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Welcome to DNAphil.com

You have found the online home of Phil Vecchione (aka DNAphil).

I am an Author, Game Master, Project Manager, and owner of Encoded Designs.

Here you can find out more about me and my writings, as well as the other places online where I spend my time. If you want to know more about Encoded Designs, follow the link for more information.


Fight as if you are right; listen as if you are wrong. — Karl Weick

Online Writings

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Social Media
(Google+, Twitter, Blog)

Rob Donoghue @rdonoghue [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] CAR WARS CAR WARS CAR WARS CAR WARS!!!! bundleofholding.com/presents/CarWa… [...]
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan @lordneptune @IdellaMithlynnd I am able to drink coffee across a spectrum of quality and configuration… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @DustDevil75 I'll have to check that out. [...]
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil It will be a little time before I can write on a keyboard. For now I can get things done by phone. Pain is low but… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Day 3: home and recovering. I am able to do a few things on my own...brush teeth, put my socks on, etc. Most thing… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Wed, Jan 17, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @IdellaMithlynnd @lordneptune I drink coffee with Splenda. [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan Oh no! [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan Just a Swiss Army knife...good for opening packages and such. [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @slavetothehat @3VGear pic.twitter.com/w5NcbIY0xx [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @BlakeRyanBatman @3VGear Nailed iy [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Brian Schatz @brianschatz [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] So it's official. Every single Senate Democrat is going to vote for the CRA for net neutrality. With Senator Collin… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Ewen 2018: Ewen of the Year Edition @nekoewen [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Zion has fallen and the Matrix is rapidly degrading. twitter.com/mikeyface/stat… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @mumphry999 @3VGear No. My arm broke, and the surgery was to align the bone, fix it in place with screws and a plat… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Senda @IdellaMithlynnd [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Hey, that's me over on @MisdirectedMark this week! twitter.com/MisdirectedMar… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Scott Westerfeld @ScottWesterfeld [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Pedialyte was designed to hydrate kids with stomach illness, but 55% of its sales are actually to adults with hango… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil What I need now is a tatical arm sling, for this broken arm... Cordura, padded shoulder, and some MOLLE webbing.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil This bag is light enough for me to carry from room to room by slinging it over my good shoulder. It has enough for me to rest and recover. [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Knowing that I can't easily reach an outlet to charge my devices, I wired up an @AnkerOfficial power station, and u… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Since I came home from my arm surgery (humoral reduction), I am both couch bound and using one arm. I made myself… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @issaceleifel @PandasTalkGames @IdellaMithlynnd pic.twitter.com/0Pb4teDvHg [...]
Mon, Jan 15, 2018
Source: Twitter
🏳️‍🌈LGBTPlusProud🏳️‍🌈 - Be You @LGBTPlusProud [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] How old were you when you first became aware of your sexual orientation or gender identity? (Please retweet widely for a meaningful sample.) [...]
Mon, Jan 15, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan Looks really nice. [...]
Mon, Jan 15, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @IdellaMithlynnd @pk_sullivan @DustDevil75 Left-handed [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan @IdellaMithlynnd @DustDevil75 I will be again in a few weeks [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @IdellaMithlynnd @DustDevil75 See The Six Million Dollar man was a TV show from the 1970's starting Lee Majors... [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @kevthulhu Myo-electric [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Senda @IdellaMithlynnd [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Sometimes, you just have to write games for the change you want to see in the world. [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Update... surgery was a success. I now have a few screws and a plate in my arm. Recovery was rough, but a came thr… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @MurderHoboShow @IdellaMithlynnd @john_harper @meglish @encodeddesigns I'm 6'2" and 350 and I rock my Magical Girl Tierra. [...]
Sat, Jan 13, 2018
Source: Twitter
Binyamin Appelbaum @BCAppelbaum [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Attention Norwegians! Are you sick of universal health care? Do you hate public spending on high-quality infras… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @SeanPKelley @fafhrd01 We can share x-rays [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @PadmesLover Thanks. PT starts pretty soon after. [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @BrianBPK @KnightErrant_JR @kevthulhu I really need to get a marketing person. [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @kevthulhu LOL [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @KnightErrant_JR @kevthulhu Something with a corporate logo [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @PadmesLover No. I broke my upper arm and they have to put screws and a plate in. [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @kevthulhu I totally want a crane arm. [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil The lack of focus from the meds and the pain has kept me from reading or anything entertaining. [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Tomorrow I am going in for surgery to bolt my arm back together. These past few days have been hard without the use… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… [...]
Thu, Jan 11, 2018
Source: Twitter
Reading The Tea LeavesHey everyone.Next week, we will be talking about games that use what we call the Reading The Tea Leaves mechanics. The one you know best is Star Wars FFG. There is also Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition. So games where you roll dice, and then read the results to determine what happened.But these are not the only games like this... can you think of other games that have this type of mechanic, or something similar (dice and consult a table for their meaning, etc)? [...]
Thu, Dec 14, 2017
Source: Google +
Checking In+Senda Linaugh and I are just starting on a game that will have a potential for a lot of emotional tension and intensity. Rather than just put in a few paragraphs on 'You need to be safe...here's an Xcard', we want to hardcode safety into the game.So one of the things we want to have, as a formal part of the rules, is a check-in where when someone introduces some content, that they check-in with the table to make sure everyone is ok. But we recognize that having to talk to everyone can slow the game down, so how [...]
Fri, Oct 13, 2017
Source: Google +
Next Week's Show -- Character Backgrounds So +JJ Lanza gave us the inspiration this week for talking about Character Backgrounds. To help round out the topic I have two questions for you to answer. Feel free to answer one, the other, or both.One: What are good elements (events, NPCs, history, motivation, etc) to include into a Character Background?Two: What are your best tips, as a Player, for making a usable background for a game? [...]
Thu, Oct 12, 2017
Source: Google +
On the topic of safety mechanisms, here is an article that has been making the rounds on social media. I think it is a valuable tool for how to quickly halt activities at the table when they become uncomfortable. I think that this works best with established groups teaching the table culture to new players, and I think it works well with GMs who are setting the tone of the table. That said I think that it is still a powerful idea, and one that everyone should take a look at. We Don't Do That Here [...]
Wed, Oct 11, 2017
Source: Google +
The Use of Narrative Positioning in Indie and OSR GamesNext week we are going to have +Jason Hobbs on the show, and we are going to get into the topic of Narrative Positioning and look at it from Indie games and OSR games, and how it works in each type of game. Here is my working (could be refined later) definition of Narrative Positioning:When a player describes the actions of their characters in a way to convey specific action, location, and/or intent. Often with the goal of a specific outcome (action or bonus)Quick example:No Narrative Positioning - I search the [...]
Thu, Oct 05, 2017
Source: Google +
Until today, I was not aware this image was in existence. Now I have to get a quality version of this print... #anewquesthasbegun GruberandTerrorists.jpg [...]
Sat, Sep 23, 2017
Source: Google +
I accidentally saw an episode of the Real Housewives some somewhere...Truthfully, it gets watched a lot in my house so my exposure is higher than I would like to admit.I want to make a hack of this genre in PbtA. Right now I am considering alternative playbooks for Monsterhearts...Why, brain? Why? [...]
Fri, Sep 22, 2017
Source: Google +
RPGs as ArtOh yes...we are doing that.Next week's episode is Chris' birthday episode, and I asked him what topic he would like to do so that I could get a show prepped. So our birthday boy grabbed his soapbox and wants to do RPGs as Art. Who am I do deny him, so I am going to prep some notes about this topic. While I do, let me turn to you, our most awesome of communities, and ask you, what are your feelings about this topic? Are RPG's art? I have some very specific ideas about this, but my thoughts [...]
Wed, Sep 20, 2017
Source: Google +
Devil's BargainWhen we started playing Blades, we had some trouble with this mechanic. Chris, for one, did not like it at all. For our group, it fell away for a while. Especially as we were getting a handle on the rest of the mechanics.As part of my prep for every Blades session, I review some part of the rules for the game, and this time I came back to Devil's Bargain. Getting extra dice in the game is really important, and doing it without getting Stress is even better.I don't have an official ruling on this, nor did I dig [...]
Tue, Sep 19, 2017
Source: Google +
Lost That Loving FeelingNext week's show is going to be about when you discover that you are no longer loving the game you are playing, and what you can do about it.My request to you, the most awesome of communities, is to tell me some of the reasons about why you have fallen out of love with game system or a campaign. [...]
Thu, Sep 14, 2017
Source: Google +
A few years ago I read an article on Treasure Tables ab […] [...]
Thu, Nov 13, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site

Gnome Stew

Often we think of playtesting for rooting out bad rules—things that are broken, don't work, or are not clear. But sometimes in playtesting we find a perfectly good rule that by itself is excellent, but in the greater whole of the game does not work. Recently I found such a rule. One that I liked so much that its removal came with great hesitation. But sometimes a good rule has to be excised for the greater good of the game. Or, to put it as Spock said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the [...]
Fri, Dec 22, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
“What is your game about?” Your first reaction, the most obvious one, is to talk about the setting of the game—the elevator pitch. Hydro Hackers has an elevator pitch that I think does a pretty good job answering that question (see the end of the article). Let's go one level deeper, and we can ask that same question about what the themes and tropes of the game are. As a Powered by the Apocalypse style game, H2O has an Agenda and Principles which answer this question. But if we go one more level deeper, there is another answer to this [...]
Fri, Dec 01, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
There is no such thing as a Strict or Lax GM. Whoa . . . before you jump to the comments section to yell at me, let me explain. The idea of a strict or a lax GM is an oversimplification. GMing is way more complicated than that. There are too many facets of GMing to simply have the needle buried in one direction or the other. Sure, someone can be more strict than lax, but the idea someone is strict in every way possible as a GM is a bit more unlikely. That said, there are still a few of [...]
Thu, Nov 02, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
For the past few months, I have been wrestling with this small but annoying problem in the Hydro Hacker playbooks. It is a section of the playbook that defines your relationships with the other players. When I run this at conventions or in playtest groups, players always fill the section out incorrectly. Over several iterations of playbooks I have tried to refine this section so that it would be more intuitive, but it has not panned out. Then in talking to one of the Developers (Senda), she gave me an idea that changed how I was looking at the [...]
Fri, Sep 29, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
The last new chapter of Hydro Hackers that I wrote was about Gear. It is the last thing I designed for the game. After this, I will be just adding text and mechanics to all the existing chapters of the game. Gear was a tough thing for me to wrap my head around. I knew I wanted gear in the game, but I was not hot on the idea about a game driven by gear. So I kept putting off the design and just putting some token, undefined items on the playbooks. But as the manuscript neared completion, I knew [...]
Fri, Aug 18, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
One of the great joys and challenges of game design is playtesting. On one hand, seeing your creation doing what it is supposed to—and people enjoying it—is incredibly uplifting. On the other hand, watching your perfect mechanic break under play can be heartbreaking. Despite the emotional roller coaster, having people that are not you playing your game is a necessity. Much like gaming in general, you can playtest using one shots, or in a campaign. Playtesting with one shots is pretty straight-forward, but playtesting for a campaign is a different beast altogether . . . and happens to be the [...]
Fri, Jul 28, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
Right now I am sitting here, not wanting to write an article. Not that I don't love writing to you all, but rather this article is between me and further game design work I am doing, and I have fallen into the design rabbit hole; a place where nothing matters other than designing—not eating, not sleep, not anyone else, just a burst of ideas on a page as you try to make a thing. Today's article is not about the rabbit hole, rather it's why I am in the hole. That starts last week at Origins . . . When [...]
Wed, Jun 28, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
One of the worst pieces of GMing advice I ever gave myself was to always make sure the players were happy, even over my own happiness; to avoid saying No. This ridiculous piece of advice has lead to more campaign deaths in my career as a GM than I should admit. The thing is that saying yes to every idea or whim a player has isn't a good idea. Sometimes we have to say No. No, so that we keep the stability of the campaign intact. No, so that the game remains fun for the majority of the group. No, [...]
Fri, May 19, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
The last few weeks I have been working on writing the setting of Hydro Hacker Operatives. For an RPG with a defined setting, this is an important task. You need to be able to teach the setting to the GM and the players, so that they can share in the world you created, and give them enough interesting elements that they can go off and have their own adventures. Previously in this series, I talked about designing worlds. This week I want to talk about the ways that this information can be presented, and the approach I decided to take. [...]
Fri, Apr 28, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
I first learned D&D from the boy who's house I was living in, during a rough period of time my Mother and I were going through. He was older than me, and I was not cool enough to play in his group, so he ran a game for me, alone. For a while, my only experience of D&D was one on one play, and I rather enjoyed it, despite the challenges of not having a party for support. Over time, I would get my own gaming group, and rarely ever got back to one on one gaming. When I have [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
The world of Hydro Hacker Operatives resides mostly in my head. The rules for how to play Hydro Hackers (H2O) have been well enough documented on paper for the game to be run in a playtest capacity. But right now, I am the only person who can GM H2O because no one else fully understands how the world works. The truth is, I don't fully know either. I have just enough of a world built for playtesting to work. Which was fine when I was more concerned if the rules of the game made any sense, but now that the [...]
Wed, Feb 08, 2017
Source: Gnome Stew
There is no “right” way to create a role playing game. Everyone comes at it a different way. For me, with a background in project management and software development, I tend to come at the process in a structured manner. For me, developing an RPG is really no different than software, and so most of the techniques that apply to software development seem to work in creating RPGs. In this installment, I am going to describe a few of the techniques I am using to create Hydro Hacker Operatives. Why is it like software? For all of my tools and my [...]
Fri, Dec 23, 2016
Source: Gnome Stew
Hydro Hacker Operatives is not the game I intended to make. I had originally set out to make a Fate-based Cyberpunk game and wound up with a Powered by the Apocalypse Hydropunk game. But game design is weird like that, sometimes you set out with a specific idea in mind and bring it to light, but in most cases what you end up with is not exactly what you intended – and then there are times like this, when what you wind up with is only a shadow of what you started with. A Little Something Different Normally I spend my time [...]
Wed, Oct 12, 2016
Source: Gnome Stew
I was making my breakfast the other morning while listening to the boys at Gaming and BS . Specifically, I was listening to an episode (#101) where the question was posed, and I paraphrase, is the rush towards improv style GMing diluting the more traditional storyteller type of GMing? It got me thinking, not so much about a dilution occurring, but rather how do we adopt one of these styles and how can you change your style. So I gave it some thought, flipped my eggs and came up with this… Three Types of GM For the sake of word count, your [...]
Tue, Aug 30, 2016
Source: Gnome Stew
I had my main gaming group for over 20 years. That's quite a feat in terms of people being around, sticking together, etc. In some ways it was quite a treat, I always had a group to game with. In some ways it was a challenge, working to keep the group together, deciding on what games we wanted to play, etc. Today, my gaming life is a bit more fluid. I know more gamers than ever before, and I have access to dozens of new and exciting games. The question becomes, do I keep the group I have and play [...]
Fri, May 06, 2016
Source: Gnome Stew

 

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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.

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Published Works

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

 

Books

Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters

cover-unframed Engine Publishing 2014

Contributor – Hitting Rock Bottom 

Achievements: 

Gold Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

More Info At Engine Publishing 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dangerous Space Jail

Thumbnail for Drive ThruEncoded Designs 2014

Achievements: 

Copper Seller at DriveThruRPG.com

More Info At DriveThruRPG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

odyssey.indbEngine Publishing 2013

Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski

Achievements:

Gold 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

 

Games

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Evil Beagle Games

Savage Worlds

Co-Author

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Minions of the Source

MotSCover3egstoreThird Eye Games 2014

Part-Time Gods

Contributor

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Return of Dragons

PTG-ReturnofDragonsCover3egThird Eye Games 2014

Part-Time Gods

Co-Author

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Articles

Momentum Dice

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Fate Codex – Volume 1, Issue 4

Magpie Game

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Tools, Companions, and Gods – Using Computers in your SciFi Game

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Tsunami Quarterly Review Issue #7

PT Publishing 2013

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Be An Interesting Player

tsunamiquarterlyTsunami Quarterly Review Issue #2

PT Publishing 2013

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Gone Digital

savageinsiderSavage Insider Issue #8: Technology at the Table

Mystical Throne Entertainment 2013

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Blogging

 

Gnome Stew – The Game Mastering Blog

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