Dan Saad

I design fun, exciting, engaging games with themes that linger and resonate long after gameplay is over.

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I am ...

Game Designer


Story Teller


Dungeon Master

I've earned my B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a minor in Game Design, from Carnegie Mellon University.

I am an avid gamer and game master, and a fan of history (especially the history of warfare) and fantasy. I have been drawing for years, primarily pencil sketches of fantasy characters and figures for my games.

You can check out some of my projects and blog excerpts below. My contact info is at the end.

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My Games

A sample of the games and mods I've been working on.

Elincian sample equipment

One Minute to Midnight

An original competitive multiplayer dice-and-card game

Cosmic monstrosities beyond our ken lay siege to this world, and four fanatical servants of these Outer Gods are racing to offer up this realm to their patron first!

Game card

Last Breath

Mortality in the balance, difficult decisions, a chance at redemption ...

Haqir has been cursed. He has 3 months to live.

His fervent wish is see his love one last time before he dies. To do so, he must travel back to his hometown, Elincia City, but he’s not strong enough to brave the dangers along the way.

He decides to hire a party of heroes to bring him back.

Join our heroes on an epic journey of a lifetime.

Battlestar Galactica: The Achilles Campaign

A four-player campaign for the Battlestar Galactica Cortex TTRPG

The Achilles Campaign is a thriller packed full of intrigue, political scheming, rule-breaking, back-stabbing, and intra-party drama - all with the fate of the human race on the line. You will manage a war hero's presidential campaign as his closest friends, allies, and confidants, but be alert - there are always Cylon spies about, and the wrong human at the head of the fleet could doom us all...

Propaganda Posters

My Musings

So You Want to Be a Dungeon Master?

I’m new to tabletop role-playing games or I’ve never been a DM before — how do I start my own campaign and run it well?

So you’ve played in a tabletop campaign before, but never run one yourself. Or you’ve seen an episode of Critical Role or Acquisitions, Inc. and wondered how they do it. Or you’ve heard tales of a game like Dungeons and Dragons and never got the chance to play, but the idea has caught you. You may feel lost about how to get started, but worry not! I am here to help.

Read on Medium

One Story, Told Twice

A follow-up to “So You Want to Be a Dungeon Master?”

And now that we’ve talked about NPCs, it’s time to talk about what all this looks like in real life. Stick with me and I’ll show the kinds of things you can do when your characters feel like people, when your story is heavy and present and real. First I’ll tell you how the story happened at the table. After that, well, I’ll show you what goes on behind the DM screen.

Read on Medium

A Hero Struck With Melancholy

Often, as I near the end of an adventure role-playing game, I postpone the final battle until everything else has been exhausted. If a player is here to play in the world, but the hero is here to save it (ending the experience), how do we resolve the gap as designers? I’ll be using my experiences with The Legend of Zelda here: Specifically Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

Read on Medium

The Map is Not the Territory

Maps as Crutches, Fast Travel, and the Magic of Exploration

In this article, I discuss how we can create a more enjoyable and immersive gaming experience by separating world design from map design.

Read on Medium

An Ethical Trinity of Role-Playing Games

How do the ways in which a game frames moral actions and responds to player choice influence the moral and philosophical underpinnings of the work?

In this article, I will look at three examples that I think represent differing schools of moral philosophy, and I’ll explore some ways in which their mechanics define their respective moral bases.

Read on Medium

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