RPGaDay 2016

Posted: 23 August 2017 in Reflections

I was filling in RPGaDay for 2017 when I noticed I had somehow missed this one out completely, so here it is…

1. Real dice, dice app, diceless, how do you prefer to roll? Real dice; they just feel better to me. I use dice apps when playing solo or by VTT, though, and will probably switch to dice apps for Fantasy Flight Games products with all their irritating fiddly weird dice (WFRP, I’m lookin’ at you).

2. Best gaming session since August 2015? Kiss of the Serpent Priestess.

3. Character moment you are proudest of? Solving a puzzle no-one else could, and thereby enlisting the help of a vital NPC.

4. Most impressive thing another’s character did? Alihulk Jr. finally defeating his lifelong enemy with heroic fisticuffs.

5. What story does your group tell about your character? “He’s a dwarven weightlifter who hates undead, and spends most of his time drinking or criticising shoddy human workmanship.”

6. Most amazing thing a game group did for their community? Not something I pay attention to, sorry.

7. What aspect of RPGs has had the biggest effect on you? The realisation that skills and companions matter, but possessions really don’t.

8. Hardcover, softcover, digital? What is your preference? Digital. Takes up less room, easier to search, easier to update (often by free download), easier to carry around. That said, in actual play I always have some kind of hardcopy quick reference sheet to hand. If I can’t have digital, I will go for hardcover if available, softcover if not.

9. Beyond the game, what’s involved in the ideal session? Drinks suitable for the attendees, nibbles (optional), enough table space to lay everything out, low noise level apart from the players.

10. Largest in-game surprise you have experienced? When the peace treaty we had been sent to broker between feuding dwarf clans allowed them to complete a small atomic bomb, killing my character. Others ran earlier and were saved.

11. Which gamer most affected the way you play? It’s a tie between two of my friends; one who is still playing OD&D and one who seeks out the most complex games and plotlines available. Both of them make their chosen games sing at the table. The former teaches memorable plots and NPCs, the latter deeply immersive settings and long story arcs.

12. What game is your group most likely to play next? Why? For the Hearts of Stone and Collateral Damage groups, D&D 5th edition, because they want to try it. For the Pawns of Destiny, the group’s primary GM always has 2-3 campaigns ready and lets us pick one; next up is a 1920s homebrew using the Edge of the Empire rules. That’s in about two years’ time at the current rate of progress, mind; he aims for campaigns 100 sessions long, and playing every few weeks, that takes about five years.

13. What makes a successful campaign? The same as for any other project; shared and agreed expectations.

14. Your dream team of people you used to game with? Luckily for me, I still play with them.

15. Your best source of inspiration for RPGs? Real world history. Our ancestors did some crazy things, and there are points in time where a handful of people really made a difference.

16. Historical person you’d like in your group? What game? Gary Gygax, and thus obviously D&D. I would love to see his take on one of our games.

17. What fictional character would best fit in your group? Flashman from the George Macdonald Fraser novels.

18. What innovation could RPG groups most benefit from? I got nuthin’, sorry.

19. Best way to learn a new game? Play it, simple as that.

20. Most challenging but rewarding system you have learned? OD&D. Let’s just say that rules writing and layout have moved on quite a way since 1974.

21. Funniest misinterpretation of a rule in your group? The hobbit sword from OD&D – “sword +1, detect meals and what kind”. We all knew it was a typo, but it was much more fun played as written.

22. Supposedly random game events that keep recurring? The 2 AM wyvern, which attacked our party’s camp in RuneQuest so often that the GM eventually stopped rolling for it and just had it attack us every night. Of course we were ready for it by then.

23. Share one of your best ‘worst luck’ stories? While looking to rent a tracker dog to hunt down a goblin, the tracker’s wife (Charisma 3) tried to seduce my character. The tracker returned at a awkward moment with his dog. It was at this point I remembered another party member had recently been polymorphed into a goblin, and thus my character had the scent of goblin about him. Exit stage left, pursued by a snarling dog, an axe-waving tracker, and the tracker’s wife with a frying pan. Like most of these stories, you had to be there to understand how funny that was in context.

24. What is the game you are most likely to give to others? Savage Worlds, because that is the one they are most likely to play with me, and that way we don’t have to share a rulebook, which speeds things up.

25. What makes for a good character? The way you play it. The attributes, skills and whatnot are less important.

26. What hobbies go well with RPGs? Wargaming, videogaming, and reading/watching history, fantasy and SF.

27. Most unusual circumstance or location in which you’ve gamed? In a disused wine cellar with bad lighting, because the organiser felt it would give the right ambience.

28. Thing you’d be most surprised a friend hadn’t seen or read? Star Wars episodes IV – VI.

29. You can game anywhere on Earth, where would you choose? Somewhere meeting the specifications in (30) and in a suitable location for the group to meet.

30. Describe the ideal game room if budget were unlimited. It doesn’t need much; the fancier it gets, the more it distracts you from the game you’re playing. A table big enough for the group, with enough chairs; storage for game rules, dungeon tiles or battle maps, and miniatures; dice. Good lighting. Quiet, and far enough away or soundproof enough that the raucous shouting doesn’t disturb others. Bonus points if you don’t have to clear the table for dinner because there is another table somewhere else in the house.

31. Best advice you were ever given for your game of choice? Best advice ever? From THW games, “Just play the game.” Best for my current favourite (Savage Worlds)? It’s a tie between “Number of wounds cannot exceed nmber of raises” and “Trim the fat”.

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