Master Plan #66: Robin D. Laws on RPG Setting Design

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Ryan kicks on one of his planned 2015 interview series—this one on setting design in roleplaying games—by talking with luminary and setting veteran Robin D. Laws. Robin’s well known for his work in Feng Shui (and the recently Kickstarted second edition), the Dying Earth RPG, and various games using his GUMSHOE and DramaSystem engines.

Works that we brought up that you can check out now:

If you want more Robin goodness, check out Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.

– Ryan

59:35 /29.2M

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Next on Master Plan: RPG Setting Design with Robin D. Laws

Future Episode Announcement | 5 Comments

On Tuesday, January 20th, 2015, I’ll chat with tabletop luminary Robin D. Laws about the craft of creating compelling roleplaying game settings for publication. He’s forged numerous RPG settings, including his compelling GUMSHOE games (The Esoterrorists, Mutant City Blues, Ashen Stars), his DramaSystem settings (Hillfolk, Blood on the Snow), and the recently crowdfunded Feng Shui 2.

This will be a live G+ Hangouts on the Air interview, with the audio-only version on the podcast feed later that day.

Time: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 — 1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific — 1 hour

G+ Hangout Event:

We’ll talk about what a setting designer needs to think about when bringing a setting concept forward into a book for others around the world to enjoy. What are the dos and don’ts of setting design? What common pitfalls are there, and how do we get around them? What tips and tricks does Robin use?

Part of why I want to talk with Robin about this is because with Hillfolk and Blood on the Snow, Robin sheparded a number of writers (including yours truly) into making gameable settings in a short format. I’m excited for this interview, for him to share his insights with you and me.

If you have questions, please comment on this post or use the Q&A feature during the Hangout. I’ll take your questions in the latter third of the interview.

– Ryan

Master Plan #65: Gen Con Prep with Adam Jury, Derek Guder & Jessica Price

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Ryan interviews three fantastic folks about prepping for large conventions like Gen Con:

  • Adam Jury, co-founder of Posthuman Studios
  • Derek Guder, Event Programming Manager at Gen Con
  • Jessica Price, project manager at Paizo

We did a mixed focus: while we focused on useful tips for event runners and exhibitors, it turns out that many tips we shared work for general attendees. We talked a lot about food, a little about alcohol, about packing and shipping, domestic and international travel advice, and so on. For old hats, this won’t be revolutionary advice, but it might help some people out who aren’t as veteran at Gen Con.

This was originally broadcast live as a Google+ Hangout on the Air on Saturday, August 8th, 2014, and has more audio issues than I’m used to dealing with. I tried to fix what I could, but there’s only so much you can do with bad audio.

Notes from the Episode

You can often find Adam at the Posthuman Studios booth — booth #559, near the art show area.
Ryan and Jessica will frequently be at the Paizo booth — #203 — when not doing events like panels.
If you need to find Derek, you can email him at, call the events line at 857-559-2420, or go to the GM HQ or an event HQ booth and ask for him.

Outside-of-US people, check out Nelly’s Nerdy Adventures for more on dealing with flying into/out of the US. Thanks to everyone who contributed questions and advice!

Gen Con advice posts from the past:

Gen Con links:

Things you should totally check out: visit this blog post for info on Games on Demand, First Exposure, and more stuff I think you should check out!

We had two winners of the Gen Con badge giveaway: Mike & Amber! (Though, if one doesn’t claim in time, I might give the badge to a runner-up.)

…and that’s it! See some of you at Gen Con!

– Ryan

55:49 /27.4M

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