Sarah (aka scorcha) the Purveyor of Design Awesomeness and Psychopomp of Social Media Doom

Sarah Richardson is a freelance graphic artist who lives in Chicago, IL. She provides tasty, yet insidious, design and illustration. One of her current projects is being the Design Editor for Randomocity, a quarterly zine full of stuff to spice up your games. She rambles about art, gaming, and occasionally goats on her blog at, and keeps an album of densely illustrated gaming notes on her G+ profile.

1. Who are you and what do you do for ConTessa?

Sarah Richardson (or scorcha is fine, too). I am the Purveyor of Design Awesomeness and Psychopomp of Social Media Doom. So while I didn't draw our awesome characters, I get to use them in all of our promotional materials, as well as keep our Facebook, Google+, and Twitter accounts updated.

2. Fill in the blank: Gamer by night, _______________ by day.

Drawer of Things and Wrangler of Words.

3. What sorts of games do you play?



Currently I'm in a Changeling game and an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea game, plus I'm running a Monster of the Week campaign. I also play various editions of D&D, Fiasco, Apocalypse World, Dungeon Crawl Classics, A Quiet Year, and chicken with my liver. I tried Pathfinder once. I'm currently involved in some playtesting, so a few things that aren't out yet. In the past I've also played Earthdawn and Shadowrun. I enjoy board games like Lords of Waterdeep, Kingdom Builder, Settlers of Catan, etc. I play the occasional video game and sometimes give myself the creeps with my mad sniper skillz*.

*Said sniperness may not actually be mad nor 'skillz'.


4. What is the appeal of gaming for you?

Rooting around in the darkest corners of my skull and exposing some of the junk to the light. Bonus if I get to use my hoard of fairy tale/folklore trivia!

Also reveling in the amazing imaginations other people have is pretty great. Indulging in the urge to split open a goblin's head, or pretending to be one of those goblins and getting up in their goblin-y brains to play around. Seeing how brave I can be at the table. Surprising myself with the stuff that comes out of my mouth sometimes. Making stories with other people.

5. Explain ConTessa from your viewpoint.

We may not share the same political/social/religious beliefs, cultural viewpoints, or have the same equipment between our legs, but we can set that aside and pretend to be elves together. Pretty great, right?

It's not easy to be the only woman at the table sometimes. ConTessa reserves some seats at that table and gives us some space where we can talk and game with everyone. Those extra seats just help remind us that there are other women who have this hobby too, and allows us to connect. It's also great for anyone who hasn't had an opportunity to play a game run by a woman, because there are some amazing GMs here.

6. What is it about ConTessa that made you want to get involved?

The part that grabbed me was this whole woman-gaming-online-con thing. I've had too few chances to play with other women, and I'd recently started gaming online, so I thought I'd give it a try. Once I signed up, I saw Stacy asking for people to help giving out prizes. I honestly didn't realize it was a one-woman show until then. By that point I had seen how unique ConTessa was, and tried to do what I could to help. I didn't want to see it fail, and hoped everyone else was having as much fun as I was.

I go to IRL cons too, but ConTessa just felt more accessible. I'd never considered running a game at those cons, but now I've run at a couple of other online venues, and am thinking of signing up for my very first IRL GM badge.


7. How did gaming change your world?   

Allowing me to spew forth the weird contents of my head and being met with encouragement is dangerous and addictive. Now I can't stop.