Home

philoutsideshot

Welcome to DNAphil.com

You have found the online home of Phil Vecchione (aka DNAphil).
I am an Author, Game Master, and Project Manager.

Here you can find out more about me and my writings, as well as the other places online where I spend my time.

 


Don't live to geek; geek to live. — Lifehacker.com

Online Writings

Find me on

twittericong+icon linkedinicon gsicon

 

Social Media
(Google+, Twitter, Blog)

Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The latest Bundle of Holding is full of Super goodness! Check out the Mutants & Masterminds bundle: ow.ly/vRLLV [...]
Wed, Apr 16, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The Kickstarter for the Queen City Conquest is underway. If you live in the area, please consider backing: ow.ly/vRKYu [...]
Wed, Apr 16, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil I will be participating in a Gen Con seminar all about Project Management for the gaming industry. For details. ow.ly/vQEAv [...]
Wed, Apr 16, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Mixing Conspiracy Theory and Cthulhu...delicious. Check out the latest Bundle of Holding for Delta Green: ow.ly/vkZHm [...]
Wed, Apr 02, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @4JStudios will the new features in #TU14 show up in existing worlds, or do I have to start a new world? [...]
Wed, Mar 26, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Less than a day for the latest Bundle of Holding deal: a replay of the Bundle of Fate. A Legendary (+8) deal: ow.ly/uXvv2 [...]
Tue, Mar 25, 2014
Source: Twitter
Misdirected Mark @MisdirectedMark [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Ep 105 - The New GM and Moving Day with new Co-Host @DNAphil. misdirectedmark.com/episode-105-th… Sponsors: Level99Games and Evil Beagle Games [...]
Thu, Mar 20, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil There are less than two days left on the Ars Magica 4 Bundle of Holding. Tons of Ars supplements: ow.ly/uwhjM [...]
Wed, Mar 12, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Happy Game Master's Day to all my fellow screen monkeys who are out there running games and making stories. Here's to many more adventures! [...]
Tue, Mar 04, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil This week on the Stew, I talk about the challenges of pacing your session. Find out what session velocity is: ow.ly/u6aoQ [...]
Fri, Feb 28, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil This week I talk about the first product we are planning on releasing, as well as some Elhal updates. It was a busy week of small tasks. [...]
Sun, Feb 23, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Classic Traveller Bundle of Holding is preparing a jump to light speed. Check out one of the great SciFi games: ow.ly/tTlfh [...]
Sat, Feb 22, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil A new Bundling of Holding looks at American Freeform, a style of live-action role playing. Take a look: Take a look: ow.ly/tEWgb [...]
Sat, Feb 15, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil I was on RoleplayDNA U this week with Chris Sniezak talking about Story Games. Give it a listen: ow.ly/toDSX [...]
Fri, Feb 07, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The latest bundle of holding is RuneQuest! A classic game in its 6th ed. Rules and supplements and help a charity: ow.ly/tlC0k [...]
Thu, Feb 06, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil I have started a new game company: Encoded Designs @encodeddesigns Follow to keep up with what I am doing. [...]
Tue, Feb 04, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The newest Bundle of Holding full of Pathfinder goodness. The Bundle of Zobeck is live: ow.ly/tb3Ke [...]
Sat, Feb 01, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @jkahane1 @Erik_Tiernan @EricMPaq for a long time I was a pen and moleskine guy. My ipad switched me to electronic note capture. [...]
Thu, Jan 30, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Bundle of Holding is doing another flashback. A nice collection of newer indie games that are worth checking out. ow.ly/t5w6y [...]
Wed, Jan 29, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @flaviotakemoto I was wondering if you might have any more DNA fingerprint photos which could be used in a company logo. [...]
Sat, Jan 25, 2014
Source: Twitter
Does anyone have or know of a repository of stat blocks for NPCs (wild cards and minions) for various Savage games? Specifically I am looking for low fantasy stat blocks. Just curious. [...]
Fri, Jan 24, 2014
Source: Google +
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil I just backed TimeWatch: GUMSHOE Investigative Time Travel RPG on @kickstarter kck.st/1jkWBXD [...]
Tue, Jan 21, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The Bungle of Holding is at it again. The Dying Earth bundle is in full swing: ow.ly/sL8kH [...]
Mon, Jan 20, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Today on @gnomstew I talk about an idea I have about the levels of interaction we have with RPG's: ow.ly/sGs26 [...]
Fri, Jan 17, 2014
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @mintyp69 Thats great. [...]
Sat, Jan 11, 2014
Source: Twitter
Misdirected Mark @MisdirectedMark [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Ep 96. Story, Game, or Character with @DNAphil. Sponsor for the Show – Level 99 Games misdirectedmark.com/episode-96-gam… [...]
Fri, Jan 10, 2014
Source: Twitter
Ok...Can someone help me with a few questions about Fate Points, Invokes, and Compels? Here are my questions...A.  If a player invokes another players aspect they give that player a Fate point, but that player cannot use it until the next scene, correct?B.  If the GM compels a player's aspect (by events or decisions) that player gets a Fate Point and and can use it right away? Or has to wait until the next scene?Thanks. [...]
Sat, Dec 14, 2013
Source: Google +
Yes!  There is a community for Car Wars! I have not played in years, but I have a bunch of original Car Wars material and 5th edition material.  Any recommendations on which version to re-learn? [...]
Fri, Nov 01, 2013
Source: Google +
I am on the hunt for a print copy of The Mountain Witch. If you have one you are looking to sell/trade, please let me know.Thanks. [...]
Wed, Oct 30, 2013
Source: Google +
Where can I find out more about Corporia? [...]
Sun, Sep 22, 2013
Source: Google +
Hello Podcasters! If there is anyone who would like to talk to myself and my co-author +Walt Ciechanowski  about Engine Publishing's newest book, Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's guide to Campaign Management we would love to talk about Odyssey, Gnome Stew, GMing in general.The link below will show you some of the other shows we have been on if you want to get an idea of how we do at interview, which I think is pretty well.  If you interested, please message me. Thanks. “If you're planning on running a campaign, you'll want this book.” — Critical Hits review. “In my opinion [...]
Tue, Sep 10, 2013
Source: Google +
Holy Fate Core drop. My already backlog of reading just got a lot longer. [...]
Thu, Aug 29, 2013
Source: Google +
I am at work today when I hear that Numenera books are arriving in the mail. Then we have this insane downpour before I leave the office. I think to myself, I am sure the mailman will put the box in the storm door, since its been threatening to rain all day....nope.  This is what I find...though there is a happy ending.   #numenera   Numenera Shipment [...]
Tue, Aug 27, 2013
Source: Google +
Went out for a 1.5 mi walk and then had some lunch. I am now back at my desk for more designing.  For inspiration while working on Elhal, I have loaded up my entire Manowar catalog for inspiration. I am sure by the end of this day I will be ready to take my sword and fight a legion.  August 18, 2013 - Kings Of Metal MMXIV Photo Contest. The Kings Of Metal invite the Army Of Immortals worldwide to be a part of the 25th anniversary of "Kings Of Metal." In celebration of the anniversary, MANOWAR will release a brand [...]
Sat, Aug 24, 2013
Source: Google +
Making great progress on my Fate Conversion of my Elhal game. Right now I am converting the Classes from Iron Heroes into Fighting Styles for Fate. The conversion which +Christopher Sniezak and +Myke Niemira helped me brainstorm are going quite well. I am really digging how they are coming out.  [...]
Sat, Aug 24, 2013
Source: Google +
A few years ago I read an article on Treasure Tables ab […] [...]
Fri, Nov 14, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
This post was originally published a year ago, but at t […] [...]
Fri, Oct 03, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
This post was originally published a year ago, but at t […] [...]
Thu, Oct 02, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
This post was originally published a year ago, but at t […] [...]
Wed, Oct 01, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
Early this morning, my fellow GM-Fu master, Vicki Potte […] [...]
Fri, Sep 26, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
As part of my Secret Project, I needed to create a docu […] [...]
Wed, Sep 17, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
I am sad to report, that Erick Wujcik, the great game d […] [...]
Mon, Jun 09, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
Normally I don’t get into making houserules or my […] [...]
Wed, May 14, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
So last week, I talked about the Hard and Soft Skills o […] [...]
Fri, May 02, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site
For the past few weeks, I have been in a kind of low-en […] [...]
Thu, Apr 24, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site

Gnome Stew

 

Share

Contact

If you want to contact me, please use the form below. I look forward to your messages and will respond as fast as possible.

(required)
(required)






Share

About

Background

philinparisI was born in Mt. Vernon NY, and spent my childhood in Putnam County, NY, specifically the town of Carmel, NY. My parents divorced when I was young and both remarried, for the better, during my youth. I graduated from high school in 1990 with dreams of going into biological weapons research. To that end, I attended Brockport State and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1994. During those four years my desire to create weapons of mass destruction subsided and a desire to do research and teach emerged.

I was accepted into the PhD program for Biochemical Pharmacology at the University of Buffalo. Three years into my pursuit of a PhD, my focus on pure research waned. I found myself more interested in running and maintaining the computers in the lab than I did with splicing genes. I left the university before completing my thesis and entered the IT/IS field doing clinical trials data management, combining my knowledge of science and my interest in computers.

Over the years my career has morphed, grown, and re-invented itself. I went from data management to programming to corporate analysis to project management. Today, my science background is mostly a footnote, but I have come full circle and returned to higher education as an IT project manager for the State University of New York.

RPGs and Game Mastering

1981 was not the easiest year, but would be one of the most pivotal of my life. My mother and I had moved back to NY after living with my grandparents in Dallas, TX for a year. Shortly after returning, my mother met my future step-father (my Dad). At the same time we had lost our place to live, and had to move in with one of my mother’s friends. This friend was a divorced mother of two children. The older child, Patrick, was a few years older than me and had been playing Dungeons & Dragons with his neighborhood friends. He introduced me to the game, which quickly became one of the largest passions in my life.

philwithgarygygaxI started playing the Moldvay edition of D&D and never stopped. My childhood is full of memories of me on the floor with graph paper and pencils mapping out new dungeons or starship deckplans. It has been the focal point of all the lasting friendships I have made during my life.

Early on in my gaming career, I became the Game Master, often by default, as my other friends did not relish the position. Over time I came to appreciate the role and by the 90s, after reading the Amber: Diceless Roleplaying Game, my understanding of the role deepened, and I began to seriously hone my skills, which included learning about group dynamics, game theory, writing, and storytelling. All these things would help me in my future careers as a project manager and author.

I have over the years played many different types of RPGs like an avid reader explores different genres and authors. I like to say that I am system promiscuous, rarely playing the same system more than once. What I gave up in system mastery has been made up for in diversity of experience. Having played so many different systems has had a direct effect on how I GM, as I have numerous points of views and styles from which I evolved my own. That evolution has led me from being a structured GM presenting complex stories, to more of an ad lib GM who presents challenges and plays off the players to create the story as a group activity.

Author

I have always had an interest in writing. The earliest occurrence was when I was 10 years old, writing my own comic strips and comic books at school. I was a writer and editor of my middle school newspaper, and I took creative writing classes in high school. I wrote mostly short stories and poems. By college my writing was a lot less creative and consisted more of research papers and lab reports.

It was not until years later when blogging became popular did I once again consider writing as a hobby. For a few years I tinkered around with some personal blogs and the occasional guest post, but nothing with any solid following.However, it was enough to attract the attention of Martin Ralya who was putting together a new RPG blog called Gnome Stew.

In 2008, I was one of the founding authors for Gnome Stew – The Game Mastering Blog. Over the years I have written articles on GMing advice, session preparation, campaign management, interviews with game designers, and reviews. The success of Gnome Stew led to the foundation of Gnome Stew’s publishing company, Engine Publishing, in 2010. You can see the books I published under Engine in the Published Works section.

Today, I have a renewed interest in the craft of writing and find myself writing more and more each day. While these days my writing has been mostly focused on Game Mastering advice, I am looking to expand that into fiction in the near future.

Project Manager

philprojectmanagerMy mother would tell you that the roots of my project management career started in kindergarten when I was the director of the class play, The Billy Goats Gruff. From there I have always wound up leading various groups, including the above mentioned game mastering. Perhaps it was natural that at some point I would gravitate to a career that involves planning, coordination, and leadership.

I am an IT project manager for the State University of New York, where I run projects developing new IT services and enhancing existing services. Outside of the office, I have done project management for the larger books by Engine Publishing, Eureka and Masks, working with large groups of writers, artists, and editors around the globe. I have also lent my skills for planning and coordination to the convention organizers for Buffalo, NY’s own Queen City Conquest, helping to plan their 2013 gaming convention.

Family Life

thecoupleI am happily married to a wonderful woman who has been a great supporter of my gaming and my writing. She is not a gamer herself, but she did try out some gaming when we were dating, and attended a few conventions. While she no longer games, she is my go-to source of inspiration when I need fresh ideas or a weak idea needs some bolstering. From time to time she is my editor as well, one of a number of editors who keep my raw text from reaching the public.

We have two wonderful children, a son and daughter who are both on the Autism Spectrum. We are supporters of the ABA method and have had fantastic results with both our children. Our son, is now mainstreamed in elementary school, has achieved a red belt rank in Tae Kwon Do, and is an avid boardgamer. Our daughter, has graduated pre-school and is making great strides towards being mainstreamed. While raising our children and supporting and advocating for their special needs has been hard work for my wife and I, it has rooted us as a family and has given us great strength as a unit.

What does DNAphil mean?

The nickname DNAphil came about when I was a graduate student in Biochemical Pharmacology, involving a mis-labeled box of plant DNA samples. The nickname was kind of silly, and not that funny, but as with many things, timing is everything, and that mis-labeled box became my nickname in the lab. At about the same time as my labmates were calling me DNAphil, Yahoo! Mail was becoming the in thing, and everyone was getting accounts. While registering for mine, I dnaphil320did not want a generic name like phil9352, so I chose to use DNAphil. After all, I was studying Molecular Biology, and I had always had a fascination with DNA, with its shape, with its ability to store and transmit genetic information, and its ability to control the flow of that information. It seemed like a good idea at the time, which is what many say about ill-conceived tattoos.

Grad school did not work out the way I thought it would, but for a while I kept working in the area of clinical data management and programming, still in the sciences. I kept the Yahoo! account, and as the internet started to expand, I started to use DNAphil for my account name in different forums and discussion boards. Over time, DNAphil cemented and became my online persona.

With grad school long behind me, most of my scientific knowledge fading, and my career no longer in the pharmaceutical industry, the moniker DNAphil has become less and less relevant to who I am. Yet, the internet does not forget, and many people know me by DNAphil, so dropping the handle would not be feasible. I put some thought into how I might re-invent the DNAphil name and image, I came upon an idea…

Gaming is in my DNA.

I have been gaming longer than anything else I have done in my life. It is still my greatest passion, and it is the focus for my writing. Now that I have had children, and they are starting to take up a passion for boardgaming, I am sure that some of my gaming genes have been passed down. So DNAphil will continue on.

Share

Published Works

Below are my published works in the form of books, articles and blog.

 

Books

 

Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide To Campaign Management

odyssey.indbEngine Publishing 2013

Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski

Achievements:

Electrum Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

More Info At Engine Publishing

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide To Session Prep

never-unprepared-cover-450wEngine Publishing 2012

Phil Vecchione

Achievements:

Nominated 2012 Golden Geek Award

Nominated 2013 Origins Award

Nominated 2013 ENnie Awards (Best Writing)

Platinum Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

More Info At Engine Publishing

 

Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPC’s for any Role Playing Game

masks-front500Engine Publishing 2011

Co-Author with the Writers of Gnome Stew

Achievements:

Ennie Gold 2012

Nominated 2012 Golden Geek Award

Platinum Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

More Info At Engine Publishing

 

Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters

eureka-coverEngine Publishing 2010

Co-Author with the Writers of Gnome Stew

Platinum Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

Achievements:

More Info At Engine Publishing

 

Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol.2

Open-Game-TableOpen Game Table 2010
Johnathan Jacobs (Editor)

An anthology of RPG blog articles. Articles included:

Story Pacing, The Chris Carter Way

More Info At Amazon

 

GM-FU: Session Prep

gmfuTabletop Adventures 2008

A handout from a Gen Con workshop I gave with Vicki Potter, and Philippe Menard, in 2008.

More Info At DriveThruRPG

 

Articles

 

Be An Interesting Player

tsunamiquarterlyTsunami Quarterly Review Issue #2

PT Publishing 2013

More Info At DriveThruRPG

 

Gone Digital

savageinsiderSavage Insider Issue #8: Technology at the Table

Mystical Throne Entertainment 2013

More Info At DriveThruRPG

 

Blogging

 

Gnome Stew – The Game Mastering Blog

SquareLogo250Co-Author

 

Achievements:

Ennie 2010 -Silver

Ennie 2011- Silver

Ennie 2012 -Gold

Stuffer Shack – Site of the Year 2013

http://www.gnomestew.com

Share