Welcomes and Introductions---Start here! 👋

Welcome to Wynwerod — Playing to Play, an international discussion space focused on reflecting on the activity of roleplaying—beyond any label or kind of game[1]:—and helping each other engage with it authentically and maximise our enjoyment of this medium of expression.

Wynwerod is an Old English word meaning a wandering troupe of musicians, literally a “merry band”. I’m referencing the metaphor, as popularised by Ron Edwards[2], of the play system as musical instruments, and of the play group as sort of a jam session, with play/music as folk art for mutual enjoyment of the players—rather than a highly produced or rehearsed piece for an audience. I hope it gives a good impression of the values that I want to impart on this place.

Regarding internationalism—you should feel comfortable posting here even if you’re unsure about your proficiency with English. In fact, there is no assumption that English has to be the language of your discussion, and Anglo-American users should also be aware that their default cultural assumptions are not automatically valid.

I understand that this place will not be for everyone—that’s fine. I’d really like it to be for anyone that shares its values and goals—beyond their personal background or what roleplaying faction they self-identify with. Therefore, let me share with you the Wynwerod agenda.


The goals of Wynwerod are:

  • Reflect on and analyse our own role-playing activity, to improve as players, engage authentically, and maximise our enjoyment and sense of purpose.
  • Act as an international cultural crossroads for role-players of any background or nationality.
  • Archive interesting material, or valuable conversations made on more ephemeral platforms.
  • Promote the making of games and play material, with the understanding that games can only get better as a by-product of great play.
  • Discuss to find out what others have to say.

Whatever is not listed above is not a goal of this space. Attempts to influence the space towards other goals, overtly or covertly, are unwelcome.

:wave: If this is something that interests you, then it’s time to introduce yourself in this here thread! Tell us anything you want about yourself and your history with RPGs. What games have you been playing recently?

Getting Started

The best way to start participating in the forum is to post something in Actual Play. With actual play I mean the sharing of, or reflection on, of any amount of play that actually happened[3]—not a curated report or video series shared for the entertainment of an audience.

It’s really as easy as—you played something, and you thought something about it. Then we get to ask you questions :smile:. Try to focus on what the people playing did, rather than just the fictional content or story by-product.

If you plan on staying here, please review the posting guidelines—there is also an explanation of my management style, which is a bit unorthodox. In short, the expectations for posting are:

  • Offer a baseline of respect to other users. Don’t be an asshole.
  • Dialogue, don’t debate. Before posting or replying to someone, ask yourself whether what you mean to say contributes a new viewpoint to the discussion.
  • Communicate clearly and assertively, and avoid jokes and sarcasm the more complex the discussion gets. Passive-aggressiveness is not tolerated here.
  • Read other users’ posts charitably. If you suspect bad faith, flag the post instead.
  • Try to use simple language, avoid excessive hobby jargon, and be ready to explain what you mean.
  • Treat other users as peers, regardless of status acquired elsewhere. Don’t engage in status games or social politicking.

Your feedback on how I manage this space is always welcome, either in DMs or in Site Feedback.

That’s it! I hope you have a good time and this place brings value to you.

If you’re interested in receiving notifications in other ways than email, check out this message here.

  1. In fact I would like to make it clear that this site is not meant to be as a replacement for Story Games or The Gauntlet, or to host a particular subcommunity of players. It’s meant as its own thing, and inspired by discussion principles from Adept Play and the Actual Play subforum of The Forge. ↩︎

  2. In fact, I highly recommend you visit Adept Play, Ron’s academy and community, which has helped me and many others heighten our appreciation of the roleplaying medium. Cross-posting there is encouraged. ↩︎

  3. This is in fact the original meaning of the phrase, as used on The Forge and Adept Play. ↩︎

11 Appreciations

I’ll start with the introductions to break the ice.

I started roleplaying in the 2000s with D&D 3rd Edition, then played True20, then 4th Edition. Dropped D&D at the 5th edition.

Around the time I was playing 4th Edition, I was exposed to The Forge through Vincent Baker’s Dogs in the Vineyard and I started learning more about roleplaying and how it works. Around 2010-2014 I played a very large amount of indie games of all kinds. I also founded dungeonworld.it, which I still manage, even though I’m probably not going to play Dungeon World again.

I left roleplaying discourse in 2016 due to burnout from the toxicity of the Italian RPG community. I also left my home country and didn’t have local contacts to play with, so I didn’t play that frequently for a while. I came back in 2020 due to everyone playing online due to Covid 19, and I opened La Locanda dei GDR, where I was finally able to set aside my little corner of the universe so that I could talk about roleplaying the way that I wanted.

At the same time, I got involved with Adept Play, Ron Edwards’ play academy and community—highly recommended—where over the last three years I renewed my interest in roleplaying as an exciting form of expression.

I also got involved with the Italian OSR community and I help organise (I’m a very small part of it) a small convention in Milan called Total Party Kon. I also have my own convention called FroggyCon that takes place in April.

I generally try to play everything and be as eclectic as I can. My goal as a player is always to achieve authenticity without control — no illusions, no guiding, no negotiating, no storyboarding — just producing the unexpected by everyone doing their thing and playing their role. I love the feeling of looking back at a chain of game events and saying “oh, wow, because I did that a while back, this happened!”.

The games that I would recommend anyone reads and plays are Moldvay B/X D&D (straight from the original text), S/Lay W/ Me, The Pool and Trollbabe.

Here is a matrix of the games I’ve most recently played or are planning to play (you can create one by using the code [grid] and [/grid] around your pictures).

9 Appreciations

Hi, I’m not so new but neither that old in the hobby.

I started with dnd 3.5 as master. Dropped rpgs after 2 years. I tried reinventing myself in that span of time, but had always the impression I was not playing the way I would have truly enjoyed.

Came back after a while.

I tried Dnd 3.5, dnd 5, omen, microscope, electric bastionland, the pool, Cairn, solar system, apocalypse world and a bunch of others I don’t recall now. Only read trollbabe.

The way apocalypse world is wrote is a bit confusing to me, but it offered fronts, threats and a point of view I missed back then. It got me thinking I even played some titles the wrong way. That means not the way they were supposed to be played by the author. That just means I accumulated layers of stuff, during my dnd experience, and replicated that way of playing through all different rpgs.

I’m now quite confident I punched that wall of accumulated stuff pretty hard, I can see through it. Maybe just a glimpse, maybe a big hole. I dunno. But at least, a little bit.

7 Appreciations

An interesting notion—sometimes the way the author intends is not necessarily the most enjoyable way to play.

In any case, welcome!

1 Appreciation

Hi! My name is Gregorio and I started roleplaying in 2017 with the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. After a two-year campaign with university friends, I realized that there was a world of other games out there, and from that moment on, I never went out of the rabbit hole. I discovered Dungeon World through the work of @Froggy, it was my launching pad for everything else. In recent years I have become an enthusiastic player of OSR games, which have become my comfort food (maybe too much, I should vary the diet a bit). I have also started facilitating games at various cons, which I enjoy a lot.

The most fulfilling gaming experience of the last period was a 8 session game at The Sword, The Crown and The Unspeakable Power, in which I played following my gut to the point of having to change my playbook (in an unexpected but somewhat satisfying way).

Here is my matrix!

7 Appreciations

Hello to all, and thank you to @Froggy for setting this up and steering me here!

My name is Rob Abrazado (pronouns he/him), I’m headquartered in the U.S., and I’ve been playing TTRPGs since being introduced to AD&D in the 1980s. I played around with some other TSR classics back then (Gamma World, Boot Hill), but it was mostly D&D up until the early 90s when I started going to conventions and learned about a bunch more games that were out there. I dabbled in whatever I could at conventions, but home game stuff continued with D&D (2E by this point), but now regular play started seeing stuff like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, TMNT and Rifts, Feng Shui, Underground, In Nomine, and a bunch of other stuff until I ended up falling mostly into World of Darkness. From the 2010s to the present I’ve been thrown around on the tides of the ongoing explosion of new and cool RPGs, started for me mostly by first coming across Apocalypse World, and then the rest is a blur of conventions, podcasts, and a Hot New Thing what seemed like every day. :smile:

I consider myself an experienced and varied player and more or less willing to try out any game at least once. I don’t have a particular favored genre, I don’t think, but I favor action and adventure, and I absolutely love anything involving collaborative worldbuilding and/or mapmaking. I still mostly prefer GMed games, I think, but I favor play styles (or systems!) that involve heavy player creative contributions, and especially the improv-heavy styles such as forwarded by Apocalypse World and its family.

Anyway, that’s me, and I’m looking forward to checking out the discussions on this community and seeing what people’s play experiences and thoughts are like.

9 Appreciations

What a joy to see this forum up and running. @Froggy and I have discussed the possibility of a permanent, non-ephemeral place for RPG discussion for a little while, and now this exists! Worthy of a celebration, and a huge thank you to you, Claudio, for making it happen!

I think there are a lot of amazing conversations happening online these days, but so many of them are on social media platforms and disappear into the ether. It brings me great pleasure and hope to see that we can have more detailed, slow, thoughtful conversations in a format that we can refer to over the years. Some of my favourite forums in the past have threads which I still reference to this day, particularly for advice on running or prepping for particular games, and I really value that.

I have been playing for decades, in different styles and communities. I was a very active member at Story Games once upon a time, as well as at the Gauntlet. These days I’m mainly into modern “story games”, as derived from the Forge tradition, and OSR-style “classic” play, and I love discussing both, as well as developing tools for making them work better and helping people (including myself!) understand how they function and what makes them fun.

Some of my favourite games include classic (old school) D&D, The Pool, Dogs in the Vineyard, Monsterhearts, and some of my own game design experiments.

To me, one of the most important skills a player (GMs included) in the modern RPG world can have is the willingness to recognize how each group, table, and game is different, and make it play as best you can. Studying and practicing those things, I think, is both invaluable and fascinating. Start mastering this, and you’ll be welcome at any table.

Thanks again to Claudio. And nice to see some great people contributing here already!

EDIT: Some recent games I’ve been running or playing:

  • Homebrew D&D
  • Freebooting Venus (an impromptu one-shot that turned into an 85-session campaign!)
  • Canon (unpublished, lovely)
  • Misspent Youth
  • Dogs in the Vineyard
10 Appreciations

Welcome, @Viandante and @flatvurm!

Thanks @Paul_T. Honestly, if this forum can sustain the little conversations we’ve been having in private in a way that they can remain archived, searchable, and organised, I’ll be calling this a success. If more people end up staying, then I’ll make all the space that they need.

2 Appreciations

Howdy! Dave here. I was active on the Forge over its last 6 years, and then on Story-Games for the next 6. Not much online RPG chat for me over the last 5 years, but sometimes I do miss it!

My intro to RPGs:

Last convention:

Longtime favorites:

Want to play:

6 Appreciations

Hello! I’m Brand, and I’d like to thank @Paul_T for pointing me at this space.

I’ve been playing RPGs for a long time. Like, since the 70s. I’ve played a lot of different games in many different styles over the years, and have tried my best to learn new and different approaches, ways of playing, and ways of analyzing the effect and impacts of play. I’ve been lucky enough to write for some major game lines and to independently publish or develop my own games, as well as acting as a developmental editor for the games of far more talented designers. I love this hobby, and the depth of experience and creativity it offers.

These days I mostly play indie-style TTRPGs. Before COVID I was also doing a lot of 360 long form larp and freeform gaming (especially in and around Fastaval in Denmark). Alas, my shitty health has removed the later from my reach for the moment, so I’m doubling down on the TTRPG side. I’ve just finished off a 3 season long game of Defiant that I joint-GMed with my wife Mo, and we’re not launching into a co-run, co-played game of Urban Shadows 2nd edition.

I’ve also been dipping back into D&D, as my nibblings are all wanting to learn to play it. Not other rpgs, notably, just D&D. Not even the many, many OSR games I have on my shelves. Just D&D. Luckily it turns out I still really love D&D, especially running it for kids.

7 Appreciations

Paul, I love this:

the willingness to recognize how each group, table, and game is different, and make it play as best you can”

This has been a key for me in learning to be a better player and GM. And it’s opened up so many possibilities. It’s not just a good thing for the community, it’s a good thing for us each as individuals.

3 Appreciations

I fixed it for you—it only works with uploaded images. And welcome to Wynwerod!

Whoa, that was quick! Thank you! I will upload some more and edit to include the “recent” thing y’all are doing. :slight_smile:

2 Appreciations

It’s my turn!

I’m Alessio from Italy and friend of @Froggy. I interact with him on the La Locanda dei Gdr Italian forum.

I begun role-playing in 2003 during middle school with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. Afterwards, my second RPG has been Cyberpunk 2020 and my first The Forge games have been Don’t Rest Your Head, Polaris, and one of my favourites Trollbabe.

I’ve played a lot of Pathfinder 1e and Savage Worlds during university because I couldn’t fin anyone interested in The Forge games nor old-school games like Labyrinth Lord – exception made for Fiasco. (At the time, 2010-2016 the Italian community was quite narrow-minded in their tastes. Now it’s quite better though not perfect.) After a while, I became disenchanted with the hobby an dropped completely when I moved to UK for my post-graduate studies.

In UK, after 2 years of stopping completely, my interest in RPGs reignited through a 5e campaign proposed by a Greek friend of mine and later by discovering again the OSR scene with Old School Essentials and White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game,

Going back to Italy, I joined more actively the OSR scene and met Claudio. Through him, I rediscovered other games and in particular The Pool.

Nowadays I’m RPG coordinator for my city’s gaming club and play any kind of RPGs that I can find: from Apocalypse World to Tales of the Round Table, Cyberpunk RED, Burning Wheel or Into the Odd. Although I extremely enjoy RPGs made by Ron Edwards and “classic” games like Runequest and Traveller.

I look for emergence in any kind of game even beyond RPGs, like videogames or board games.

Nice to meet you folks!

Here my list of my favourite RPGs of all time.

8 Appreciations

So exciting to see you guys here, @DavidBerg and @thebrand! Thanks for heeding my call. The internet needs more of your hilarity and wisdom!

3 Appreciations

Hey all, my name is Randy Lubin and I’m based in San Francisco, USA.

I design light storytelling games (tabletop and larp) through my studio Diegetic Games.

I maintain Storysynth, the free online platform for prompt-driven storytelling games. Happy to answer any related questions and I love to hear feature requests!

Professionally, I make foresight games that explore the future and explain complex systems through my studio Leveraged Play and I run the Foresight.Games community – come join us!

6 Appreciations

Hey @randylubin, welcome! A little adjustment—this is meant to be a players’ space primarily and a makers’ space secondarily. Can you tell us more about what you’ve been playing this year, how you started roleplaying, or anything regarding your personal experiences as a player rather than as a designer of games?

4 Appreciations

Hi! It’s pleasant to see a mix of familiar and new faces here.

My name’s Kit (any pronouns), I’m in Vancouver :canada:, and I’ve been playing and making RPGs for a good long while. I tend towards things that focus on the spooky-supernatural and webs of relationships, and I love systems with moves (à la Apocalypse World) for reasons I can dive into in some other topic. But honestly, I think there are three pillars to a good game: system, group, and my own fractious brain, and any two can be weak as long as one is strong.

I’ve been running D&D for the first time in ages lately (5e, which I’ve only played in once before) for a group that’s mostly the friends I played with back in high school. We span a lot of timezones, and we’re using Foundry VTT for some maps-and-minis play, which we’ve never done before. It’s fun!

I’m jonesing for some Under Hollow Hills, The Wolf King’s Son, and some spooky-supernatural Cortex Prime, but time is at a premium, so y’know, I am doing what I can!

7 Appreciations

Gladly @Froggy!

This year I’ve been playing a smattering of GMless tabletop games, including The Isabelle, In This World, Villagesong, Yazeba’s, and Dialect. A few weeks ago I played my first in-person larp in years, CONIFER, and had a blast. I’ve also been playtesting my super short murder mystery game Working The Case.

I got into storytelling games about ten years ago through a “game studies book club” and quickly found my way to the indie scene; I started designing games around the same time. Within a few years, I found my way to American freeform larp and was hooked.

I’ll gladly try just about any type of game – I’m always hungry to learn more design patterns and see what makes different approaches sing. That extends beyond tabletop and larp to a love of immersive theater – ultimately I think of all of it as experience design and to that end think anyone can be (and often is) a game designer.

7 Appreciations

@randylubin has also played in a bunch of larps with me.

I have screamed at him many, many times. Mostly in character. :wink:

4 Appreciations