RPGaDay 2017, Day 16: Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

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 enjoy using as is?

This answer feels a bit like a cheat, as if I’m not obeying the spirit of the question, when I say my favourite RPG for using as-is is Microscope. It’s just so flexible that the base game barely feels restrictive. Don’t get me wrong, I like tweaking the rules a bit too (see the way I used it to run a Star Wars game). I also like the expansion rules like Microscope Union, which my friends and I recently used to run a game based on dynastic fighting games like Tekken. But the base game rules-as-written has not been rendered obsolete by these other possibilities, and is still as powerful as when it first came out.

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.

Star Wars under the Microscope: What if Darth Vader wasn’t Luke’s father?

Our Star Wars timeline in Microscope. Only the events of A New Hope were considered fixed.

A long time ago (about a week), in a galaxy far, far away (an hour on the London underground), I sat down with three of my friends to play a game of Microscope that retold the Star Wars saga. Let me tell you about it!

“So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view.”

I used to write a lot of fan fiction. I don’t do that much anymore, because now I prefer to collaborate with other people when making up stories, but one of the pieces of fan fiction that I never got round to writing was an alternate Star Wars saga, exploring what might have happened if the franchise had gone in another direction during the production of the original trilogy. Things could have been vastly different if the producers had made different decisions at that early stage.

Continue reading