Thursday 31 August 2017

Deadlands - Wailing Horror

Husbit's reminded me it's been a while since I wrote up any Deadlands, which is true: nothing since March, and that was way later than it should have been. It's here if you wanna remind yourself. Time to rectify the delay.


Dillinger told us Pennington-Smythe had taken the Amulet of Rahashimir out of town to hide it, but he didn't know where. He suspected Big Ears Tam was behind Pennington-Smythe's disappearance, and warned us we wouldn't be able to just walk up to the compound and ask, and definitely wouldn't be able to break in. He suggested we ask around on the streets, see if we could find out from rumour if he's there. All the same, he drew us a map of Tam's estate and told us his lieutenants are Ratskinner Hou and Thin Noodles Ma. He sorted us rooms at the hotel, and we headed to the docks to see if Pennington-Smythe had hired a boat, which could be why he wasn't back yet.

We didn't learn anything about Pennington-Smythe at the docks, but as we asked around we learnt more about the lieutenants. Professionally, they're rivals, which is how Tam's meant to keep them under control, but actually they seem to be friends. Despite his name, Thin Noodles Ma is a huge man who runs the brothels, looking after his employees. Ratskinner Hou runs the opium trade and gets his name from his hat, made form the skin of an informant. There's a lot of politics - officially, Big Ears Tam's the "Dailo" and the other two are "Big Brothers". There's no open warfare between the gangs, more like a game. Tam's men - Tong - wear red, Thin Noodles Ma's men are in blue, and Ratskinner Hou's in green.

There's a fourth gang in town, which has a few people on edge because they're only ever seen with the Big Brothers and there's concern it could be a sign of warfare to come. Suspicion is they're from Warlord Kwan.

Noone has seen Pennington-Smythe, but we eventually hear a rumour of someone frogmarched to the Skids by blue Tongs (Thin Noodles Ma, then). It's the best we have to go on, so we head over. Dark by the time we get there, making the 4 Tongs stood outside the door more obvious. Steve and I approach to give Tesla and Carson cover so they can get into position. Carson's first bullet misses its target by fractions of an inch. The guy leaps to the roof and I scramble up to help him: he's great at range, but even worse in hand to hand than me. He falls as I get there, bleeding from the ear. Don't think that was the Tong... I manage to shove our opponent to the ground, jump down to land on him and scream for Tesla. It's a tough fight, but we prevail and free Pennington-Smythe. Between him and Tesla, Carson's back on his feet.

Pennington-Smythe hid the Amulet before he was captured, but they managed to find out where using telepathy. He and Carson explain they couldn't just lift information out of anyone as they walk past - there's a contest of wills needed, and they'd tied P-S down and stared into his eyes for minutes. He needs us to come with him to get it back before Noodle's men take it.

He leads us out of town. As we get closer to his hiding place, we can hear this pitching screaming that he insists is just the wind. There's about 12 people's worth of tracks, one larger and heavier than the others. Makes me think of the large blue man we fought on the Good Intentions. P-S hasn't heard of anything like that, dismisses it as fancy and says the footprints are more likely someone carrying something heavy.

He chucked the amulet down a hole, and that hole has been dynamited with the footprints leading in. As the smallest, I offer to go first. There's what looks to be a steep, deep drop but is only about 6ft, so the others jump where I scrambled. Steve spots the amulet on the floor, right where it landed after P-S threw it down, which is when P-S pointed out the dozen or so very fresh, very bloody corpses. Tesla collapses with a heart attack in shock; P-S saves him while Steve and I puke. 

And the very earth rises into a man-shaped, screaming thing. It attacks, and nothing anyone does makes it slow. P-S points out a tiny gem in its forehead, telling us to make that the target; he's the one to finally make the shot [OOC aside: I know this sounds like 'GMPC saves the day', but I was running Pennington-Smythe. If we have an NPC on our side in a combat, they're shared between us. I most often get control if there's only one because Solomon is a pacifist]. The gem shatters. Dust flies. A giant man rises from the bodies and  flees the room. We give chase. Bullets ping, but he seems unconcerned, then punches Tesla and I in our throats, winding us both and leaving me choking. The others eventually takes him down and he melts into the ground, like the blue guy we saw before. The amulet rests where he had been.

Before we leave, Carson spots a strange glowing lightning shape on the west wall. Closer inspection shows it to be made of some kind of glowing lichen. It doesn't mean anything to any of use, so we gather up the amulet and return to Sunrise House.

I feel like the smell of bodies will never leave me.

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 31 - What do you anticipate most in 2018?

This is a lovely question to finish on.

More Exalted. I'm really enjoying the world, the characters and the epicness of the plot. Resolving the Flood in Deadlands; defeating Reverand Grimme and making the world a slightly better place. Hopefully. Maybe a return to Aberrant, because the plot ended on a real cliffhanger I'd like to resolve. Also hoping to play the short Mage campaign Rich keeps talking about, which is quite a lot of gaming!

I've got the new Paranoia game - can't decide if I want to run it or convince someone else to run it, but I am hoping to play it in the next year.

The thing I'm most looking forward to is running the Buffy game for my aerial friends, if only because that means we'll have actually managed to move into our new home and all the stress of the past few months will be behind me!


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 30 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 30: RPG Genre Mash-up

The official wording includes "you'd most like to see", which implies finding one that doesn't already exist and I can't think of one.

I've talked a couple of times about the Buffy game I want to run for Bells and my circus friends, and today I'd like to talk about the sort of game Bells would like to run, because it kinda falls into this category.

Of our normal gaming groups, we're the most interested in the mix of magic and tech that makes up a game like Shadowrun. The others generally seem to have the attitude that you should have on or the other (Deadlands has magic and tech, but it's steampunk rather than cyberpunk tech, so apparently that makes the combination ok - because the tech is kinda magic rather than tech, maybe?)

One of the bits of Exalted we're most enjoying is (re-)discovering First Age tech. In this instance, the tech is magical, or deeply rooted in magic, but due to historical events the ability to use magic at the level required to create, maintain and understand the tech is lost.

The first place I came across a concept like this is in (potential spoilers) Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, which starts out as straight fantasy, but is eventually revealed to be set on an alien planet colonised by Earth ships and then dragons created by genetically modifying local wildlife to protect the colonists from an unexpected threat. Further natural disasters destroy a lot of what they brought with them, reverting the society to something more akin to the quasi-medieval, quasi-feudal hierarchy we're used to seeing in fantasy, and the passage of time and need to share how to survive the planet meaning stories of how they arrived there were lost. When I read the book that revealed the sci fi element in my mid-teens, I was amazed. Now it seems a bit clumsily handled, but then it was mind-blowing and eye-opening (and a little disappointing because I wanted the fantasy).

It will come as no surprise, then, that we're both keen to try Numenera. Lost tech that's understood as magic by current users and trying to unravel the mysteries of the past really appeals. Bells has mentioned he'd be interested in running it if he could find a suitable group - ie, people who're interested and not going to dominate - and had the time. If he does ever get the chance, I hope to be able to play in it. I'm really intrigued to explore the setting and know he, like me, is more interested in exploration and interaction than combat, so think any game he ran would play to my interests.

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.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 29 - Which RPGs facilitate running very large groups enjoyably?

The official topic for today - best run RPG KS backed - doesn't work for me because I've only backed 2 and both using Husbit's KS account rather than mine and I haven't paid any attention to how they were run and to be honest, kinda like with the writing, I'm more likely to notice if they were badly done than done well. Silly human nature.

Looking at the alternate questions, the only one that stands out to me is "Have you learned a skill because of events in a game? Tell us about it!". I sat there thinking for a bit about whether I actually had an answer, realised part of why I started circus was becaus eI enjoy playing rogues in D&D-style settings, then realised I liked this because it meant I could talk about circus, and this is RPGaDAY, not AerialADay (... ummm... I may have to use that...), so I'd rather talk about RPG's (and I talked about aerial + RPG last year). I don't really have anything to add to previous day 29's, so I've selected another alternate question that stood out less because I feel like I'm going to repeat things I've already said this year, but never mind.

Which RPGs facilitate running very large groups enjoyably?

Ok. I've talked a few times about the huge games that uni friends run when we visit, usually some kind of horror. A spaceship is not an unusual setting, nor a variation on the town itself (one where they didn't close Y Bae. We generally feel that having The Bay open makes up for the horror events), and the first or second I played in (while I was still at uni) was set in an ancient Celtic settlement.

Why do these games work well for large groups? Partly it's the group: we like playing together. Most of the group are used to playing in the large group, and the rest of us are just excited to see everyone else. The party constantly splits, so the little groups work together and chat in or out of character while the focus is on another - we all seem to be pretty good at tuning out what we don't need to be hearing.

The other benefit is that they're very rules-light. At the start, whoever's running (usually Rowan but sometimes John) will give us the rules to create our characters. Pick a name. Pick an occupation from a list or appropriate to the brief outline setting we've been given. Here's a set of stats (5 or 6): you have a few points to split between them. We're going to use this type of die/dice today. Quick introduction to establish who's who and whether anyone knows anyone else. These steps may not all happen. The way dice and stats are used are usually inititally a little fluid, settling into something that works as the game goes on.

The GM's, then. They have a concept. They know what's happening around us, but let us add to the world through our conversations and actions (though they aren't afraid of the word "no" when appropriate). They have great imaginations and are great communicators, so we can all swim together. The concept has had more consideration than any 'rules'.

And the dynamic of the group as a whole. The comfortable atmosphere that makes it ok to fail or do something stupid, and it doesn't matter if your character dies.

These combine to make an easy, fluid gaming experience.

So which RPG's facilitate large groups? As usually with "which RPG..." questions, the group is probably more important than the system, but rules-light, make-it-up-on-the-fly systems are the best!


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 28 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 28 - Biggest source of quotes

This is the topic I've been looking forward to the most, because I want to talk about Yonderland and save you from the shadows, which is nice.

Most of the quotes in our games come from obvious sources such as Python, inevitably, and Red Dwarf (Cat probably figures the most: "Fish!" "Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal"). Previous games show up ("Did it move? Hit it!"... aren't in-jokes the best?).

Personally, I quote songs a lot. Any time anything sounds like a song I know, I can't help it! 
GM: You wake up. What do you do? 
Fern: Grab a brush and put on a little make up. Hid the scars to fade away the shakeup. Why'd you leave the keys up on the table? Here you got create another fable. 

Other player: We'll have to dig it out
Fern: Dig through the ditches and burn through the witches that slam in the back of my DRAGULAAAAA.

Other player: I hide in the shadows
Fern: I've been watching, I've been waiting, in the shadows, for my time. I've been searching, I've been living, for tomorrow, all my life.

It must be very annoying. I try to rein it in, but with little success.

Of our group, only Husbit and I watch Yonderland but we adore it. We saw it described as "Monty Python meets Labyrinth" and thought it couldn't live up to that but we'd check it out anyway - and were hooked! It's by the Horrible Histories (warning: TV Tropes link) guys - another show only Husbit and I watch, and quote excessively - but with puppets instead of animations, and an ongoing plot rather than sketches.

It starts with Debbie and her husband Bob Peter preparing their twins for their first day of school, then runs through a montage of Debbie being very bored, watching daytime TV ("What's in the box?") before meeting Elf and learning about the portal in her cupboard that leads her to Yonderland, where she's their Chosen One, prophesied to save them from the shadows and Stuff.

Of the Horrible Histories cast, Martha Howe-Douglas plays Debbie and the guys play nearly everyone else, with a few other supporting actors and a small army of puppeteers. It's full of quotable lines: idiomatic misunderstandings ("Never say never" "She does really she just said it twice, right?"), mickey-takes of real world stuff (the aforementioned "What's in the box?", from a stupid, pointless and annoying gameshow called "Deal or No Deal?"), things that are repeated between episodes ("Let us cast off these cumbersome robes")... I was hoping to find you a nice compilation clip of catchphrases but got distracted by the official videos - this is the cast discussing their favourites - has to be said, Husbit is a huge fan of the one Ben Willibond and Jim Howick pick, while we use the crone's groan a fair bit!

It's funny and fun and family-friendly. 


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 27 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 27 - Essential Tools for Good Gaming

I love topics like this! It reminds me of Day 30 last year, which reminded me of Day 22 the year before, and my own post earlier that year about preparing the gaming space. This is different detail but the same theme, and turns out to be one I enjoy.

Essential tools for gaming: core rulebook for the game you're playing. Equipment as listed in rulebook (eg dice, cards). Character sheets. Comfy places to sit. People to play with.

(I know comfy places to sit don't sound like bare essentials, but anyone who's ever tried to sit for a couple of hours where it isn't comfy will understand, and having hips that like to sllide out at awkward times and fibromyalgia makes it absolutely essential for me).

For good gaming?

The core rulebook and any supplements being used should have a good reference format, making them easy to use quickly without interrupting game flow. Similarly, the character sheets should be clear to read (flashback to Day 26 in the first year).

Comfy places to sit: cushion piles to share with friends, big comfy sofas or armchairs, a snuggly corner. I'm not fussy. I need to fidget a lot.

People aren't really tools (not the ones essential to good gaming, anyway), but are worth mentioning, because for good gaming you want to be playing people on a similar wavelength to you - people you can communicate with well and who want similar things from the experience, or people you get on with well enough out of the game it doesn't matter so much.

Of my "essential" list, I've left dice to last, because dice are actual tools. They aren't essential to gaming, but most games make use of them, and I love dice.

I like to have multiple sets of dice. This makes Husbit laugh because in Deadlands I generally carefully seek out each of my d4-d12 sets at the start of each session - and then only use one of the sets all night!

Deadlands dice
Exalted dice

For Exalted, though, I do use my different colours. It started in Aberrant, where I liked to use red d10's for mega-attributes, purple for atttributes and blue for abilities (and orange for mischief). I've taken it a step further in Exalted: no mischief or mega-attributes, but the red get used for damage, white or pink for stunts and specialities, turquoise and green for equipment bonuses... It's unimportant, but I enjoy seeing where my successes occur: "Huh, no successes on my own, but with my suit's amplified sound system I managed to hear the whispering". 

Other tools? These days, I like a notebook to write up the game as we play. I knew people who could do that in the past and never understood how they managed to write all game without getting distracted from playing, but now I get it. I enjoy chronicling our games.

I've got a shiny dice tray and pretty dice bags and my folder for rolling on, but none of those are essential for good gaming.

I met Husbit on a coach on a trip up to Warhammer World. It was a coach so the seats weren't comfortable. None of my friends were on the trip: it was mostly the younger crowd from my local GW store, with me being dragged along to show off they had multiple girls, so I didn't really know any of the other people on the coach taking up people from my local and his, and while we had dice they were all d6's, and it was D&D he was running from a few seats behind me. With no rulebooks or character sheets.

The only things essential for good gaming are interested people and some imagination.


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 26 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 26 - Which RPG has the best resources

I saw this topic and started racking my brains thinking of which come with physical things to help you run or play the game, but then at Exalted we were looking through some First Age items and realised I want to talk about in-game resources instead.

I'll start with the 'resources' stat in Exalted: I'm a big fan of the way White Wolf handles money. If you aren't familiar with it, rather than keeping tracking of every penny/cent/nu-yen/gem, you have a stat called "resources", and costs are listed as being "resources 1", "resources 2", etc. You can make purchases below the value of your stat immediately and with no repurcussion. If the value matches your stat, the stat will decrease temporarily (I'm not sure the exact rules, whether it's Storyteller discretion or specified or what). I'm not actually sure of the rules for when it's more - the only time it's come up in any game I've played in, we decided piracy was the way forward anyway and, um, acquired a boat. (That worked really well for us: it was sufficiently stocked with trade goods the GM temporarily raised our resources.)

And then onto items themselves! I enjoy supplement books filled with extra items - Shadowruns's Man & Machine and Deadlands's Smith & Robards are the first that come to mind (sticking with strictly physical in-game resources - I was also a fan of new spells and stuff from Magic in the Shadows). Seeing as it was a conversation in Exalted that started this train of thought, I figured I'd stay there. Taji and Kito have recently reclaimed the lost city of Denandsor from the maddening fog that meant no one could come near the First Age city - which means it's largely untouched and still shunned, a perfect base of operations filled with exciting goods.

Among my favourites are the Wind Blade transports, because WilyKit was always my favourite Thundercat (and just writing that sentence has me seeing loads of parallels between the Thunderkittens and Kito and Taji that I'd never noticed before. Mostly in curiosity and propensity for trouble), and they're very similar to the flying surfboards Panthro made for her and WilyKat.

We've just got our hands on some rather funky eggs: you can feel them like a bag of holding, then banish them to Elsewhere so you don't even have to carry them! You can only have one banished at a time, but still very cool. 

There's a piece of furniture that can be any piece of furniture. There's a stick of many uses - drinking straw, snorkel of not-getting-water-down-it, blow pipe, flute, other stuff. I've got a quill that takes dictation including emotion and emphasis (haven't used it yet, but I was given it for making a good decision, so I like it).

There's all sorts. I'm really enjoying exploring the treasures and love the amount of utility items.


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 25 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 25 - Best Way to Thank a GM

A couple of weeks ago, our Exalted GM raised that there should be a 'GM Appreciation Day', which got us wondering what that would be like. We figured probably the best way to organise it would be for all the players to get together to run a game for the GM, inverting the normal dynamic. Not each player taking a turn to run a game, you understand, but all the players trying to run the same game together. We'd all have some NPC's and a few scenes or locations organised, and run them around what the GM's character wanted to do.

So the GM would reach part of the world that was under my control, and I'd describe them walking into a large cave - or wait, was it a small cave? Hang on, no, it's not a cave, it's a room. Or, you know what, a cave is cooler. Let's go with a cave. And then there's like, stuff in it. Umm... the walls are all stony and there's some pictures on them of cool stuff happening and some treasure, maybe a sword or something, I'm not sure. Oh yeah, and a scary looking minotaur charging at you. Did I mention that? And then they'd leave my caves and frozen wasteland and walk into the desert next door, because who needs continuity or well-planned planets?

And it would be such chaos that the GM would be begging to take control again! =D


More seriously, a simple "thank you" I'm sure is appreciated, and snacks, treats and trinkets always go down well, but I think the best way is to engage with the world and its inhabitants - to show your appreciation through your character's actions.


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 24 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 24 - Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

I'm not buying games at the moment: I haven't played far too many of the ones I already own. So I haven't looked at PWYW publishers. What does it mean to be charging more than PWYW? Setting a price means that you don't end up with people paying basically nothing for something you've worked hard on, but on the other hand, it also means you don't end up with people paying you any more than that price - which with PWYW you can end up getting much higher than you expected. I suspect that doesn't happen all that often though. Still, it means "more than PWYW" is a weird concept.

There's no alternative questions I'm particularly interested in at the time of writing, and I feel a bit guilty at how many times I've gone back to previous years already, so I'm going to leave it there.


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 23 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 23 - What is the oldest game you have played, or still play?

The official question - "Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?" - felt too much like a combination of Day 12 and Day 19 for me to want to answer (also the hyperbole of the question made it difficult - I could talk about RPG's with layouts I like, but I don't feel qualified to judge which is the "most jaw-dropping"), so I went back to the alternative questions. The one I've gone with reminds me of Day 5 from the first year of RPGaDAY: "Most old school game owned", but my answer there - AD&D - isn't a game I've played, so I can talk about something else here.

I've had a think and done a bit of research, and it looks like it comes down to either Call of Cthulu and Warhammer Fantasy. It all rests on which edition of Call of Cthulu Husbit's brother ran: I know I've played both first and second edition WFRP. WFRP was first published in 1986, the same year CoC reached its third edition.

Call of Cthulu was run by Husbit's elder brother either one summer holiday while I was at uni or at some point in the couple of years after. It was a 1920's game, which suggests an earlier edition. I played a dilettante, Husbit and another playing were former army officers, and I don't remember the others. It was a bit of a strange game: Jules stuck to the rules of the book, which meant that someone ended up with a phobia of horses as a result of hearing a gunshot while we were on a boat. I found the system clunky and frustrating and I've never been a fan of Lovecraft. (I'd read M R James first and wasn't surprised to learn Lovecraft was a fan: his writing always struck me as a poor copy.) Overall, it's not one I'm in any rush to revisit, for all I've heard great things about friends' games. I just think there's better horror games out there.

Husbit was the first person to run WFRP for me, which I talked about a couple of times back in that first year. It was also the first RPG I was ever exposed to: some schoolfriends had got their hands on it and wanted to play, but none of them wanted to run it, so they asked me to read the rules and run for them. I dutifully borrowed the rulebook and set up an encounter involving finding some goblins in a cave... and then no one had time to play. I've still got the rulebook!

I've had a lot of fun playing WFRP, first and second edition. One of my biggest complaints with D&D-style games is the class and levelling restrictions, so I expected to have similar dislike of the career path, but I found I really enjoyed it - far more flexible and less punishing of multi-classing. It's a game I fully intend to play again - maybe even checking out the newer versions sometime.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.



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.


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.