“Best advice you were ever given for your game of choice?”

I had a lightbulb moment many years ago at Forge Midwest when, after a pretty rough game of Mouse Guard in which I simply did not GM it well, Robert Bohl said to me offhandedly, in response to my befuddlement, that “You just need to challenge their beliefs.”

This is pretty much BWHQ GM’ing 101, but for some reason my brain hadn’t processed it. I mean, I’d literally read that exact sentiment in the books, but for some reason when running the game I was still in a “D&D” mindset. I was not letting that fundamental principle guide my decisions as GM.

So, thanks Rob!

“Describe the ideal game room, if budget were unlimited.”

I will build a… round table where this fellowship shall meet. And a hall about the table. And a castle about the hall!

The room should have a good, solid table (square, not round) surrounded by Herman Miller or Steelcase chairs, walls lined with bookshelves, maybe a mini bar and lounge area, and big windows with a Southern exposure that look out on rolling moors and maybe some mountains in the distance.

Mostly, though, it needs people. Good people for whom I will — since my budget is unlimited — set up so they are independently wealthy and thus have lots of time to game with me. That, or at least set up stipends so they can come visit me on “gaming sabbaticals”.

“Thing you’d be most surprised a friend had not seen or read?”

Honestly, almost nothing surprises me anymore, and I now try to at least not act surprised about anyone’s lack of exposure to any given property, as I’m aware doing so smacks of “geek cred” judgement (which is a shitty thing, to be sure).

But sure, within the scope of this hobby, meeting someone who’s never had any experience with some version of D&D would seem unusual, since that’s usually the default entry vector.

And I will admit that I find it weird sometimes to meet someone in the hobby of a certain age who’s never heard of The Forge. I mean, the sheer amount of complaining about it in mainstream RPG fora would make me think that most folks my age would have at least heard the term.

“Most unusual circumstance or location in which you’ve gamed.”

The most unusual location I can think of is the school bus to and from middle school when we played through one of the Slavers modules — which is probably not that unusual, as I bet lots of kids played school buses, especially back in D&D’s heyday.

As for a circumstance, I can’t think of any that were unusual. Every time I’ve played it’s because we got together in order to play.

#normcore   #4life

“What makes for a good character?”

A good character is a character you enjoy playing. Tautological and useless, sure, but hat’s my best answer.

What makes a character enjoyable to play is going to vary for everyone. Namely, it’s a character that allows then to pursue their agenda at the table, be it kewl powerz or dramatic anguish.

For me, it’s a compelling hook that makes me want to learn more about the character, as well as some role or ability that I look forward to seeing them pursue in play. For example, I’ve had a character for an upcoming Burning Wheel* campaign banging around my head for a few weeks now. She’s an amalgam of some fantasy tropes that I enjoy, some characters from books I’ve read and films I’ve seen, and some particulars of the rules that I want to bring into play. I’m already picturing some of the things she might do, some of that tasks she may have to accomplish, and hurdles she’ll hope to overcome. I have yet to touch pencil to paper, but I’m already looking forward to playing to find out what happens to her.

To go into more depth would require, IMO, focusing on a specific RPG.

* Ha! You thought I’d make it through one dang RPGaDay post whiteout mentioning BW. Suck it, h4t0rz!

“What is the game you are most likely to give to others?”

Burning Wheel. I have literally given copies of the game to people as gifts or freebies at Gameday. I was musing on the BW community just a few weeks ago about how to give away my fourth printing, i.e., have a fun contest or something.

Aside: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burning_Wheel
luke crane the Wikipedia entry for BW is super out-of-date.

“Share one of your best ‘Worst Luck’ stories.”

In a recent BW campaign, we were using Spirit Binding as the sole magic system, but were also playing 3 LP characters, so pretty much every use of the skill was at least some level of disaster. It’s not a story pre se, but I think Michael Miller managed to burn down two separate buildings when binding hearth sprits went south.

Disaster, but also the wonders of failure in BW — something interesting always happens.