Thursday, August 31, 2017

RPGaDay 2017: Final Roundup of Days 21 through 31.

Day 21: Which RPG does the most with the least words?

The Black Hack. This RPG wonderfully recreates a original D&D feeling without wasting any words. It even inspired me to write my own wordier version with some additional rules called The Kraut Hack.

Day 22: Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

That's either a sandbox setup completely before play starts or a game that helps me to create everything on the fly. Recently, I had the best results for a sandbox with Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem. Even though setting up a sandbox is a lot of work, The best pick-up game is Masters of Umdaar a Fate World of Adventure for Fate Accelerated Edition.

Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

Jaw-dropping can either mean visually gorgeous or easy to navigate. I have not seen an RPG that does both equally well. Fate Core is easy to navigate. The most visually stunning in my opinion is War of Ashes: The Fate of Agaptus.

Day 24: Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more?

I think Evil Hat could probably charge more for their Worlds of Adventures. Note: This is a completely uninformed customers opinion.

Day 25: What is the best way to thank your GM?

Saying thank you for GMing, being an engaged player, and maybe writing a game session report (either in or out of character).

Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

Not sure, if this supposed to mean contentwise in the rulebook or as resources on their webpage? I like random tables that help spark your imaginaton. So in a rulebook, I'd say Traveller, because the tables in almost any edition of the game help you build and run a solid game. As resources on a webpage, nothing beats the auto-calculating character sheet for the German edition of The Dark Eye, as well as their rules wikipage. Though I don't play the Dark Eye, the resources offered for the game online and offline (cards, fate chips etc) are gorgeous. They make me want to GM, even though I have zero players for the game.

Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

Dice, tokens for fortune/luck/fate points, paper, people and nowadays a webcam and Google Hangouts, since most of my gaming takes place online.

Day 28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

Actually it's two movies: The Gamers and The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising. Especially the last one. Yes, it's frightingly self-referential.

Day 29: What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?

Everything Greg Stolze did for Reign. Clear funding goal, only a PDF only level, and delivery the day after the money was collected. Also, the promise to keep the kickstarted stuff around for free for anybody else.  This was way back before kickstarting RPGs became a thing. The Reign Kickstarters are the ones you should aspire to: get the money, do PDF only, no stretchgoals, and give away the PDFs for free to everybody else afterwards. Also, next day delivery!

Day 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?

In my opinion, most of the RPGs out there need more gay. I mean that seriously. Representation is a great mashup for any genre.

Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. Sadly, I am not able to let vampires entirely go.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

RPGaDAy 2017: The collected answers to Days 14 through 19

This is a repost of my answers on Google+.

Day 14: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

That one is pretty easy. In the past 13 years my go-to-game for open-ended play has always been some sort of Vampire edition. Mostly Vampire: The Requiem or Vampire: The Dark Ages. But my tastes are changing again. Before 2004 I regularly gm'ed Dungeons & Dragons. Nowadays, Fate Accelerated Edition is turning into my go-to-game, as I am slowly moving away from dark gamers like Vampire.

Day 15: Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

Easy one. Fate Accelerated Edition, closely followed by Fate Core. As a generic game, it usually needs some adaption to a specific setting in the way the aspect template is handled, some example stunts and maybe additional small rules additions to the robust core system.

Day 16: Which RPG do you enjoy using as it is?

Basically all that are not Fate Core, Fate Accelerated Edition or OSR. I like using games as they are written, and am very careful about introducing house-rules. One RPG stands out though. I had hacked Vampire: The Requiem 2.0 pretty heavily without first playing the rules as written. When I finally did, it turned out to be the most enjoyable Requiem experience I ever had. So, I do enjoy running VtR2 as it is.

Day 17: Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

At was at first tempted to say Mage: The Ascension . But I did play that and all attempts to do so crashed and burned. Besides, I didn't continuously own the first edition.

But the real candidates are my collector's items that I never bought for playing, but wanted to own anyway. So I am thinking back 1990s: By accident I found the original Space: 1889 books and the FASA Doctor Who game. But then I remembered my real catch from somewhere back in the 1980s. Either in the UK or back here in Germany: Red Box D&D Basic in a book edition. I think it was published by a UK company. And I've never ever played this, because I bought it as a curiosity. I've played plenty of other D&D edition, though: D&D Rules Cyclopedia, AD&D 2nd Edition (second game I ever played), D&D 3.0, some D&D 3.5, even one game of D&D 4th edition, and lots of D&D 5e. But never red box D&D Basic.

Day 18: Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

Disregarding different editions like Advanced, 2nd edition, revised, a pesky .5 or anniversary editions or different lines like World vs. Chronicles, the two games, I've played most in my life are Vampire and Dungeons & Dragons. Those are two games I've stayed with through numerous edition changes, change of publishers and shift of rules. I've been playing D&D since New Year's Day 1990, and Vampire since Fall 1996. I've had phases in my life where I didn't touch D&D and phases where I didn't touch Vampire. But both are my longtime companions and the lense through which I view gaming.

Day 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

For me that's Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition aka Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicles. The writing was crisp, inspiring and to the point. Transporting a lot of setting information in a less pages than 1st Edition. Also, reading was entertaining, informative and awakened a sense of wonder. I think it was written a lot better than 1st edition which felt like a chore reading through.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

RPGaDay 2017: Days 7 through 13

I've missed a couple of days (okay, I missed a lot of days), so here is a quick update on the questions from the last days:

Day 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?
The most recent one for Dresden Files Accelerated showed us that we hadn't really defined the stakes of a conflict, leading to some disagreements about conceding. I learned a lot about Fate that day.

Day 8: What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2hrs or less?
That's less of a question the system than the prepared scenario. For demo purposes or when the time is tight, almost any RPG can be played in 2hrs or less.

Day 9: What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?
Anything Powered by the Apocalypse. This engine really shines when run for a short story arc.

Day 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?
Either a review turns up in my G+ streams or I look for them at DriveThru.

Day 11: Which 'dead' game would like to see reborn?
In the age of print-on-demand it's often possible to still get print copies of most now-defunct gamelines. A gameline is defunct, when nothing new is published for it anymore on a regular basis. That said, I would have liked to see more of Deliria, but with a better game system (Fate Core or Accelerated for example). Especially the mythical supplement "Goblin Markets".

Day 12: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?
If inspiring means that the art inspires adventure ideas or ideas about the world, then I am going to say Everway. The artwork of that game inspired you to think about it by asking questions.

Day 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.
Playing Burning Wheel in the elf game. I realized just how flexible narration and dice rolling can interact, and especially how each roll matters and drives the story in often unexpected directions.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

RPG a Day 2017: Day 6 - You can game each day for a week.

Once a year, in August, I go to the coolest RPG convention on this planet. No, not talking about Gen Con. That's the largest. I am talking coolest: Sternenhimmel (in English something like starry sky). It's six days of family friendly gaming in a small town called Nördlingen. That's six days of gaming that I love. So pretty close to a week. This is what I am going to be gaming this year, in no particular order: Idee!, Pendragon, Vampire: The Dark Ages, Masters of Umdaar, Dresden Files Accelerated, Star Trek Adventures, Urban Shadows. Saddly, no Reign this year.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

RPG a Day 2017: Day 5 - Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

Thinking about this for a bit. All The One Ring RPG covers perfectly capture the atmosphere of Middle-Earth. But with all the visuals about Middle-Earth available that's kind of easy. But the cpver that really did it for me was the one on the Dark Sun Boxed Set (the original one from 1991).

You have a hulking figure in front of a stark landscape overshadowed by a dark sun, perfectly catching the spirit of the resource-scarce world of Athas, a dying desert wasteland ravaged by magic. A perfect metaphor for the 1990ies environmental concerns.

There, I managed to sneak in Dark Sun again, my favorite TSR AD&D 2nd Edition setting.

Friday, August 4, 2017

RPGaDay 2017: Day 4 - Which RPG have you played the most since August 2016?

This is an easy one. Last year, I was completely fascinated by Modiphius' Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of and went all in on the kickstarter. So, starting with the release of the first chapters of the corebook, I've gm'ed the new Conan game. I am at 36 gaming sessions (some as players, some one-shots, and an ongoing, soon to be concluded campaign). The campaign consists of a total of 16 sessions. The last one scheduled, but has not happened yet. The campaign was a real-life gaming group that has more or less disbanded due to time constraints and diverging interests.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

RPG a Day 2017: Day 3 - How do you find out about new RPGs?

Usually I find out about new RPGs by reading my Stream on Google+ or by visiting the Google+ community Rollenspieler (deutschsprachig). Also, Jennifer Fuss' Crowdfunding Collection contains interesting new games. Additionally, I am subscribed to the newsletters of Modiphius, Onyx Path, and Monte Cook Games.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

RPG a Day 2017: Day 2 - What is an RPG you would like to see published?

There are lots of interesting properties out there that I would love to game in. Stranger Things? Can be done with Tales from the Loop. Star Trek? Has just been done with Star Trek Adventures. Doctor Who? Also available as RPG. Killjoys? As much as I would like to see that, it's easily done with Traveller (any edition) or Coriolis. Though I would love to have a professional game design for Killjoys.

But what I would really like to see would be a non-White Wolf / non-Onyx Path derived vampire game. Maybe Vampire Diaries / Originals or even Vampire Chronicles-based.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

RPG a Day 2017: Day 1 - What published RPG do you whish you were playing right now?

It's that time of the year again. August. Time for the RPG a Day. Time to dust of my blog and get posting again. It's a nice exercise for daily posting.

I currently have no regular real-life gaming group, instead playing all my games online via Google Hangout. I am running a weekly Star Trek Adventures game, a weekly Dresden Files Accelerated game, and a bi-weekly Cypher System game, as well as playing a bi-weekly Venture City game. So I am well covered with my currently favorite game systems and settings, making the question what I would like to play right now difficult.

But after some thinking, right now I would love to play a game of Malmsturm. It's also a Fate Core game like Venture City, but it's a German sword & sorcery setting with huge world, larger than life heroes, and equally horrific or diabolic adversaries. So, yes, I am firmly settled with Fate Core as my go to game. Now, if I would manage to get a real-life gaming group with Fate Core going.