I came upon these questions through David McGrogan, who came upon them from Alex Schroeder.

First store where you bought a TTRPG?

Probably a D&D supplement at ToyWorks, the toy store in Healdsburg, California. This would have been 1982 or 1983 so I would have been 8 or 9. When RPGs were (briefly) carried in mainstream kids’ stores because they were so weird and unknown.

Favorite TTRPG game world

There are so many. At the moment, possibly Luka Rejec’s Ultraviolet Grasslands. That unique mix of Marco Polo, Burning Man and Moebius/Druillet.

A published NPC that had a lasting impression on you

I can’t easily remember one.

First TTRPG you bought from its creator

Possibly The Dreaming Crucible at a convention in Oregon. I didn’t know about indy RPGs until fairly late.

TTRPG you’ve played the most

D&D5e, D&D3e (I hated the changes in 3.5 edition and prefer to think of it all as one blur of 3.x), Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun. Dreamland, the game I’m playtesting.

A favorite TTRPG character you’ve played

Various characters in the four-year-long 3e campaign I played in. Cedric Tintaggon, the foreign cleric of Guan Yu, who came back from the dead after training in heaven Son Goku style. Raj Sanjeevani, the free-spirited wu jen based on Rajnikanth, and his assorted animal-folk assistants. Raj Sanjeevani’s evil, twisted demon-summoner sister whose name I can’t remember. Also a couple of Cthulhu and Shadowrun characters from way back in college: Hugh Grisly the cynical cigar-smoking pulp author. The three (they died one after the other….!) half-elf shaman sisters in Shadowrun.

The TTRPG you’ve spent the most money on but never played

I’ve managed to try a lot of things at least once; my basement has boxes full of D&D books that I’ve never used but I do play D&D. I’d love to play Ryuutama sometime. Fabula Ultima. Ultraviolet Grasslands and many of the other OSR-ish things I’ve read but not played.

Favorite TTRPG for its art

Agggghh, tough question…. most ‘lines’ of RPGs become inconsistent at some point don’t they? I admire folks who are able to make games and do both all the art & all the writing (like Luka Rejec). I also love the ultradetailed B&W lineart style of ’80s British fantasy that I associate with Warhammer and the Fiend Folio. And I love Erol Otus’s work, it got me into D&D.

Favorite TTRPG for its writing

Patrick Stuart’s writing is always inspiring.

Have you played a journaling game

I own Tim Hutchings’ beautiful “Thousand Year Old Vampire”, but no.

Have you played a hex crawl

Not really. Unless you count half-forgotten poorly-DMed games in elementary school or junior high. I’ve run “The Isle of Dread” once or twice but I didn’t show them a hex map.

Have you designed a dungeon

Yes. But I did this a lot more often when I was a kid than I do now; I have pages and pages of weird wilderness and dungeon maps from elementary school and junior high. When I was actually running D&D5e, it was so much easier to just pull together existing dungeons & adventures and repurpose them. Remixing. I have written two D&D5e dungeons: The Barber of Silverymoon and Six Faces of Death.

Have you played LARP

Yes. I love it. I was fortunate to play in several games with the “Enigma” Los Angeles LARPing group in college. All politicking/scheming science fiction oneshots. I sucked at the politicking but it was fun to make the costumes.

Favorite object one of your characters has owned

Not sure. In our D&D3e game, most of the cool magic items I acquired ended up as free consolation magic items after I died and created a new character (“…and you have X gp’s worth of magic items”). I guess in my very very first D&D game, in elementary school, my fighter acquired a Ring of Petrification which (due to clearly some very indulgent DMing) I was later able to use to petrify the Minotaur God.

Memorable relationship one of your characters has had

Not sure. In the Dreamland game DMed by my spouse, my character had never felt love, so they used a Passion Memory to conjure up “the one person they could fall in love with”, and it had an interesting effect. This didn’t exactly blossom into an ongoing relationship, though. I haven’t gotten to play in many love-story or relationship-driven games, though I’d like to try more.

Do you collect TTRPGs by a certain designer

I keep an eye out for new stuff from Luka Rejec, Patrick Stuart, Emmy Allen, David McGrogan, Jacob Hurst, and Zedeck Siew. I also like Sarah Doombringer and James Raggi’s writing. I don’t know why almost all of these ended up being “OSR” folks because I don’t find OSR *rules* particularly interesting but I like the kinds of fantasy things that end up getting written in that zone. Kenneth Hite, Robin D. Laws, Jonathan Tweet.

TTRPG you really want to play in 2023

Not sure. Maybe Mothership. Fabula Ultima.

Most memorable monster/villain you’ve confronted in a TTRPG

I’m usually the DM, so can I list monsters & villains I played instead? I played a lot of demented villains in the ridiculous KULT campaign I ran from 1995-1996; I think the most fun was the Ryuji Yamazaki-inspired mercenary who drove around in a Razide (basically a demon) bound in the form of a 1950s muscle car. I loved the condescending hyperarrogant gold dragon enemy in our old Babylon D&D game (very heavily modified from D&D5e’s “Rise of the Dragon Queen/Curse of Tiamat” campaign), even though the campaign ended abruptly so he only showed up for one or two sessions. The mysterious Red King, master of the Tiamat Cult. The vengeful half-black-dragon swordswoman and her frogfolk companion. Ammi-Saduqa, the Archmage of Babylon. The green dragon who talked in rhyme. It’s fun hamming it up and being a villain lets you do all the fun evil stuff and get all the crazed evil speeches (though the players always try to kill you before you can finish them).

Ever experienced bleed

As a player: yes. Mostly while playing horror games. There is nothing more fun than being scared in a game!! I was playing GURPS “Flight 13” in college and I was reacting so much to the body horror that the DM told me I didn’t need to make any fear rolls because I was already roleplaying so well, haha.

As a DM, getting these moments from players is the greatest thing you can do. I don’t mean just fear of course. Making folks really hate the villain, making them really want to save the imaginary people from some imaginary horrible fate, etc. Making them feel a sense of wonder when they discover that the entire universe is a bubble enclosed in an infinite ocean. I’ve always been happiest as a DM in these moments.

How did you get into TTRPGS

I was a little kid during the first RPG boom and I knew I wanted to try this, and the moment I played my first D&D game (DMed by my mother’s friend’s teenage son), I realized this was awesome.