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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca
I Wrote a Book: World-Building for RPGs and Novels
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This is the last article in a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. In this article, I wrap up the Furmiliar series with the final book in the trilogy, Unfurmiliar...
I Wrote a Book: Falling Stars
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This is a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. In this article, I relaunch my second fantasy novel in the Furmiliar series, Slightly Furmiliar. I...
I Wrote a Book: Familiar Territory
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This is a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. In this article, I relaunch my first fantasy novel in the Furmiliar series, Awfully Furmiliar.
LET'S PLAY...D&D in Prison
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Elisabeth de Kleer recently launched a Kickstarter to film to fund LET'S PLAY, a documentary about the little-known stories of inmates and former inmates who go to great lengths to play table top role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons behind bars. They handcraft twenty-sided dice, build their own campaigns from scratch, even wage legal battles against the United States prison system to assert their right to play. I caught up with Elisabeth to discuss why she decided to make this documentary and if prisoners should be allowed to play games in prison.

I Wrote a Book: Resurrecting a Legend

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This is a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. In this article, I relaunch my comic on Amazon's Kindle and Comixology.

Darren Watts on Superheroes, Playtesting, and Dogs on Twitter

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At PortConMaine I had the opportunity to sit in on Darren Watts' panel on superheroes in gaming. That panel merely scratched the surface of Darren's experience in the tabletop industry so I pounced on the opportunity to ask him about everything from tabletop gaming to playtesting.

Con Report: PortConMaine is More Welcoming Than Ever

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I've attended PortConMaine in the past to game with my friends in the area, but this is the first time I went with no plans whatsoever. My wife and kids join me on Sunday and we always have a great time. This year, the convention did not disappoint.

I Wrote a Book: Starting Over

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This is a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. I previously made the leap from writing for print and online role-playing game magazines to non-fiction and fiction. But the landscape has changed and with it some important lessons for self-publishers.

Geekdom Takes a Bow

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With so many geek franchises coming to a close this year, it feels like we're reaching a milestone in geek fandom. From Star Wars to Game of Thrones, Avengers to The Big Bang Theory, many long-running series on big and small screens are wrapping up. What does that mean for geekdom?

RPGs Finally Get Some Credit in Defining a Galaxy: A Review

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When Disney took over the Star Wars universe, the press release called out role-playing games as part of the new Star Wars canon. Since then, Pablo Hidalgo has been a champion of bringing content established in West End Games' (WEG) tabletop role-playing Star Wars books into the movies and cartoons. But it all started with Bill Slavicsek, who sets the record straight in his new book, Defining a Galaxy: 30 Years in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 10 - Wrap Up

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After ten weeks of teaching a game design workshop to 20+ BSA Scouts, it was time for the Scouts to deliver their own games. This is where I discovered how interested and motivated our Scouts were to finish the badge.

There's a RPG-Themed Episode in (Nearly) Every Cartoon Now

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We've known tabletop role-playing games have been on the rise and that professional creatives like actors and writers have been publicly embracing their inner geek recently. For more evidence, look no further than the many tabletop role-playing game episodes featuring in cartoons for kids and adults, some of them released the same week. These call-outs have shifted from simple RPG references to major plot points that reinforce the value of imagination, teamwork and fun in role-playing games.

What the Hell?

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With the announcement of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus taking place in the Nine Hells, it's worth looking back on how we got here. And for that, we can blame Dante Alighieri, whose apocalyptic vision of hell greatly influenced D&D.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Weeks 6-9 - Intellectual Property

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This article is the latest in a series of workshops I ran for 20+ BSA Scouts for the Game Design Merit Badge. In this installment, we jump ahead in time a bit to cover some other aspects of the workshop, including intellectual property.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 5 - Dungeons & Dragons

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After several weeks of demonstrating the different types of games to our Boy Scout troop, it was time to play the most challenging game of all: dungeon mastering a 25-person Dungeons & Dragons group.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 4 – 1-2-Switch

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I embarked on a seven-week long journey to teach 20 Boy Scouts about game design, and learned a lot along the way. Our third game was a combination of party game and video game: 1-2-Switch, which is basically a bunch of mini-games you play with the Nintendo Switch.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 3 - Family Feud

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I recently embarked on a seven-week long journey to teach 20 Boy Scouts about game design, and learned a lot along the way. Our second game was Family Feud with a twist -- Star Wars! -- and the workshop on a whole was much more organized thanks to the lessons we learned from playing Jenga.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 2 - Jenga

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I embarked on a seven-week long journey to teach 20 Boy Scouts about game design, and learned a lot along the way. Our first of four games we studied was Jenga, and it was about as chaotic as you might expect.

Game Design Like a Boy Scout: Week 1 - What’s a Game?

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When my son joined Boy Scouts, I decided to teach the Game Design Merit Badge to his Troop. When I picked up the guide to teaching the badge, I was pleasantly surprised to see tabletop role-playing games prominently represented. Over the seven weeks that I ran the Badge Workshop, I learned a lot that’s of interest to any aspiring game designer.

Eat This, It's Good for You!

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Dungeons & Dragons set up many of the tropes that have since influenced computer and video role-playing games, but one of the more interesting offsets of this is how D&D handles food. Which is to say, it doesn't have particularly sophisticated mechanics to manage hunger in a stark departure from the electronic games that followed.

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