrow and becomes broad at higher levels, players are encouraged to plan ahead and think about what they would like their character to become. The combat system is fun and interesting, with the “stunt die” providing interesting options for tactical upsets and role-play moments.

The Toon RPG

Have you ever wanted to play as a cartoon character? Then look no further, as Toon has you covered! Created out of love for old cartoons like the original Looney Toons shorts, Toon allows you to take on the role of any character you can imagine. Get zonked, zoinked, bapped, bonked, and bamboozled in a world of cartoon madness!

Toon uses a simple rule system to allow for fast play, and has a cartoony looseness to it which can result in all sorts of mayhem. In what other game does failing a “smarts” check allow you to walk off a cliff, and not fall, simply because you forgot how gravity works?

Barbarians of Lemuria (Classic)

Set in the world of Lemuria, this RPG allows the players to take on the roles of mighty Sword and Sorcery heroes! Adventures revolve around hunts for ancient relics, battles with evil sorcerers, and globe-trotting quests to stem the tide of darkness.

Barbarians of Lemuria has a slick character creation system and it quite easy to learn, allowing players to jump right into the main action. Heroes are powerful and capable in most cases, able of taking on ten or more minions at once! Giant serpents and sorcerers might be another story however…


In addition to running published RPG systems, I also have a collection of Micro-RPGs. These are short, often only a few pages long, but which have just enough info to allow for quick and interesting adventures! You don’t need giant core rule books in order to have fun in this hobby!

Options include: Offworlders (Sci-Fi adventures), Honey Heist (Bear-criminals pulling off a job), Lasers and Feelings (Star-Trek-inspired Sci-Fi adventures), and many more! Contact me for a full list and detailed descriptions.

Other Systems

I am more than comfortable with running systems I do not know or am unfamiliar with. Just name it, and I will do my best to learn it. I may need to be provided with game materials, or will need to purchase them for myself.

In either case, it just costs a little extra to have me learn a new system on the fly, or one which I do not own materials for. See my hiring page about costs.

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