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I just found out about the #RPGaDay2015 meme that’s going around.
Since I’m coming in halfway through (and since a lot of my answers to the early questions are very short), I’m going do the first 14 of them today, start doing the “A Day” part tomorrow with #15 and post a new one every weekday for the rest of the month. I’ll catch up (and make up for the weekends) by combining multiple questions with short answers as I run across them and hopefully finish more or less with everyone else. So here we go:
1. Forthcoming game you’re most looking forward to
I’m working on a project for Hex that I’m really excited about, but can’t really talk about just yet. As far as stuff from other companies, I like what I’ve heard about Ten Thousand Bullets from Crafty, but it’s been in limbo for a few years (I’m guessing due to schedule changes brought on by the success of Mistborn and Little Wizards), so I’m not sure when I’ll get to see it.
2. Kickstarted game most pleased you backed
I’ve backed Kickstarters for CDs, a new projector for my local non-profit movie theater, and a couple of Larry Elmore art books, but the only game I’ve gotten from Kickstarter was the d20 SnarfQuest book that came with one of the Elmore Kickstarters. I haven’t read it yet, but I guess it wins by default.
3. Favorite New Game of the last 12 months
I rarely buy games, so I really have no idea what games have come out in the last 12 months.
4. Most Surprising Game
Although I never actually played the game, I was pleasantly surprised by the 3rd Edition Player’s Handbook, which actually addressed the idea of playing D&D as an RPG rather than just hack and slash. Unfortunately the DMG for 3rd Edition had sort of a “screw all that story crap, here’s some tables for vision distance and encumbrance!” vibe, so I suspect the Player’s Handbook was an outlier.
5. Most Recent RPG Purchase
If you don’t count the SnarfQuest Book, probably one of the charity bundles from DriveThru. Like I said, I don’t buy a lot of games.
6. Most Recent RPG Played
If you count GMing, I ran an M-Force game for some Patreon backers in Idaho over Skype a few weeks ago. Since I live in a very rural area and it’s hard to find a time when the handful of people who are willing to play something other than D&D can get together, it’s been a year or so since I’ve actually played in a game. It was a supernatural alternate history where we were trying to keep the Scientologists from getting their hands on Joseph Smith’s Golden Tablets. I played a supernatural con artist (“supernatural” as in, “fakes supernatural activity and then charges people to get rid of it”–kind of the anti-Scooby Doo). The other characters were a Native American shaman, a zombie cowboy, and a racist tree.
7. Favorite Free RPG
The fine free products from the folks at FuQit Games. No contest.
8. Favorite appearance of RPGs in the media
Because of my weird obsession with the work of Jack T. Chick, I’ve got to go with the Dark Dungeons movie, but Community, Knights of Badassdom, and the D&D game in Buffy (where Giles played “a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily’) are all strong contenders.
9. Favorite media you wish was an RPG
I don’t really sit around wishing for somebody to make an RPG of something I like. If I think it would be a fun RPG, I find some people and play it. Of course, if I could do a QAGS supplement for any movie, I think the choice is obvious:
10. Favorite RPG Publisher
Hex Games, obviously. I liked their games so much, I co-founded the company. For other people, I’ll declare a tie between Steve Jackson Games (because the GURPS sourcebooks are really well-written and because Steve Jackson was nice enough to compete against us in a live action TOON game to decide which company had the best horror guide back when Spooky came out–because how else would you settle it?) and Atlas Games (who publish stuff that just clicks with me and most of the people I most enjoy gaming with).
11. Favorite RPG Writer
Exempting the people from Hex, Jonathan Tweet has probably been involved with the most games I’ve really enjoyed. I also used to really like Mike Stackpole’s column in Comic Retailer, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually read any of the games he’s written. Deadlands was one of the first games I remember reading that didn’t read like a Calculus textbook (or worse, a Calculus textbook constantly interrupted by bad prose). So Shane Hensley should also get a mention even if the “writing the rules in character” thing influenced the awful “let’s use bizarre grammatical constructions constantly because there’s one in the opening narration” decision that kept me from getting through more than a couple of chapters of the Serenity RPG.
12. Favorite RPG Illustration
This time I’m not exempting people who have worked for Hex, but I can’t decide between the American Artifacts cover by Jeffrey Johnson (which I own the original pencils for) and Josh Burnett‘s Hobomancer in Hell picture from the Hobomancer Companion.
13. Favorite RPG Podcast
I really wish podcasts had been a thing when I drove a cab, because I’d have gotten to listen to them. As it is, I don’t have time to just sit and listen to podcasts and don’t spend much time in the car, and if I try to put them on in the background while I’m working, I tune them out. I’ll occasionally listen to a podcast when I hear they’ve mentioned one of our games, but don’t listen to enough to have a favorite.
14. Favorite RPG Accessory
When we first started running games at conventions, we used to carry around a big plastic tub full of cheap toys, hats and other random costume bits, fake gold coins, and other nonsense for people to grab and use as props during our games. The “prop box,” as we called it, was a lot of fun, but when we started running more than one game at a time and doing bigger cons that required lugging everything around more, we phased it out. We still occasionally bring props to games (like the plastic ponies Leighton uses for his Laser Ponies games), but the logistics of dealing with a full “kitchen sink” prop box are too difficult these days.