Friday, August 18, 2017

Not Dead - Just on Vacation

In case you were wondering why I haven't kept up with the RPGaDay questions - but were afraid to ask - I've been on vacation. Since it mostly involved trees and bicycles, you can read about the over on my bike blog:

What I Did for my Summer Vacation - the 2017 Edition - Part One

There was some gaming involved... but I'll post about that at the end of the month with my monthly boardgame round-up.

I was hoping to find the Astropolis II Kickstarter rewards had arrived when I got home, but alas, they have not...

In the meantime... RPGaDay Questions...

Question #13

Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

Yeah... I kind of drew a blank on this one. 

Changes in the way I play have been small, subtle, and gradual over the years. 

I think things that have changed how I game probably occurred OUTSIDE of actual play. Encountering a game system that gave experience for stuff OTHER THAN killing things and taking treasure was a bit thing... 

I guess one thing could be when I tried to kill Runkha... The first person I ever played with was my Dad. Because for the first bit it was just the two of us, he had two characters he played; Zadoc (a priest) and Runka (a thief). Once I encountered actual kids my age that played and had more than one player I kind of got it in my head that ONE MUST ONLY PLAY WITH ONE CHARACTER - but my dad insisted on playing with the two - even when playing with my other friend(s). I got annoyed by this and decided to kill off Rukha by having him attacked by a Ninja - hired by the baddies whose dungeon they were planning to attack... He looked so forlorn, I ended up saying he didn't DIE, but was so gravely wounded he'd have to stay at the inn while the rest of the party went and bashed the Dungeon. I realized right away it was a bit of a dick move and decided not to ever be a dick again... But I don't think he ever played a game again with me after that. 

Question #14 

Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play.

I think Traveller has worked really well for that… it is such a vast sandbox of a galaxy all laid out - but with lots of room for customization and tinkering. 

Mind you, I've used GURPS Traveller and I could just as easily use Savage Worlds or something else. I think the SETTING has as much (or MORE) to do with the ability for open-ended play than any particular role-playing game. 

Question #15

Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

I had a lot of fun adapting SavageWorlds to all sorts of different settings – and I definitely have the most experience adapting it. Most recently I’ve been tinkering with the idea of minimizing rules to focus on actual ROLE-PLAYING and have been thinking a LOT about ways I could use something like Song of Blades and Heroes (or any of the games using the same basic game engine) as the basis for an extremely simple role-playing game. We shall see... 

Question #16. 

Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

I think most RPGs I start out using as is - believing "Surely this will work out..." and then I always end up unsatisfied withe something and tinkering some how. I do like to at least TRY to play any new rule set - whether RPG, Miniatures, or boardgames - with the rules as is, to try and understand what the author(s) intended.

I'm reading through Tales from the Loop and the 40K RPGs right now (Rogue Trader and Only War) - and I can't see any issues with Tales fem the Loop and so I could possibly run it "as is", but after a few sessions who knows. The 40K RPGs...? Well, I can already imagine them bogging down in combat - so I'm already planning to use a streamlined combat system that uses elements of the 40K skirmish game to speed things up.

Question #17

Which RPG have you owned the longest by not played?

Actual role-playing games not individual adventures or supplements…

ALIENS? Bunnies and Burrows? High Colonies? All three I picked up in the late 80s when I worked at the Wizard’s Corner and never actually played… ALIENS and High Colonies I picked up when they first came out, Burrows and Bunnies I bought used off a guy…

I was a HUGE fan of Aliens back in the late 80s. I've probably seen that movie more than any other movie. So needless to say I was SUPER STOKED when I heard there was going to be an ALIENS role-playing game and I bought it the moment I set eyes upon it.... I remember reading the rules and being utterly underwhelmed by the whole thing... I don't recall exactly what it was, but just overall disappointed. I may have made characters, but I'm pretty sure I never got so far as to PLAY the game. 

It looks like High Colonies came out in 1988 and ALIENS in 1991, so I've obviously had High Colonies longer. I have a feeling I may have bought Bunnies and Burrows before 1987... 

Question #18

Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

Hard to say…. In terms of number of gaming session or actual hours spent playing? Or the number of years spent using it as your go-to game?  Probably Savage Worlds… or maybe GURPS…?

I played a LOT of Role Master in high school and a lot of Palladium games (TMNT, Robotech, Heroes Unlimited, Beyond the Supernatural, etc – though I never really played Rifts…), Twilight:2000, Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Battletech/Mechwarrior…. who could possibly tally all those hours at lunch time or after school?!

After high school I played a LOT of GURPS and ran various GURPS games for years.

Eventually I abandoned GURPS in favour of Savage Worlds and ran games every Saturday evening for years… I played it enough that I set up an entire separate BLOG for it!

I have played a lot of D&D (Basic, AD&D, and more recently 5E) – This was the first RPG I ever played, and played it exclusively for some time before moving on to other games (though for a while I still played it as my go-to fantasy game) – and more recently I’ve been playing 5E…

Stay tuned for RPGaDay2017 Question #19 - coming tomorrow! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

RPGaDay 2017 #12

Question #12

Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

I really liked the Timothy Bradstreet illustrations in the original Twilight: 2000 rpg game and modules. Those black and white, sketchy illustrations with heavy shadows (most of which were based on iconic black and white photos from Vietnam or others conflicts) I though really captured the gritty, harsh reality of the game.

More recently? The illustrations in Tales from the Loop are really fun. But that whole game is BASED on the amazing artwork of Simon StÃ¥lenhag, so…

Thursday, August 10, 2017

RPGaDay 2017 #11

Question #11

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

How dead is “dead”…? Are we talking recently out of print stuff like the FFG 40K RPGs that they recently lost the license to produce? Or are we talking about long out of print gems like... I don't know... Burrows and Bunnies? Is that even what they mean by “dead”? “Out of print”? Maybe out of print from the original publisher and largely forgotten by the majority of the role-playing masses…?

Or is “dead” something that no one is playing anymore? If no one is playing it anymore, it’s probably because it wasn’t any good. If it was any good there’s probably someone somewhere still playing it!

What do they mean by “reborn”? It seems to me that just about ANY game that was half good at all has been kept alive by someone, somewhere in some form… (often as a pdf on RPGNow or Drive-thru RPG or something similar)

Even oddball old stuff like the Morrow Project – a weird little smaller press post-apocalyptic RPG from the 80s – which I never played, but always found the idea intriguing – is apparently not only still around, but in its FOURTH FREAKING EDITION!?

Perhaps they simply mean what long out of print game that you haven’t played in years (or DECADES) do you still have feelings of nostalgia for and wish you could convince someone to play it again (but probably won’t ever because you’ll realize it wasn’t actually as good of a game as you remember)...?

If that's the case I might like to dust off the old Twilight:2000 modules and have a go at them again. I'd probably use a different system. I tired it with Savage Worlds a few years back.  Perhaps If I have another go, I could just use them as a scenario generator for a series of skirmish scenarios (there's actually a brilliant blog devoted to just that: It's 500 Miles to the German Border! - A Twilight 2000 mininiature wargaming blog)

Otherwise, I don’t know… I’m pretty good with what I’ve got. And I don’t need any of the older games I have to be reborn for the purpose of having more adventures or supplements – because I prefer making that stuff all up myself anyway. I find games with loads of supplements overwhelming.

In other news... 

I actually got to RUN a role-playing game yesterday! I tried to run the kids and a couple of their friends through The Eleventh Hour - an Only War adventure FFG published for Free RPG Day a few years. 

After almost three hours - the youngest one got "bored" and so I had to all it, even though we didn't finish the adventure. The other three were pretty disappointed - but that just means they were really having fun and it shouldn't be too hard to convince the three of them to play again sometime.