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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.


Christian - One who is willing to serve three Gods, but draws the line at one wife. — H. L. Mencken

Online Writings

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Social Media
(Google+, Twitter, Blog)

Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Love @rdonoghue article on PbtA moves. I like this framework: walkingmind.evilhat.com/2016/07/26/2d6… [...]
Tue, Jul 26, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @crb31 It was the Iron Empires series by Christopher Moeller. Great setting, beautiful artwork, solid stories. [...]
Tue, Jul 26, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan here is my Metal contribution. Sabaton: youtu.be/IrJAwCBbnuc [...]
Tue, Jul 26, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @Xer0Rules If you have never had them before...make them. You will not regret it. [...]
Mon, Jul 25, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @Xer0Rules Yaaasss! That's the ticket! I want to make these. I have had the bacon wrapped tater tots before thanks to @tangenttwindave. [...]
Mon, Jul 25, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @SwallowsofSouth @IdellaMithlynnd Thanks for the Tableselfie [...]
Mon, Jul 25, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @Xer0Rules Is that right picture? I like X-wings AND Tatchos. [...]
Mon, Jul 25, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @kevthulhu @MisdirectedMark Kevin what Size shirt were you suppose to get? [...]
Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Hydro Hackers Playtest. @IdellaMithlynnd #tableselfie #playtest pic.twitter.com/0Rb2N3vhT2 [...]
Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Ended three days of game design with a shower and shave. #newman [...]
Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil This weekend has been binge game design. I have spent the last three days getting Hydro Hacker Operatives ready for playtesting, tonight. [...]
Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan I'm on it! pic.twitter.com/nMwi9TlRuj [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Days are counting down for GenCon. We are getting our games ready to run. Hydro Hackers, Airy Peaks, Part-Time Gods of Fate #progress [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @vjwyatt @MisdirectedMark Yea..that's pretty much the route. We decided to get a jump on Wed by leaving Tue night and driving half way. [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @MisdirectedMark @vjwyatt Though if we are near you between Buffalo and Ashland perhaps we could meet for dinner on Tuesday night. [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @MisdirectedMark @vjwyatt I don't think we will hit it on the way down to Indy. We are spending the night in Ashland. [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil You are not ready for the lastest @BundleHolding offering: Lamentations of the Flame Princess! So much Weird Fantasy ow.ly/De5I302tkkY [...]
Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Source: Twitter
Sniezak & the HMs @MisdirectedMark [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] MMP#217: Culture. No Chris. No Bob. @DNAphil brings in @pk_sullivan to talk about Culture's in RPGs, misdirectedmark.com/mmp217-culture… [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan @DarcyLRoss I will work out the details with Darcy. [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Queen Senda @IdellaMithlynnd [Retweeted by Phil Vecchione @DNAphil] Congrats to @gmjimmclure and @thirdactpub on funding Reflections on @kickstarter kck.st/2ad2cTm ! [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @TheCraftyDM So something like this: solas-harel.tumblr.com/post/123224139… [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @TheCraftyDM So it's a human torso and head on a seahorse body? I think I get it. [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @TheCalebG @Umbralwalker @GMJimMcClure @TheRpgAcademy @TPTCast @MonkipiQuinn @sasgeekpodcast @theYJfiles I become Senda's Darth Vader. [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @TheCraftyDM is it half horse or sea-horse? [...]
Thu, Jul 21, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @NickelCityDicer Thank you Father Tony. [...]
Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Forgive me internet for I have sinned. I entered into a political discussion on a social media platform with a family member. [...]
Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @Umbralwalker @TheRpgAcademy @TPTCast @MonkipiQuinn @sasgeekpodcast @GMJimMcClure @TheCalebG Jim sung it into existance using the the mic [...]
Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @kevthulhu Get ready for some 80's action [...]
Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @issaceleifel @IdellaMithlynnd Not yet! But I am putting it on the list. [...]
Wed, Jul 20, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @meepsNsheeps Yes. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @IdellaMithlynnd I am a bit lonely. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @flatvurm it'd ok. I am set tonight. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan Creating and portraying cultures. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan Bob has fallen. So I am flying solo, so I thought it might be nice to have someone to chat with rather than doing a solo [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil#chatroom4life If you are planning on listening to Misdirected Mark tonight and have a mic and record locally. DM me. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @pk_sullivan @MisdirectedMark Awesome! [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @Edge0618 @IdellaMithlynnd Added to the list. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil I just backed Reflections: A Game of Dueling Samurai on @kickstarter kck.st/2ad2cTm [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil Attention #chatroom4life Tonight's MM Episode will be on Hangouts On Air tonight: plus.google.com/events/c6noocn… [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
Oh no! Chris is not here for the first time... Ever.Phil and Bob are running the show, and as such, we don't have all the gear or all the know-how so we are going old school and doing this episode On Air. We also don't have the normal chatroom, so you are welcome to use the Hangouts Q&A module as well as to chat and post questions via the #chatroom4life on Twitter. We promise next week when Chris is back, we will be back to the live show quality you deserve. Misdirected Mark Episode 217 - Cultures [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Google +
Phil Vecchione @DNAphil @VisionaryComms @RobertMEverson @Thelight101 @MisdirectedMark Details for tonights show are being worked on right now. [...]
Tue, Jul 19, 2016
Source: Twitter
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 […] [...]
Thu, Sep 25, 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 […] [...]
Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Source: DNAPHIL Site

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

Shaintar Guidebook: Goblinesh Gathers139298-thumb140

Evil Beagle Games

Savage Worlds

Co-Author

More Info at DriveThruRPG
 

 

 

 

 

 

Minions of the Source

MotSCover3egstoreThird Eye Games 2014

Part-Time Gods

Contributor

More Info at Third Eye Games

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return of Dragons

PTG-ReturnofDragonsCover3egThird Eye Games 2014

Part-Time Gods

Co-Author

More Info at Third Eye Games

 

 

 

 

 

 

Articles

Momentum Dice

1409707706_FC1.4_-_Small_Cover

Fate Codex – Volume 1, Issue 4

Magpie Game

More Info at Magpie Games

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

133744-thumb140

Tsunami Quarterly Review Issue #7

PT Publishing 2013

More Info At DriveThruRPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

ENnie 2013 – Gold (Best Blog and Best Website)

Stuffer Shack – Site of the Year 2013

ENnie 2014 – Gold

http://www.gnomestew.com

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