32: A Step into RPGs Retrospective

Turtles, vanish... by Fatboy73 on DeviantArt
The piece of TMNT fanart I liked most but didn’t use in my TMNT RPG blog series.

This month is the 32nd since I started this blog. It is also, by a weird coincidence, the month of my 32nd birthday. I realised this too late to turn RPGaDay into “31 posts in month 31 while 31”, but nevertheless I’m feeling a bit reflective.

Here is a look back at some of my most popular blog posts, the top 11 posts on the blog based on average views per month (vpm) since publication.

There are a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in this list. You’ve been warned.

11. RPGaDay 2017, Day 2: What is an RPG you would like to see published? (17 vpm)

This is the only RPGaDay post on the list, with nearly three times as many views as any other. Surely that’s because this RPGaDay post was telling people about something that they didn’t already know and couldn’t hear about anywhere else: a game created by someone I know in real life, which has not yet been published, even online.

That game, as a reminder, is The Library by Simon Fernandez, and it’s inspired by point-and-click adventure games like Broken Sword and LucasArts classics like The Dig. It was fun, and I’m looking forward to Simon’s next draft.

10. What I want in a new edition of Cortex Plus Dramatic (18 vpm)

I wrote this post after learningthat Cam Banks had obtained the Cortex Plus license, but before he’d announced that he would be turning it into a new game called Cortex Prime (about which see below). Since there won’t be a “new edition of Cortex Plus Dramatic” in so many words, this post is now just general advice for writers of drama-focused games of Cortex Prime.

9. To Me, My X-Men: Mutant Pathways for Smallville RPG (24 vpm)

While we’re on the topic of Cortex Plus Dramatic (of which the only branded version was Smallville RPG), here is some content I wrote for an X-Men game of it. It has a complete Pathways chart for creating mutant characters for the game, pulling in some X-Men themes. I even tried to format it like the original Pathways chart from Smallville‘s core rulebook, and I’m quite pleased with the result.

8. Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 2: Heroes in a half-shell (player stats) (25 vpm)

The first post on the list about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Not the last, oh no. Last year I did a blog series about adapting The Three Rocketeers (a version of Fate) to play TMNT, and in this post I talked through my process for statting the characters. I got some good advice from PK Sullivan, writer of The Three Rocketeers, and found some perfect pictures to illustrate the turtles.

7. Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 3: When the evil Shredder attacks (one-shot adventure) (26 vpm)

The next post in my TMNT blog series was a one-shot adventure for my TMNT game. I’m really proud of it, and people have actually played it! People I don’t know, I mean (see below for more). It’s as simple as RPG adventures come, but I tried hard to capture the feeling of a TMNT game or episode. And once again, I found some great fanart online to illustrate (all sourced, of course).

6. With Great Power comes great enjoyment (29 vpm)

My only review in the top 11 is of the Silver Age-style superhero game With Great Power. I had a blast playing this game and, hey, I even got a comment from the game’s author Michael S. Miller to explain some of his design choices. That’s pretty cool.

5. Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 1: Introduction to Rocketeering (31 vpm)

The first part of my Fate/TMNT blog series was about what game I felt would be the best one to adapt to the TMNT. As I mentioned above, that game is the aspects-only version of Fate from PK Sullivan’s The Three Rocketeers. I stand by that choice still.

But, on a completely different note, I have also seen that there’s a turtle-person race in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition now. I’m still loving my aasimar paladin, but my next character could well be a tortle.

4. Terminator: Runners, a Psi*Run hack (56 vpm)

Here is an actual hack that I wrote! I wrote it in a matter of hours (based on a friend’s suggestion) and refined it in two days (based on that friend’s feedback). I think it’s a neat hack of a great game (Psi*Run), and I hope it captures the essence of the early Terminator movies. I really need to playtest it at some point, but this year I have largely lost the will to run games so I need to wait to get my mojo back. Hopefully soon, though.

3. Will Cortex Prime light our darkest hour? (71 vpm)

This post was my excited response to the Cortex Prime Kickstarter, which funded with all its stretch goals in May. Cam Banks had already released a draft of the rules, which were mostly a rehash of existing Cortex Plus rules but presented in a way that let me understand all the interlocking systems as I never had before. Cam has since produced at least two more drafts of the Cortex Prime rules that I’ve seen, and my hopes are still high.

Mostly, I think people like this post because of my excellent image edit for the header, which of course led to the blog post title as well. (To be clear: the title is in no way a commentary on the state of the RPG industry/hobby, which I think is doing great. It’s just a Transformers pun.)

2. Star Wars under the Microscope: What if Darth Vader wasn’t Luke’s father? (99 vpm)

If you don’t consider the length of time since publication, my Star Wars under the Microscope post is the most popular one I’ve ever written. It has the most hits, anyway. There are two reasons for that, I think. First is that it’s a cool idea that’s easily accessible to gamers or Star Wars fans, and a pretty neat alternate take of the Star Wars saga. Second, Ben Robbins found it and advertised the heck out of it. In fact, I still get people coming to my blog from the Microscope website.

I’ve actually taken part in a second Star Wars under the Microscope session, this one taking the events of both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back as an anchor. And, once again, it was a really cool alternate take on the saga. It could most easily be summarised as: What if Luke Skywalker had two daddies? Once again I used the idea of Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker as different people, but this time they were both Luke’s father (each from a certain point of view).

We also got a really great scene in which a young Obi-Wan Kenobi confronted the man he was cloned from, rejected his clone heritage, and changed his name from the serial number OB-1 to Ben. I liked two things particularly about the scene: the parallels to Luke’s confrontation with Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, and the fact that young Obi-Wan acted like Ewan McGregor while his progenitor acted like Alec Guinness. It was cool.

1. Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: They played my game! (114 vpm)

Here we are at last, the top spot. What a weird post to be number one. There’s no content in this post, just an expression of my glee that a gaming group live-streamed their play through of my TMNT one-shot adventure. Still, there’s no secret why this blog post is so popular: Evil Hat found it and shared it on their Facebook group, which is probably why all of the other TMNT blog posts are so high on this favourites list too!

And that’s the top 11 posts for the first 32 months. I’d like to think there will be another 32 months of life left in the blog, but who can say what’ll happen? I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.

The header image is Turtles, vanish… by Fatboy73 on DeviantArt

2 thoughts on “32: A Step into RPGs Retrospective

  1. Benj September 28, 2017 / 2:47 am

    Happy Birthmonth!


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