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Rich Staats' RPG/World Building Articles

The Original Dr. Games Site since 1993

Caveat:Rich is a big supporter of the gaming community and recognizes the value in interacting and meeting face-to-face. Given COVID restrictions, that is not currently possible. Rich will continue to interact via the Web and emails as he is able.

Welcome to my site on world building for fiction and gaming!

Dr. Games Complete GM Seminars

Music News

Rich has spent some of his hobby directed time on music composition and production. Rich and the virtual band, Dr G & the Range Shadows, have put out nine albums now. Seven are commercially available, and one rose to #82 on the all time Amazon Holiday download charts!

Check some of the music out on these links:

  • Staats Sound Cloud Music Site
  • Staats YouTube Channel
  • Sleep His Reward Mellow COVID Inspired Music Album
  • Free at Last Dance/Trance Music Album
  • Holiday Album
  • A Time to Go Classical Music Album

  • Jump right to the world building links


    Bold Beginnings: Example of Created World and Current 4th Ed. D&D Campaign Setting
    - Tons of Resources including maps, music, characters, plot help, etc. for the curious gamer or Gamemaster/DM

    More about Rich Staats

    Main WWW Page

    Other articles of interest

    Fun YouTube Videos by Dr. Games

    Welcome to my page on gaming and world building! Thank you for visiting my site! (Bookmark this page! ctrl-D)
    Have a great day, and thank you again for visiting!




    November 2020

    Campaign News The most recent Table Top campaign set in Zhalindor is A Gathering of Heroes set in Ivy Shade in the Barony of Quivera. Check out the write-ups, maps. etc. Send me your questions and comments. Alas, since COVID struck, we had to put it on-hold. Hopefully it can start up again in 2021.

    Work News Rich was promoted to general officer in 2014 and, since 2016, he has been focusing on Army challenges. Rich is currently the Commanding General for the 75th Innovation Command. There is lots more about this command at US Army Reserve Innovation Command. Rich went over 40 years in the Army this past year, and nothing in this world lasts forever. No one should be terribly surprised or upset when this site announces Rich's well-deserved retirement from the US Army.

    August 2014,

    Campaign News The campaign continues. We wrapped up Bold Beginnings in January 2014 and started Strands of Fate (as a direct continuation including three PCs and immediately after the events of Bold Beginnings in campaign time) immediately afterward. We introduced several new PCs and three have stayed on as regulars.

    Gaming & Role-playing General News I attended GENCON this year and ran five events including the World Building and NPC traditional seminars and a brace of Khymir sessions. All of my events were dedicated to my dearly departed friend, Mark E. Rogers, who passed away this past winter, and he co-wrote the Khymir RPG with me. The Khymir sessions were very well received, and I'm strongly considering revising the RPG rules and working with Mark's widow to publish and distribute Khymir the RPG v2.0. Maybe I could do it as a Kickstarter. If you have thoughts or comments on this, please let me know.

    Website News The site led the way in technology 20+ years ago, but not so much in the past ten. ;-) That said, I am working in my limited free time to get up to speed on HTML 5.0 and PHP and am already experimenting with putting some new, updated pages together. This will not happen immediately, but it is a mid-term goal. Stay tuned. My guess is that any major, visible changes will occur in the mid-winter 2015 time frame.

    Kickstarter Award winning children's author Ann McCallum and illustrator Joan Waites joined forces with me in January 2014 to put together a Kickstarter, the Day of the Mantid. The Kickstarter ran from May through June 2014 and was successfully funded, and I am very proud to say that all of the products promised were delivered on-time and on-budget by August 2014.

    A lot of learning took place, and in particular I learned how to use the amazing array of self-publishing tools for both books and for music. The products from the Kickstarter included: a hard copy book, ebook versions (ebook and Kindle editions), a physical CD, and for sale MP3 tracks. I also helped Ann set-up an automated email list and upgrade her WWW sites.

    Ann was so happy with the Kickstarter results that we will continue to collaborate on an ebook series called Fairy Math (coming in Fall 2014).

    Given the success of the last venture, it seems like doing another Kickstarter is a great idea, and there are several potential products. One would be another book in Ann's book series. Another could be a compilation of gaming background music or even potentially tailored music for a Call of Cthulhu game. Finally, I might do the Khymir RPG v2.0 as a Kickstarter.

    Family News Mission accomplished! All of the children are out of school and on their own and doing very, very well. The years as a single dad with kids at home were certainly the toughest ones to date. My eldest is a medical doctor, and we are expecting her to marry her very, very nice fiancee' sometime in the next year or so. My son has completed his two combat tours with the US Marine Corps and is working on creating a video game business. We all wish him luck in the endeavor! Finally, my youngest daughter finished her culinary degree and is living her dream as a chef in the Virgin Islands.

    Military News The Staats family has been very blessed by living in the USA. The Army has taken us all over the globe, and every trip has made us even more appreciative of the US. In June 2014, the Senate confirmed Colonel Staats to be advanced to the rank of brigadier general. I was both deeply surprised and humbled by the President's nomination and the Senate's confirmation. I pledge to the Nation and to my new soldiers and civilians that I will discharge my duties faithfully and always put your welfare foremost.

    February 2012,

    The campaign continues through the present day. It has been a lot of fun. Much thanks to: Brent, Mark, Joe, Robert, David, Jeanette, and all of the others that participated in Bold Beginnings over the past year!

    May 2011,

    I started a new campaign. Check out its WWW page at Bold Beginnings. It has already gone on for more than six sessions. Bold Beginnings takes place between the campaigns with {Mike and Steve Kunkel and Bill Reid (earlier)} and {Mark Thomas, Kathy, Liz, and Ben Staats, Micah Sisk, and Joe Gaskill (later)}. It is a good feeling to be tossing polyhedrons around again in a fun environment. We are playing on weekday nights. It is interesting. Most of the gamers in the current campaign have spent a considerable amount of time playing MMORPGs, but the tabletop experience brings something that the on-line games do not. Several of the players had never actually done a tabletop game until this campaign. There is hope afterall!

    February 2011,

    the house is all done now. I had planned on pushing to get a gaming group going once the house was done, but there are just way too many time requirements in my civilian and Army professional lives. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will leave my Army command in August 2011. That will be a major state change from the last eight years. I've had three commands since 2003, battalion 2003-2007, DLA-ARE (O-6) 2007-2008, and brigade 2008-2011. Two of those, the battalion and the brigade, I took to Iraq on combat tours. Needless to say, between my day-to-day job as a manager in my civilian job and the responsibilities as a brigade commander, I have not had much free time since 2003. Things will probably be a bit unsettled on the professional front until August 2011 and might be on the personal side until June 2013. However, it is my plan to work on getting a gaming group going in the Fairfax area sometime in the Fall 2011 if not before.

    November 2010,

    my house is 98% done at this point. No rest for the wicked now, but hopefully things will be more in order soon.

    January 2010,

    I am back from Iraq from the second command, combat tour in four years. I have spent seventeen years or partial years overseas during the past thirty years in the Army. Since 2005, I have spent more time in Iraq than in the United States. At this point, I am renovating my house. Once that is done, I will ponder whether forming a new, regular gaming group makes sense. My schedule will not free up appreciably until after summer 2010.

    In July 2005,

    I started a planned, several year hiatus from GMing. It is not burn-out. Life events are such that I need to focus on some other areas. I have been doing a couple of gaming events per year just to keep Zhalindor active. That hiatus will soon be coming to an end. Once I am done remodeling the house, I will definitely look at getting a gaming group together. Probably in fall 2010.

    In addition to talking about it, I actually do gamemaster! Please check out an overview of the TSYF campaign in Zhalindor Link to the Current TSYF Homepage.

    Recent Gaming One-up! One of my favorite one-up systems is Stellar Games' "It Came from the Late, Late Show." We recently did a one-up called the Legend of Sluggotha. Check out the link; it was a lot of fun.

    Finding Gamers On-line: AccessDenied.Net Gamer Database Profile

    "Lord of the Matrix: Seeing Hugo Weaving combine the Agent Smith and King Elron roles:" MP3 files for "Lord of the Matrix (900K)" and "a Hobbits Journey (600K)".

    Movie Reviews: Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers Review! and a Review of The Ring!

    Gaming Seminars: Gaming and Writing Seminars by Rich Staats

    Some real Starwars (tm) philosophy:: Listen to Yoda explain how fear is behind everything to young Skywalker WAV format.

    Game Design: Khymir Mark Rogers, author of Zorachus and The Nightmare of God, and I teamed to write a role-playing game based on his fictional world. The RPG is called KHYMIR: The Role-Playing Game

    Zhalindor: One of our stalwarts, Joe G., typed up the contents of a prop, the Book of Greater Seals, and placed it on the WWW at Joe committed suicide � his WWW presence is gone, but I have a copy of the work here: The Book of Greater Seals.

    Check out TSYF Fall Starter to see more of what the group is currently working on!

    Click here to check out the Zhalindor cross-word. .

    Zhalindor is my fantasy gaming world. If you are interested, feel free to run your own adventures there! I would be glad to help you set-up plot lines, etc. Hundreds of gamers have had the pleasure of playing in Zhalindor over some 25+ years. My site includes a large amount of information on Zhalindor. To get started check on the Kernan links (below on this same page) or Zhalindor page. The world is absolutely huge (about ten times the surface area of Earth)! DISCLAIMER: Zhalindor is a collaborative effort. I did not design the entire world from whole cloth myself. You'll see elements liberally "borrowed" from many sources. Check out my article on World Design to see some of the references.

    A sample of my RPG library with some arbitrary ratings Dr. Games RPG Lib and Ratings

    Author Contact Information

    Check out my background/articles, and drop me a line if you have any questions or comments.


    Sound Prop: The great "Tractuatus Mark-Cosmologicus" was the creation of Mark Brandreth inspired by his two year tour in Zhalindor. This in turn has inspired countless gamers to examine the "great Markovian chain." One of the outcomes is the play, "Waiting for Marko." Please find a recording of the play in .wav format HERE.

    Check out some of the links below!

    Click on the Staats PBeM/Campaign History which includes PBeM, role-playing articles, and other fun stuff!
    Staats' Main Site (includes links to friends' sites, work related, etc.)

    Thoughts on the "Create Magic Item ritual" in 4th Ed. D&D by Rich Staats 2012 (HTML)(2K)
    Dealing with mulitple, plot significant NPCs in the same scene [HTML] (2K)One of the more challenging activities that a Gamemaster or writer potentially faces is having multiple, significant NPCs in the same scene with the PCs.
    I took a stab at some general, practical guidelines at Gamemastering Principles by Rich Staats [HTML] (3K). (These are helpful for both the novice and the experienced gamemaster.)
    Dealing with Evil by Rich Staats [HTML] (3K) New! One of the key points I've made at presentations on GMing is that the GM serves his players best by working inside his own moral comfort zone. The article here deals with what to do when the party heads down the wrong path. Enjoy!

    How to design an FRP World by Rich Staats and expanded on by J.Vesanto (PDF)

    Guide to Creating Memorable Non-player characters! by Rich Staats (27K)
    How to Design an FRP Module by Rich Staats (20K)(TEXT)
    Article on forming a gaming group and designing cool PCs [HTML] (14K)
    Map of the sample Campaign World cartography and illumination by Rich Staats (260K)
    Small Map of the sample Campaign World cartography and illumination by Rich Staats (77K)
    Sample Campaign World as stolen and expanded on by Rich Staats (30K)
    How to Integrate Love in FRPs (or "Love in the Dungeon") by Rich Staats (7K)
    Structure in Gaming and "How to" write a Campaign Introduction plus PBeM Background by Rich Staats (50K)(HTML)
    Plothook (Sample idea for a campaign) by Rich Staats (10K)(TEXT)
    Article on integrating Glorantha into non-Gloranthan campaigns by Rich Staats [HTML] (8K)
    The Defeat of Moloch and Things Left Undone, Sample Campaign History by Rich Staats (44K)(HTML)
    The Line (What happens when you're just a bit too involved with our hobby.) by Rich Staats (40K)(HTML)
    Rise of the Lich Lord, Campaign History by Rich Staats (33K)(HTML)
    GM Horror Stories (Humor) by Rich Staats, aided by Phillip Hume (33K)(TEXT)
    It Came from the Late, Late Show by Rich Staats (14K) (HTML)
    by Rich Staats [HTML] (1K)
    FRP Web-stuff On-Line Guide to PBeM & WWW Gaming Tools by Irony Games (HTML) (outside link)
    Quick and Dirty Guide to Running a Panel at a Convention by Rich Staats (3K)
    Here is a quick comparison of two computer games I've recently played -- just my thoughts: Comparison of Diablo-2 (tm) and Neverwinter Nights (tm) by Rich Staats (2K) (HTML)
    See some pages that are linked to this site! Story behind my site being down for several months, The terrifying reality of what the Internet CAN BE!
    I do have some advice on love and marriage as a bonus for visiting, Love and Marriage Advice (tales from the Eastern Front).

    Staats' Main Site

    I do seminars and conventions if invited. Give me some feedback! Mail Rich.

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