Thursday, 31 August 2017

Bittersweet Farewell to #RPGaDay2017

31. What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

I have to echo Rob Donoghue -- I'm looking forward to DUSK CITY OUTLAWS and SHADOW OF THE CENTURY a lot. I'm also looking forward to seeing what the revised edition of STARS WITHOUT NUMBER looks like.

But, to be honest, I'm also looking forward to catching up on a couple of 2017 games I haven't got my hot little hands on yet -- DRESDEN FILES ACCELERATED and BLADES IN THE DARK are definite must-gets for me, when I've got the cash. And I'm looking forward to getting some play time with a few games I've Kickstarted, especially THE WATCH. And if I'm very brave, maybe I'll get a chance to play BLUEBEARD'S BRIDE.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Well Mash My Potatoes! #RPGaDay2017

30. What is an RPG genre mashup you would most like to see?

How about Jazz Age space opera? Spaceships and fedoras. Glamourous intergalactic speakeasys. Private eyes walking the mean streets of giant art deco space stations. Gangsters disposing of their inconveniences by tossing them into a black hole.

Or a steampunk game where it's steampunk + NOTHING. I really don't care for adding magic to my steampunk Victoriana, but it always seems to weasel its way in. How's that for an anti-mashup?

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Ain't That A Kick in the Head? #RPGaDay2017

29. What has been the best-run Kickstarter you have backed?

Hmm, this is a tough one, because I'm a relative newcomer to backing Kickstarters at all. Not for lack of wanting to, but because I mostly don't have the extra cash. I've only backed a handful of things, and most of them have delivered quite nicely. I've never backed anything that didn't produce a product at the end of it, luckily.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Three Answers and a Baby #RPGaDay2017

26. Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

FATE provides an incredibly robust set of tools that can apply to practically any genre, and they're tools that the group can "tune" to their own tastes. FATE is such a staple of gaming to me, though, that I feel like it's almost cheating to use it as an answer.

So here are a couple of other games with great tools, just to keep it all above board.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Tanks a Lot #RPGaDay2017

25. What is the best way to thank your GM?

Say "thank you".

OK, slightly less sarcastic answer incoming.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

You're Worth It #RPGaDay2017

24. Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

Evil Hat offers a lot of quality products on a PWYW basis, funded by their Patreon. They are usually high quality, and could easily go for at least a nominal fee.

But I'm sure everybody already knows about them.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Apropos of Recent Celestial Events #RPGaDay2017

23. What RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

I think ECLIPSE PHASE gets the nod for me. I picked up a bunch of supplements recently, and they're all just gorgeous. The art is amazing, and the books look crisp and modern.

Evil Hat also does consistently good-looking, clean books, with nice artwork and very readable layout. ATOMIC ROBO is just a knockout. What a gorgeous book.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Take It Easy #RPGaDay2017

22. Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

I can dive into a FATE game with very little prep work, especially if I've got pre-gen characters for the players ready to go. This is something I used to do when I ran regularly at local cons -- set up pretty, accessible character sheets for running various things in Fate, so all I'd need to do was have a vague idea what the adventure was and I was ready to go. My pre-gens look like characters about 3/4 of the way done, and with a couple extra aspects/choices they're ready to play.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Hold On, I'm Comin' #RPGaDay2017

19. Which RPG features the best writing?

I don't really look to RPGs for elegant writing, the same way I look to literature, and I'm often put off by games that insist on including fiction with their text.

Friday, 18 August 2017

You're The Most #RPGaDay2017

18. Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

I suspect, like most people who started playing RPGs in grade school, that there is no real contest for this question.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

My Oldest Nemesis #RPGaDay2017

17. Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

Oh, it's like that, huh? This month-long conversation just got a little too real.

I own an awful lot of games, and I have enjoyed them all (even if a number of them I've only read). I was happy to realize, after staring at my shelves for a while, that the vast majority of books I've got as a hard copy I've played at least once over the years. I had to compare copyright dates to see which of the contenders was published first.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

There's Always Vanilla #RPGaDay2017

16. Which RPG do you enjoy using as-is?

Hmm. This is a harder question than which RPG I tinker with, which is a lot of them (in small ways). Again, it feels like cheating to say FATE, because that game is designed as a powerful and flexible toolkit that is intended to be adapted to whatever subject you're playing, and it includes explicit assistance to help you do it.

It also feels like cheating to answer using a vanilla ruleset like CALL OF CTHULHU uses, despite the fact I've been playing it (and by "it", I mean the 5th edition rules, from the early 90s) with virtually no changes for a long, long time.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Adaptation #RPGaDay2017

15. Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

This one's no contest. Definitely SHADOWRUN.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Endless Highway #RPGaDay2017

14. Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

I do not prefer open-ended campaign play, to be perfectly blunt.

In my experience, I've had much more productive play at my table by changing my focus to a short-game model, where every player at the table knows that they've only got (x) episodes to get their character issues on the table and they'd better play hard to make that happen. I know that in some quarters, this is seen as weird, but it's meant that in the last decade our games have been exponentially better. As an adult, I need my game time to be focused and for shit to get done.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Where the Art Is #RPGaDay2017

12. Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

There are lots of excellent RPGs out there with top-notch production values. I've been reading Monte Cook's NUMENARA recently, and the art in that game is very high quality for a not-WotC-or-Paizo production. Especially when that game sets out to describe a science-fantasy world that's pretty different from your standard D&D-style world. The vistas are different, the characters are different, and the creatures... well, they're way different. ECLIPSE PHASE is another game that has out-of-this-world artwork and production values. I feel like that's almost expected for "bigger" games these days, even when they're not from a big publisher. Evil Hat has always set the bar very high for their books.

The game I want to give some love isn't one of the big ones, though there are a lot of worthy candidates. It's a smaller game (in terms of publisher size, not content -- this bad boy is almost 700 pages in the core book! staggering!) but the quality and consistency of the artwork is nothing short of inspiring. I'm talking about ZWEIHANDER - GRIM AND PERILOUS by Daniel Fox. This game was intended to be a retro-clone of early editions of WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY, but it grew into something that is distinct despite its clear lineage. The artwork thus follows in that established tradition of artwork, detailing a dirty, Renaissance-era Europe full of scuzzy looking individuals and freaky looking mutants and demons and monsters, oh my.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Sometimes They Come Back #RPGaDay2017

9. What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

Somewhere around 10 sessions is the usual sweet spot for all of the games we play at our table, and we rarely go beyond that (except for games that have multiple "seasons").

I think the typical PbtA game tends to come to a boil by about session 8, though, so maybe play APOCALYPSE WORLD or one of its many children. Or you could play a game like PRIMETIME ADVENTURES with a pre-established number of sessions in the season "arc". (The longer series arc probably pushed us toward our current sweet spot of ten sessions, TBH.)

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Catch-Uppening #RPGaDay2017

5. Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

Ken Hite's Day After Ragnarok nails it for me.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The New Hotness #RPGaDay2017

3. How do you find out about new RPGs?

Generally through social media. I follow a lot of game creators, and so I've often heard about something new they're working on (or something one of their friends is working on) long before it's actually available to purchase. Twitter and G+ are my platforms of choice, and to a lesser extent, Facebook. And, with Kickstarter casting such a big shadow over the industry, I often get to be among the first who play a new game, sometimes even before the books are completely done.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might... #RPGaDay2017

1. What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now?

I've got a long list of RPGs that I've purchased (and love) that I haven't yet been able to convince a group to play. That includes plenty of games that were a "hard no" for my players and a large assortment of games that we simply haven't made the time in our schedule yet.