It’s a Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft extravaganza this week! Your hosts Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble talk all about the Ravenloft news leading up to the May 18th release. Later, we are joined by the founder of Rolling Rogues, Matthew Ford for another edition of How To DM. This week we focus on teaching first time D&D players and running their first experiences. Our interview guests this week are two of the people behind our newest release, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, D&D game designers Wes Schneider and Amanda Hamon

Dragon Talk is executively produced by Greg Tito, Shelly Mazzanoble & Wizards of The Coast. Show production by Lisa Carr & Ryan Marth of Siren Sound. Podcast recording, editing, mixing and mastering by Ryan Marth & Siren Sound.


Here’s a guide to when each segment on the podcast begins:

00:00: D&D news with Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble

08:37: How To DM

57:18: Interview

2:08:04: Outro

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Podcast Guests


Amanda Hamon is a Senior Designer working on Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast. An award-winning tabletop game designer, developer, writer, and editor, her work has appeared in dozens of releases from numerous publishers, including Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and Kobold Press. She is the former Editorial Director for Kobold Press as well as the former managing developer and a co-creator of the Starfinder RPG by Paizo.


Matthew Ford started off with D&D just like the kids in Stranger Things-- in 1978, playing the version 1 "blue box" set, and drinking Orange Crush soda. He has played and DMed every version since then and loved them all. Matt got especially passionate about teaching D&D to absolute beginners. Starting with the Beta Test version of the current version 5 of D&D, Matt invited strangers with no RPG experience to meet each other around the table. He has sparked the love of D&D in hundreds of people who became devoted players and DMs. Along the way Matt also made a bunch of video games for Atari and Microsoft, then started up a major computer security company. Matt just retired from that job to focus full-time on Rolling Rogues, a non-profit organisation devoted to connecting people through tabletop gaming.

Your Podcast Hosts

Greg Tito

Greg Tito has had weird and long career as an Off Broadway stage manager, a playwright, a theater carpenter, a secretary, an RPG designer, a games journalist, and now a PR/Marketing person. He has loved Dungeons & Dragons ever since 1985 when he found an old copy of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide on his brother’s bookshelf and he honed that love of fantasy storytelling in the dark streets of Sasserine by way of the Upper West Side gaming group he joined in 2004. He moved his family (wife + two young kids) to Seattle in 2015 to work on D&D and he’s never looked back.

Shelly Mazzanoble

Shelly Mazzanoble will always play a magic-user. There. She said it. Enough pretending to want to break out of her comfort zone. She’s a magic-user. She’s also the brand lead for Avalon Hill and loves talking about that one time she played Diplomacy and SOMEONE (okay, it was Ben Petrisor) stabbed her in the back and took over her beloved Russia. If you enjoy tales of sorcery, board game upheavals, and reasons her 3 year-old is crying (HINT: She tried to make him eat a Nutella crepe), find Shelly on Twitter and Facebook.