In a cozy game shop just north of Cincinnati, a group of adventurers meet monthly to hone their GMing skills. This peer support circle for women and non-gender conforming folks provides a supportive environment for each person in the group will take a turn at being the game master for the other players. After a brief workshop on starting out as a Game Master (GM), the group has regularly met to play the Lost Mine of Phandelver – the Dungeons & Dragons starter module. 

The world of tabletop role playing games has always included women, but in the past few years women have become a larger part of the market share. Within the past few years women have become 40% of the Dungeons & Dragons community. Many other gaming systems, especially indie games, have a large base of women players. Just a few examples are Good Society, a Jane Austen-inspired game and Night Witches, a game highlighting women who served as pilots for Russia during WWII. However, not as many women are running games as GMs.

In an effort to grow the number of women running games, the Cincinnati Chapter of SHE started this group in partnership with Cincinnati Adventurer’s Guild (CAG), a local Meetup focused on building a community of gamers. CAG recruits experienced GMs to run games for anyone interested in playing. CAG has noticed a trend that most of their new recruits to GM are men and that many women are interested in running games, but not volunteering. SHE has also  noticed that at many local conventions hardly any women ran public games, despite about half of attendees being women. 

The Adventure Goddesses program relies on experienced GMs who serve as mentors. Each of these mentors is extremely passionate and dedicated to the success of the participants. Our participants have said: “I think the support all of you have provided has been amazing. It was clear from the first meeting how passionate and experienced and dedicated the mentors are, and that’s really energizing and inspiring.” 

As the program progressed, the women participating have gained confidence and important GMing skills. Next steps for the program include launching another group to participate and creating providing additional workshops to our current and future participants. As participate Lindsey Faber said of the program: “ I feel like now that we’ve all at least run a session, we might be getting a better sense of what we need, especially as we contemplate running a game for an event or anything outside our close-knit group.” We’re excited to launch our next session on January 25 at Woodburn Games.

Interested in participating? Email Carolyn Noe at carolyn@superheroinesetc.org.

 

Want to Support the Program?

The goal is to create more opportunities for women and non-binary folks to be creative in the world of RPGs and encourage more women and non-binary folks to become game masters and host community games. A secondary goal is that by having more women and non-binary folks as GMs, more women and non-binary folks will be encouraged to participate as players.

Author: Carolyn Noe

Carolyn is the Founder & Executive Director of Super Heroines, Etc. She is a recent transplant to Cincinnati and lives with her husband and her dog. She regularly nerds out about Parks & Rec, Firefly, and Pride & Prejudice.