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 take a trip to North Carolina to discover a judge who enjoys DCC in both look and play. Let’s meet Judge Christian Ovsenik!
Roadworthy: Christian Ovsenik
What’s your name, where do you live (and game), and how would you describe yourself?
I’m Christian Ovsenik, I live in Cary, North Carolina. I game at the Gamer’s Armory, in Cary, NC. Though lately, I’ve been gaming online, of course.
I’m a husband, a public servant, and a forever GM. I wasn’t allowed to play D&D as a kid so we played Star Wars RPG. Sometime in college, I played 2E with some friends and got really interested in D&D when I moved to North Carolina and wanted to meet other
How did you first discover DCC?
Free RPG Day 2011, I picked up the pre-release quick start with Portal Under the Stars because I loved the art. At the time we were playing 4E, I didn’t really like the art or the slog of how long games took. DCC seemed like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t really get super into it though until around the time of the 4th printing Kickstarter; by then my 3rd printing hardcover was starting to see a lot of use.
What kind of adventures are you running for Road Crew?
For online conventions, I really like to run Convention Modules, Free RPG Day modules, and other “short” adventures that comfortably fit into 4 hours. I don’t want to rush people, and I like giving a 5-minute break every hour. People have pets, kids, or spouses to attend to at home.
For online Road Crew, I have a lot of regulars, so we have been playing through Dwellers of the Forbidden City. At the beginning of quarantine, I had some players who were having trouble with the covid situation, so I ran a game every Saturday night for a long time, probably 6 months. After that, we went to every 2 weeks. We needed something long that I didn’t have to think a lot about.
When we go back to in-person (hopefully soon) I am eyeing Journey to the Center of Aereth. I think it is an underrated module with a lot of awesome stuff going on. Before the pandemic, I ran all sorts of stuff, like Xcrawl, MCC, lots of 3rd party adventures, etc. I tried to keep things varied for the different people who show up and to keep my regulars interested.
What’s your favorite Road Crew game experience so far?
I always really enjoy Free RPG Day. Lots of people come out who only come out one day a year to play games. We don’t have a lot of conventions in this region so it is sort of like a mini one-day con. Before the pandemic, my wife and I went to Gamehole Con in 2018. It was a really, really well-run con where we met LOTS of really great DCC fans. We got to play with Doug Kovacs, and he signed my books. He is a wild man.
How did the quarantine/lockdown change your gaming life?
I’ve been running games online for my college buddies since 2009, so I was accustomed to online gaming. Obviously, it removed the in-person gaming I was doing with the Road Crew. I quickly switched it to online and tried to get the word out. We’ve been gaming online on Saturday nights for a while, so it worked out pretty well.
My wife and I had everything booked and scheduled to go to Gary Con 2020, with a hotel room on site, gold badges, a dream schedule…of course that didn’t happen. We will get back there someday, but for now, we may just go to GameHole Con since we have a free place to stay with her family.
We were very lucky not to lose anyone to Covid or lose our jobs. We tried to pay it forward through gaming, volunteering, and other methods.
What advice would you give to other Road Crew judges?
If you have regulars, figure out what they want to see, play, hear, or eat. Keep your regulars happy so you can keep earning that sweet, sweet Road Crew swag. If you have a really great-looking, fun game going on at your FLGS, you will naturally attract more gamers to your table.