#RPGaDAY 2017: Days 14 to 20

(In which everything gets left to the last minute and I do a couple or three round-up posts instead of one a day)

Question 14: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

As my games tend towards endless sprawl, I’m happy for any system to be used for on-going campaigns. Case in point, the supers-in-Berlin-1950s game I’ve been running for a while, I already have it in my mind that I can step forward to the 60s at some point and keep the same world rolling along. Then the 1970s and ever onward.

Given the number of times I’ve done this sort of thing I suppose the correct answer is ‘superhero games’. They provide me with my preferred vehicle for building worlds, histories, legacies.

Question 15: Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

I don’t really enjoy adapting them so much as I sometimes feel compelled to adjust or throw away any bits and pieces that annoy me.

There was a fatigue system in Runequest 3rd Edition, for example; couldn’t be bothered with that at all.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 13

Question 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

Easy cop-out answer: Every gaming experience promotes change or else what’s the point, eh?

Alternatively, I guess playing Fiasco, although that didn’t so much ‘change how I play’ as it made me want to play more games that had that kind of vibe: building scenes, collaborating, creating epic-ness out of very little.

Also, there have been a few over-planned RPGs in the past that have gone so badly off track that I always tell myself from here on out I’ll just set up the general environment and then wing the rest. That sometimes works. I can often stick to that style. For a while.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 12

Question 12: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art.

There’s a ton of games from the last several decades that have some great pieces of art, so I’m going to pseudo-cheat/avoid overthinking it by saying:


It doesn’t even have very much art but as soon as I saw it I pretty much had an entire campaign setting mapped out in my head.

Also, I initially wanted to buy it just for the cover.

aaa space cover

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 11

Question 11: Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?

As many others have pointed out (ten days ago, when this answer was actually due), there’s no such thing as a ‘dead’ game.

Obviously from a production and support point of view there are games that have been abandoned as companies and individuals move on (hopefully) to Other Stuff. But the games that existed are still there, in the second hand shops or on the shelves. No-one is going around buying up and destroying all of the old copies. I hope. Obviously I have my doubts about Dark Continent.

So, yeah, you can still gather the group around you for a short burst of GURPS Recon or a Dune-like interstellar campaign using Space Opera.

A few other issues spring to mind:

Whilst I can remember enjoying many games of the past, would their systems be suitable for my current method of running things or my gaming group’s style of play (if they even have a style)?

Then again, it probably wouldn’t matter given how little attention I paid to systems back then, and my penchant for messing them about now.

Also, would the notion of ‘rebirth’ bring something unwanted to the table. Some sort of leeching of whatever spirit of the game attracted me in the past? You know how things go with gritty-reboots, or the ‘now designed for the casual gamer’ fiddling around the edges.

Who knows. I vaguely recall the relaunch of the Marvel Super Heroes game was a bit of a damp squib. The thought of someone doing that again, properly, and bringing in all the modern MCU business kind of appeals.

But, if we’ve stopped playing a particular game that inspired and entertained us in the past, maybe there’s a reason for that.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 10

Question 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?

Various websites (Drivethrurpg, RPGnet, some blogs), ancient issues of White Dwarf for the older games, recommendations from friends and fellow gamers.

These days if I’m not picking stuff that’s been around for two or three decades, I’m buying things off Kickstarter before the reviews are even in.

It’s going well so far.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 9

Question 9: What’s a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

(I’ve let things slide a bit over the last few days, time to catch up a little)

As I don’t tend to use scenarios at all–more inclined towards making-it-up-as-we-go or setting out a vague series of events with which the characters can interact–games typically go on (and on) until we reach what seems a suitable point to pause.

In the supers game the player characters killed a persistent enemy and stopped a nuclear detonation. Perfectly respectable to take a break after that.

In the Stars Without Number campaign of rambling space adventure, they’ve stopped off at a remote planet to help an escaped recording artist lay down some tracks for her new album.

No idea how many sessions it took to get to those particular points.

I’ve never really thought about ‘timing’ for games unless they were really short “this’ll take a couple of sessions, tops” sorts of thing.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 8

Question 8: What’s a good RPG to play for sessions of 2hrs or less?

In most cases I’m not sure ‘good’ would be the word; adequate might be more appropriate.

That said, something like Fiasco doesn’t seem to need too much time to play through, with the right group and the right set-up.

I guess that’s the key. If you’re prepared for a Very Short Game you can do pretty much anything. Maybe a slight new thing, or some specific scenes from a pre-existing game; a day in the life of one of the characters, but ten years previous, for example. Why such-and-such doesn’t like you. That time you robbed that guy/found this thing/buried that security van.

Something else that might work: I recently played in a quick session of Soth (from Steve Hickey Games), which is all about small town cultists doing evil and murder to summon forth their dark and terrible god. It’s one of those games were building up the setting and the character relationships is where (for me) most of the fun lies. It’s good, but can obviously tend to be a tad stark and grim. I guess it depends on your mood. There will be blood.

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