Would You Like To Play A Game?

In 2009 I traveled around the world, running Eberron games for people in dozens of different states and countries. I met a lot of wonderful people and it was always fascinating to see how different groups of players would handle the same scenario; I ran the same adventure over 59 times, but every time players came up with something I haven’t seen before. There’s many reasons I can’t repeat that journey today, but I still enjoy getting to meet new people and share an adventure. While I may not be able to travel across the world, there are two ways that you can find yourself a seat at my table.

In the summer of 2022, I’ll be taking to sea for a week of adventure! Satine’s Quest is a week long campaign with a host of fantastic DMs—myself included. It’s going to be an evolving campaign where your actions affect the ultimate outcome for everyone—and where interactive elements will be woven into all sorts of activities throughout the cruise. While I enjoy one-shots, my favorite part of TTRPGs is the stories that evolve over the course of a campaign, and I can’t wait to see how this tale unfolds. In addition to the campaign itself, with a week at sea there’s going to be lots of opportunities to talk about worldbuilding and storytelling. There’s a range of different tiers and options; find out more at the website!

If you prefer to stay on dry land and don’t mind using the internet, there’s another way you can play at my table. Each month, I run an Eberron adventure for my Patreon supporters. This is an ongoing campaign set in the town of Threshold, on the edge of Breland and Droaam. It’s a continuing story using an established cast of characters, but the players change each time. If you support my Patreon at the Threshold level, you get the following benefits…

  • Every month I answer questions from my patrons on Patreon.
  • My patrons choose the topics of the articles I post on this website.
  • Patrons have access to the Threshold Discord channel, which is the primary channel I use to discuss Eberron and Threshold. Patrons also have access to video and audio recordings of all of the previous Patreon settings, along with a campaign website with details on the town and its denizens.
  • Each month, you have a chance to play in that month’s Threshold session. I use a poll to determine the time of the setting, and then post a creative challenge. Any Threshold patron can participate in the challenge, and the five winners play in the session!

While only five patrons get to play each month, I use polls to shape the content of each session and to add details about the town and the campaign. It’s also an opportunity to see content from my upcoming Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold book in action. And beyond that, it’s Patreon that allows me to spend time on this blog. The more patrons, the more articles you’ll see here!

Whether by sea or internet, I hope to have a chance to roll some dice with you in the future. Adventures await!

Twogether Studios at PAX Unplugged!

This weekend I’ll be at my first convention in almost two years: PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with my company Twogether Studios. We’re involved in a lot of great events at the convention and even some you can watch at home!

As a small business, conventions are a double-edged sword with exhaustion and financial risk balanced against the absolute high of positive energy and meeting people in real life who enjoy our games. Don’t ever be worried about saying hello or telling us you enjoy something we made—it’s those affirmations that keep us going and remind us why we do this. So if you see us at the show, we’re always down for an elbow bump, ghost high fives, and socially distant tips of the hat!

Here’s where you can find me and Twogether Studios at PAX Unplugged…

  • Twogether Studios will be at Booth 3355. You can see our current line-up of games, including Illimat, The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance, and a small supply of TAZ hoodies!
  • Friday 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Exploring Eberron with Keith Baker. Join me for a discussion of Eberron, along with a look at my current projects and what I have planned for the future! This is in Mothman Theatre and should be streamed on one of the PAX Twitch channels.
  • Friday 4:30 PM- 5:30 PM: Sharing The Sandbox—Creating In Established RPG Settings. Join LaTia Jacquise, Jessica Marcrum, Jarrod Taylor, the cast of Eberron: A Chronicle of Echoes and I as we discuss the challenges involved in developing content in shared universes!
  • Friday 7:30 PM-9:30 PM: Instant RPG—Just Add You. I’ll be a player in this event organized by Ninth Level Games—playing a game developing live by the audience!
  • Saturday 1 PM – 2 PM: Eberron Meet-Up. This is slightly mysterious—it’s not listed on the official schedule and the location is simply “the Queue Hall.” But I’ll be in the Queue Hall at 1 PM on Saturday for an informal gathering with anyone who shows up!
  • Sunday 11 AM – 12 PM: Signing at Booth 3355. I’ll be at the Twogether Studios booth off and on throughout the convention, but this is the one time you can be SURE I will be there! If you have something you want signed, this is your chance.
  • Sunday 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Add Drama To Your Game (Screening). Andrew Barth Feldman, Alex Boniello, B. Dave Walters, Jenn Ellis, and I unpack what drama is and how to add more intrigue, tension, and investment to your next D&D session, story telling game, or murder mystery party.

See you at PAXU!

What I’m up to: TAZ and CCD20!

I had a fantastic time at PAX Unplugged, but I’m busy as ever! I’m still working on Exploring Eberron, and it will be out early next year. In the meantime, there’s two other things happening right now!

The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance

The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance is the latest game from my company Twogether Studios! Working with the McElroy family, we’ve developed a game that lets you create your own unique adventures in the world of the Balance Arc. TAZ: BoB is a collaborative storytelling game for 2-5 people, and it takes about an hour to play. There’s no gamemaster; each dungeon is dynamically generated, and you build the story together.

You can find out more about The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance here, and if you preorder in the next month you’ll get bonus cards! If you’d like to see it in play, LoadingReadyRun played in last week—check it out here!

CCD20 2019

Nine years ago, Satine Phoenix invited me to participate in a livestreamed D&D event to raise money for children’s literacy charity Reach Out And Read. Tomorrow (Saturday, December 14th) the tradition continues! I’m guiding a team of awesome players through an Eberron adventure, starting at 10 AM Pacific Time! Other DMs will be running the same adventure for different groups throughout the day. You can find more information—and a link to donate to Reach Out and Read at the CCD20 website. I hope some of you will check it out!

That’s what’s keeping me busy. I’ve got a few short Eberron articles on the back burner, so tune in next week for those!

What I’m Up To: Level Eater, GAME, Exploring Eberron!

The last few months have been extremely busy, between working on Eberron: Rising From The Last War, my own book Exploring Eberron, and developing an Adventure Zone game with my company Twogether Studios. Which is why I haven’t been posting much here. Well, it’s just getting busier! I have a number of events coming up that I wanted to let you all know about.

Exploring Eberron

Eberron: Rising From The Last War will be released in November. I’m currently working on Exploring Eberron, a book that delves into aspects and elements of Eberron that I’ve never had the opportunity to explore in previous sourcebooks. One of these is the aquatic civilizations of Eberron; the image above shows a sahuagin city in the Thunder Sea, built around one of the more unusual features of the area. In addition to the oceans, Exploring Eberron will venture into the planes, explore unusual cultures and cults, and much more! If all goes according to plan, Exploring Eberron will be available in the DM’s Guild (and print on demand) by the end of the year.

Level Eater Portland

Level Eater is an amazing D&D event raising money for the charity MyMusicRX. Designed by Will Hindmarch, it unites multiple tables of adventurers in a quest to save the city of Greenmoss. While each table is playing the same adventure, they have the choice of a host of quests—and the choices each table make shape the ultimate outcome. I’ll be running a table, along with other amazing DMs, including Kate Welch, Christopher Perkins, and Jennifer Ketchmer! The seats at my table are already sold out, but if you’re in Portland, it’s going to be an amazing event.  You can find more information or sign up here!

G.A.M.E.

In two weeks, I’m returning to Springfield, Missouri for the Gaming Arts Media and Entertainment Expo! I’ll be there with Jenn Ellis, my partner in Twogether Studios, and I’ll be running an Eberron session and playtesting the Adventure Zone game. Other guests include Satine Phoenix, who will be running a number of D&D sessions to raise money for charity. I really enjoyed G.A.M.E. the last time I was there, and if you’re in the area I look forward to seeing you!

If you’re not in Portland or Springfield, Twogether Studios will be at Spiel in Essen, though I won’t personally be there; I will be at PAX unpluggedThat’s all for now,  stay tuned for more glimpses into Exploring Eberron!

Dragon Con 2018

I’m doing my best to stay busy. In addition to releasing the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, I’ve recently posted articles about The Aurum and The City of Silver and Bone, and contributed to the Sharn adventure Curtain Call. But wait, there’s more! This weekend I’m going to be at Dragon Con 2018 in Atlanta, talking about a diverse range of topics. If you see me around, feel free to say hello! I always love meeting people and I love to talk about the things I create, so please don’t be shy.

I’m participating in a total of six panels this year. Here’s the list.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31

Board Game Design (11:30 AM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

How does one design a board game? Our experts talk about designing a board game from start to finish. Find out how a designer goes from creating the game on paper to getting it on the shelf! (Keith Baker, Bill Fawcett, Thomas Michael Gofton)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Advanced Game Mastery (2:30 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Here we talk next-level tips & tricks for gamemasters. We talk about enhancing roleplay, speeding up combat, and enhancing the experience overall. A great panel for both beginners and veterans! (Keith Baker, Brianne Marie, Jason Massey)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

Kill, Stab, Squash! Character Death in the Campaign! (1 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

We talk about character death in the campaign. How do different people handle it? How often should it be present in a campaign? Is there such a thing as a game that’s too lethal—or not lethal enough? (Keith Baker, Jason Buhlman, Kenneth Hite)

Ultimate Game Mastery (4 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Here we talk about the great games we have played and how to bring that epic-ness to your own table. (Keith Baker)

The Investigative Game (5:30 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

How do you set up a mystery? How do you create clues for players to follow? What about investigative characters? Can investigative games exist in a magical universe like D&D? Find out! (Keith Baker, Kenneth Hite)

Eberron Returns! (7:00 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Join the originator of the famed Eberron setting to talk about its return to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. (Keith Baker)

If you’re going to Dragon Con, I hope to see you at some of these! If you have any questions, post them below.

What’s Keith Up To?

I’ve been traveling ever since the release of the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron and I’m only just getting caught up on things. Here’s of a few of the things I’m doing…
Beyond that, of course, I’m dealing with all the challenges of everyday life (the pipes burst in my kitchen sink!) and playing in and running a few Eberron games (I’m hoping my envoy didn’t cause the Mourning by killing someone on the dance floor in Metrol, but I won’t know for certain until the next adventure).
All this has slowed down my production speed on the website. I’m working on an article about common magic, as requested by the Inner Circle patrons. But that’s a big thing and it’s going to take a while to really get it right. In the meantime, I want to publish more SHORT posts on the site. Rather than doing two long posts each month, I’d like to be posting a few short posts each week.
So, what is it you’d like to see? I’m looking at topics that can be covered in no more than four paragraphs and don’t require a lot of cross referencing. So I could answer a single interesting question, or a might post a table like Why Do You Need 200 GP or Falling in Sharn.
If you’ve got some short-answer questions or hook requests, post them below! And if you’ll be at DragonCon, Rose City Comic Con, or Level Eater, make sure to say hello!

GenCon 2018

I’m getting ready for GenCon, and I hope I’ll see some of you there. Here’s what I’m up to.

ILLIMAT AND TWOGETHER STUDIOS

I’ll be at Booth 2667 for much of the convention. This is where my company, Twogether Studios, will be demonstrating our game Illimat. This is a neo-classic card game we created in conjunction with the band The Decemberists; it’s familiar and mysterious at the same time. And if you’re an Eberron player, you can check out this article about using Illimat in Eberron! We’ll be doing demos all weekend, but we also have a special promotion. Each day, the first 25 people to purchase an Illimat product receive a copy of the limited edition Rusalka Luminary, pictured above! This is ONLY at Booth 2667. We’ll also be demoing my game Action Cats at Booth 1552, and you can buy either game at either location, but you can only get the Rusalka at Booth 2667.

EBERRON EVENTS

There’s two Eberron events on the GenCon Schedule.

Exploring Eberron with Keith Baker (Friday, 11 AM – Noon; Lucas Oil Mtg Rm 4)

The D&D setting of Eberron is a world of magic, pulp adventure, and noir intrigue. It’s been fifteen years since the Fantasy Setting Search that produced Eberron: join setting creator Keith Baker for a discussion of how Eberron came to be and how the world has evolved over the years! 

Inkwell Society Live! (Friday, 9 PM – 11 PM; Westin Grand Blrm I & II)

Within the seedy underbelly of Eberron metropolis, Sharn, the Inkwell Society follows the path of broken, beleaguered level zeroes who would kill for a little class, but when their rise collides with the Dream Lily cartels, they find the streets they roam are anything but home. Don’t miss DM Ruty Rutenberg unfold the next installment of the Inkwell Society LIVE at Gen Con 2018!

Both of these events have limited space, so if you’re interested, get your tickets now!

SIGNING

I’ll be doing a single signing session: Thursday from 3 PM4 PM at Booth 2667. 

WRITER’S SYMPOSIUM

I’m participating in the GenCon Writer’s Symposium this year. It’s a great program, and I’m doing four different session.

  • Convincing Aliens (Thursday, 11 AM – Noon; Marriott – Atlanta Room)
  • Finding Inspiration (Thursday, 4 PM – 5 PM; Marriott – Ballroom 1)
  • Dealing With Imposter Syndrome (Friday, 10 AM – 11 AM; Marriott – Atlanta Room)
  • When Fantasy Jumps The Shark (Friday, 3 PM – 4 PM; Marritott – Austin Room)

Most of these are already sold out, but there’s always the chance that there will be empty seats!

Whether we play a hand of Illimat or talk about Eberron, I hope to see you at GenCon!

Upcoming Events

The Illimat Road Tour continues!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30th: WELL PLAYED in ASHEVILLE, NC

Well Played is a fantastic game cafe in Asheville, North Carolina. Jenn and I will be there from 7 PM to 10 PM teaching Illimat, and we’ll have Action Cats and Scott Pilgrim there as well. Plus, they make a surprisingly good grilled mac’n’cheese sandwich!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31st: THE ROOK & PAWN in ATHENS, GA

On Thursday, the Illimat tour continues at The Rook & Pawn. We’ll be there from 6 PM – 9 PM! I haven’t been to The Rook & Pawn yet so I can’t give food recommendations, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

SEPTEMBER 1st – SEPTEMBER 3rd: DRAGONCON, ATLANTA, GA

Friday through Sunday I’m a guest at DragonCon in Atlanta. You can find me at the following events, and if you’re going to DragonCon you can get more details about them in the DragonCon app!

  • RAISING THE STAKES, Friday 5:30 PM. 
  • ALL ABOUT DRAGONS, Friday 7 PM
  • KEITH BAKER: WORLDS & GAMES, Saturday 11:30 AM
  • WORLD BUILDING 101, Saturday 2:30 PM
  • MONSTER ECOLOGY, Sunday 2:30 PM
  • MAD SCIENTIST GAME MASTERY, Sunday 4:00 PM
  • GAMING LIKE ROCKSTARS, Sunday 7 PM
  • THE GAMING CAFE, Sunday 8:30 PM

SEPTEMBER 7th: MYSTERY BREWING PUBLIC HOUSE in HILLSBOROUGH, NC

Join Jenn and I for beer and Illimat at the awesome Mystery Brewing!

I’ll post more events next week! If you have questions, post them below.

GenCon 2017 & Cassette Tape Challenge!

I’m currently in an ’84 Vanagon heading across North Dakota on my way to GenCon! I’ll be on the road for the next six weeks, visiting conventions and game cafes and demoing my latest games! I’m posting my Gen Con schedule below and I’ll let you know about my upcoming stops soon, but I do have a challenge for anyone going to GenCon. This old van I’m in has one way to play music: an old tape player. But as I live in the twenty-first century, I have no cassette tapes. If you’re coming to GenCon, have a cassette tape you can live without, and want to make the next six weeks more interesting for Jenn and I, give me a tape at one of my events!

Anyhow: Here’s where I’ll be at GenCon!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17

Due to slow travel and poor weather, I’ll be arriving to GenCon Thursday afternoon, and will only be at one event… but it’s a good one!

5 pm – 8 pm: LEVEL UP – Art Inspired By Gaming Reception

Thursday night Twogether Studios is teaming up with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a month-long exhibition of art inspired by and from games of all sorts. Come to Cathead Press to learn to play Illimat and to enjoy some fantastic art! I’ll be there the whole time, but feel free to drop in any time over the course of the event.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 18

10 am – Noon: SPPLCG DEMOS (Renegade Games Booth)

You can find me at the Renegade Games booth, giving demos of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game and talking about the game!

Noon – 1 PM: SIGNING AT THE ONI BOOTH

At noon, I’ll head over to the Oni Press booth. They will have twenty copies of the convention-exclusive Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game that they’re planning to sell at this event (It’s going to be in very short supply). So if you want a copy and want me to sign it, show up early!

In the afternoon I’ll be playing games at a charity event organized by Worldbuilders. My table is already sold out, but there may be other tables still open!

4 PM – 5 PM: TABLETOP DESIGN – Make Fancy  Dumb Stuff!

Are you thinking about making a game that uses weird & unique materials but there is a voice in your head telling you to do something easier & simpler? Or even real people saying its way too complex or impractical? Stick with paper and plastic? Come hear from industry professionals who followed different paths and how those choices affected their games and sanity. Panelists include Jon Ritter of Lay Waste Games, WETA Workshop, and Jennifer Ellis of Twogether Studios!

 

SATURDAY, August 19th

NOON – 3 PM: SPPLCG DEMOS (Renegade Games Booth)

You can find me at the Renegade Games booth, giving demos of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game and talking about the game!

3 PM – 4 PM: ILLIMAT – SOCIETY OF LUMINARIES SECRET MEETING

Are a Society of Luminaries member or considering membership? Do you like card games & secret societies? Lively discussion about the game Illimat as well as special surprises for members & friends!

5 PM – 6:00 PM: KEITH’S TRADITIONAL HOTEL HANGOUT

Every year at Gen Con I spend an hour in the lobby of the Hyatt, talking with everyone who stops by about whatever people want to talk about. Do you have questions about Eberron? Illimat? Gloom? The exciting life of a game designer? Then drop by and chat! This is entirely informal: show up whenever you like and stay for as long as you want. Maybe I’ll stay past six. Maybe I won’t. You never know.

That’s all for now, but watch this space – I may add more events on the fly!

Phoenix, Twogether and PAX!

EPSON MFP imageAugust has been a busy month, but expect to see more content here next week. When I get back from PAX I’ll be posting the first in a series of Imperial Dispatches: articles expanding the world and setting of Phoenix: Dawn Command. I’ll also have news about general plans for expansion and support of Phoenix. 

In the meantime, you can find Phoenix at PAX: West! We’ll be exhibiting with Blackbox in the ACT Theater. This is attached to the convention center, but you don’t need a PAX badge to get in! Phoenix will be available for sale in the ACT theater throughout PAX, and co-designer Dan Garrison will be demoing the game from 10 AM – 2 PM each day. If you have questions or just want to pick up the game, this is your opportunity!

In addition, Twogether Studios will be demoing our next game in the same space. It’s a traditional card game that takes about 20 minutes to play, and we’ll be revealing more information about it over the next few days!

If you’re attending PAX Dev or PAX West, I’m participating in the following events:

PAX Dev: Thursday 2:15 – 3:15, Grand III

HEROIC SACRIFICE AND UNEXPECTED TRAGEDY

Heroic sacrifice and unexpected tragedy create some of the most memorable moments in fiction. But how can you work these into a game if death means the end of the story? When designing a game, how do you balance risk and consequence with the format of an RPG, CRPG or MMORPG? Join Keith Baker (Eberron, Gloom), Chris Avellone (Planescape: Torment, Divinity: OS 2), and Dan Garrison (Phoenix: DC) for a discussion about how death, defeat, and sacrifice can be part of a compelling game experience.

PAX West: Friday 6:30 – 7:30, Sasquatch Theatre

PHOENIX: DAWN COMMAND

You’re the last hope of a world besieged by nightmares. You may not survive the battle… but you’re a Phoenix, and death makes you stronger. Phoenix: Dawn Command is a roleplaying game from the creator of Gloom and Eberron, combining card-driven mechanics with collaborative storytelling and a unique approach to sacrifice and character growth. Join creators Keith Baker, Daniel Garrison and Jennifer Ellis for a discussion of the setting, system, and the three-year journey to create this game.

That’s it! I hope to see you at PAX!