basementsoftware.com | Sean Molley's Home Page

Greetings! My name is Sean Molley and I am a nerd. Here are a few random things about me.

I'm happily married and our household is currently at its statutory maximum of two cats. We only have one dog, so I suppose there is still room for growth in that department. We name our pets using Shakespearean references; the cats are Desdemona and Hawthorn, while the dog is Oberon. The cats find it very amusing that we named the dog after a king. Speaking of Shakespeare, if you live in or ever visit my home town of Atlanta, you should go to The Shakespeare Tavern. I have also played just about every "room escape" game in Atlanta. There are quite a few good ones, but in my opinion the best is Urban Escape Games in Alpharetta.

You are most likely here because you played one of my Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I'm pleased to announce that my first 5th Edition D&D adventures are starting to see the light of day on the Dungeon Masters Guild.

Both of these adventures are playable as part of the D&D Adventurers League but I like to think that they would be just as useful in a home game. Please check them out, and don't hesitate to leave a review or email me directly if you have questions or comments!

In addition to my newest work, over the years I've written and co-written a ton of adventures and interactives for the RPGA (Living Arcanis, Living Greyhawk, Living Forgotten Realms, and the D&D Adventurers League). I am probably best known for my Battle Interactive events. I am deeply indebted to Derrel Weaver for teaching me what a BI was and how to write one, starting with the Battle of Orlane in Gran March. We didn't invent the BI but I like to think that we did a lot to help popularize the form. If you've ever seen a guy standing on a chair shouting boxed text to a room of several hundred gamers, there's a reasonably good chance that was me.

I generally end up as the Dungeon Master / game master / storyteller / keeper / whatever you want to call the evil guy who sits behind the screen. Over the years I've won various "Top Judge" awards, which is always an honor (since they're usually decided by the players). In addition to running games, I've given a number of RPG-related talks at DragonCon (and other conventions), the most fun of which has been sitting on panels about the art of game mastering alongside the amazing Rucht Lilavivat, one of the best GMs I have ever had the privilege to game with. Still, if I could only offer one piece of advice to any GM, it would be to read Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering by the incomparable Robin D. Laws.

I have been involved with a fair number of print RPG products (mostly during the d20 System heyday). One of these days I'll compile a list of all my credits, although they're probably all out of print by now. My 4th Edition D&D adventure Menace of the Icy Spire, which first appeared in Dungeon 159, was subsequently reprinted in the 2010 hardback Dungeon Magazine Annual by Wizards of the Coast. I wrote the 2013 D&D Open tournament, which was an homage to the classic 1982 adventure B4 The Lost City by Tom Moldvay. This turned out to be the last Open played under the 4th Edition rules. In 2016 I co-wrote the inaugural 5th Edition Open alongside my friends Teos Abadia and Shawn Merwin. I first played in the Open at Gen Con 1991 and it is a tremendous honor to have been able to contribute back as an author.

From 2008 through the campaign's retirement in 2014, I served as a Global Administrator of the Living Forgotten Realms organized-play campaign, which used the 4th Edition D&D rules. At its height, LFR was enjoyed by tens of thousands of players around the world. We produced literally hundreds of adventures, most of which are available for download from the LFR campaign website (which I continue to maintain, purely as a volunteer). After 5th Edition D&D was announced, LFR had a grand finale at Winter Fantasy 2014 and was replaced by the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League. 5E is a very good game and the folks in charge of DDAL are doing a great job; you should see if your friendly local game store is running the campaign.

Prior to LFR, I was heavily involved in the development and administration of the Living Arcanis campaign, a product of Paradigm Concepts. I contributed as an author, developer, and/or editor on most of Paradigm's d20 sourcebooks. Paradigm won a Gold ENnie award as Fans' Choice for Best Publisher in 2005, and our reprint of the Codex Arcanis setting sourcebook won an Origins Award in 2008. I was also fortunate enough to serve as a co-author of Witch Hunter, a thrilling RPG of swashbuckling colonial horror set in the 17th century. The Revelations website offers a number of free adventures to support Witch Hunter. Living Arcanis was a 3rd Edition D&D campaign, but its new incarnation is called Legends of Arcanis and uses the 2011 Origins Award-winning Shattered Empires RPG. (I don't work on the new campaign or the new RPG, but I like them both!)

Along with myriad local RPGA game days and conventions, I was a co-founder of The Gathering, an annual feature of the Origins Game Fair. The single convention that I've attended the most often over the years is probably Winter Fantasy, which is ably managed by the good folks over at Baldman Games. In particular, you should check out their new Herald's Guild of DMs which has many great articles and other resources.

Although D&D is my favorite high fantasy RPG, I'm also a fan (and Charter Superscriber) of Pathfinder from Paizo Publishing. I am a supporter of Pelgrane Press, makers of Trail of Cthulhu and 13th Age; Monte Cook Games, makers of Numenera and The Strange; Wolfgang Baur and his small but fierce tribe over at Kobold Press; Robert J. Schwalb, a brilliant designer and surely the hardest-working man in the entire RPG industry; and Lone Shark Games, designers of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and publishers of the incredible puzzlehunt-in-book-form The Maze of Games by Mike Selinker.

If you'd like to get lost in a good book, I highly recommend the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. If you'd like to get lost in a good computer game, check out The Fool and His Money, the incredibly long-awaited sequel to my all-time favorite game The Fool's Errand, both by Cliff Johnson. (I am listed in the Compendium of True Believers.)

I enjoy solving puzzles. (That might be a slight understatement.) I am a member of the National Puzzlers' League. I solve an awful lot of cryptic crosswords and crossword puzzles and variety word puzzles and meta-crosswords. I play in puzzle hunts like the MIT Mystery Hunt. (My team, Setec Astronomy, is writing the 2017 Mystery Hunt.) If you like solving puzzles, you should see whether Puzzled Pint or DASH is already running in your city -- and if it isn't, why not volunteer? I helped organize DASH 8 in Atlanta and am planning to do the same for DASH 9 in 2017.

I have been programming computers for a long time, much of it building software for the healthcare industry. More recently I have been working on a startup. If we have worked together in the past, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. (If I don't know you, then I apologize in advance for declining your request to connect, but I only accept connections from people I know.)


Last updated on 27 September 2016 by M. Sean Molley (sean@basementsoftware.com). Props to Bootstrap and Google Fonts (specifically Lato).