Back in 2006, James D’Amato and Kat Murphy were mild mannered college freshmen soon to become best bros for life. They both enjoyed reading books and comics, watching cartoons, and spinning yarns both on and off the stage. Pretty early into the school year, Kat’s curiosity took hold, and she dragged James down into the dark, magical realm of Dungeons and Dragons.
For storytelling nerds, D&D is kind of a big deal. It’s a game that allows you to live in stories. It’s also not the only analogue role-playing game in the world. James and Kat spent their time in college on a magical odyssey, discovering new ways to play pretend and sharing them with other adventurers.
At one point, Kat presided over a 60-member-strong club of dungeon delvers, and James either GMed or played in something like 7 concurrent campaigns.
Post academia, our heroes looked to share their love for gaming with the world. However, analogue role-playing is actually really hard to export.
You can’t really show someone what RPGs are like unless you play with them. Most folks don’t want to play until they really understand how the game works. You flounder to explain, they baulk at the time commitment, and you never end up playing. For a while, it looked like James and Kat would whittle away their adult lives playing a single weekly game with the same small group of friends.
Thankfully, in 2013, Patrick O’Rourke, benevolent creator of Peaches and Hot Sauce, asked James to develop a show about role-playing games for the network.
Being a performer and egoist, James decided to make a podcast that showcased a style of play he had grown used to at school, and secretly thought himself pretty good at. Less selfishly, he thought it might be neat to feature talented role-players and an ever widening spectrum of game systems. With Kat’s help ONE SHOT was born. A year later, they launched CAMPAIGN.