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!
We’re head to The City of Big Shoulders to meet our latest Judge. This man loves his games more on the humorous side, and runs DCC at a craft beer shop every week. Today we meet Judge John Replogle!
Roadworthy: John Replogle!
What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?
My name is John Replogle and I live in Chicago, IL.
I have played a few tabletop RPG games of various systems in the past, but until recently I have not had a game last for more than a few months. I recently finished running my first DCC RPG story campaign, and am laying plans for the next one!
My judging style definitely leans more toward the silly side of things. I try to provide an interesting and engaging story for my players, but I’d say that focus most on players having a good time. I’ve worked hard to create a weekly road crew game that is welcoming and open to all those who might be interested in playing.
How did you first discover DCC?
My wife and I decided to attend a Chicago DCC RPG Road Crew game that is hosted weekly at The Beer Temple back in April of 2018. We showed up late, since the decision to go was kind of spur of the moment, but the group handed a couple level-0s to each of us and extremely graciously let us join in on their session in progress. What followed was 3 hours of a game that felt unlike anything we had ever played.
We came back week after week to play until August, when the judge that had been running the weekly road crew had to step back from running due to an extremely busy schedule. With the threat of losing my newly beloved weekly Dungeon Crawl Classics game looming over my head, I quickly studied up on the rules, listened to podcasts, and learned to judge so that the fun didn’t have to end! I had never run any RPG before in my life, but quickly found it to be something that I really enjoy. I have been running the weekly road crew games at The Beer Temple ever since!
As of “right now,” how many Road Crew games have you run in this or past seasons?
I have run four games so far this year. Mother Nature conspired against us for two weeks in a row, or it would be six!
What’s your favorite Road Crew game experience so far?
I wrote a session in which a large party of enemies was discovered to be heading in to attack the city that my players called home. In my plans, the party was to set up defenses in the town and hold it against the enemies. In my mind, it was going to be an interesting battle on multiple fronts with player-set traps and obstacles. Nope. The players went completely against my expectations and went out into the field to meet the force. Using some creative strategies, they were able to pick off small groups of enemies at a time, and ended up completely decimating the incoming force.
As a relatively new judge, this was my first real moment of “well that certainly didn’t go as expected!” It was a great learning experience for me in letting the party drive the adventure.
Tell us where you run your Road Crew games.
I run games every Tuesday night, 7PM-10:30PM, at The Beer Temple. Come by, roll some dice, and enjoy some great beers! Or, check out the “Dungeon Crawl Classics Coordination Group Chicago” on Facebook for discussion and updates on the Chicago DCC RPG Road Crew.
What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges?
Learn to read your players. Different people enjoy different aspects of tabletop roleplaying. I’ve learned to watch for players that seem to be left out of what the rest of the party is doing and to find ways to focus in on their character in ways which that player or players enjoy(s) so that they are included in the fun. This can be kind of difficult in a Road Crew game where you might often have new players that you don’t know as well, but the skill becomes extremely rewarding and keeps people coming back for more!
What is one of your favorite ways to spruce up a mundane monster to make it unique and more DCC?
For the most part, I make up new monsters for my sessions. I’ve found DCC RPG to be extremely freeing creatively, in that I can make up whatever beast I want and then pull stats from creatures in other modules that have been created for the level my players are at.
If I’m going to use a more commonly known monster, I’ll often change it up a bit with mutations or other weirdness for flavor, while the stats stay the same. For example, I used a large group of orcs in my recent campaign. Each orc the party encountered had very strange characteristics, such as a crab claw for an arm, or skin covering their entire face. I literally just rolled on the spell corruption tables and used those results as inspiration for variations to add to the base orcs. I explained it in my story as the “big bad” in my campaign had found a way to transfer his spell corruption to other beasts and was using orcs for that purpose.