More About Jack!

Hi Jack! Thanks for being my Feburary Featured creator. Why not start off with: what is it that you create?

Hi! Thank you! I create tabletop roleplaying games and actual play podcasts.

Did anything in particular get you started, or was it a hobby that just kept growing?

I’ve always been creative, and a writer, and one day some friends decided that was all I needed to run a dnd game for them, so I learned the system (fourth edition) and by the time I’d finished reading the Dungeon Masters Guide I was hooked forever. It’s kind of a far cry from what I’m making and playing these days, but that’s mostly about growing into my own strengths and interests as a GM and designer.

What are you working on at the moment?

A lot of things! I bounce around projects like a pinball to be honest, but my biggest focus for this year is going to be working on editing and sprucing up games I released in early access form last year. Last year was a year of uncontrolled creation with little room to slow down and look around, so this year I’m getting really in the weeds of my work.

What about your work are you proud of?

One thing is how weirdly specific, and yet seemingly broadly enjoyable, my games are. One of my more popular games is a game about Dracula – specifically the book version. More specifically from about chapter 3. More specifically it’s about the eroticism of accidentally being rude to a person who can definitely kill you. And people went “yes! That also aligns with my interests!” the internet is great.

Can you tell us a little about your gender journey?

Sure! When I was about 19 I found out that people who were assigned female could also be transgender and I went “oh! Well that’s me then!” It’s a little more complicated than that, but barely. 

About five years later I started taking testosterone, and now at 27 I’m openly trans and nonbinary at my corporate day job. I mean, I’m 5 foot nothing with an E cup and a moustache, passing was never going to be something that was easy for me to achieve, and one thing that’s great about being nonbinary is that I don’t want or care to pass as male or female, so I get to walk into meetings and make CEOs mind their pronouns. It’s fun, but I’m definitely privileged to be able to do it. I got very lucky with my first office job, and got into a position where I could choose to not accept any less than respect. 

It’s still a journey though, and you never know what’s coming next. I know plenty of people over 30 who are still working it out, so I imagine I’m going to keep learning more about myself.

Tell us a funny ttrpg story

Okay so in my Pathfinder weeknight game with local friends, I’ve just said farewell to an absolute banger of a character. His name was Love, and he was a youngish rogue who was raised exclusively by the last 5 incarnations of his soul. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and one of his previous incarnations was just a bear. Nothing special, just a grizzly bear, or the regional equivalent. 

Another crucial part of this story is that our employer is a paranoid transmutation wizard who really fucking likes frogs (feel free to bleep my swearing, but it’s authentic). Said employer gave us a bag of frogs, which is like a bag of weasels, except any item you put into it turns into a frog that you have to be nice to for it to turn back into the item. My boy Love, on instructions from his “Dad” (what he calls all his previous incarnations), decided that the bag of frogs was the best tool he had to catch a beehive. 

Strictly, the bees should have died, but my GM is a softie, so now there is a whole swarm of bee-frog hybrids living in his backpack. I’m really excited to see what happens to them now that Love has died and the rest of the party, who are much less sweet and caring, have to deal with the frog bag. 

If you got to GM a ttrpg game comprised of figures throughout the ages (past, present & future, real or fictional), who would you choose and why?

Ooh okay. As players or characters? I’m going to say players I think that’s the more interesting answer. Mary Shelley, an early generation truly conscious AI, a creative child (it doesn’t matter who), and fuck it, my partner. This one was really hard, I’m very uninterested in meeting a lot of people I admire.

White or brown bread?

Brown bread most of the time, but white for a treat. I eat a lot of bread though, so i like it to have a little extra nutrition in it in case it’s the only thing I eat that day.

Recommend everybody a piece of media to consume.

Welcome to Night Vale episode 101 – Guidelines for Disposal. Whether you got into Night Vale or not, this episode has some of the best writing of any episode of any podcast I listen to, and I think about it a lot.

Tell us about a hair or clothing disaster you’ve had.

There are no fashion disasters, only fashion accidents, and accidents are just style you didn’t know about yet. I did once get in trouble at my job for shaving the sides of my head though. 

Alright, that’ll do for now. Last thing: is there anything you’d like to say to anyone reading?

Oh I’m terrible at these. Can I steal a sign off from someone? The Black Forager (Alexis Nikole Nelson) always signs off her tiktoks with “Happy Snacking, Don’t Die” which, even if you’re not talking about foraging potentially poisonous food from the forest, feels like a good motto to live by. 

So happy snacking, don’t die!

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