Tuesday, 22 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 22: Which RPG's are easiest for you to run?

When I first looked at today's question, I thought I wouldn't have much to say because I don't have much experience running games, and am unlikely to run many (due to having plenty of friends who really enjoy running them). My inexperience means I don't know if I'd prefer to run a rules-heavy or rules-light system (I enjoy playing in both). Something with straightforward, quick combat is, I think, required. But beyond that...

anyway feel the group you're running for is more important. And then I thought, maybe I could talk about that - about the type of group I'd prefer to run for.

I want to run a game for a group of people interested in story-telling and character interaction, which will mean, I think, more prep but an easier time on the night: I want them to interact with each other as well as with NPC's. This means they also need to be people who get on well, and where you don't have one or two load persoanlities who dominate each session, because I don't have the self- or GM-confidence to control that.

On Day 6, I talked a bit about the Buffy game I want to run for some of my aerial friends, and I mentioned I'd bring in a friend who already plays to help out. As much as I love him, that would not be Husbit: he's one of those dominant personalities. There's a few uni friends who'd be invited if they're free, because I miss them as much as because I think they'd be great for supporting new players. Realistically, though, it'd be Bells, aka Adam in Aberrant and my twin brother in Exalted. He and I both enjoy the character side of games most, and value story, learning and exploration over combat (nothing against a good combat, just not our priority). I've already talked to him and he's happy to be my assistant.

Of my aerial friends, the one who's most interested is Rochelle. Check out her Instagram for some great photos of reading on hoop.
Just chillin', hanging by her knees from the top of the hoop and reading, like you do.

She's never played before, but has wanted to for a while so I'd love to get her hooked. She loves to read, and has been lending the Court of Thorn and Roses series by Sarah J Maas - young adult fiction about a young woman under going various trials and tribulations that make me suspect Rochelle will fit right into the kind of game I want to run and play in. She's also a lot of fun!

There's a few others who've said they'd be up for it, but Rochelle's the most keen of the newbies, and Bells the most accommodating of the oldies. They've never met, but I suspect they'll get on just fine.

 
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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Monday, 21 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 21 - Describe a moment of wonder that arose in play

Eeee! I was feeling all stressed because I didn't have a good answer for today's question - Which RPG does the most with the least words - and I was feeling frustrated that I kept going back to previous years. I was getting already to revisit 2015 (Favourite Setting) and talk about Shadowrun again (can you tell I've got a yearning?) when I went over the the alternate questions just in case, and saw this topic - exactly the sort of thing I'd been hoping for and love talking about.

Which actually makes this really hard! Which story do I tell? I've shared so many already - do I retell a favourite, or find one you've not heard before? Ooooh, exciting decisions!

I'm sorely tempted to go to Aberrant the last time Chrissie saw her parents. It was a very intense scene I enjoyed a lot, but 'wonder'... not so sure. Staying with Chrissie, Mark Knight's comment on this post was wonderful, really made my day to read - but arose as a result of a game, not within it.

I've mentioned the Amazing World of Darkness game I played in at uni, and my Werewolf character, Plays in Shadows, was very good at seeing the wonder in everything. I joined the game when it was already in full swing - the rest of the group had played through from the Roman era, playing descendants in different time periods (to pair up with their Vampires, but everyone enjoyed being Werewolves more so it moved ahead faster: I joined modern day Werewolf and Dark Ages Vampire). My pack had been working together for a little while, and were all born to kinfolk families, either human or wolf, (apart from the metis). My first session, I created a Child of Gaia Theurge (to no one's surprise). 

We started with me in the hippie camp I'd grown up in, living in a caravan with my mother, who'd given me the delightful name of 'Starlight Moonbeam Acorn Rainbow' (I enjoyed that). One evening, I wandered off by myself - and shifted for the first time! This was when the rest of the pack, who by some mighty coincidence happened to be near by, leapt into action. They ran with me as I tore around as an angry crinos, then stayed with me as I shifted back to a confused, naked human. They took me back to the werewolf camp and explained everything to me and helped me through it all.

One of the first orders of business was a spirit quest to find my tribe. They taught me to step sideways (and caught me playing by a pool in the Cairn, using the pool's surface to jump to the umbra and back, chasing shadows of the trees, earning her werewolf name "Plays with Shadows"), and away we went. 

I don't remember the quest well (it was over a decade ago!), but there was a huge mountain that I was very excited to be climbing. It was all a bit... normal for the others, who'd grown up knowing about this sort of thing and who'd been through this sort of thing before, but for me it was all new, all thrilling - all wondrous!The others were (in character) starting to get irritated at my wide-eyed enthusiasm, and had all been through tough initiations with the totems of their tribes, so were looking forward to seeing me knocked down a bit.

Ah, but they forgot I was a Child of Gaia. Eventually, we found a cave with a fire, and there was Unicorn. We chatted for a bit, then Unicorn got me to stare into the fire. Any reason? The others asked, as I stared with complete concentration. I just wanted to shut her up for a bit, was the response. And that was my trial!

The pack's totem was Bear, with whom we all developed a close relationship, but especially me and the other Theurge, Mel's Black Fury. We played through the Apocalypse. Unicorn was killed - in fact, Starlight was the only known Child of Gaia to survive, as we were running around another dimension at the time. The horror she felt on returning to Earth and learning this was squashed to one side while they dealt with the Apocalypse, but it enhanced her bond with Bear, promoting Bear to Child of Gaia Tribe Totem.

The final scene had Mel's character and mine sat next to each other, the only ones of our pack to survive. Lunar approached and explained our work was done: she no longer needed her warriors. All surviving werewolves reverted to their birth form, except me - I'd spent so long in wolf form during the game, it seemed more natural to make me a wolf. So it was left with Mel and I sitting by a pool, and walking away, and a strange pact forming between the people of the village and the wolves who lived nearby, that lasted far beyond anyone remembering the two of us who had caused it.

That was pretty wonderful.


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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 20 - Favourite Horror Game

Today's question is another of those closed questions I find uninspiring, but still none of the alts appeal to me (sorry if I sound grumpy about this - under a lot of stress in my personal life and it's starting to overspill). Best source of out-of-print roleplay games? For me, probably ebay.

Being fed up with short answers, I looked back to 2016, and my favourite horror game. I talked then about a homebrew uni game, Celts vs zombies! 

I'm really enjoying Deadlands, which is Weird West with a good dose of horror, and Husbit's keen to play on that aspect. 

There was a moment in ShadowRun, in the Renraku Archology, when a shopful of dolls turned their heads to me and spoke my name "Kamaya..." in that creepy, lilting child voice we all know from horror films. That whole scenario is pretty terrifying and I'd love to play it again! We didn't 'complete' it because we were pretty damn immersed and all just wanted to survive and get out.

But the best horror games have all been homebrew games in my uni town - the New Year's Cyber Doggies, this year's New Year Alien game and last summer's creepy game set in an alt version of the town (neither of which I've written up yet, which the Alien game is particularly a shame because I had some fantastic dreams that night).

It's the people, of course! Rowan usually GM's, but it was John last summer, and they run for a large group so I get to see loads of my friends and that's great, and it's always fun and silly usually a little scary, with minimal rules and maximum interaction.

 
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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 19 - Which RPG features the best writing

I'm not sure. I've not read that many rule books, and when I do, I'm usually either browsing for ideas or I'm looking up something specific, which means I'm not focusing on the quality of the writing - unless it's so poor as to be a problem. And that old excuse I keep using this month: most of my books are packed away so I can't even nose through for comparison now.

I haven't read that many tie-in novels either, one for ShadowRun so many years ago all I remember is one of the secondary characters had cheap cyberware boosting his speed and it made him twitch and stutter, and then most of the Ravenloft books - some of which are terrible, to be fair. Most either have good writing but weak concepts, or interesting concepts and weak writing - but the Strahd novels by P N Elrod are very good, in concept, plot and writing. I'd like to read more by her!


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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Friday, 18 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 18 - Which RPG have you played the most in your life

The first RPG I played for any length of time was ShadowRun, for a couple of years. Then I wandered off to uni, where I played a World of Darkness campaign for the best part of 3 years - I played other games too, but none for as long. (Actually, that was pretty great: I got to try loads of games, while still getting the long-running, in-depth games I particularly enjoy.) One was Aberrant (though I didn't know it at the time), mentioned now as we'll come back to that later, because this is RPG played most, not campaign.

Then I came home and played a mix of games, usually only for a few months at a time (this included some ShadowRun, but not enough to give it the topspot). We played a bit of Deadlands in preparation for The Flood, the campaign we're currently playing in, but before starting the campaign proper, we moved on to Pathfinder. We're now playing The Flood, but I think it's been around a year.

Then Rich also started running Aberrant for me and Bells, and we played for a good couple of years, but even adding the couple of months I played at uni doesn't do enough, because we then switched to Exalted, which we've been playing for a couple of years - so that doesn't get to win either.

It's going to be Pathfinder. It's far from my favourite system, but I love my main character.

 

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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 17 - Which RPG have you owned longest but not played

Between us, Husbit & I own a fair few roleplay books, and we've played maybe two thirds of the settings. If you go further and break it down to source books, that probably gets to be even worse odds - especially if you take him out of the equation and only look at me.

But of all the books, of the ones that are actually mine, I think the one I've had longest and done nothing with is Abney Park's Airship Pirates. (I say mine, I bought it for Husbit but he wasn't all that interested so I claimed it for me ;-) ).

I bought it because I like the band Abney Park and I was entertained by the back story they created to justify their change from goth to steampunk and the concurrant change in line up. It feels like the start of a roleplay story: their plane was caught in a freak accident with a time travelling dirigible (the Ophelia). They combined with the survivors of the crash to become airship pirates (see Wikipedia and their website).

The RPG in a far future that's pretty broken, with most people living inside a huge walled city where rebels and dissenters are thrown in the 'change cage' and there's dark things going on. Outside, there are many dangers but also more freedoms. You've got people living in cloud cities, you've Neobedouin nomads, and of course the airship pirates themselves.

I'd very much like to play or run it one day, but for now I'm happy just owning it and enjoying the setting.





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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 16 - Which RPG do you enjoy using as is

I'm afraid my answer today is going to be as wet as yesterday, and for basically the same reasons.

I guess although I haven't played in ages, ShadowRun is probably the game I most enjoy playing as is. The setting is really rich and the history well put together: using the return of magic as the justification for why technology that we take for granted but which wasn't considered when the game was written doesn't exist in the game is a great get-out clause and helps keep me immersed.

I was very disappointed when 2012 swung round and no elves were born.
 

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RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.