I’m a game designer, writer, podcaster, homeschool instructor/tutor, and former ICU and Hospice RN. My first D&D game was ~1978, and I’ve been exploring every system I could get my hands on ever since. I’ve worked professionally in the veterinary, human, Western, and Eastern medical fields for decades, using those deeply personal, emotional, and inspirational experiences to inspire the stories at my table. My wife, a former public school Ed Specialist, and I are proponents of using gaming as educational tools, teaching and tutoring kids in math, science, reading, writing, and more through board games, card games, and RPGs. We believe that games change lives, for kids and adults.

What kind of Game Master are you:

Rules exist to empower the player experience, not get in the way. If the system I’m running doesn’t have a mechanic for a particular challenge, I love drawing from the vast toolbox of brilliant RPG mechanics in the world today to enhance the story we are exploring.

Player agency drives my games. When everyone at the table is involved in the sessions, the investment is high and the stories are epic. I lean heavily into a “Yes, and…” style of gaming, folding the players’ inspirations and “out of the box” ideas into the rules to personalize the story, whether an original adventure or pre-written module.

Though I love running theater-of-the-mind, I find that detailed maps, miniatures, cards, terrain, and other details create an immersive experience and inspires the players’ imaginations.  

What kind of games do you like to run?

I’ve been described as running emotional, wholesome, and sometimes creepy adventures in aquatic settings. As far as genre is concerned, I love fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and superhero settings, but no matter the system, my aim is to get the players emotionally involved and invested in the world, the NPCs, and the outcome. 

What RPG Games/Systems are you familiar with running?

D&D (all editions), Hero System (Champions, etc), PbtA (Masks: A New Generation, Descent into Midnight, Headspace, Threadbare, etc), Cypher System (Numenera, The Strange, “No Thank You, Evil”), Genesys (Star Wars), and many more.

Do you have any projects, products or things you would like to share with us?

I’m the Concept Lead and Co-Creator of the PbtA-driven aquatic hopepunk RPG, Descent into Midnight.

I’m the writer of the Alchemist 5e from Tribality Publishing.

In my most recent guest appearance, you can hear me wax poetic on the aboleth, aquatic adventuring, and the healing power of gaming on the Audioverse Award-winning podcast, Kill Every Monster.

You can hear me discuss superheroes, storytelling, roleplaying games, and much more on Whelmed: The Young Justice Files, including an interview with Masks creator, Brendan Conway, and a fantastic Young Justice inspired Masks AP run by Brendan himself.

You can find my other PF/3.* and 5e work on DriveThruRPG, and my columns, From the Depths and The Game Room, at Tribality.com.

Rich Howard Can Be Found here: