S. John Bateman

is creating table top games

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The Blogger
per month
Thanks!The Blogger tier allows you access to my patreon only blogs that include #RPGHipsterBullshit such as game design notes, in depth game analysis and theory, and little hacks Im working on. And you get to discuss these important topics with me.
Little Games
per month
Thank you!Little Games allows you to access everything from The Blogger tier and allows you access to my patreon first Little Games and Patron only 5e adventures in PDF. (These games range in size from 200 words to 30 pages, may or may not have art, and may be incomplete.) 
Big Games
per month
Thank you so much! Big Games allows you to access everything from Little Games and The Blogger tiers and allows you access to my patreon first Big Games in PDF. (These games are full ready to publish games including art and layout)




per month


Hey everyone! Im Stephen; a game designer, game master on twitch, and an RPGHipster. Thanks so much for stopping by. Im here to create engaging content and to show an in depth inside approach to rpg theory and design, adventure design, and the inter-workings of tabletop games. Come along with me on this ride, and lets discuss things as we go!

Q: What do I get with my support?
The Blogger: $1+ a month
With the Blogger you will be able to access my patreon only blogs. These blogs will be my ranting on rpg theory, my thoughts on game design, and my responses to role playing game analysis I see online. Also, I am constantly working on new designs. At this tier you'll be able to see all of my insider notes to my game design, and you'll be able to discuss my design, and follow along the process! In between designing games, Im constantly hacking games: coming up with mass combat rules for Burning Wheel, new moves for Dungeon World, and overland journey rules for DnD 5e.

Small Games: $3+ a month
With Small Games you'll have access to everything above. Every couple months, after I complete one of my small games, I'll release it to patreon first! This will be a full month before the game is available anywhere else! These games will be released via PDF to you, and are usually anywhere between 200 words and around 30 pages. Also, at this tier you'll have access to scans of my actual design notes for games that have been left along the wayside. Also, a few times a year I'll release patreon only DnD 5e adventures. You'll get these too!

Big Games: $5+ a month
Wow! If you're even considering this, its amazing. With Big Games you'll have access to everything above. A few times a year, after I complete a 'Big Game', I'll release it to patreon first! This will be a full month before the game is available anywhere else! These are full, ready to publish games including art and layout, in PDF.

The Printed: $10+ a month
Please, for the love of everything that is good. This tier is a bad deal for you. About once a year, Im planning on printing one of my 'Big Games', making a physical product you can hold in your hands, and give to your friends! With the Printed you'll have access to everything above, and when I publish a physical copy of my games, I'll mail you copy!

Q: What does a 'Blog Post' look like, or consist of?
There are plenty of things I could post for The Blogger to follow. All of them will be about my game designs, sharing pictures and ideas of things Im working on. Some of them will be snip bits into different games. I'll post a few examples below:

Hey all,
I've seen and heard a lot of people who are new to Burning Wheel here, and around the interwebs that have expressed interested in Burning Wheel. I thought perhaps I could make a post on what I think makes up a good belief, and how to write them. Of course Im no real authority on this -I've only been playing awhile, and of course what I say is not the 'final thought' on the matter.
First, lets go over what a belief is: A belief is a philosophical statement and a goal, all wrapped up on one, and should be written as
"This is how I feel about the current situation, so this is what Im going to do about it." Its a player priority, and a love letter from player to GM that says, "They GM, this is what I want to be challenged on in game, this is what I want to get XP for."
Now there are three things -ingredients, that I think all good beliefs should have. They should be actionable, challenge-able, and they should strive to change something in the game's fiction. * Actionable - The belief should be an action, something the player pushes the character to do. Something where the dice can be rolled, where the game can be 'played'. * Challenge-able - The belief should be something the Gm can challenge. Something that can be pushed up against. * Fiction Changing - At the beginning of each session the 'game world' has a set status quo. If we're all happy with that, we're done playing. A belief should seek to change that status quo, even in small ways. This is how the players show agency in the ficiton.
Let's look over some Beliefs as examples:
'Freya has been emotionally guard around me for a time now. I will confront her and convince her to tell me the secret she's been keeping from me. A the start of the session, we as players and audience know that Freya is keeping secrets, our table chatter, and the game has already determined that. That secret is the 'status quo'. The action that we're taking, to change it, in confronting Freya and convincing her to give up the goods.
'Roan is a reckless idiot, I will stop him and convince him his duty is here within the walls of the keep, not out there on the battlefield. Here we see philosophy and goal combined. We see the action behind it, and we see what part of the ficiton we want to change.
Thats all for now. Thanks for reading!

Or perhaps this:
Hey everyone. I decided to post a little Deep Dark design thread here. I don’t have a blog. Time to get one? I thought I’d take the time to discuss why I chose to use Health Descriptors in The Deep Dark instead of more traditional hit points. I hope I can explain it well.
Firstly, I believe that RPG's are made up from three things. (1) the physical components -dice, rulebooks, characters sheets, (2) the players sitting around the table, and (3) the fiction - the shared imagined space where the narrative occurs. The rules influence the players' conversation, and that conversation becomes the fiction. In this way the mechanics inform the narrative.
Second, when you write a rule that says 'when you roll for damage, subtract that amount of damage from your hp', that rule only interacts between the physical component level and player level. This rule does not inform our fiction. Alternatively, a rule that states 'when you roll for damage, mark off a health descriptor' the interaction is between all three parts - the physical, the player, and the fiction. This mechanic informs the narrative by explicitly identifying that the character is 'staggered, slowed, and weakening.' That exists in our shared imagined space, in the fiction. I hope this helps.

Q: Where else can we find you online?
You can find me talking about this same stuff on twitter: @wolfwyzard_
You can watch me GMing Burning Wheel on twitch, every other Wednesday night at: twitch.tv/off_thetable
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