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

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

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

As I mentioned on Day 9, while I’m happy to play indefinite-length campaigns now and then, when I run campaigns for other people I’ll usually want them to be of a fixed length. That usually means that I’ll have some idea of what direction the campaign is going since character creation, before the first session of the game proper.

As such, if I was going to run an open-ended campaign I’d want a system in which character creation is baked into the first session, and in which the priority is playing to find out what happens. That’s Apocalypse World. Not other games Powered by the Apocalypse, just the original. Make a setting you love to play in, take characters who bring the drama with them wherever they go, and set them loose. If characters die or fronts get resolved, just make new ones and keep going. No other game I’ve played does it better.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

This example might seem a little shallow, but the Dungeon World campaign that I ran in 2015 was when I really decided that accents are great and that I should use them more often. There’s a rundown of some of the accents I used in that game in my blog post 10 things I learned running Dungeon World (part 1). It wasn’t the first time I had used accents in a game, but I’ve used them regularly since, particularly as a player character. For example:

RPGaDay 2017, Day 12: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

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 inspiring interior art?

Example female half-elf from D&D 4e PHBThere’s no way of answering this in an objective way. There are so many RPGs with art that is evocative or appropriate or just plain badass. Too many for me to count, let alone name. Instead, I have to be completely subjective and pick the one RPG I’ve played in which the inspiration for my character came directly from the artwork: the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Specifically, the example female half-elf from the Player’s Handbook (right). Just look at the contempt on that face. It’s glorious.

The wider picture is apparently of a martial class (fighter or rogue, I guess), but I played a warlock who had made a deal in infancy with an archfey. She was raised by humans but convinced (on the basis of no real evidence) that she was the daughter of some powerful lord of the Feywild. She was one of my first RPG characters after rejoining the hobby and I made some critical errors in designing her (she had the highest Charisma in the party but rarely bothered to talk to people, for instance), so I was not quite able to capture the awesome of the image when I played the character, but I was satisfied with the campaign anyway. The last we ever saw of her she was leaping recklessly into the Feywild, heedless of the fact that there would be no way back again. She’s probably still there, I guess.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 11: Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?

What exactly is a ‘dead game’, here? I assume it’s a game that is no longer published or supported by the people that made it, maybe because of a more recent edition. But nothing is stopping me from playing those older games. No matter how old a game is, and even if the publisher no longer cares about it, I can still play it if I want to.

Games don’t die, and they don’t need to be reborn. I’d much rather let game makers innovate and produce new things. That way, we still have the option to play the older games if we enjoy them, but we also have the option to try something else. And even if we like the old thing better, that’s fine. Play whatever games you enjoy, and fie on anyone who tries to stop you!

RPGaDay 2017, Day 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

Where do you go for RPG reviews?

I don’t read many RPG reviews. As I mentioned on Day 3, I tend to learn about new RPGs via word of mouth, so I get recommendations at the same time. Sometimes reviews are a good place to get more specific information about a game, but if that’s what I’m looking for I usually just google it. That said, sometimes I’m interested in what specific people think, so I’m going to shout out today to Michael Duxbury, who is a friend of mine but whose reviews are generally well-informed, well-balanced, and short.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 9: What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

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

To be honest, 10 sessions sounds like a pretty ideal campaign length to me. I’ve played some campaigns that were longer and some that were shorter, and I’m happy to have done so. But I think 10 is long enough to do pretty much anything you want with a character without being so long that you get bored of the conceit. It’s about the number of sessions we had in our excellent CAMELOT Trigger campaign, for example.

So I guess my answer is: pretty much anything not designed for a one-off. But if you’re looking for recommendations, give CAMELOT Trigger a try.

RPGaDay 2017, Day 8: What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?

Thinking about it, I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever played a full RPG session that lasted no more than 2 hours. I’ve played sessions that were called off, but that’s different. My sessions typically last between 3 and 6 hours, with the average being around 4. For sessions in the middle of an ongoing campaign, any game system that doesn’t determine length of sessions mechanically could have a satisfying session under 2 hours.

In general, though, the game I think of when I need to fill an arbitrary amount of time is Microscope. In Microscope, the rule is to just keep playing until you don’t want to any more. It can be as long or as short as you want, although more players will mean that each player has less time in the spotlight. That problem is hardly unique to Microscope, though, so it’s still what I’ll pick for my answer.