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.

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RPGaDay 2017, Day 30: What is an RPG genre mashup you would most like to see?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

What is an RPG genre mashup you would most like to see?

I don’t understand the question. If it’s asking what genre I would like to adapted into an RPG, then I want something that can do wide-reaching ensemble drama shows with multiple intersecting storylines. Something like The Wire, Game of Thrones, Heroes, or The Expanse. Plus a bunch of other ones that I can’t recall right now. I think there are games out there that you could hack to do something similar (I’ve had thoughts around doing this with Microscope, for example), but there’s nothing I’m aware of that’s designed around the concept, and I think that could be cool.

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.

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