Games I Play:
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HI! Welcome to my bio. It rules, and so do you.
Now that we've established a mutually awesome relationship, who am I? I'm Clayton, and to say my background is eclectic would be putting it lightly. You're here to get in some killer gaming, though. So, I will stick to the relevant stuff first. I have been:
- A professional voice actor: specializing in accents and monstrous voices, but you can also find me in Fallout!
- A punk band front man in Korea
- A best selling writer on the DMsGuild.com: you can find my work under "Goblin Ink" with my good friends Rich and Tom
- A game designer: I have published 3 video games, one of which actually turned a profit!
- A teacher: Through all of this I always taught on some level. I love teaching and I love helping people find their footing in new and exciting skills.
- A researcher: my current full time job is as a PhD student / research fellow. I work for Penn State, conducting research on teaching complex skills with video games, especially role-playing games.
As you can see. I friggin love games and love being in front of people. It is perhaps my most favorite thing to do in the world. But, there's more to me. Though it may not seem super relevant yet, I always like to tell people that I am the most happily married soon to be dad in the world. What does that have to do with gaming? Well, my wife introduced me to D&D! I had been a video gamer exclusively until she showed me the light.
My GMing style is best described as cinematic. People love to go to the movies, they love seeing the big moments and the dramatic camera angles and music. Why? The entire experience is part of a told story. How often the shot changes, the shifts in music, where people are standing in scene, all of this is just as much a part of the story as the dialogue is.
I try to bring that same feeling into my games by:
1) Empowering players to take dramatic actions
- Excitement isn't a 10 minute discussion about rules followed by a statistically favorable action. That's math. I work hard to encourage players to feel OK with taking risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
2) Ensuring there is always a bit of risk
- I love keeping the dramatic tension. That isn't to say playing with me is like watching an M. Night Shamylan movie. TWIST! IT IS ! DOUBLE TWIST! No really it isn't. For real. It's not. But, twists aside, I want players to feel the pressure when it's appropriate. It's all about pacing and getting in the moment.
3) Encouraging character development
- I love characters far more than I love any game system. Sometimes, when I am bored, I make D&D characters just in my head. I am that uncool. As a GM, I try to bring out the characters by providing down time moments, bringing in backstories, and rewarding on-brand decisions.
I have not yet described my playstyle.