Are you soured on RPGs for never giving you the options you want to take?

Does the endless grind of playing an MMORPG make you long for an actual story?

Is the D&D-style dungeon crawling loot grab just not your style?

Are you uninterested in games that consist solely of a GM lining up things to kill?

Hello, my name is Jacob (email) and I run roleplaying games. Emphasis on the first word: roleplaying. I run games for intelligent, creative people who want to do more than just look at a list of skills and pick the one that seems most appropriate for the situation.

Current

Random Future Game Setting

Random Past Game

We play in my living room in Spokane Valley, specially outfitted for gaming, and our sessions look more like a dinner party than the back room of a game store. We don't play in a basement at mom's house, making meals of Cheetos and energy drinks and arguing over which Star Trek captain could beat up Gandalf. People show up, we have a meal and catch up while we discuss the events of the week, then take out our character sheets and start warming up our dice.

We are intelligent, mature people with an understanding of how soap works who expect more from our entertainment than "roll dice, move token around game board." I don't run railroad plots or pre-written modules; I write all my own material and allow my players the freedom to explore and act as long as they're willing to accept the consequences of their actions.

My games don't consist of one hour of arguing then six hours of combat. The emphasis is on roleplaying and each PC's progression and experience is based on the roleplay. The game is character-focused and character-driven, which means there are no plot hooks to drag you around and no path to follow. There is a plot and things will happen all around you, but it's up to you to decide how you interact with them. I don't force players to create characters that fit into party roles. Each character decides what they contribute to the dynamic as a whole.

The game system is always chosen to be friendly to beginners. If you are familiar with any particular system, it will help. If not, don't fret. There's nothing to buy and no 400 page manual to memorize. Everything important will be printed out on a few pages for ease of reference. In fact, people new to roleplaying games often do better than those who've played things like D&D for years.

You should forget everything you learned while playing D&D. There is nothing you learned while playing D&D that is applicable in my game, and there are many bad habits often learned in D&D that will cause major problems in my game. I, as the GM, am not out to kill you. As the man once said, "If you die, I cannot hurt you anymore." You are here to entertain me as much as I am here to entertain you. I want you to succeed and do cool things; I will toss out opportunities for you to do so. I also want you to fail and get into horrible situations so I can watch you figure out how to get yourself out.

You are encouraged to create a character you can get attached to. Players' characters are assumed to have a PC halo that protects them from death due to the randomness of the game system. This protection disappears if the characters take any action with the expectation that the halo will save them, make a conscious choice to sacrifice themselves, or are killed by another player character or friendly plot NPC.

What you will need to play the game
  • Tuesday night available from 6pm-Midnight
  • A notebook and pencil
  • Dice: six d10 dice
  • $3-4 per person a week for a homecooked meal and soda

What you need to do to get in the game
  • See current Recruitment Information
  • Review the House Rules below
  • Send the GM an email () with the following:
    • What is your best story from a roleplaying game?
    • Write an example character concept (See Creating a Character Concept below)
    • Do you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions? If we have vegetarians in the group, we may accommodate them.
  • Arrange a meeting with the GM
We cannot accommodate people who:
  • Smoke.
  • Have dog or cat allergies.
  • Are unable to consistently attend a weekly game that will run a year or more.
  • Need to bring their children to the game.

If for any reason you are no longer interested in the game or do not meet the eligibility requirements above, please let me know via email so I can keep a current headcount.

- Jacob

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House Rules

  1. The game is by the GM's invitation only.
  2. Spectators are not allowed. Everybody present must be participating in the game, and as per Rule 1, the game is by invitation only.
  3. No children are allowed at the game venue, as it is very much not kid-safe.
  4. No smokers are allowed at the game venue under any circumstances.
  5. The game will run as scheduled no matter what. There are no cancellations, rescheduling, or changes of venue.
    1. The game will not be scheduled for any day that precisely coincides with any major holiday except with the unanimous consent of all players. This includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any player's birthday.
  6. Please keep the phone calls and texting to an absolute minimum. Basic theater etiquette rules apply despite the lack of a "special hell."
  7. Any absent player forfeits the right to control their character to the GM. The GM reserves the right to have fun with this. Evil, sadistic fun.
    1. Any player who misses two game sessions in a row will have their character disposed of in any way the GM sees fit.
  8. If your character leaves the story due to separating from the group (voluntarily or involuntarily), being killed by a PC or plot-friendly NPC, player absence or gross stupidity, you (the player) are out of the game.
    1. Re-application to the game will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the current openings in the story, waiting list, and mood of the GM.
    2. Plot points, fate points, saving throws, and any other in-game mechanic do not apply to any of these circumstances; any attempts to abuse the system to force people to put up with your poor behavior will be met with derisive comments and mocking.
  9. For current players, if for any reason you do not wish to play the game anymore, you should let the GM know immediately (rather than just failing to show up) so he may fill slots from the waiting list as they open up.
    1. Failure to do this will result in you being blacklisted and ineligible for the waiting list or any open slots in any of the GM's games in the future.

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Creating a Character Concept

Please reference the material on the setting and write out a character concept appropriate for the game. You don't need to settle on this character to play, just show that you can create a character that will work for this kind of game.

For example:

"I usually play sniper (or thief/rogue) characters." This tells me that you are primarily interested in how your character will function in combat. You won't have any fun in this game.

"I'd like to play a thief who grew up an orphan in the poor part of town." Slightly better. This tells me the character has a past, but no reason to enter the story.

"I always end up playing elf characters." or "I want to be the Companion." This tells me you just want your character to look attractive. You won't have any fun in this game.

"I wanna play the son of a chaos god with a deathtouch hand and an important destiny." or "I wanna play the governor of Persephone who's secretly a Reader." This tells me you are primarily interested in being an attention whore. You won't have any fun in this game.

"I'm interested in being a soldier who survived the war and got out of that to be an apprentice wizard (or fix dishwashers, or any other setting-appropriate career)." This character has a past and a present, but is still missing quite a bit. Without any reason to do anything, that character will just sit around waiting to be railroaded. This character depends on others to bring him/her along in the story.

  • "I'd like to play a knight of some holy order who grew up noble in one of the large cities. He's gravitating more toward the priestly aspect of his duties as he's searching for information on the people who killed his young son."
  • "I'd like to play the son of a businessman whose father bought him out of having to serve in the Unification War. He enlisted anyway, served as a mechanic on a Cruiser for the duration, and came home to find his father disinherited him. Now he's on the Rim, looking for a way to make enough money to eat."
These are just perfect. It shows the character had a past, a present, and a future. It also shows his goals and what's important to him, giving him a reason to enter the story. Note that it doesn't have to be specific. It doesn't mention where he grew up or went to war (or the priesthood), or even where he is now; those things can be determined during character creation.

You can create any sort of character that you want, with a few exceptions:

  • All of the characters are expected to be mature enough to find a way to work through their differences and be able to work together. I reserve the right to inflict severe misfortune on anyone whose primary entertainment comes from shit-stirring.
  • Characters should have enough curiosity and sense of adventure that they should want to be part of the group, they should be invested in digging to uncover the truth, and they should be willing to seek things out on their own. Any characters who wait to be caught by the plot hooks or dragged along the railroad plot rather than actually contributing to the story will be left behind.

Tips

Reread your character concept and look for these things.
  • Is your character an avatar for you to be super cool through (wish fulfillment), or do you treat your character as a person with their own ego separate from yours? People who roleplay out of the first motivation will not have fun in this game.
  • How much of the concept contains super-cool or special things the character has versus goals, hopes, shames, friends, family, and important milestones in their life? The former is not required for roleplaying; the latter, indispensable.
  • Who does your character care about? Most people do not grow up in a vacuum - and at some point they should have encountered someone from their past who has cared about them or been nice to them and thus became deserving of some consideration. If your character cares about no one but themselves, they are not going to get along with the other characters in a roleplaying setting.
  • Rip-off characters, blatant or not, are barred with extreme prejudice.
  • Stat talk is expressly forbidden (i.e. His agility is his highest stat) in the character concept.
  • No elves. Seriously. No, you are not the one exception.
After creating a suitable character concept, I will want to arrange a meeting with you for a short interview to discuss the game and determine if you would fit in with the rest of the group.

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