Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Tabletop Role Playing Game (TTRPG)?

Grinning Jackal Entertainment specializes in tabletop role-playing game experiences.

Tabletop role playing games, are games that were designed to be played with a group of friends around a table. Many of these games are considered “pen and paper” games, meaning all they require from their players is imagination, pen, and paper.

These games typically have a participant that is designated to act as the game master in order create the “game world.” This is the role our Storytellers take. Our Storytellers facilitate the collaborative story built by all the players, act as the non-player characters (NPCs) the player characters (PCs) interact with, and provide the framework and rules interpretation for the adventure.

If you enjoy stories or video games, there is almost certainly a tabletop role-playing game that will capture your heart and imagination.

What is a Storyteller?

Our Storytellers act as the game masters of our tabletop role-playing game experiences. In addition to being knowledgeable about the mechanics the game systems they run, they are experienced with writing scenarios, improvising material, and bringing the characters of game worlds to life through rich dialogue and voice acting. Each of our Storytellers follows our tabletop role-playing game philosophy, follows and enforces our Code of Conduct, and customizes each game experience to the players.

Consider them the ultimate forever DM, looking for group.

How is a Storyteller any different just having my friend Dave run our next game?

We believe that tabletop role-playing games can be absolutely magical when played with a group of close friends. However, achieving the dream of a cohesive, regular gaming group can be easier said than done.

Perhaps your friends want to play the same game system, but you want to try something new? You can request any of the systems we offer, and know an experienced Storyteller will be facilitating your play.

Are you struggling to meet at a regular time because your friend group has different work schedules or life commitments? We offer flexible hours and special events! You can book one of our open sessions at a time that works for you, or book a private event at a time that works for you! All of our players make the same commitments to attend and engaged during our sessions, so you know your group is committed to seeing the story through.

Have a friend that joins games but drops in and out? We can facilitate a “guest character” for sporadic members of private groups, or open a public listing to find a new member from our community.

Do you have a friend that you really like as a person, but dread playing with? We have a strict Code of Conduct, and don’t mind being the “bad guys” to ensure everyone at the table has an equal chance to have fun. Get your tabletop role-playing game fix in any of our sessions, with or without the friend that stresses you out.

Is one person in your friend group stuck always taking the role of the game master? Our Storytellers exclusively take the role of game master. You don’t have to worry about planning out the campaign or world, or keeping upcoming plot details secret from your friends. Simply sign up and enjoy being a player!

Are your friends not interested in tabletop role-playing games? We host open games, so you can join up and meet new people that share your passion in tabletop role-playing games!

What if I can only make one or two sessions?

We ask that our players joining long-running campaigns make an extended commitment. For private groups, we may be able to offer some flexibility in time for inconsistent schedules, such as alternating between meeting on Tuesday or Friday every other week. If one member of a private group has an inconsistent schedule, we may be able to offer a “guest character” accommodation which facilitates their character entering and leaving the group, but this is done on a case-by-case basis.

We recommend our players with inconsistent schedules only sign up for One-Shot modules, which are meant to be played in a single sitting.

Are tabletop role-playing games appropriate for children?

Yes and no. Some systems are built with mature themes, and many modules contain mature themes. There are also many systems and modules which are light, fun, and similar to material you may see on children’s television programming. As the decision on “appropriate for children” is highly subjective, we leave that determination up to each parent.

There is some maturity required in collaborative storytelling. Not every action is a victory, and every participant should have an opportunity to shine. Individuals that struggle with challenges or sharing attention may find tabletop role-playing games unpleasant. While most games only have simple arithmetic, this may also be a barrier for children.

We generally do not provide our Storytelling services to players below the age of 15, and restrict our Open Games to players over the age of 18. That said, we are open to discussing special events on a case-by-case basis as we believe that storytelling is for everyone.

Can you help me figure out how to run [Adventure Title Here]?

Our Storytellers offer Guidance Sessions where they can provide advice and discuss your ideas. We don’t answer these questions through any other method, so that we can give your question our undivided attention and provide a quality response.

I find some content very upsetting. How can I be sure a game is okay?

We want everyone at the table to feel comfortable in the game. Games are meant to be fun, and if you’re deeply uncomfortable or afraid, that’s not fun.

We have some protections in our Code of Conduct, such as prohibiting explicit or involuntary sexual conduct. We try to place content warnings on our modules for material that is more commonly considered upsetting, such as body horror or spiders.

Unfortunately, we are only human. Mistakes, misunderstandings, and unanticipated events occur. We cannot anticipate every possibility of a story or all player behavior, as each story is customized and unfolds in a collaborative fashion. Similarly, you may not know a topic or scenario is upsetting until it is happening.

We utilize systems that allow you to privately flag your Storyteller about your comfort level, including requests to stop the content. We make efforts to accommodate concerns that we are aware of, but we cannot promise accommodation for every possibility. We also try to utilize different tools to help facilitate clear communication about boundaries between players and Storytellers, such as checklists prior to the session. We recommend you look at Monte Cook Game’s Consent in Gaming, which is a free resource that discusses possibilities such as “Lines and Veils” and X-Cards.

We encourage you to discuss these concerns with your Storyteller and group in Session 0 of any campaign, so that the group may decide on what works for everyone. You can also contact us to discuss your concerns in advance.

English isn’t my first language. Is it okay if I join a game?

Yes, absolutely! We believe that storytelling is for everyone, and tabletop role-playing games can be a great way to practice a new language! There may be times when a player is asked to repeat themselves or clarify what they mean in order to ensure understanding, but nothing demanding.

Our Storytellers have experience curating game sessions with ESL players, including explaining unfamiliar terms. However, we do not currently offer services in a language other than English, so we cannot translate for you. If you are able to read the material on our website and create a character, you should be able to play in any of our games. We are considering offering ESL specific games, for those that have anxiety playing in groups mixed with native speakers.

Our Code of Conduct prohibits bullying behaviors, which we take to include any malicious mocking of pronunciation or national origin. We want all of our players to feel welcome and free to express themselves creatively. If you feel you are being bullied in your game, please contact us or speak to your Storyteller.

I’ve never played [game system] before. Can I sign up for a game?

Yes! Our Storytellers are experienced in the game mechanics to help assist you in play. Out of respect for all player’s time, limited one-on-one assistance is provided directly in game.

If you are a hands-on learner, we recommend that all of our new players go through one of our Beginner Box modules, which are designed to take new players through the basics of a game system’s mechanics with additional one-on-one assistance built in.

How does playing a virtual game work? Do I need to buy and download a bunch of software?

We do everything we can to make the process as easy as possible!

When the booking of one of our tabletop sessions is confirmed, you’ll receive two links: a link to a Zoom session and a link to a game on The Forge. The Zoom link allows us to connect with voice and/or video for the virtual session, and The Forge is where the game happens!

We run our virtual tabletop game sessions in Foundry Virtual Tabletop, hosted by The Forge. Prior to the game session, you can input your character sheet for the Storyteller to review and approve. In game, you’ll gain the ability to see maps, hear immersive music, roll dice, and keep notes in The Forge.

Both Zoom and The Forge should allow you to interact in your web browser, without further downloads. You should not have to purchase access to Zoom or The Forge.

Do I get a copy of the game rules when I book a session?

We do not own the publishing rights to any game system or material that we did not write ourselves. We can share information that is shared and published under open agreements, such as the Systems Reference Document 5.1, explain small snippets of the content under Fair Use guidelines, or direct to openly published resources such as wiki pages.

On each page for our Current Systems, we have a link to the publisher where you can buy your own copy of all the source materials, if you choose. This is not necessary to join or play any of our games.

If you are an absolute beginner to a system and want additional help in creating your character or learning the rules, we recommend either one of our Storyteller Guidance Sessions or booking a Beginner Box Module session for that system. This will allow the Storyteller additional time to read and explain rules, and ensure that you feel confident in the mechanics of game play.

How do I know what options I have for character creation?

Each of our Storytellers has discretion to implement their own House Rules (within our Code of Conduct and any intellectual property law). These House Rules, including Character Creation Rules for the session, will be listed on the page for that module. If the module is one of our open games visible on our booking system, the rules will also be visible in the info section of the listing.

Don’t see an answer to your question? Contact us!

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