About Me

My name is Jeff Allen. I’m what you could call an “old school” RPG player. I love dungeon crawls, though I do insist on an interesting plot to go along with it. Even though I enjoy fantasy-themed settings, I’ve always had a thing for universal game systems as my collection of GURPS and HERO books attest to.

I came across [Fudge] when I was in college and liked its flexibility but disliked its relative lack of granularity. I guess I was just too used to the good old 20 sided die. I didn’t get to use Fudge much, except for a rare Star Trek game every now and again. That said, like a lot of folks at the time, I used Fudge as a sort of “universal translator” to move characters and other content between dissimilar game systems.

Fast forward more time than I’m going to admit to, I discovered [Fate Core] and [Fate Accelerated] sometime after Evil Hat’s well-known Kickstarter campaign that got it all started. I was shocked in a good way and a little befuddled. Boosts, aspects, advantage creation and other nice things made it a lot easier for players to really bend the system as the fiction of their setting required it. It was also a radical mind shift for GM’s and players. After just one game session with Fate Accelerated, I was hooked!

Fate clearly required much less of the GM in terms of the total number of things that he needed to keep track of in his head in order to run the game smoothly. I can’t tell you how big a deal this was for me. The fiction came first and the mechanics came second, as a result, everyone had a very good time and I was able to introduce new players to the hobby who would never play a “crunchy” system.

Why I Started This Site

I love dungeon crawls. Monsters, sand and sandals, the whole bit. It’s a lot of fun. Fate does most settings well and, by default, it tends to knock pulpy settings right out of the park. I don’t see “dungeon crawl” and pulpy as irreconcilable goals. Anyone who has ever seen the 1999 Brendan Fraser version of The Mummy knows that “pulp” and “dungeon crawl” elements can work well togeather. Raiders of the Lost Ark, though less comedic, is further proof of the same point.

Once I started getting involved in online groups dedicated to Fate, I started seeing similar questions come up over and over again about how to run a more or less “old school rules” game using Fate’s rules. While there are products that more or less “reskin” Fate in order to give it an old-school vibe. If that’s your thing and you’re happy, knock yourself out. Enjoy. But twisting Fate to be more like other systems struck me is the wrong way to go about making Fate do old school dungeon crawls and gritty fantasy adventures.

I wanted something more: a go-to guide for Fate players who love old school dungeon delving and similar fantasy content but want to play Fate as-is and use the system’s existing strengths to play that kind of content. That’s what I’m working toward here.

That’s not the only thing this site is indented to be, however. With Fate, I have discovered the fun of doing very pulpy alternate history settings with aircraft carrier airships, trolls, rockets, and Tommy gun toting servants of evil necromancers. It’s always a fun romp and damn is it fun. As a result, you’ll see that kind of content here too.

I find myself, personally in a strange space. After nearly two decades in an IT career that has honed me to be a very efficient left-brained thinker, I find that my right-brain has spoken up and declared that it has a great deal many stories to tell. So, I’m shifting toward creative pursuits in an effort to cultivate that part of myself.

Role playing games are about telling stories in a collaborative manner. That’s what makes them fun and enjoyable. I want to “grow my tribe” (as Seth Godin would say) to share more stories with more people.

Business or Pleasure?

The simple answer is a bit of both.

IT careers are stressful. I do this for stress relief.

Because it’s part hobby, I will be giving away a lot of free content as time goes on. I do also intend to use this site to make money as well. I’m sure you’ll see a certain amount of freemium content as the site develops where I give away a bunch of stuff and then sell something as a value-add to that free content.

Also, as a rule of thumb, if I link to a product assume it’s an affiliate link. A few years back the FTC created regulation out of thin-air that basically demanded that every blogger under heaven “disclose” (read, “apologize for”) quietly making a buck. It’s bullshit. Affiliate links aren’t fraud and there are already laws on the books that make it illegal to shill.

For a kick, read my rather laconic Affiliate Disclosure. I’m sure I will expand that over time to mock the regulations and the regulators that hoisted them upon an unsuspecting world.

Other Random Bits

Above and beyond RPG material, this site is about Nerd-dom. You’ll see the occasional random article about Bitcoin, retro computing, Esperanto, and other bits of nerd culture.