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.
This time out we travel to Ohio to meet a judge who describes himself as a compulsive gamer. Let’s meet Judge Paul Hampshire!
Roadworthy: Paul Hampshire
What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?
Hi, I’m Paul Hampshire. I live and game in the Dayton, Ohio area. I would describe myself as a lifelong player of table-top role-playing games and miniature games and am happy to preach or teach about DCC.
I suffer from compulsive game over-preparation-ism with accompanying bouts of omghowlonghaveibeenstaringatthis.
How did you first discover DCC?
I first discovered DCC when I found a copy of the softcover rulebook with the wizard cover and flames at a chain book store. I was amazed. I got online and wanted more. This was right before Google+ was about to go down, and I answered a posting from Judge Tanglebones (Chris Lauricella) saying he was going to be running a game at a local comic and games store close to where I live. I played at his table for about a year and a half before I volunteered to run some games so he could take a break over the summer.
That was almost two years ago. I’ve been running a DCC or MCC game every other Saturday afternoon ever since.
How many games did you run in 2020? How many this year?
I’ve run 4 games this year, and 16 in 2020 with about a half dozen posted to Meetup that I forgot to submit to the Goodman Games event page.
What’s your favorite Road Crew game experience so far?
When we were running games in person we used to have a couple of younglings who often played. On more than one occasion they picked up on stuff that the “adults” missed. I’d been running Purple Planet adventures for a while when one session we get to this climactic moment and they realize a character will have to be sacrificed, so to speak, to save the planet. Without missing a beat this young lady says, “I’ll do it”.
We all had this jaw-dropping wa-wa-huh moment. She’d had her head down and was drawing most of the session but as it turned out was paying attention to everything. We’re all looking at each other doubling checking it happened and she says it again, “I’ll do it”. I don’t know which player started cheering first, but it was awesome. I’ll never forget it. The youngest player that day saved the Purple Planet
How has the quarantine changed your gaming life?
I’ve met some great players from all over thanks to folks being able to find my games on the Goodman Games Event Calendar. My MCC sessions right now are averaging people from 4 to 5 different states. I had a hand full of sessions that wouldn’t have happened in person because of bad weather, so that was good. Technical challenges have been just that challenging. Is everyone going to be able to log in? Will voice chat work?, etc.
That said, Roll20 and Discord have been a godsend. Skype has gone through some updates and works better than ever. Because of it, I’ve been able to participate in some great video chats with folks who run games all over my region and I’ve learned a lot. If quarantine wouldn’t have happened I likely wouldn’t have met dozens of people whom I’m glad I did. I wish it wouldn’t have happened that way, but it did and I’m grateful all the same.
Where do you run your Road Crew games?
I post my Road Crew games to this Meetup. I’m currently using Roll20 and Discord. When we return to in-person games it will be at Bell, Book, and Comic. Depending on how things are with Covid, I hope to be able to plant my DCC banner at this convention early next year and run DCC and MCC.
What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges?
Listen to and embrace whatever it is that makes your players excited. I had a player show up to one of my games tell me a story about how he played in a funnel with another Judge and thought it was the funniest thing that his character was cursed into the shape of a chicken. I told him about the Invincible Chicken class in 2017’s Gongfarmer’s Almanac, we spent a couple of minutes writing it up, and bam we were playing. He played that peasant turned into the shape of a chicken through level 3 and every session he was excited to play. Take the time and listen. They will see it and appreciate it.
It’s easy for us in all of our game prep to get caught up in the ideas of a grand campaign or the greater story we have planned. I’ve been guilty of it. Try to remember for most players a game is hopefully a series of awesome memorable moments, individual scenes they can be excited for.