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Ryan S. Dancey

OGL Architect
Ryan S. Dancey
Ryan Dancey: Acquiring TSR
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In the winter of 1997, I traveled to Lake Geneva Wisconsin on a secret mission. In the late fall, rumors of TSR's impending bankruptcy had created an opportunity to made a bold gamble that the business could be saved by an infusion of capital or an acquisition with a larger partner.
4 Hours w/ RSD - Escapist Bonus Column
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As many of you know, the Escapist has recently run a 3-part series on the past, current and future of Dungeons & Dragons. The ENWorld coverage begins here. I contributed some insights to that column and wanted to take this opportunity to expand and clarify some of my thoughts on this topic. Who Is This Guy Anyway? I [Ryan Dancey] have been involved on the business side of hobby game...
4 Hours w/RSD: Run Away!
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“The party is currently split ... in two different dimensions. Mei Ling is "mostly dead" and being dragged like a meat balloon through zero gravity tunnels by Marteen and Bog. Temper is very badly injured and "Dimissed" herself back to the Prime Material Plane a melee round before being turned into Shoggoth kibble.” -- Paul Jaquays Unwinnable Does Not Mean Bad One of the complaints that I...
4 Hours w/RSD: Undermountain Update
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Undermountain Update Since my last column we have played 4 sessions of Undermountain and I am happy to give folks an update. If you’re unfamiliar with the Undermountain concept you can read more about it in my last column, but in summary it’s a stripped down version of Pathfinder optimized for simple dungeon crawling and light rules. There Is No Ruler The first major change I’ve made since...
4 Hours w/RSD - Introducing Undermountain (Ryan Dancey)
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The past six columns I’ve been laying the groundwork to talk about my own personal home game and why I think it will be interesting to the people reading this column. I haven’t played in a tabletop RPG group since I stopped living full time in the Seattle area about 10 years ago. During the time I’ve been gone I’ve played a handful of pickup one-shot games and played in several convention...
4 hours w/ RSD: Get Some Feedback
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The bulk of this month’s column is going to talk about development choices and marketing for tabletop RPGs. There is an important part that relates to our objective of getting more fun out of the 4 hour game session, so I’ll lead with that and those of you uninterested in the business analysis won’t have to wade through it to get to the good stuff. Before anything else happens at your...
4 Hours w/ RSD - Let's Have a Flamewar!
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Lets Have a Flamewar! I have, from time to time, been accused of making comments designed to inflame passions and ignite debate. That may be true to some degree, but when it comes to the art of driving people crazy with terminology, I tip my hat to the people at Global Underwater Explorers. In the 1980s this group became the stewards of a project designed to map the underground water...
4 Hours w/ RSD - Take Note
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Notes for Every GM and Player A Call to Action for GMs! I have a couple of old 1st edition modules covered in badly obfuscated handwritten notes from my earliest days of playing. I can remember constantly having to improvise various things as we played because I couldn’t remember exactly what we had done or said in previous sessions. In the mid-90s I ran a lengthy Dark Sun campaign. I...
4 Hours w/ RSD: Realtime
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Realtime and the Game When we were working on 3rd Edition, one of the questions that we thought a lot about was “how long do you play the game in one sitting”. Most of us remember marathon games that lasted so long nobody bothered to track the hours played. But we also know that lots of groups play for very defined time blocks. One of the most accessible was the RPGA, which designed...
4 Hours w/ RSD: Who Am I?
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Who Am I & How Did I Get Here? Greetings! It’s been a while since I’ve been an active member of the ENWorld community or actively involved with publishing tabletop RPGs so I may need to make a few introductions. Almost 20 years ago I created one of the first ecommerce businesses, RPG International, to supply tabletop hobby games to players without easy access to a local game store. While...
4 Hours w/RSD: Who Is Sitting At Your Table
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Who Is Sitting At Your Table? This might seem like a simple question to answer. Usually, you play with a group of friends whom you’ve come to know quite well. Even if you find yourself in a hastily assembled game at a convention or store, you usually have a lot in common with the other folks you play with. But if we consider all the people who may be playing a tabletop RPG at any given...
Submitted for Your Consideration: Changes to ORIGINS Awards
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The following is a proposal I intend to submit to GAMA and the Academy for review. Following the widespread dissatisfaction with this year's ORIGINS Award process, I believe rapid, significant change is necessary to rebuild the stature and interest in the Awards that is required to make them meaningful and relevant.

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