Interview with Ross McConnell
2-Minute Tabletop Founder, Map, and Asset Illustrator
At GeekPost, we like to get to know people and businesses that engage with the geek community or contribute to the community in numerous ways. It is no secret that some here at GeekPost have a special place in our hearts for tabletop gaming, in person or virtually. What we like to find and relate to our readers is companies that create accessories and add-ons for tabletop gaming. Enjoy getting to know more about 2-Minute Tabletop from founder Ross McConnell!
Sometimes our passions in life can become a career, as is the case with 2-Minute Tabletop. Being able to provide resources for people that enjoy playing games of the tabletop variety, is useful, helpful, and impressive. With over 200 (free) maps that can be used for both Dungeons & Dragons, as well as Pathfinder and other TTRPGs, 2-Minute Tabletop has gone out of its way to give dungeon masters and game runners more ways to liven up game sessions both online and in person.
GeekPost: What inspired you to start 2-Minute Tabletop?
Ross: 2-Minute Tabletop sprung out of a handful of my passions colliding. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and tinkering with fun web projects since high school. When I discovered D&D at the age of 19 I immediately employed my drawing interest to make a bunch of maps for our fledgling campaign, and then I combined that with my interest in web design to create 2-Minute Tabletop! I reckon that if you’re making something you love personally, you’re bound to find a bunch of people on the internet who will also enjoy it, and I made my website as a way to reach out to them.
GeekPost: What did the early days of your company look like?
Ross: For the longest time, my website was just a personal blog with a map gallery tacked on for easy browsing. And that’s honestly still what’s at the core, we just have more people involved now! Even earlier than that I was hosting my art on Gumroad and Reddit, but as soon as I started getting enthusiastic feedback I knew I had to carve out my own corner of the internet. For the first three-or-so years I worked a part-time job to pay my bills and worked on 2-Minute Tabletop in my off hours, and then things really solidified when my patrons supported me enough to give up that job!
GeekPost: Do you have a favorite tabletop rpg that you get to indulge in?
Ross: My group and I started out in Pathfinder and then made the jump to D&D 5e when it came out, and that’s all that we play now. I’m eager to see what else is out there to be honest, but for now 5e is our warm, comfortable home!
GeekPost: What are some challenges that you have had to face?
Ross: Precious few dramatic, exciting challenges, I’m glad to say! No, I think the greatest challenge for me is the same as anyone trying to do anything: just sticking with it for years and years. I just try and follow my interests and utilize inspiration whenever it comes, and rather than look to far-off goals I try and focus on what I can do today.
GeekPost: What part does inclusivity play in your company?
Ross: We may just be a small team of artists and writers, but we live all over the globe and lead all sorts of lives. We encourage feedback and welcome constructive criticism and have used it to shape how and what we create. When writing on sensitive topics we reach out to sensitivity readers, and we moderate our community to be inclusive and creativity-focused – there are better places on the internet to discuss divisive topics.
GeekPost: What is your favorite gaming accessory that you provide?
Ross: I’m super proud of the 2-Minute Token Editor and our collection of tokens there. Reuben is our developer and David and ‘hammertheshark’ are our artists, and over the last year-and-a-bit we’ve created a huge library of creatures and characters that you can customize and download to use as tokens. Sometimes I catch myself just scrolling through them, enchanted by their charm! → https://tools.2minutetabletop.com/token-editor/
GeekPost: Prefer gaming in person or virtually?
Ross: I much prefer in-person games whenever we can manage it, as I thrive on body language and depend on it a lot as a DM. I find it easier to hold peoples’ attention when I can face them, point and whatnot, and find so much of the charm of the hobby to live inside the dice, snacks, and atmosphere. Alas, I just moved far away from my gaming group. We are now leaning into the unique charms of VTTs!
GeekPost: If you could tell every person who encounters your business one thing, what would it be?
Ross: Thank you, I think! So many people who use our stuff leave a generous tip or pledge, and that’s what keeps us going in a very literal sense. Whenever I thank our community as a whole I feel as though my words are dispersed into a large crowd, so it would be a privilege to thank everyone individually and meaningfully.
A big thank you to 2-Minute Tabletop for indulging us with this interview. Make sure to visit 2-Minute Tabletop’s website to explore their world-building resources.