RPGaDay 2017, Day 28: What film or series is the most frequent source of quotes in your group?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

What film or series is the most frequent source of quotes in your group?

Well, this is a bit of a cheat, but it’s probably The Lord of the Rings, purely because we’re playing a game of The One Ring at the moment. If I was in a Force and Destiny game, it’d probably be Star Wars. Outside of games we’re currently playing, I don’t know what series we quote most often. My groups have a lot of different tastes.

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RPGaDay 2017, Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

What are your essential tools for good gaming?

My essential tool for good gaming is the calendar app on my phone. I keep it strictly up-to-date whenever I make new plans, so I can always check my availability for gaming dates when we need to organise new sessions. It’s not a perfect system. Sometimes things come up unavoidably and sessions need to be rescheduled, but it’s much better than nothing at all.

My favourite app is Jorte Calendar. It has just the functionality I need and no more. I’m sure there is something out there that will suit your particular needs too.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

Another vague question. Here I am defining a resource as something tangible that is not integral to the running of a game, but which can be used to improve the experience of play. Additonal rules from supplements and expansions are not resources because they are not tangible. Dice and other resolution mechanisms are not resources because they are integral to the running of a game, for instance. For that matter, so are the playbooks from Apocalypse World, the runner sheets from Psi*Run and the quest cards from Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine. I have to define the term so strictly because, if I don’t, I am not sure I could answer the question.

Given that I have defined the term so strictly, though, I’m going to pick Feng Shui 2, for the shot clock (initiative track), playmats and counters that were available through the original Kickstarter. It’s a real shame that you can’t buy these separately now that the Kickstarter is over, because I’m not sure how you’d go about running a Feng Shui 2 game without them.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 25: What is the best way to thank your GM?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

What is the best way to thank your GM?

I don’t know the best way to thank your GM, but here’s a handful off the top of my head:

  • Be friendly so that running a game for you is a pleasant experience.
  • Make it easy to schedule future games and don’t drop out at the last minute.
  • Give honest feedback.
  • Encourage the GM if they are interested in running more games.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 24: Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

The only PWYW (pay what you want) publisher I’m familiar with is Evil Hat Productions, and only some of their roleplaying game products (like Fate Core) are PWYW while others have a fixed price. Look, I’m not going to second guess their business model. They know why they charge what they charge better than I do. Fate Core and its related products are definitely worth paying for, but they must have worked out that PWYW works to bring in a bigger customer base that will then spend money on their other titles.

If you want to show Evil Hat some financial love, I recommend supporting their Patreon for Fate Worlds of Adventure. Fate Worlds of Adventure are magnificent, and the pledge level is so close to letting the line be self-sustaining! Do it! Do iiiit!

RPGaDay 2017, Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

The word “jaw-dropping” is key here. I’m not the kind of person whose jaw drops very much, so I had to flip through a lot of my RPGs to find something that fit the bill. To be honest, I’ve gotta go with Vampire: The Masquerade from the ’90s, when the books had artwork on every other page. Maybe other World of Darkness products are similar, but I’m mostly familiar with Vampire. It’s not just the core rulebook either, but pretty much any book in that line. It’s just so consistently in-your-face about its so-called “Gothic-Punk” aesthetic. Pictures can be straightforwardly representative of game terms, but more often they are moody, creepy, expressionistic, or grotesque. Sometimes you have to wonder what the hell the designers were thinking. It’s incredibly varied, and yet also weirdly on-brand, held together by frames, watermarks and backgrounds that carry the mood through the book (only rarely affecting the legibility of the text). My jaw may not have dropped, but it’s the closest it’s come from an RPG.

I stopped getting books for Vampire: The Masquerade, or any other World of Darkness product, shortly after the Time of Judgement in 2004, so I’ve no idea how jaw-dropping the layout is in anything more recent.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 22: Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

The RPGs that are easiest for me to run are the ones in which the players do all the hard work, particularly in being proactive and developing conflicts between each other instead of waiting for me to provide a problem for them to solve. For example, Smallville is a dramatically driven game in which, during a session, I could often sit back and just watch things unfold. The problem with Smallville, however, is that there was so much preparation needed at the start of the campaign (preparing NPCs and so on), and so much bookkeeping needed between sessions. That’s a significant barrier to me running it again.

Psi*Run is a game that also takes a lot of player input throughout and, being designed mostly for one-off sessions, has no prep work or bookkeeping to speak of. On balance, I think Psi*Run is the easiest RPG to run, although I wouldn’t be comfortable using it for a campaign.