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.
Hailing from the Lone Star State, today’s Judge has also dipped his hand into the world of third-party publishing with The QuaranZine. His charity-based zine helps out folks suffering from the effects of Covid-19.
Let’s meet Judge Stefan Surratt!
Roadworthy: Judge Stefan Surratt!
What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?
My name is Stefan Surratt. I live and game in Denton, Texas. When the quarantine is over, I’ll be running Road Crew games at the More Fun Game Center. I’ve been gaming for about 15 years. I started with 3.5e, but eventually found my way into the OSR and all that awesome Appendix N literature!
While I only discovered the DCC community a couple of years ago, I am loving being a part of it. I recently contributed to QuaranZine issue #1, which is helping raise money for people affected by COVID-19. We were able to raise almost $350 last month and hope to be putting out issue #2 soon!
How did you first discover Dungeon Crawl Classics?
I discovered DCC through the Spellburn podcast. I listen to a lot of gaming podcasts and was immediately intrigued when I heard the description of Mighty Deeds. Mighty Deeds solved my issue with fighters feeling boring to play in so many systems.
Soon enough I was trying to find a local game group and buying every DCC product that I could.
How many Road Crew games have your ran so far?
I’ve run 10 road crew games so far this year. I would have run a few more, but my first child decided to be born a few weeks early and came right before Gary Con. He’ll be getting plenty of tales from the game table as bedtime stories.
But the ride doesn’t stop for the Road Crew! The patches for running the games are super cool and I can’t wait until I can distribute them to players when this quarantine-lifestyle is over.
How did the quarantine change your gaming life?
Quarantine has actually made gaming easier for me. So many more people are looking for online gaming groups than ever before. I sure miss getting around a table with my friends, but I’ve met people online that I never would have been able to meet them in-person.
Plus, it’s made it possible to play games with some of the DCC module authors like Judge Julian and Judge Daniel!
Give us a favorite gaming highlight from this year.
My favorite moments have been running playtests for adventures that I’ve written! At Con of Champions, I ran Dead Dragon Peak, which will be in this year’s Gongfarmer’s Almanac. And a couple of the players were also GFA contributors! DCC has created such a friendly and wonderful community.
My 2nd favorite experience was definitely running DCC #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea for a group of total newbies at my FLGS back in January. I began combining aspects from the Beastman appearance table and people were howling with laughter at the “Octopussy Cat Beastman”.
What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges running online games?
Online games usually end up going a little more slowly than in-person games. Don’t be afraid of cutting out areas or encounters from adventures.
If you need to abbreviate an adventure, then think about what the “highlights” would be in a movie montage and chop the other bits out. Or if your players are unsure of what to do then have someone make a Luck check. If they succeed then give them good advice about making progress. If they fail then give them bad advice that will still result in progress.
Either way, it should help move the game along.