Saturday, August 19, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 19 - Which RPG features the best writing?

I'd have to say the best writing in an RPG is usually GURPS in my experience. The sheer amount of research put into these books is astounding. I've so very often read that non-GURPS players use GURPS books as reference because of their quality of content.

My favorite fluff writing, however, has always been the excerpt stories you find in Twilight 2000 1st Edition. Especially in the core rulebooks. They were scattered throughout, interjecting in between the rules. Written as journal entries, they gave a wondrous and bleak illustration of the Twilight 2000 world. As awful as it must be, I wanted to actually be there when I read it in Junior High.

I've always thought these parts were written by the late Loren K. Wiseman, but I cannot seem to confirm that.

Friday, August 18, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 18 - Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

The RPG I have played the most in my life by a huge majority is definitely Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons 3.X.

If it were a question between the two... That's a tough call. Soon it will be Pathfinder, simply because we no longer play 3.5, but still play Pathfinder to this day. It feels like we're very close to that threshold soon if we have yet to pass it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 17 - Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

I think the nature of this question cancels out any game you have and have actually played at all! So looking over the collection at only games I have NEVER played, but have owned... narrowing that down to the one I have owned the longest...

The winner for today's question has to be Spycraft 1st Edition. I was on board with that game from its very first release. At the time I seem to recall it was the only espionage RPG on my radar that remotely promised to fulfill the void left by the long out-of-print Top Secret/S.I. Its hard for me to mention this game without mentioning one of its longest lived online resources, Modus Operandi.

Sadly never managed to gather enough interested players to play or run Spycraft. We did roll up characters for Stargate SG-1 which is pretty close.

Still longing for Spycraft 3rd edition. Until then, Top Secret is back! with the highly successful Kickstarter for Top Secret: New World Order! It is a wonderful time to be a geek and alive.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 16 - Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

I'd have to say the RPG ruleset that I'm most fond of, as is- is the Star Wars Narrative Dice game mechanics- which so very recently have been named the Genesys system. At the time of this posting, the Genesys core rulebook has not yet been released in the wild, so we're assuming its pretty much just like the rules we see in the three FFG Star Wars games. Some interviews have indicated there are some adjustments and improvements in Genesyst over the Star Wars versions.As it is in the Star Wars games, I feel it is nearly perfect for my gaming likes and purposes.

Much more should be known, possibly even tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 15 - Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

My favorite RPGs are usually generic rule book publications, so that the adapting is already half way done. So using that as the touchstone, welcome to my obsessive decisiveness! I cannot choose which generic system to settle on as my system. There is a short list of systems I have come to love and I want to settle in and adapt and make my own. But once I think I've found the one, suddenly that other system over there looks like it will fulfill all my gaming needs. And so I move to next one and immerse myself into it. And the process continues. All the while amassing an ever growing collection of publications. Making the rounds. For the last few years I've even attempted to track where my obsession leads.

The big ones are:

  • Savage Worlds
  • d20 Modern
  • Basic Roleplaying
  • Fate
  • Fudge
  • D6

Systems that I wish had a generic core rulebook:

  • Vortex
  • Ubiquity
The Star Wars game was on that last list, but with GENESYS coming out... it's a granted wish! A dream come true! An answered prayer!

GENESYS may honestly put this obsession to rest. We'll see if it needs adapting.

Monday, August 14, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 14 - Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

The gaming group that I belong to tends to not do open ended campaigns. Or maybe the undecided plan was to go go go until GM burnout, open ended until then. The Pathfinder campaign I ran was based on an Adventure Path, which had a built in ending. The last game I was in was a Mutants and Masterminds game that had an ending written in by the GM. A clear objective and then roll credits. So I can't say I've been in many decidedly open-ended campaigns.

If I were to run one, I believe I would consider what system would dictate that type of game. I would want a lighter, less complicated system to run in the background while focusing on the story.

I found the lighter game systems would be best for me for open-ended campaign play. There's a collection of games that are similar in crunch and have similar mechanics. Those games would be Savage Worlds, Ubiquity, the Vortex system, and Fate.

These systems seem to often be compared to each other. They are all less granular and crunchy than systems like Pathfinder or GURPS or Hero. But they are also not considered light systems. I've seen them most often described as medium crunch systems.

One game mechanic that is almost universal across all of these is the usage of tokens or chips or something that the player collects and spends. These games have a sort of economy fueling events and story in the narrative. Savage Worlds uses Bennies. Ubiquity calls them Style Points. Vortex named them Story Points. Fate Core and Fate Accelerated have Fate Points.

Not all of these games use them exactly the same. Some flow more than others through the course of a session while others reset. There are other games that incorporate similar mechanics and the more crunchy games mentioned above even have optional rules that mirror this kind of stuff. But the examples I've listed kind of require it. They really wouldn't be the games they are without this mechanic.

I feel games with this level of detail and have this story altering mechanics lend themselves the best towards open-ended campaign play games.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 13 - Describe a game experience that challenged how you play?

In our second session of this new campaign we're all still kind of finding our characters and who they'll be. This is the first time I've ever ran a barbarian in Pathfinder/D&D.

Our party was meeting a priestess of Wisdom in the temple dedicated to wisdom. GM described the grandeur we were seeing as we were lead into her chamber to meet her. I noticed something in his description that seemed to be an accidental contradiction of themes. His campaign word's pantheon is based on the the Seven Virtues which are opposed by the Seven Sins. He described this temple having artwork that illustrated the opposing natures of the seven pairings.

Here we are in the Temple of the Virtue of Wisdom, which opposes the Sin of Luxury. Yet he's going on about how luxurious this place is.

I decided to use this observation as a character motivation- that this kid was looking forward to meeting the Priestess of Wisdom because she opposes luxury. Luxury- something this character has never had and is tempted or envious of, so drawn to those who would help him resist and oppose. Only to find them embracing luxury. "Hypocrisy!" he declared!

Roleplaying continued, yet I was waiting for an NPC, hopefully the priestess herself, or one of my party, to ask why my character was acting so upset. But I had to make my reveal without that. For my character's attitude was going on too long. The poor GM didn't realize until the moment I revealed it that my negative attitude was in character! He thought, me the player, was unhappy about something and having a fit! Everyone seemed relieved once it was clear I was roleplaying and not really pissed off!

I was a little uncomfortable forcing so much spotlight time. My character's actions were rude and short of hostile. It was totally spur of the moment and I hadn't discussed this decision with anyone so it truly was out of the blue. Without breaking character, I was acting like a dick. And the rule established earlier in this blog- don't play with dicks.

But in the end I think the reward was worth it. Some good RP drama. And now a pretty cool schtick for my character to build around.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 12 - Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

I find the artwork by Lisa Free to be tremendously inspiring. Her work appears in the Creatures Book 4 and a little bit in the Glorantha Book 5 of the Deluxe Edition of RuneQuest.

She also did some work for other Chaosium products that I haven't seen before she stopped working in the industry. Which is a real shame, because as is the theme of this day's question- her art is truly inspiring.

Friday, August 11, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 11 - Which "dead game" would you like to see reborn?

I'd like to see a new James Bond game. The original RPG was wonderful. I just think its such a ripe franchise for action gaming, etc. It has seen some life lately with it's retro-clone, Classified, which is very nice. But I'd like to see an updated and proper RPG for the modern franchise.

Maybe not.

If I was granted a 2nd choice, I'd like to see a good solid plentiful and complete DUNE RPG on the shelf someday. I feel like that would be a Modiphius title these days. They'd probably make a pretty good product. The original RPG never really made it out.

I'd personally like to see one either a James Bond RPG or a DUNE rpg produced by Cubicle 7 with their quality behind it, thinking about their current Lord of the Rings RPGs and Doctor Who RPG. That's the kind of love and attention these games should receive. And Bond would be a natural fit for Cubicle 7, I feel. U.K. and all...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 10 - Where do you go for RPG reviews?

I actually almost always to a Google search for the title and add the word "review", which almost always takes me to

Unfortunately, is blocked at work. So when at work I don't read reviews. But if I were to do so. Which I'm not saying that I do. I may or may not scroll down the list to the next few hits on some of the usual blogs.

If I were to read reviews while at work. Hypothetically speaking.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017, day 9 - What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

Ten sessions feels like a good length for anything longer than a one shot. I'd wager that almost any game can be played for about 10 sessions. Your favorite game would be the good one.



Hows that for a passive aggressive answer?

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