Remember when RPGs Equaled Satanism?

Satanic Panic

As a tabletop gamer from the early 1990s, it’s a little weird to me that the hobby is so mainstream these days. Most people know of Dungeons & Dragons or a similar game, and shows like Community celebrate the hobby. It wasn’t too long ago that playing D&D meant you were in league with Satan.

I’m serious – if you played a role-playing game in the 1980s or 1990s, your parents probably worried at some point or another that you were getting involved with Satanism. Just as heavy metal supposedly had satanic lyrics if you played the album backwards, D&D was believed by many to be a tool of the occult.

How did this get started? As with most cases of moral panic, it began with adults scrambling to explain senseless tragedies.

Read more at Panic in the Skies!

How (and why!) this 8-Year-Old Learned to Drive from a YouTube Tutorial

Drive Thru

Last week, an 8-year-old boy took his younger sister on a drive to McDonald’s. Their parents were asleep, and the kids wanted cheeseburgers. Supposedly, the brother learned to drive by watching training videos on YouTube. This story serves as a great commentary on the world we live in today. Let’s unpack it, piece by piece.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

A Greystone Valley RPG: Character Creation

Fate Dice

Role-playing games are one of my favorite hobbies, and it’s always grand to introduce players to great new worlds. Although not designed with a role-playing experience in mind, the Greystone Valley series introduces a flexible fantasy setting where the players can pretend to be anything from wizards to astronauts.

I recently had the chance to design a new Greystone Valley adventure as a way of introducing some new people to role-playing. Because of its simplicity and flexibility, I chose FATE Accelerated as the system. For those interested in a preview as to how a Greystone Valley RPG might function and as to how easy it is to dive right into FATE Accelerated, here’s a look at the character creation process. Continue reading

Return to the Sidekickcast

Pathfinder Character Sheet

Once upon a time, I had a column called Beer and Pretzels on Sidekickcast.com, where I shared my thoughts on the wonderful weirdness of role-playing games. All was well for a good long time, but then some dastardly hackers ruined everybody’s fun.

Fortunately, the Sidekickcast has returned in a new form, this time with a broader focus as Panic in the Skies. And I’m happy to say that my contributions to that group has also returned. My first blog entry, detailing the wonderful surprises hiding in RPGs, is now online.

Head over the Panic in the Skies and check it out!

Upcoming Event: SACA Art Walk

SACA Art Walk

Spring has finally come to Vermont, and the city of St. Albans is celebrating with an art walk! Tour the downtown area on April 15th and check out local artists, who will be showing off their work in select stores.

I’ll be setting up in As the Crow Flies from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, offering signed copies of Greystone ValleyConquest of Greystone ValleyReality Check, and even Shadowslayers for those who are inexplicably collectors of my work. If you’re in the area, swing on by and say hello!

For more information on the spring Art Walk, check out the event page on Facebook!

I Can’t Write Right, Right?

I Can't Write Right, Right?

Want to hear some inside information about the Greystone Valley series, the world of publishing, and get a few writing tips in the process? I did an interview with Gerald Vaisey for the public access show I Can’t Write Right, Right? that discusses all of these items.

You can find the full interview here: