Oh hey OrcaCon is this weekend! Here’s my panel schedule y’all.

Saturday, January 12th

10:00 am Better Realism for Better Worlds: We Did the Research for You

I don’t want to hear about how arm-chair “realistic” it is to default to miss-recorded Western medieval standards of race, gender, sexuality. This panel dissects the 101 History student’s argument that history was like X. Panelists present AWESOME books/research that shows the place of strong peoples in a world beyond Europe’s Dark Ages. The book 1491 comes immediately to mind (America before Columbus), as does Rejected Princesses. Attendees leave with a reading (arguing) list of 20+ books.

Panelists: Wes Schneider [M], Katherine Cross, Lynne Hardy, Tanya DePass

1:00 pm Playing the Other

A discussion about how to play/portray characters who are different from you, as a player, GM, or even a creator. On the one hand, roleplaying is a great opportunity to empathize and experience things vicariously, but on the other, it’s easy to fetishize or stereotype the experience of others. What’s appropriate and how do you make the most effective use of this opportunity?

Panelists: Steve Kenson [M], Shana T. Bryant, Tanya DePass, Crystal Frasier, Sarah G.

2:00 pm Acting the Part: Bringing your RP Character to Life

Learning complicated rules systems and battling recalcitrant dice is one thing, but when it comes to tabletop role playing games, one of the most difficult aspects for both new and experienced players is the actual role playing. Going from a mild mannered, introverted geek, to a smooth talking space pirate or brash, half orc warrior with a love of bad puns can be a stretch. We’ll focus on using basic acting and improv techniques to help you learn to inhabit your characters and bring them to life at the table.

Panelists: Bianca Anderson [M], Katherine Cross, Tanya DePass

Sunday, January 13th

1:00 pm Charlatanry and Chicanery: Gamemastering on the Fly

Deep wells of research, reams of notes, and mountains of game statistics–these are all good Game Mastering tools, but there’s one skill that can’t be prepared: improvisation. The best GMs can create memorable experiences for players out of nearly any challenge, whether the players’ decisions have entirely derailed their plans or the players just aren’t picking up the hints they’re dropping. In short, being a good GM is about being a consummate BSer. Join the best BSers in the business for tips, tricks, and philosophies, plus answers to your questions about how to handle the most challenging scenarios players might throw your way.

Panelists: Amanda Hamon Kunz [M], Liz Courts, Tanya DePass, Lynne Hardy