Category Archives: Uncategorized

T&D Updates in 2016

So it’s been brought to my attention that the now-defunct GSA has stopped hosting their pages, and thus the individual links for Rogue Events 06 through 15 are bunk. Yikes! This is very disappointing and disheartening. Although to be frank, not too surprising as there are some people behind the scenes there who are not team players as much as I would like.


The events are immediately available and have been for some time via the summary document at the bottom of the Rogue Events Page. I’ll be reposting events 06 through 15 over the next few days and weeks as well for completion’s sake.

In addition, throughout the rest of the 2016 calendar year, I’ll be telling you guys about my Thousand Worlds campaign, which is scifi and technically used the Edge of the Empire system, so I suppose it’s appropriate to post here. I know it’s been basically forever since I’ve really used this blog, so I appreciate the patience. I’ve been going through a long phase of wanting to play and write in the medieval fantasy kind of mode, and am now getting back into space and scifi. And as you should know by now, I only write about what I’m passionate about. After I’ve exhausted The Thousand Worlds, though, this blog may very well go back to being dormant. Who knows? We’ll see where my muse takes me.

New material for 2016!

Hello friends,

I wanted to send a quick word that some of my labors are indeed bearing fruit. Please check out the preview for a new project I’ve been hammering away at – Crush the Rebellion. Yes I know I know, I use that title so often on this blog! But this time, it’s different. This version of Crush the Rebellion is a face-paced game designed to encapsulate an entire Edge of the Empire style campaign of Imperial treachery and oppression in a single night. It uses the Powered by the Apocalypse mechanics (2d6+mod) and, if I must say, is really well designed and a ton of fun to play.

CtR will be available in full at the end of January, but for now go check out the two previews I set up in my new blog home, DDE Adventures.

DDE Adventures

Hello friends,
I return to Triumph & Despair with tidings. Long have I wandered the realms of tabletop gaming, searching for a muse, seeking that which to inspire my works. I have settled in for a new venture called DDE Adventures. There I will be teaming up with some brilliant minds to create and publish the kind of tense, imaginative, challenging roleplaying game adventures that I enjoy.
DDE Adventures has just come out with their first offering, my own creation for the fantasy RPG Torchbearer, called The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga. You can get it here. If you’ve ever read anything here on Triumph & Despair and thought to yourself, “man, this is so great! I wish I could buy this Ross fellow a beer!”, then download Lost Crown and throw me a few bucks.
For you hardcore Star Wars fans, this is still a site to keep an eye on, as we have already started on putting together a wild concept game based on the Edge of the Empire mechanics (Kill Hitler), a hard scifi adventure inspired by the movie ‘Sunshine‘ (Icarus), and a strictly Star Wars adventure coming down the pike in the next few months (as yet untitled).

If you like my work here and want to see more, keep up with my latest endeavors at

Group Dynamics at the Gaming Table


“I just figured STORM troopers must deal with a lot of rain.”

Here’s a special guest post by Matthew Surber, inspired by a weekend-long gaming and BS session my friends and I had not too long ago.

Bruce Tuckman (Wikipedia has a great article on him) introduced a basic concept of group formation in 1965. In it, he labels four main stages – Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. We’re going to look at the first of these fours stages and how Galaxy Masters and players can preempt problems, keep their groups moving forward, and avoid some of the basic pitfalls of group dynamics.

Continue reading

Final EotE Tips

Here’s a list of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve been dispensing on social media platforms for the past two weeks, in no particular order. This is the last of my helpful tips & tricks, at least for the foreseeable future. I hope you’ve all found them entertaining and/or useful! I’ve you’ve got any questions about more specific topis or areas of interest, please let me know in the Comments below.

  • Hit your players with multiple threats at once. Make them worry about dangers coming from all angles.
  • If the Empire is involved; how does this all fit into The Emperor’s elaborate secret plans? If it doesn’t, stretch your imagination.
  • Have a crazy contingency plan for every major enemy that will protect them in some way. Clones, escape pod, hostage, secretly a Jedi.
  • A good alternative to combat, especially in space, is a Chase Scene. Who’s running? What for? Why is it dangerous to follow?
  • Bait the players into taking more Obligation. Offer them an easy way out of a bad situation or a quick increase in power/wealth.
  • Have a list of twists to introduce for when each character triggers their Obligation. Derail your dumb story to spotlight a player.
  • Figure out what real-life subjects your players think are cool or unsettling. Spice up your adventures with those.
  • Instead of the usual back-and-forth of Destiny Points, try this: all PCs roll 3 Force Dice and gain Destiny for Light Side. GM can never use Destiny.
  • TRIUMPH: reveal a secret, gain a clue to a puzzle, add an opportunity for profit, reveal a welcome truth, an unexpected ally appears
  • DESPAIR: complicate a puzzle, It’s a trap!, add a new enemy, put in a moral twist, reveal an unwelcome truth, something is destroyed

Start of June EotE Tips

Here’s a list of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve been dispensing on social media platforms for the past two weeks, in no particular order:

  • When designing a scene, establish why combat here would be a bad idea. Fights will happen on their own, don’t encourage them.
  • Present outlandish rewards (lightsabers, starships, cybernetics, etc.), at the cost of outlandish danger or penalty.
  • Find ways to emphasize underused skills, such as the Astrogation. Build your challenges around them.
  • Make every adventure ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! … but also kind of unfair.
  • If a rule bit is becoming trite, boring, or grinding the flow of the game; make a single skill check and move on.
  • Every campaign should have a few lightsabers, even “campaigns” that are only a single adventure. It’s not Star Wars without them.
  • Every enemy fears something or someone. What keeps your Nemesis awake at night?
  • It’s a used future. Make things broken, scuffed, old, someone else’s property, or just totally gross.
  • Use strict out-of-game time limits to ratchet up the tension and emphasize quick decisions.
  • Steal your players’ ideas. Let them speculate on clues & grab a hold of the most interesting / controversial theory they come up with.

End of May EotE Tips

Here’s a list of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve been dispensing on social media platforms for the past two weeks, in no particular order:

  • A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and billions upon billions of stars. Don’t retread old ground; explore something new.
  • Never let your player characters get comfortable. Always be on the lookout for new challenges and twists.
  • Don’t get comfortable. Push your limits & step out of your comfort zone. Do the unexpected, even if you’re not good very at it.
  • Think about how Obligation, Motivation, and Duty can be integrated into every adventure.
  • Before the first adventure in a campaign, have a general idea of how the campaign will end. Take control, don’t just wander about.
  • Be careful about getting too nitty gritty with combat. This isn’t a tactical game. Sometimes, a single die roll is fine.
  • Don’t worry about “game balance”. The players will scale their actions and risk they’re willing to take to suit your narrative.
  • Don’t hate the PC’s, but understand that you work for people who do. Give them difficult challenges.
  • If success on a skill check is required to move the story forward, don’t roll dice.
  • If you can’t muster the same passion for gaming anymore, take a break. Sporadic, great sessions are better than constant crap.