Monday, 31 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Big Set Piece Finale With Lots of Explosions and Special Effects

29. Favourite RPG website / blog?

Once upon a time, I was a big reader of forums like, but over time there's been less and less there for me. I still drop by once in a while to dip my toes in the pool, but it's been a while since I've actively participated. To be honest, although I often enjoyed the discussions there, despite the occasional tendency toward absurd flamewars (now I have Twitter for that!), I often found that it was hard to actually participate in any discussions. The real chatter was among the guys who seemed to be there 24/7, and if you only dropped by once a day, you weren't worth their attention. No one would engage. Insider baseball.

Friday, 28 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: The Chocolate and Peanut Butter Files?

27. Favourite idea for merging two games into one?

I'm actually going to talk about this at greater length next week, but I'll give you the thumbnail here. I recently grabbed a copy of Ed Greenwood's new book, The Iron Assassin, from my local library. It's a steampunk kind of thing in an alternate England with scheming nobles and Holmes-ian heroes doing their best to save King and Country, with airships and wind-up zombie killers. I'm not loving it so much, but it's got enough of what I like in Victoriana and steampunk to get my brain cells working. What it really made me want was to take the things I liked in it and plug them into a game that told a better story. And the thing that immediately leapt to mind was taking EBERRON, that old D&D setting that emphasized pulpy action and clanky fantasy robots, and giving it an injection of Gaslight-era goodness a la THE KERBEROS CLUB.

This has actually proved to be a pretty interesting rabbit hole, for me at least, so again - I'll talk more about it later. It may be an interesting exercise in showing how ideas percolate and ultimately mutate into something different.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Mechanics

25. What's your favourite revolutionary game mechanic?

Probably Aspects in Fate, although (as has been mentioned by others) they're hardly a new mechanic at this point. Aspects, if you haven't been paying attention to the goodness that is Fate, are a way of drawing attention to something in the game world that is significant in the fiction. Characters have Aspects to support important elements of their character and make them relevant in gameplay. A character's Weird Intuition or Cultish Affection for Libraries could be an important part of a Fate game, just by assigning an Aspect to them.

Monday, 24 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Perfection?

23. Perfect game for you?

I'm not sure there's any such thing. There's always the perfect game right now, or the perfect game to tell a particular story. I am constantly reading and re-reading games, learning from them, and falling in love with the way a given game will pull off some particular thing.

Friday, 21 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Setting the Record Straight

21. Favourite RPG Setting?

Tricky question. A lot of ones that I like. I was inclined to vote for my own Victorian vampire slayer setting, SUNSET EMPIRE, but I feel like that would be cheating. The clear intention of the question is which published setting do I like the best.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Genre Strikes Back!

I'm getting a little ahead of the curve here, but what the hey.

19. Favourite Supers RPG?

I have a lot of supers games, because it's far and away my favourite genre. I'm a big comic book fan, even at my advanced age, and supers was the first genre outside fantasy that really "clicked" with me as a gamer. That game was, of course...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Genre A-Go-Go!

17. Favourite fantasy RPG?

Tough one. If you were asking me which fantasy game I'd played the most, it would be either AD&D or D&D 2nd edition. The one I've played the most recently is DUNGEON WORLD, although my experiences with it lead me to believe I was playing it wrong. That may be a post for another day.

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Wrath of Con Games

Recent discussion of con games and one-shots leads me to believe this is a subject that a lot of people grapple with. I've had some experience doing con games at our local university game club, so I thought I'd share some of the things that worked for me. I think it's a distinct skill from GMing an ongoing game, so it merits a distinct post.

I'm going to write here mostly from the perspective of con games, but I think most of it will also apply to the single-game experience at your own table.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Time Keeps on Slippin'

15. Longest campaign played?

This takes me back. If you've read HTHD for any length of time, you know that shorter-arc games are an important part of our style of play. Short length helps to create pressure to get things happening quickly, making stories move fast and characters develop through meaty choices. No time for saving something cool for later.

Friday, 14 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Open the Pod Bay Door, Hal!

13. Favourite RPG Podcast?

There are several that I'm a big fan of, but my favourite is probably...

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Art!

12. Favourite RPG illustration?

In my GMing workshops, I mention this Dave Trampier illustration, from the first D&D Dungeon Master's screen:

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: The Writening

11. Favourite RPG Writer?

Tricky one. I wanted to take a little space here to talk about this subject at length, because writing is something that I take very seriously, and there are a number of writers in the industry that I admire and will enjoy singing the praises of.

Monday, 10 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Age of Ultron

7. What is your favourite free RPG?

A lot of people I've been seeing on Twitter chose Fate Core for this, but I'm going to go a different way with it. OK, it's splitting hairs, but "Pay What You Can" does not mean "Free" to me -- it means pay what you can. And Fate -- whether you play Core or Accelerated or whatever -- is such a great game that it should be paid for. Does that mean free games aren't good? Hell, no. A lot of free games are terrific. But if someone give you the opportunity to pay for something as high quality, well-supported, and powerful as Fate... if you don't pony up for that, you're not doing the hobby any favours. End of soapbox.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

RPGaDay 2015: The Adventure Continues

5. What is your most recent RPG purchase?

I think the most recent thing I purchased was the Noir-themed Bundle of Holding. You know all about my addiction to these things, if you've been reading my blog at all, and I jumped at this one (although I've been more circumspect in my purchases lately with the budget being non-existent and all). Noir is a genre that I'm very attracted to, and I've been eager to get my hands on more source material. Greg Stolze's A DIRTY WORLD is pretty good, although it left me wishing it was about fifty pages longer, with more discussion of how a Noir game should be prepared and played. I felt like I got a better look at that by listening to an Actual Play of ADW on the RPPR Actual Play podcast. Worth a listen, if you haven't already checked that out, and those guys tend to play games that I like.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

RPGaDay 2015: Whoops, missed the gun!

This Twitter bandwagon seems like a good way to jump back on board here for a while, and share a few of the thoughts I'm having about gaming these days. You can follow other people's responses on Twitter using the hashtag #rpgaday2015 , and see what other people are saying about the same questions.

I'm a few days behind on this, so I'll tackle the first four questions all at once.