RPGaDay2017 In A Day

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I know I said I’d get back to the Guardians of Shymeria campaign design walk-through this week, but I’m running a Qerth game using Cinemechanix at GenCon. I’d forgotten how long (compared to QAGS and Cinemechanix) it takes to create a Qerth character even when you’re not also converting them to another game system. So I’ve spent the week in the wrong dumb fantasy world. Rather than trying to switch gears, I’m going to run through the 2017 #RPGaDay questions all at once. After GenCon (which will pre-empt next week’s post), and maybe a GenCon report, I’ll definitely get back to the Shymeria design.

[Author’s Note: Rather than link to each game, I’m just going to link to the Hex page on Drivethru. If you want to buy other people’s games, use Google.]

August 1: What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now?


August 2: What is an RPG you would like to see published?

Cinemechanix. The three campaign books I’m most looking forward to right now are M-Force, Hobomancer, and Guardians of Shymeria. I’m also starting to like the idea of a Qerth conversion, but the Qerth muse is a fickle mistress (we call her Eris).

August 3: How do you find out about new RPGs?

I don’t really keep up with new RPGs. I don’t have much time to play the games I write, much less the games other people write. I usually only hear about new games when people I know try them out or I see them mentioned on social media. That, combined with the fact that I am a shameless whore, is why many of my answers will be Hex products.

August 4: Which RPG have you played the most since August 2016?


August 5: Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

Roller Girls Vs.

August 6: You can game every day for a week. Describe what you’d do!

Not game every day for a week. Four days is my limit. This was scientifically proven the year I spent 5 days at Origins. I believe Leighton Connor summed it up on Saturday when he said something to the effect of, “Do you remember what your life was like before we were at Origins? I have these vague impressions of a time when life wasn’t just gamer stink and despair, but it’s sort of dreamlike and indistinct.” I was forced to agree, so we decided to see if beer would make life seem worth living again. It did not.

August 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?

What probably should have been the finale of the fantasy campaign I ran in college (I made the mistake of letting it continue and it jumped the shark).

August 8: What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2hrs or less?


August 9: What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

Any game that you’re still interested in after 9 sessions but don’t want to keep playing after the 10th session.

August 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?

Most of the reviews I read are of products I’ve written/published. I usually find out about them because someone tells me or I get an alert.

August 11: Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?


August 12: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

Red box D&D

August 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.


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

Previously QAGS. Now Cinemechanix.

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

Cinemechanix at the moment, but there’s a very good chance that D&D is still the game I’ve spent the most hours of my life tinkering with the rules of.

August 16: Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

I always tweak something.

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

Probably Macho Women With Guns.

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

I haven’t played D&D since the 90s, but it still might beat out QAGS.

August 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

Deadlands is probably my favorite for flavor text. GURPS is the best researched and most usefully presented (though Ian Engle’s historical setting books (especially Sindbad) are a close second).

August 20: What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?

I have no idea. When I used to collect old D&D stuff (before the internet) I used to raid the Titan Books booth on the last day of DragonCon every time I went. Nowadays, I assume that Noble Knight is the best source, but that’s based entirely on the fact that the list a Hex product that we’ve never actually sold a single copy of (QAGS Paper). If they’ve got that in stock, they’re damn good. Of course, maybe they’re just planning on sending you blank paper, which is exactly what we were going to send to anyone who ordered a copy (though ours would include a “cover,” which is just a sheet of paper with Happy d20 and a “QAGS Paper” logo).

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

The QAGS Qik-Start Cheat Sheet (explains the whole game in one page). Available here.

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

I once “ran” a game called “Legion of Stoner Heroes” where I was completely unnecessary, but it was probably missing too many of the things you normally expect from an RPG to count. The game that requires the least work from the GM and is still recognizable as an RPG session is Fratboys Vs. You just let the PCs act like morons for an hour or two (occasionally dropping in plot points) then give them an enemy to defeat. It almost runs itself.

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

There was a cyberpunk game in the 90s called Underground that tried to do this kind of hypertext kind of thing (basically lines and color coding, IIRC) in a print book. It didn’t quite work, but it was an interesting experiment at the time.

August 24: Share a Pay-What-You-Want publisher who should be charging more.

I have no idea (other than pointing out that Hex offers several PWYW titles), so I’m going to answer an alternate: “Campaigns: do you prefer a set-length or open-ended play?”

A little of both. I prefer to start out with a test run to see if the game’s something we want to keep playing, but one if we decide to stick with it I want a story arc that leads to a conclusion. After that, the group can decide whether there are more stories to be told or if it’s time to move on to something else.

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

Being a good player.

August 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?


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

Other people who want to play. Everything else you can adapt from what you’ve got handy.

August 28: What film or series is the most-frequent source of quotes in your group?

Buffy maybe?

August 29: What was the best-run RPG crowdfunding campaign you have backed?

The only-RPG-related crowdfunding campaign that I’ve backed was the Elmore art books a few years ago (There was a copy of the Snarfquest RPG included). I got everything I was promised (plus stretch goal stuff) in a reasonable amount of time. So I guess that one.

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

I’d kind of like to do a game of along the lines of “What Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie should have been like.” I ran a Guy Ritchie/Wizard of Oz mashup at cons a few years ago (“Lock, Stock, & Two Ruby Slippers”) that people seemed to like, so maybe I’ll give it a try sometime. There’s also a “Robin Hood: Outlaws of Sherwood Trailer Park” idea that some other Hex people and I brainstormed several years ago but never did anything with that I periodically consider resurrecting.

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

Actually publishing things again, I hope.

No blog next week. See you after GenCon!

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