about > ttrpgs

Tabletop Roleplaying Games

I've almost always been playing in at least one campaign over the past 6 years. As such, I've accumulated some thoughts and bits of advice. In general: I like narrative-heavy, mechanics-light systems.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned playing:

  • In combat, know already know what you're going to do on your turn of combat in advance. Don't keep everyone waiting as you decide.
  • Take notes! You will forget more than you realize. (for online groups, a communal #notes channel on a Discord server is always a good bet)

Lessons learned DMing:

  • You can always fudge the numbers. If it looks like a combat encounter is getting boring, either end it early, or up the difficulty.
  • If you forget a rule mid-game, don't waste time stopping the fun and looking it up. Make something up and in-between games look it up for next time.
  • I tend to underplan sessions. Focus on planning the parts you're the worst at improvising. For me, that's figuring out concrete puzzles and challenges for the player to face each game -- I get too caught up in the overarching plot.
  • Give your players the time to think. If they're stumped, don't rush in too quickly with a solution.
  • Don't cancel every session that 1 or 2 players have to miss, or you'll never end up playing. Scheduling is a nightmare. Sometimes you have to deal with the casualities of it.

System recommendations

DND 5e

This is what people play because it's what everyone knows. I've had a lot of fun with DND, but its mechanics are suited to a very specific type of playstyle. I disprefer it, but if it's what my friends wanna play, it gets the job done.


The longest campaign I've run used this system. It was fun, but was the wrong campaign for my group. My players wanted something more mechanically intense, meanwhile I thought FATE was too complicated. It took a while before we figured out how to make combat fun -- very unintuitive coming from DND. We eventually figured it out, but it had a big learning curve from what we were used to.

Powered by the Apocalpyse

Two of my favorite campaigns have used this design framework. The specific systems I've tried are Monsterhearts and Masks. The big emphasis is on roleplaying; mechanics aren't complicated enough to get in the way. Each of the characters have specific "Moves" which usually gives players some concrete ideas of how to approach situations, but other than that, the campaigns I've played have been fairly fluid and primarily RP focused.


A collaborative worldbuilding game, where you nonlinearly zoom in and out on various events in a historical timeline. Very fun to recontextualize historical events, and try to make something cohesive and poginant.

My Campaigns

Bugbear Trokgt

Out of Time (v2)

A redux of a campaign that fizzled out a few years ago. The campaign is MUCH better this time - primarily due to better synergy between the players. I cannot overstate how funny this campaign is to me. I'm playing Trokgt, a bugbear warlock, extremely divorced energy, caught up trying to stop a cult from destroying time. For once the other player characters are very competent, so I have a lot more free reign to make bad decisions, which has been a ton of fun. Maybe one of my favorite DND characters I've played in terms of concept?


An extended Monsterhearts campaign (WE NEVER GAVE THE CAMPAIGN A TITLE, OOPS). I played Narcis, a vampire who tends to get very stressed and make bad decisions, who spent a lot of the campaign wishing to be normal again. Really really love this group. Lots of "play to lose" energy, characters with really dynamic and interesting growth, and very fun conversations. Definitely the highest density of gameplay time consisting of the players just talking to each other in character out of any campaign I've played.

Takes Time to Rise (FATE)

My long-form FATE campaign. I originally intended for a more serious campaign, but the silliness of my players forced me to adapt. Plot is as follows: a deeply unintelligent former monk (Marx Knightly), a former mafioso clown (Stubby Pat), a linguistic knight sorceror (Gladys Uriath) and a sentient bunny plush (Theo McFluffykins) accidentally unleash a moss that absorbs magic (used to power all major infrastructure) onto the world during a baking competition.

LOTS more detail on Takes Time to Rise here.


A short and sweet (7 session) DND campaign I ran about some folks travelling up a mountain. Really good synergy between my players, perfect balance of silly and serious, methinks. Each session focused on the backstory of a particular character. My first time every DMing DND! My evil DM secret is that I ended combats whenever I felt like they were going on too long, I did not keep track of damage at all, which is why I'll probably only DM other systems in the future, ha ha.

Kalentari (tired of this shit), Kaven (radical snowboarding nun), Kestrel (framed for crimes), Syd (warlock dating their patron), Gregory Goodtooth (terrible dentist).


Probably the most serious campaign I played? Like, I really felt all our characters all had depth and real relationships, it was very fantastic. Our DM said that this was the only game they've ever run that wasn't complete nonsense, which I think is funny. This system is about playing as a team of young superheroes, and it worked really well. I played Doohickey, an tinkerer, who was the son of a supervillain called Doodad, who was one of the main antagonists. This is my favorite pun I've ever made.

Out of Time (v1)

A friend's DND campaign, set in space and involving time travel hijinks. Played as an Aarakocran space-cowboy flamingo. And I was usually the voice of reason, obviously. Lots of thoughtful and detailed worldbuilding. Never got finished b/c of life getting busy. Ah, scheduling, the greatest enemy of any TTRPG group... foreshadowed in the name of the campaign...

Lovely's Natural Solutions

A friend's Call of Cthulhu campaign. Taught me that actually, 2 hours is the ideal length for playing a TTRPG when remote. I played the Mayor of Fresno. An eldritch something-or-other forced I and the other PCs to work together to do various tasks. My character eventually lost the ability to feel emotions. The best part was coming up with weird lore for the fictional version of Fresno. One player made postcards for the Fresno Spike Pit and sent one to each of us. He ended up with lots of extras, so he sent them to random people. Here's ProZD reading one.


Floyd Sarqarim

My first big campaign! (technically I had played a Pathfinder campaign before, but it sucked b/c half the players wanted just a grindy-mechanics focused game and the other half only wanted story, so I don't count it.) Played a Tabaxi bard. Our DM was a master-class storyteller, they narrated and performed each character in such an immersive way, I can still visualize so many of the settings. Something I always struggle with when DMing is describing locations, but they always nailed it.