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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Tech Deck Andrew Smith

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17, 2016

It's graph paper (Andrew Smith)

Handy DM Tool - Graph paper

There you are sitting down, thinking on an adventure, or perhaps a dungeon, you want to write it down. You scramble around unable to find graph paper and when you use normal lined paper it just looks…off. Well I’ve your solution right here in this blog.

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MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016

Cover to my Example Quest (Andrew Smith)

Example Quest - Who am I?

Arriving at a village in the midst of a celebration the players are welcomed with open arms. However at night in this small village, strange things happen to strangers. This is a light-hearted self-enclosed side quest for those who might want to change things up.

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MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016

The clash of the genre's! (Jon & Janelle Roster / Andrew Smith)

Favorite Generic Roleplaying Systems

There is a fourth hidden genre of games. One that is more potent, accessible and unbound. Instead of bending players to fit its universe, this genre is designed to kowtow to the will of the players. It is the generic. It is the universal. All are one in this game genre. The only restriction is imagination.

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Sci-fi looks to the future for solutions!  (Jon & Janelle Roster / Andrew Smith)

Atypical Science Fiction RPGs

In the cold darkness of corporation-run space, there are only PCs and NPCs. Laws sometimes apply and technology is occasionally called magic or biotics. Things are pretty awesome but often in a terrible way. Science fiction gives us a glimpse into what might come to be and I love it dearly. Here are some Sci-Fi games you might not have heard of.

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Today is pretty crazy too, if you think about it. (Jon & Janelle Roster / Andrew Smith)

Uncommon Modern RPGs

Not every game takes place in a far off land…in space…with elves… Some take place here and now, sometimes there’s magic, sometimes Germany won WW2, sometimes you’re a few years in the past as little kids, and sometimes it’s just you as the world comes to an end. Regardless, we live in interesting times and they shouldn’t be ignored.

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Nothing angers an adventurer more, than burning down their village (Jon & Janelle Roster / Andrew Smith)

Fantasy RPG suggestions 

If you dream of the clashing of swords, the searing fire of a dragon, and the rise and fall of kingdoms, then perhaps you’d enjoy an RPG in a fantasy themed setting. It just so happens I’ve got a list of my favorite ones right here in this blog post.

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FRIDAY, FEB. 5, 2016

THURSDAY, DEC. 17, 2015

DM Problem: Forgetting to prep for the game (Andrew Smith)

Forgot about game-night?

Every DM has those games they did not prep as much as they wanted, if at all. This is a guide to help you prep better and faster. It also includes some tips on some places to prep first if very strapped for time.

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MONDAY, NOV. 23, 2015

Bring it on nature, I can still roll dice! (Andrew Smith)

Gaming - when the weather hates you

Being without power is rough, you can’t watch TV, there’s no internet, lights don’t work, no heat, etc… That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Here’s a quick blog on how to pass the time while you wait for the power to hopefully come on.

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TUESDAY, OCT. 27, 2015

All Hallows Eve Gaming (Andrew Smith)

All Hallows Eve Gaming

Greetings loyal readers, this week I’m treating you with a second blog post. I’ll show you the tips and tricks that I’ve learned throughout my years and offer some suggestions on spooky-fun games.

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MONDAY, OCT. 26, 2015

Random Character Backgrounds (Andrew Smith)

Character Background Table

Everyone comes from somewhere. Your characters are no different. Though sometimes you might have difficulty coming up with ideas on where they came from. This blog post contains the table of 100 backgrounds.

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TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2015

Get Some!
-Combat-Balancing the dice (Andrew Smith)

Combat - Balancing the Dice

The dark forest is lit by a lone campfire. Four figures crouch next to it, eating heartily. “I can’t believe we did it, I mean we actually won!” Another speaks, “Well, my goblin friend, when the dice are on your side anything is possible. I’m gonna get some more ale … I think that fighter had some left in his pack.”

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 2015

Cinematic Combat - Get into it! (Andrew Smith)

Cinematic Combat - Get into it!

“Roll to hit.” “Okay, you hit. Roll damage.” “Okay, next player. Roll to hit…” Does this sound familiar? If so you might be suffering from Boring Combat Syndrome (or BCS). Sufferers of BCS will often feel withdrawn and distracted during play. If you or someone you know is suffering from BCS, please read on for suggestions on alleviating the issue.

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2015

Sometimes you don't have anyone else to game with... (Andrew Smith)

Speeding Up Combat - Do More Faster!

The clashing of swords… the roar of gunfire… and the pitter patter of dice, in these next couple post I discuss tips and ideas for making combat fun and exciting for everyone. This post will cover some alternative combat mechanics I use to speed up combat that can get bogged down in rules.

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MONDAY, AUG. 3, 2015

Chop Sticks for reduced mess! (Kirk Everitt)

Gaming Food

What goes well with an evening hanging out with your friends having fun? Tasty food! This post will cover food suggestions and other food related knowledge.

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FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2015

Everyone's a little quirky from time to time. (Andrew Smith)

Table of 100 Quirks

If you want to add a bit of life to a character without explaining large amounts of backstory, just add a quirk. This post will contain a massive list of quirks that can be applied to any character PC or NPC. Take a character, add a dash of oddity.

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Frustrated with Character Creation? (Bruce Blunt / Andrew Smith)

Trouble with Characters

Whether you’re creating a hero or villain, prince or pauper, enemy or friend, we’ve all had difficulties. Both DM’s and players alike have hit that creative wall. This will be a quick guide to help you stencil out your character idea.

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MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015

Vampire vs Werewolf

Styling a Storyline

As a DM do you find yourself without much time to plan out the details of each quest? On the other hand do you feel like your players are running the show and you want more control? This post is for you, as I discuss two different styles of storytelling, and a couple of games that exemplify these styles.

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MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2015


MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015

The heroes of the realm!

Tips on Writing an Adventure 

Your party has defeated the dragon terrorizing the local population, rescued the noble from the bandit lair and stopped the nuke from hitting the orbital space station. But, how does it all tie together? Where do you go from here? Well my friend, it sounds like you have an adventure on your hands.

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MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015

Rooftops and Rainbows from Shadowrun 5ed.

Tips on Writing a Quest

Quest writing is a lot like writing short stories. It also has an antagonist (NPC’s) and protagonists (PC’s). The best part is that if you know how it starts, where you want it to end, and your players will help you write the middle part.

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MONDAY, MAY 4, 2015

Tabletop Roleplaying Definitions

We’ve been discussing gaming a lot the last few weeks. But we haven’t really discussed the various different ideas and definitions. This post will explain these different terms. As this blog series continues, I will add new definitions to this post to help keep explanations up to date.

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MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2015

Nerdy Tavern (Andrew Smith)

How to Run your first game

Every great story must start somewhere. For role playing, most great stories begin in the humble tavern. The characters down a round, but then what? This post will give you some tips on how to get the ball rolling.

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Andrew Smith is one of The Spokesman-Review's IT gurus and resident dungeon master.