Coming to Big Bad Con: Tracy Barnett

The Kickstarter funding campaign is in full swing for Big Bad Con, the sweetest tabletop gaming convention on the West Coast. We quickly funded our basic goals on Day 1, and have been blowing past many stretch goals since. Several of these stretch goals allow us to bring great guests to the convention, to host games, speak on panels, etc. Today’s guest interview is with Tracy Barnett of Exploding Rogue Studios.

Could you introduce yourself? What would you like the Big Bad Con attendees to know about you?

Hey, I’m Tracy Barnett. I’ve been writing and designing RPGs for the last five years or so. I’ve done most of my work via Kickstarter and have published three of my own games (School Daze, One Shot, and Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone), as well as a novel (Sveidsdottir), someone else’s game (Dead Scare, by Elsa S. Henry), and a setting book with my creative partner, Brian Patterson (Karthun: Lands of Conflict), which is published by Evil Hat Productions. I thought I was going to be a publisher for a long time, but I feel much better with the idea of moving to writing things for other people to publish. Publishing hard and my hat’s off to anyone who does it successfully. 

I’ve also started a podcast series of RPG actual play called TheOtherCast. The first show is a Star Wars Edge of the Empire game called “Rogue Trader,” and we’re soon going to add a Planescape game, run with Fate, and a D&D 5e game. It’s been super-rewarding so far and I can’t wait to see where things go.

What are you favourite kinds of games? Why?

My favorite kinds of games are games where the players are given room to add details and advance the plot on their own terms. As a GM, I love asking the players questions and building off the answers they give me. I do have to make sure I don’t lean too heavily on that, but when it works, it makes for my favorite game sessions.

What do you see as trends in the tabletop gaming community? Where do you see it going over the next few years? (You pick the scale and the definition of gaming community!)

I see a trend toward inclusion, diversity, and in games representing more people than the traditional white, male, straight, cis people they’ve traditionally considered to be the core audience. I see backlash against that trend, but I feel (and hope) that those backlashes are the last gasps of people who just simply refuse to change. I think the Guest of Honor list for this convention shows those changes. I’m one of the few white guys on the list and I’m honored to be included among so many awesome people who don’t look like me.

If you have been to Big Bad Con before, how would you describe it? If you have never attended it before, what have you heard about the event?

I’ve never had the chance to come to Big Bad Con, but I’ve heard it described as a great place for indie RPGs and a great place to meet awesome people in the games industry. Those are the two major things that I go to a convention to get, so I’m really excited to check it out.

How do you plan to occupy your time at Big Bad Con this year?

If I could spend my time talking to people, running games, and playing games. I’m always up for a good conversation whether there’s the framework of a game wrapped around it or it’s just people hanging out.

Any parting words for our readers?

If I get to attend this convention, it’s because people are supporting the show via the Kickstarter. Thank you for that, and I’ll see you at the show!

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