It’s time for another Tales From the Tavern mini-interview, today we talk with Matt Yancik (he/him) a teacher, GM and positive contributor to the TTRPG community.
You can find Matt’s videos here:

Let’s see what Matt has to say!

Do you prefer playing TTRPGs online or in person, and why?
This is a tough question – as an extroverted introvert, I find a lot of fun in both! I love running a game in person for friends, circling around the table like a shark, describing the setting, taking on the roles of the NPCs, and riffing off of the ideas that my players come up with! I also like sharing food, and having people hanging out at my place! On the other hand, since the pandemic, I’ve gotten really good (I think) at using Zoom in a way that engages everyone and keeps everyone’s attention. I also love the fact that I can message people during the game to tell them secrets, or even add music, sound effects, and graphics should they be appropriate! Moreover, I can play with ANY friends from all over the world, and bring friends from different corners of the planet together to play… Can I say I love them both?

What is your favorite(s) book?
This is another tough question, but I think I’d have to go with one of two books — either “The Dead Zone”, by Stephen King, or “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons. I love “The Dead Zone” because of the tragic nature of the story — one man, with extraordinary abilities, has a chance to save the world. I also think that Stephen King happens to be an amazing writer, and “The Dead Zone” is probably his best book. On the other hand, I really enjoy “Hyperion”, a science fiction version of Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” by Dan Simmons. It tells the story of half a dozen pilgrims who, on the eve of an interstellar war, are sent on a quest to meet and confront a creature known only as the Shrike. Each pilgrim has a different tale to tell, and the book is mainly about each pilgrim’s story… the book ends on a cliffhanger in which the pilgrims have arrived at their location and disembark to meet the Shrike… without telling us what happens. (You have to read the next book, “The Fall of Hyperion”, for that!)

Describe your ideal job or assignment in the TTRPG space
I think I would be happiest as a writer and designer of roleplaying game settings and worlds. I’ve never really been a rules person — which is one of the reasons I love to play Monte Cook’s Cypher System — but instead more of a setting and worlds person. If I could have one job for the rest of my life in the TTRPG scene it would be writing and designing settings and worlds!

If you created a weird undead creature, what would it be?
My first instinct would be to create something dark and vile, a real abomination — but then it occurred to me that it might be really fun (and good for a story) to create an undead creature that wasn’t super violent and evil. Instead, it would be a sad, shambling thing that was just looking to put an end to its rotting existence or somehow be restored to the way it was in its prior life. I could probably write a whole adventure based around this!

Have you ever felt like an outsider in the TTRPG space? Describe if you can.
Yes, sometimes. I have never been the sort of person to really enjoy going to conventions, but sometimes when I do I don’t really feel like I belong. I’m not sure why, but I feel like the reasons I enjoy RPGs is somewhat different than the reasons others enjoy them.

Anything else you’d like us to know:
I really love running games and creating worlds that really transport the players to another place and, for even just a fleeting moment, make them feel like they went on some grand adventure! Isn’t that the whole point of RPGs, anyway? Thank you for featuring me on your site!

Thanks, Matt!

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