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 Florida to meet a judge who likes his gaming big and bombastic. Let’s meet Judge Troy Tucker!
Roadworthy: Big Troy Tucker
What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?
My name is Troy Tucker, also known as Big Troy Tucker. I live in Southwest Florida, and I would describe myself as an aging gamer. I started rolling polyhedrals way back in 1978, I took most of the 90’s off but I have been hardcore ever since.
How did you first discover DCC?
I first discovered DCC in an ad in Dragon Magazine that said “Bring this into your FLGS and have them pre order you a copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics and get a free module.” Right away I took that to my local store and had them order it. When it arrived, wow! I fell in love with it as soon as I cracked it open. The Classes, the Spell charts, the crits and fumbles, and who can forget the image of the slowly corrupting wizard? Yeah, wizards and corruption … and even this totally alien,“0-level funnel thing,” just totally grabbed my attention and I knew I was going to make this my new game!
What kind of adventures are you running for Road Crew?
I run a variety of games for the DCC Road Crew. For the most part when I run a Road Crew game at my FLGS I know I am running a game in a store that is based upon Magic the Gathering sales. So I see my job as a Road Crew representative is to lure in the uninitiated. To do this I try to run big, bombastic games. For table candy I use miniatures and create big colorful battlemaps on the back of wrapping paper (love them square grids!). I try not to be a “combat square counter” in DCC though, I am just trying to provide the table with a focus that shows everyone else’s actions. Also it serves as a great lure to get people to come over and say “What are you playing?”
When I am Judging for new players I try to run DCC “Rules As Written,” so that I can show players what to expect when they play the game and teach them the basics. However, when I have a group of experienced players, I like to change things up. Many of my games have a more Egyptian feel. I think ever since I got Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes back in the day I have wanted to run a D&D game set in Egypt. Then after seeing the illustration of the Shatter spell in the DCC rulebook I thought: now is my time! When I run a game like this I try not to change any of the rules, I just try to re-skin the existing rules/races/classes with Ancient Egyptian flavor. It is not for everyone, but I think it brings a fresh change of pace to the game. People keep asking me to publish my Pyramid Crawl Classics, maybe I will sometime.
What’s your favorite Road Crew game experience so far?
Hard to say. So many memorable moments. There are so many great published DCC modules. The first time I ran Sailors on the Starless Sea was incredible. I was as blown away with how everything played out as the players were. First time I ran Frozen in Time was also a very unforgettable experience. However the best “Road Crew experience” has to be going to Gencon and running games there. The players at the sessions all seem to be real top tier fantastic players that help bring my gaming (be it player or judge) to a higher level. Also, being able to meet the great masters of the game like Joseph Goodman, Harley Stroh, Michael Curtis, Brendan LaSalle … to name a few. And finally getting to actually play DCC and see how other Judges make the game sing.
How has the quarantine changed your gaming life?
It stopped it. I tried gaming via Zoom/Skype and it wasn’t for me. I tried. I feel like a bit of a failed gamer. Every year I have earned the coveted “DCC Road Crew Belt Buckle,” but in 2020 I think I only ran one Road Crew game. Let’s hope that in 2021 I can get out of the house and run some more Road Crew games.
What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges?
After this COVID thing is done, just get out there and run games. I was really intimidated about running a game in a public place, but I have had some of the best gaming experiences in my life and made tons of new friends in the process. And sure you might get shut-out a couple of times, but if you just hang in there you will slowly develop a following and your greatest worry will be how to run a game for 15 people.