Dungeon Party

When longstanding personality conflicts erupt, Randall Keller secedes from Alan Crandall’s gaming group. Alan welcomes two female recruits to reinvigorate his campaign in pursuit of a coveted prize at an upcoming convention. Randall chooses a darker path by spreading infectious cynicism throughout the gaming community while plotting revenge. When these quests converge at the Middle Mirth convention, Alan’s group must stop Randall and his avatar before they devastate worlds both fictional and real.

Dungeon Party is available for pre-order in print, e-book, and audiobook . Order it now via Audible, Amazon, IndieBound, your local bookstore, or most anywhere that sells books.
Author interviews include a Geek Speak Show episode where the host pitches a screenplay adaptation of the novel, an appearance on Paranormal Experienced that focuses on the healing and educational potency of gaming, a talk with a Schlow librarian who sees role-playing games as a form of fiction, and a freaky interview on The Paradigm Matrix.

Early Praise for Dungeon Party

“Great stories are the adventures of people we care about. This book gives us time with colorful, compelling people—gamers—and their adventures, both in the real world and, through their characters, in the games they play. And this is a GREAT story. Gamers will love this tale, and if you want to really feel what gaming is about, not to mention what life is about, you should devour it. I did, and I want a sequel. In the meantime, I’ll read it again.”

ED GREENWOOD, creator of The Forgotten Realms

“Gastil has woven a delightful, decadent, and often dark tale of loyalty, bravery, and friendship among some of society’s most socially dispossessed—fantasy role-playing gamers. With subtle nods to Tolkein, McCarthy, and Le Guin, Dungeon Party moves us to consider what might happen when we stay in a game long enough with others. I recommend it to role-playing enthusiasts, pop culture fanatics, game scholars, or anyone who believes in the transformative power of play.”

KAREN SALEN, co-author of Rules of Play

“Every aficionado of D&D or other fantasy RPGs will enjoy Gastil’s inspired take on the genre. This big-hearted, imaginative satire brings all the thrills, chills, and feels of the best campaign you have ever neglected the obligations of life and work to play.”

PAUL WITCOVER, author of The Watchman of Eternity

The web artist known as "Gelatinn" made this sketch of the principal characters in Dungeon Party and their in-game avatars.

Why the author wrote this story

“Dungeon Party links a fantasy world with the real lives of gamers playing in it. I wrote it because I wanted to tell a story about how immersion in fantasy shapes people’s real lives. There’s real power in games, whether therapeutic or destructive. I’ve seen that in my friends’ lives and in my own. I hope this novel inspires people to tell their own stories of personal transformation through gaming.”

John Gastil

Trivia and Tie-Ins

If you loved the novel or just enjoy clicking on things, please do the “like” thing at Dungeon Party’s Facebook page.

One reader saw creepy parallels between a famous Chick publication on D&D and characters in the novel. Any influence “Dark Dungeons” had on the novel was unconscious, a sure sign of the occult’s grip on the author.

Dungeon Party riffs on a Tolkein-esque world called the Mythos, but non-European RPGs are having a cultural moment and are worth checking out.

Fantasy RPGs are cooler than ever. Dungeon Party straddles the line between today and a yesterday when they were still a “mark of the dork.”

Dungeon Party explores trauma and the healing power of games. It’s a relief to see so many celebrities, such as Wil Wheaton, talk openly about depression and anxiety, sometimes seeing games as a relief to such pain.

The voice of Dungeon Party’s audiobook at Audible.com is Victor Bevine, known to many as the voice of stacks and stacks of R. A. Salvatore novels set in the D&D world. Less well known is Victor’s own novel and his voicing of the Mueller Report for Audible.

Email the Author

Do you have a story you’d like to share about how role-playing games shaped your life? If so, email me! I’d love to hear it.