Gamicon Arsenic

Nat Barmore

Gamicon is delighted to announce our guest of honor this year is Nat Barmore. Nat "woodelf" Barmore has been playing roleplaying games for more than 4 decades and designing them for at least 3 decades. In the early days of the web, he created woodelf's RPG Index, the first comprehensive index of online RPG resources, maintaining it until the web grew too large for a manually maintained index [circa 2002]. He co-founded The Impossible Dream in the '90s and then reorganized it in 2001 to focus on pushing the RPG-design envelope.

Nat co-created Dread with Epidiah Ravachol, which won the 2006 Gold ENnie for Innovation. Dread has been a top seller at both Indie Press Revolution and DriveThruRPG ever since. The game continues to garner accolades, and has been translated into German and Italian. Other design credits include the Game Chef 2011 finalist A Midsummer Night's Scheme, and the forthcoming Four Colors al Fresco. His design focus continues to be on experimentation and exploring the possibilities of the RPG medium.

In addition to playing and designing RPGs, Nat is an avid ballroom dancer and loves to spend hours designing and building Lego creations. He lives with his spouse and 3 cats in Rochester, MN.


About Dread

Keep your wits about you and your hands steady!

Dread is a rules-light toolbox for exploring (surprise) the theme of dread. Instead of dice, it uses a Jenga set to determine the outcome of difficult actions. The tension mounts as players remove blocks from the stack. If the stack falls, the character run by the player who pulled the last block is removed from the game.
Characters have no statistics. Instead the gamemaster presents each player with a questionnaire that helps determine who the characters are and how they behave in the game.
Dread is not a game for the faint of heart; it is explicitly designed to make players tense and nervous. It was created for one-offs, and without modifications it is not suitable for campaign play.