NOTE: the opinions expressed in interviews are those of the guests, not necessarily those of

In today’s Tales From the Tavern mini-interview we talk with Gurbintroll, a TTRPG game designer. You can find him at Let’s hear what he has to say!
Stuff You Do:

Over the last 16 years I’ve written and published multiple retro-clones and mash-up games, the most famous being Dark Dungeons and FASERIP.

What was the first TTRPG you played?
The first TTRPG I ever played was Holmes Basic D&D all the way back in 1981 when I was eleven years old. I only ever played the one session, in which we killed some goblins then ran away from a dragon that breathed on our hirelings, but I was hooked. I pestered my parents to get me the game for my birthday, and they got me the newly released Moldvay Basic boxed set.

What is your favorite TV Show(s) or Movie(s)?
I’m a big fan of the MCU and my wife and I are currently in the middle of a re-watch of it all from the start in release order. I’m also into the various Star Treks and Babylon 5, although I’d have to put my favourite sci-fi series as Red Dwarf. Once a smeg head, always a smeg head.

Describe a favorite scenario you ran in a TTRPG
I’m going to go for a campaign rather than an individual scenario. I recently ran a D&D campaign that started with some of the ‘B’ series modules, then went through the ‘X’ series, ‘DA’ series, ‘CM’ series, ‘M’ series, and even into the ‘IM’ series – all converted to 5th edition. The party went from 1st level all the way to 20th level, and then ended up as immortals; and the campaign involved time travel, alternate timelines, dominion management, mass combat, and immortal level play – the full works. All converted from BECMI to 5e.

What childhood cartoon would you like to play as a TTRPG?
I’ve always loved the idea of something like the He-Man cartoon or the Arabian Knights cartoon (from the Banana Splits, for those who remember that) – an ostensibly fantasy setting but in which the characters are behave and are treated more like super heroes in that each one has their own unique quasi-magical power, and they tend to have non-lethal fights with recurring enemies who have similar powers. And everyone has a character name associated with their power, of course.

What do you think is absolutely essential in creating a safe space for all in a TTRPG game?
Respect. I mean, I could talk about various safety tools and the like, but when it comes down to it the big thing that’s needed is respect for everyone at the table. Without it no amount of safety tools will be enough, and with it safety tools are much less likely to be needed (but are still a good idea to have available just in case).

Anything else you’d like us to know:
I’m currently playtesting my latest retro-clone – Light Fantasy. It’s written and edited, and just waiting for layout and art to be completed. It’s a blend of old school rules and modern sensibilities that takes the rules of B/X and brings them up to date for modern players who want the simplicity of an older D&D edition but don’t want all the racism and colonialism that older D&D editions tend to be steeped in, and who want an experience where they can get attached to their characters even at first level rather than have them die to unlucky dice rolls. Light Fantasy will be on Kickstarter this autumn.

Thanks Gurbintroll!

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