RPGaDay 2017, Day 18: Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

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

Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

As I said on Day 4, the RPG I’ve played most sessions of is Unknown Armies. But I covered that before, so instead I’m going to talk about the RPGs that I’ve played most different campaigns or settings. That’s much harder, and I’m not sure I know exactly the answer. It could be Fate Core, but I talk about that enough, so instead I’m going to go with Psi*Run and Fiasco.

What makes these games so interesting is that every session is completely unique. ForĀ Fiasco, that’s mostly as a result of theĀ playset you use. I can’t remember all of the playsets I’ve ever used, but a few that jump out in my memory are:

For Psi*Run, on the other hand, it’s down to the questions you ask and the order in which you answer them in the game. And that means that Psi*Run can get wild. I’ve had Psi*Run games based in the modern day, which is the default setting, but also I’ve had ones set underground after the apocalypse, or on a spaceship, or ones that hopped reality. Games have ended with player characters being captured, defeating the Chasers, being the Chasers all along, turning into dogs, eating reality, or personally carrying the Sun around the Earth forever. Like I said: wild.

Terminator: Runners, a Psi*Run hack

Screenshot from The Terminator

For Day 2 of RPGaDay this year, Michael Duxbury said that the RPG he’d most like to see published is an RPG based on the Terminator franchise, particularly the first few movies about unstoppable time-travelling killer robots in disguise, in which the only way to survive is to run away. Alberto Muti suggested a Psi*Run hack and, well, I went and made one.

Presenting Terminator: Runners.

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Character advancement vs Character development

Anakin Skywalker's journey to become Darth Vader: Fear, Anger, Hate, Suffering.
Character advancement and character development sometimes go hand in hand… but character development isn’t always a joyful experience for the character itself

One of the great joys of playing roleplaying games, especially playing a single character through a long campaign, is in seeing your character grow and change. In traditional high fantasy games, it’s fun to rise from humble beginnings to be an important and powerful figure in the campaign world.

However, it’s relatively rare in roleplaying games to see the sort of deep, personal character transformation that you might see in books, TV shows or films. That’s because the sort of growth and change encouraged by traditional roleplaying games is different from the growth and change that most popular media is built on.

Character advancement is not the same thing as character development.

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