#RPGaDay2017 What do you anticipate the most for gaming in 2018?
I get the impression that this question is about products. So:
The updated Masks of Nyarlathotep Star Without Number: Revised Shadow of the Century Mutant: Mechatron (though it may be out sooner, I dunno)
The new RuneQuest existing as a Chaosium product line
But, really, I’m anticipating finally having more time to actually play. My son is getting older, and so I can be more flexible with my schedule, and my heart attack is far enough behind me that I can stop actively worrying about being out and about.
#RPGaday2017 What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?
I don’t like genre mashups.
No-fun Mark is no fun. While there is no doubt that there are some combos I enjoy — Firefly is probably the best example, though I dunno if it really counts — I generally find high-concept genre-mashing to be off-putting. My likely gonna-offend-somebody opinion is that it’s usually something done when one is out of ideas or fundamentally doesn’t understand how stories work. You know, like when gamers inevitably add Cthulhu to just about everything and assume it gets cooler. Or zombies.
So, honestly, no more genre mashups, please. How about we focus on getting one genre right first?
#RPGaDay2017 What has been the best-run Kickstarter you have backed?
I feel lucky in that my track record with KS is pretty good.
Kevin Crawford obviously gets the top nod here, as his projects are always 100% rational in scope and deliver great products on-time. Ditto luke crane and the whole BWHQ crew. (Seriously, eff stretch goals. Promise a thing and deliver the thing.)
That said, Fred Hicks and the Evil Hat crew handled their beyond-wildest-dreams KS for Fate Core near-flawlessly, and hot dang has it been to continue receiving items from that sucker even years afterwards. Likewise kudos to Chaosium, who’ve done a great job with the Classic RQ KS.
Honorable mentions go to:
David Willis’ Dumbing of Age KSs
Everything Ben Robbins does
Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing
FYI, just a day or so left in Crawford’s new SWN project.
#RPGaDay2017 What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?
I don’t really have a group. 😔
In my old Saturday group, the most-quoted thing was probably the opening synth jab from Europe’s “The Final Countdown”. Which was the fucking worst, because it’s an awful song and one of the most intense brain-worms ever.
#RPGaDay2017 What are your essential tools for good gaming?
My non-kinky answer is a small dry erase board. I have both The Noteboard and a roughly 11″ × 14″ board I grabbed from the local office commodity store. They have proven useful for just about every RPG with which I’ve used them, both for jotting down ephemeral info like initiative order, but also as a teaching aid. A big part of my gaming involves teaching people to play during a one-shot. Different people learn in different ways, so I find it helpful to write some concepts down as I explain them, or spell out weird names, so they become more digestible.
Honestly, any tool that allows you to write things down where everyone can see them is key, IMO.
For me and maybe you, but this isn’t the hill I want to die on, a killer app of the indie/small press game scene is the access we have to the creators of these games. In my mind, this is what makes the current generation of “indie publishers” utterly different than the equally-indie publishers I worked for in the ’90s. And that’s the best resource you could ever ask for.
Probably the most fruitful, genuinely useful conversations I’ve had among all the indie creators I’ve met and talked to — which are many but not even most, ye gawds they keep cropping up like weeds — would be a tossup between luke crane (he double-classes as genius and gadfly) and Jason Morningstar (who specializes in just the genius thing). These two have done the absolute most to crowbar my head open to the vast, truly vast range of gameplay, priorities, and ideas about the nature of This Thing Of Ours.
(If you wanted to talk about extra crap to buy, I really like all the card-based supplements the Fria Ligan folks do with their Mutant Year Zero family of games. Cards are rad, yay cards.)
#RPGaDay2017 Which RPG provides the most useful resources?
I guess it depends on how we define “resource”.
Burning Wheel is the game the introduced me to many new-school, indie techniques. I think my entire post-2004 approach to RPGs in based on what I learned from it, and I go back to that knowledge (and the attendant texts) constantly.
But if we’re talking raw data, then IME it’s probably been HERO, as — much like GURPS — the line prides itself on providing a little something about every topic under the sun.
(Seriously, let me apologize for giving either BW or HERO as an answer for virtually every single prompt this year. Maybe I’m in a rut.)
Kind of an indulgent, masturbatory question today — and if I’m saying that in this collection, it must be extra-true.
I’m a GM probably 95% of the time, but in that 5% (usually my convention games) I don’t really do much more than directly thank the GM or facilitator. Costs nothing but a bit of time, but jeez, we’ve been sitting in a small room together for four hours smelling each other’s farts, it’s the least I can do. But as a GM, I know that those direct thanks are a big deal.
But! If you’re a player who doesn’t know what to give the GM Who Has It All (i.e. me or others like me), here are some ideas:
* Be present. Not just in attendance, but actively engaged in the thing. Put the phone away, ringer on mute.
* Ask how you can help. No really. Ask. Playing is a necessarily inward-focused activity, and I think it can create inward-focused play habits that aren’t conducive to table synergy.
* If you’re not feeling it, say so. I don’t know about other facilitators, but my stoke is heavily reliant on the table’s stoke. If you’re not feeling it, I won’t feel it. If you think you’re hiding your disinterest (out of politeness or whatever), joke’s on you: you’re so not.
* Indulge me in a little debrief after. It’s my one chance to, you know, share in the stoke! It’s nice to come out from under the table and join you folks and pretend I’m a star like you.
Day 24: Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more?
So…I kind of have to no-comment this one, since it’s really “Name a PWYW Publisher who should not be PWYW” and that’s kind of a philosophical question.
So instead I’ll just say some nice things about Bundle of Holding – https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ArM5WizardsPower – which is a great thing to watch for PDF bargains of every stripe. Pay what you want, get a bundle of a size based on hitting certain thresholds, though the maximum threshold is never that high.
And, of course, if you’re looking to spend your money, consider Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/ – which is awash in RPG creators of every stripe. If you look around, you will almost certainly find some you recognize. If you’re looking to help the creators, consider putting $1 a month towards 5 patreons. It’s a relatively small cost, and it can make a difference.
#RPGaDay2017 What RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?
Haters gonna hate, but Monte Cook’s old Arcana Unearthed was the first thing that leap to mind for me. Heck, the trade dress of everything he did under Malhavoc was gorgeous. Clean, airy, impeccable typography, and lots of fantastic Sam Wood art.
Bonus: the light and airy style was a stark contrast to the ornate-border-heavy style that was prevalent in the d20 era (see Mongoose for some of the worst abuses of this trend), and so it totally pissed off lots of gamers because, duh, blank white space is essentially robbery, because it’s all about the ink-to-page ratio. Remember, RPGs are basically bulk produce, right?