Guy Sclanders

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Online Nicknames
GreatGM

Introduction and Platform

Hello,

My name is Guy and I run a YouTube channel called How to be a Great GM. The channel gives advice and insight into how to enhance, enjoy, and improve our roleplaying experiences. I’ve been playing RPG’s since I was 11, have won awards as a Game Master, and have been there, done that, and killed the goblin horde. Actually I work with the goblin horde – so much easier that way. I’ve written supplements, modules, adventures, rules systems and the like, have a critical eye for anything that makes my games better, and love a good story. What is your story?

 

Why do you play/run RPGs?
I’m a collaborative storyteller through and through. I love exploring worlds with others – friends and strangers – and seeing where the narrative takes us. I find it to be incredibly exciting to work with others in this manner. I also like the freedom it gives us to explore important social topics and issues, and the ability to discover things about ourselves we never knew. All round, RPGs give us an important voice, and a platform for that voice to be heard.

 

The ENnies requires a major commitment of time and energy. What resources do you have that will help you discharge these responsibilities? Will your gaming group or other individuals be assisting you? Does your family support you?
I work full time as a for my company Geekstable in producing material and content for the Youtube channel. I’ve got a legion of wonderful fans who help me out, and ensure that everything is smooth rolling dice. As my own boss I set my own times and deadlines and I can comfortably say that I can manage this process without a problem.

 

Judging requires a great deal of critical thinking skills, communication with other judges, deadline management, organization, and storage space for the product received. What interests, experience, and skills do you bring that will make you a more effective judge?
I’m a Game Master at heart, and this is like handling a large game – many players, many objectives, many outcomes. Encumbrance rules apply, and my studio at home is ready and waiting to accept additional cargo. I love talking – hence making a YouTube channel – and before becoming a YouTuber I worked in Television as a Producer which requires continuous communication, critical thinking, and the like.

 

What styles and genres of RPGs do you enjoy most? Are there any styles or genres that you do not enjoy? Which games best exemplify what you like? Do you consider yourself a particular system’s, publisher’s, or genre’s “fanboy/fangirl/fanperson”?
I love all genres of RPGs, except perhaps those that seek to be table-top miniature war-games. I feel that those have a place, but it isn’t in an RPG. As for styles I love narrative based games where the focus is on story and collaboration of the players. In terms of games that exemplify what I like I’d have to say Dungeons and Dragons, LoneWolf, and Stalker combined together. As for fanboy of any particular system – I’d be lying if I didn’t say Dungeons and Dragons is my go-to as it’s fairly straightforward. But I wouldn’t say I’m a fanboy. In terms of Genre – I love sci-fi, and a good sci-fi system is hard to find.

 

What games have you played in the past year? List up to 10 RPGs you have played the most. Which ones, if any, have you loved or hated?
I’ve played:
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition
Starfinder
Pathfinder 2
My own – Quick and Easy RP System
Dragon Age
FF Star Wars
Call of Cthulu 7th Ed.
Stalker

I loved almost all of them except for Starfinder and Pathfinder 2. Starfinder is an RPG in some aspects (and is good at it) and a Miniatures War-Game in other aspects (and is bad at it). It’s a disconnect I can’t reconcile. Dungeons and Dragons 5th Ed. is great at low level but tedious as high level… each system has it’s good and bad side, we are all flawed beings.

 

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
For material that is designed to help me run a game from a narrative perspective – such as Adventures, Accessory’s, electronic books etc. I’d look to see if the material enables me as the game master / player to tell better or stories or confines me with rules and limitations that don’t contribute to the genre for which the material is based. For rules, systems and the like the focus is on originality and functionality – creating rules is easy, creating rules that make sense, have unity, and contribute to the genre takes art. I want rules that don’t get in my way. Accessories, and other bits and bobs, have to be clear, simple, and easy to use. I want miniatures that look good, are robust, and dice that are big and bold. I have large fingers, don’t make me sweat. When judging artistic merit – be that in terms of narrative, visual presentation, layout, and the like, I have two must-have’s: Clarity and Tone. The content must be clear, succinct, and presented to my simple mind in an easy-to-understand way. The content must also enhance the tone/genre/mood in an appropriate way. I spent years working with graphic designers, I know what’s possible, don’t be cheap, unless that is the look you need for your RPG – Cheapo’s Cheap and Nasty Cheap RPG… so Cheap we don’t even use dice.

 

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
Supplements are not accountable for poorly designed core rules. Supplements and adventures can enhance a bad system. But that isn’t their job. Their job is to give me something more – to take the core rules in a new direction, to add, to… well… supplement. If that isn’t happening it’s a failure. Adventures must show me what can be done within the core rules, and seek clever ways to use those to tell a better story. Unfamiliarity is merely an opportunity to learn and discover a new system, or rediscover an older one. Besides, I know a few YouTube channels who have tons of content on how to play X RPG system…

 

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
I would like to see the ENnies recognized by the major players in the RPG space for the contribution they make. I’d like to see the ENnies developing core assistance spaces for creators and guidelines and standards to help raise the professionalism in the hobby to a point where material is of a consistently high standard. I also believe in collaboration and I wouldn’t drop the fan votes for all the world. Well, maybe for all the world I would. But then it’s mine and so I could order them…

 

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
Call of Cthulu – Mind of Madness, and I play it every day. My friends play too – regardless of their desire to or not.

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