Roadworthy: Judge Zebarah!

Welcome to Roadworthy! This is a chance to show off a Road Crew Judge and allow them to share their experience and wisdom. We provide these profiles to help provide insight into their personality and style, and maybe give up-and-coming Judges some advice on improving their game.

The Road Crew theme for 2019 is Road Trip! We want you to get out there and experience the world. Whether it be in real life or online, you can always explore unknown lands and make new friends. Who knows, maybe we’ll put you up on our website. Jump on into the Road Crew program for your chance!

This is our first Roadworthy post of 2019! To kick off the year, we travel to the mitten state! …okay, that’s not really what it’s called, but you gotta admit it looks like a mitten. We’re talking about Michigan here, and it’s time to meet Judge Zebarah Shears!

Roadworthy: Judge Zebarah

What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?

I’m Ian Zebarah Shears and I am from Lincoln Park, Mi and I game around the “Downriver” area. (As the various suburbs south of Detroit are called.) I’m an easy-going person with a wacky sense of humor. I find myself laughing all the time and it comes through in my games—whether I wrote the module or not. I have a love of paleontology and that info creeps into nearly every thing I do. Or should I say stomps?

How did you first discover DCC?

I think it was Free RPG Day 2012. I wasn’t able to make it out to a game store, but my wife was. So I told her to grab anything that looked fun and she took one look at that DCC module and said: “Yup! He’ll love this!”

As of “right now,” how many Road Crew games have you run in this or past seasons?

I only ran 3 games during the 2017 season as I was still trying to familiarize myself with public play and how to run a fun game on the go. During the 2018 season, I ran 13 games for the road crew at a slew of locations. One of them being the park at the end of my street that has a large covered pavilion and a view of the river.

What’s your favorite Road Crew game experience so far?

Probably the fact that both last year and this year I reconnected with different friends through the game. We met at the Fort Street Brewery in my neighborhood and we caught up over a few local drinks and played DCC while a winter storm raged outside. Hardcore gamers and those new to the hobby joined in and each time it was a lot of fun and an excellent way to catch up.

Tell us where you run your Road Crew games.

I’ve run games in 3 different places, no regular times or dates unfortunately, because I work retail at a big box pharmacy. My favorite, Council Point Park is at the end of my street, but only a good place in the summer. The Fort Street Brewery unfortunately closed at the end of 2018. Which leaves Pandemonium Games at 6033 Middlebelt Rd in Garden City. They have an excellent play room and fantastic weekend hours, (midnight on Saturday!). I’m currently working on getting a regular group organized to meet there.

What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges?

I’ve found that running a good game of DCC is a theatrical art more so than other systems. Be spontaneous! Let them roll that D30 when they do something extraordinary and wacky! You won’t be sorry.

What tips can you give to a judge to help their games run more smoothly?

If you are playing with a regular group, put each character’s name, ac, and hp on separate sticky notes. It’ll help you make fast “behind the screen decisions” and speed up combat! Also, don’t be afraid to get weird! Make goofy sound effects! Be animated! You as judge are a one person theater troupe, and Dungeon Crawl Classics begs hilarity.


Author: pandabrett

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