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.

There are a lot of good free games out there, and there's a good sampling of them here. That's not even counting hacks of existing games, such as the wealth of material available for Savage Worlds or Apocalypse World. Even D&D's basic rules are free these days.

I'm tempted here to call C.J. Carella's WITCHCRAFT my favourite free game, and you should definitely pick it up and enjoy it. It's full of cool ideas. My favourite is probably MUTANT FUTURE, however, an Old School game that dips its toes into the glowing green pond of GAMMA WORLD. It's pretty cool, and cheered me on virtually every page.

8. Favourite appearance of RPGs in the media?

Hmm. I grew up in the era of roleplaying games being mentioned in the same breath as Satanism, so I'm always happy when I see RPGs mentioned in a positive light, period, though I have to admit I'm usually irritated when I see them portrayed in a TV show or movie. They tend to show gaming as it categorically isn't, at least not at my table, and often trot out stereotypes that are just lazy writing.

I'm surely not the first to mention Wil Wheaton's TITANSGRAVE, which shows roleplaying games as they are, in the same slick package that sold so many board games on Tabletop. It captures the "beer and pretzels" RPG experience better than anything I've ever seen. If you're one of the few who haven't seen it, it's worth your time.

9. Favourite media you wish was an RPG?

You know, there are so many games out there today, covering so many different genres, I don't feel like there is a property I'm particularly champing at the bit to grab. I felt there wasn't a good Twin Peaks game, so I'm writing one, but other than that... Justified, maybe? There are damn few crime games out there, and none that I know of that tap into the Elmore Leonard vein of smart cops, dumb (but dangerous) crooks, and Southern fried atmosphere that Raylan Givens & Co. deliver so well. There is a setting in HILLFOLK that evokes some of that, married with a Shakespearean festival of all things, but it's not quite what I'd look for in a Justified game.

Yeah. That.

10. Favourite RPG publisher?

It seems almost like lazy thinking on my part to mention Evil Hat Productions here, but I have been a fan for a long time. They make games I love, they are very transparent about how the games are produced, and frankly everyone involved with them seems to be a very nice person. I only wish I had the cash to visit California or Gen Con so I could shake their hands in person.

Someone I'd like to mention here, though, is writer and designer Ryan Macklin. Ryan not only writes boss stuff for Evil Hat (and others), he produces a podcast called MASTER PLAN that is essential listening for anyone interested in the industry, and writes games like MYTHENDER. The latter is not only an awesome game, it's something that's available for free, as a thank-you for people donating towards a charity campaign a few years ago. And this is no ten-page minigame -- MYTHENDER is a pretty substantial piece of writing and design released into the world gratis. That's a pretty awesome thing to do for the world, and Ryan is a pretty awesome guy. If you visit the Mythender page linked above, you can find the PDF, and if you like, you can also leave a tip for this fine human being. I recommend it.


  1. Thank you so much for the kind works, of both Fate Core and me personally!