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.