Justin Farrington

MisCon 30 MisCon Staff

I enjoy facilitating fun for an entire group and encourage a cooperative storytelling style of play rather than an adversarial one. It's easy to kill characters. It's harder to keep a group coming back for more, week after week. I consider myself fortunate to have a group of players who want to help tell stories, and who keep coming back to find out what happens next.

The animated Hobbit and Lord of the Rings of 1977 and 1978, an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Album (in an Easter basket with colored
markers in 1979), and the Endless Quest series (Choose Your Own Adventure style D&D novels in 1982); these things caught hold of my imagination as a young person. It took two more years and advertisements in Marvel comics to teach me that Dungeons and Dragons was a thing, a game of some kind. In the howling wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains a red box was hard to find. 1984, quest completed.

Finding players has always been easy. Finding a GM, not so much. I took on the role early as a clever scheme to play more. I've run (played a bit, but mostly run): D&D, AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, Top Secret/SI, Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Twilight 2000, Cyberpunk, Vampire, In Nomine, and most recently Pathfinder.

I enjoy facilitating fun for an entire group and encourage a cooperative storytelling style of play rather than an adversarial one. It's easy to kill characters. It's harder to keep a group coming back for more, week after week. I consider myself fortunate to have a group of players who want to help tell stories, and who keep coming back to find out what happens next.

In my off-gaming hours I'm a software test lead, an EMT-B, and Assistant Chief with Clinton Rural Fire District. My beautiful wife Amy and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary in 2012. She graciously indulges my many geeky habits, manages the Pathfinder campaign soundtrack, and has turned out to be a pretty great half-orc.

Scheduled Panels and Presentations:

Key: panel=On a Panel moderator=Moderating game=GMing

(Tentative)

  • panel Fri 4:00 - 4:50 PM, Noir and the New Player, Madison
    Panelists: Josh Aronoff, Justin Farrington, John Goff

    Players new to tabletop RPGs have their choice of about 3,700 settings. Coaxing them to the noir setting might prove a challenge when they are being enticed with magic, mechs, and starships. This is the definitive guide to bringing a new player into the best genre before they, oops, get addicted to DnD.

  • Break Fri 4:50 - Sat Noon
  • panel Sat Noon - 12:50 PM, The Joy of Noir RPGs, Madison
    Panelists: Josh Aronoff, Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle), Justin Farrington, John Goff

    It's gritty, it's modern (with a twist), it borrows from all our favorite genres but yet stands apart with unique game play. Playing it like another game isn't going to work. Those who know it best will discuss how to get the most out of a noir setting.

  • Break Sat 12:50 - Sat 2:00
  • panel Sat 2:00 - 2:50 PM, GMing for Different Player Styles, Madison
    Panelists: Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle), Justin Farrington, Rob McDonell (Illuminati Rob)

    Powergamer. Dungeoneer. Tactician. Thespian. Slayer. Bully. Despot. There are many different player types, and working them into a cohesive group can be tricky, especially if you want everyone to have fun. Weíll discuss how to manage different players types and make sure everyone gets their day in the sun and has fun.

  • Break Sat 2:50 - Sun 10:00
  • panel Sun 10:00 - 10:50 AM, Shady Characters, Glacier
    Panelists: Josh Aronoff, Justin Farrington, John Goff

    Being perfectly good at being perfectly rotten can be a challenge for everyone at the gaming table. Masters of the trade will discuss how players can create and play evil characters without reverting to stereotypes and will also discuss how to create challenging settings and moral dilemmas for characters that would hurt a child.

  • Break Sun 10:50 - Sun Noon
  • panel Sun Noon - 12:50 PM, Hurry up, the Weight is Killing Me, Madison
    Panelists: Erik Evjen, Justin Farrington, Rob McDonell (Illuminati Rob)

    Do we need to know how much weight a large sack can hold? Does it matter? When do rules hamper play? How much detail is required, and when does it inhibit the game for the players?

  • Break Sun 12:50 - Sun 2:00
  • panel Sun 2:00 - 2:50 PM, Metagaming: Is It Always Bad?, Madison
    Panelists: Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle), Justin Farrington, Frank Pruett

    What is metagaming? Your lowly fighter doesnít know trolls canít regenerate fire damage, but you do. Do you have her hit it with greek fire instead of her sword? If so, thatís metagaming. Is that always bad? Can metagaming enhance your gaming experience?

  • Break Sun 2:50 - Sun 4:00
  • panel Sun 4:00 - 4:50 PM, Transitioning Between Scenes, Glacier
    Panelists: Josh Aronoff, Justin Farrington, John Goff

    What is the difference between a scene and an encounter? How do transition from the end of one encounter and into the next scene? How does this work differently in convention games versus home games?

  • Break Sun 4:50 - Mon 11:00
  • moderator Mon 11:00 - 11:50 AM, GM: Being Prepared for Anything, Montana Boardroom
    Moderator: Justin Farrington; Panelists: Kent Davis, Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle), Justin Farrington

    As a GM, you must be flexible and ready to handle anything. How can you prepare to be flexible? Learn some tips and tricks from veteran GMs.

  • moderator Mon Noon - 12:50 PM, Failure in Your Games?, Jefferson
    Moderator: Justin Farrington; Panelists: Josh Aronoff, Justin Farrington

    Do you allow your players to fail and by how much? How and when should the GM allow the the players to fail yet continue to advance? Should you be able to be the heroes of the kingdom even if you did not save the princess?


Note: Guest and pro biographical information may have been updated since MisCon 30.


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