This jam is now over. It ran from 2019-11-07 19:18:46 to 2020-06-06 03:59:59. View 2 entries


due to a number of reasons, the most obvious being the fact that a worldwide crisis is taking everyone's energy, i have not been able to devote any focused effort toward running this jam. i am closing it early. of course, this page and its content will remain accessible to those who need it, but it will no longer be taking submissions as of midnight CST tonight (6/5). this sudden call was not made to leave anyone out, but rather to remove the burden it places on my own energy and that of any other people thinking of participating.

if anyone has their own ideas of how to carry out what i attempted to do here, i encourage it, and i will back your play as much as i can.

thank you, and stay safe.


i am running this jam because there is a gap that needs filling.

a knowledge gap. a mentorship gap. and it crowds out many people who would otherwise have something to contribute but are too overwhelmed or intimidated to try.

we need a concentrated compilation of resources, presented accessibly and for free, which can be easily made available to each new arrival on the scene in order to bring them up to speed. no one should have to be left behind when others learn, but often teaching others is much more work than teaching oneself. typically, the first to volunteer their energy end up exhausting themselves in the absence of help. typically, these are marginalized people who are already exhausted. it isn't sustainable. it leads to burnout on the part of more experienced designers, and a feeling of isolation in new designers who can't find anyone offering to show them the ropes.

work like this is too big and too important to leave to one person, or even one group of people. it needs to involve everyone, in order to lighten the load and provide diverse perspective. many hands make light work, they say.


  • think of something you struggled to figure out at first, or something you see others struggle with, which you feel you are competent enough to explain to another person, from the ground up. these can be any topics that relate to tabletop game design or to the social culture surrounding it, which a newcomer to the scene might have to contend with.
    see the responses to this thread for some starting examples, and please check the community tab of this jam before deciding.

    this includes things like twitter threads, blog posts, public gdocs, etc. i would like to have all extant resources compiled, or at least linked, in one place.

  • post in the TOPICS thread on the community page for this jam which topic you will be covering, so that there is little to no overlap of topics. if you see someone claiming a topic you want to write about, you may offer to work together with them.

  • post in the EXISTING RESOURCES thread on the community page for this jam with any resource already written by another person which you think is important to include.

  • write an article, essay or tutorial about your topic, addressing an audience that is assumed to have no knowledge of this scene or of tabletop games in general, but an interest in becoming a part of it. nothing is too basic. create expository text, not games, please.

  • use plain formatting, wide spacing and frequent paragraph breaks, large legible text with few images, printer-friendly and colorblind-friendly monochrome, clear organization, and simple language. if possible, submit your contribution in multiple formats (plain text, pdf, epub, html, gdoc link, audio recording, etc) for maximum accessibility to the most people.
    (the requirements of accessibility are, themselves, something to write about!)

  • submit as many items as you like. you may cover multiple topics in one item. you may submit your items to with the subject line "Guides Jam" if you prefer for whatever reason not to add them to your itch page (or don't want to establish one).

  • when you submit, indicate whether or not you consent to having your work reformatted and aggregated into a new document which will be republished for free and widely promoted. if you do not, the final document will only link to the work you have referenced.

  • create content that is free of bigotry or mean spirit, and full of compassion. assume good faith and no knowledge on the part of the reader. try to include perspectives that are not your own, but do not speak for experiences or identities you do not share. allow everyone their own voices. link existing useful content instead of rewriting it. include content warnings for tough topics.

  • all submissions should be FREE. please use the No Payments option. please do not add suggested prices or donation options to these items, as this discourages some people (especially those who deal with trauma and mental illness compounded by poverty) from downloading them when they can't afford to pay. the final document will also be free. if you are not okay with this, please link your work in the EXISTING RESOURCES thread so that it can be referenced in the final document but not included.

  • if you have gaps in your own knowledge you would like to fill, post those in the TOPICS tab as suggestions for others.
    if you have questions about the jam, or skillsets relevant to this jam, post in QUESTIONS for someone to help you.

  • if you are an experienced designer to whom teaching comes easily, i suggest subscribing to the QUESTIONS thread in the community tab and answering what you can. you are needed.

  • the final document will be built as the jam goes on, over the rest of 2019 and into the summer of 2020. this will provide everyone with ample time to reflect on and make edits to material they already submitted. if you would like to be involved in the document's finalization, please stay tuned for announcements seeking help.


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