15 August 2017

#RPAaDAY 2017, day 12

Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

This is a tough one, this is definitely a subjective question and to say which is most inspiring means out of all games this one is best, that's a little presumptuous especially if you haven't seen all the RPGs out there. So i'm just going to talk about several games that have great artwork.

D&D has some good stuff, in every edition, but there is also some terrible pieces spread throughout. I really like the image of the hobbit fleeing down a hall away from some unknown beast in the Basic Set. I also really like the contrasting images in Karameikos: Kingdom of adventure showing both traladaran and karameikan art styles. It really helps to emphasize that there is a cultural dissonance among the people. There are a lot of hidden gems in the various TSR modules.

I also feel Cold and Dark does a great job of giving inspiration relevant to the genre intended to be played with the game. Even if the reader has not seen the movies, like Alien, that the game is trying to emulate, there is still an understanding of the atmosphere intended for the game just from the artwork.

The same can be said for Shadows of Esteren. Not only does the art provoke a certain mood and mystery to the setting, but it is also beautifully done. The art put forth for this game is just amazing, and it is one of the few games I would recommend on the quality of it's artwork alone.

13 August 2017

#RPGaDAY 2017, day 9, 10, and 11

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

Well, I'll give the same answer as yesterday; D&D or any RPG really. It's a matter of style over system. Deciding ahead of time to have a game where everything is resolved after a certain period of time, and keeping the game under control matter more than what game you are playing. It's fine to just end a game in the middle or after a so called 'milestone' if you want to move onto something else; there is nothing wrong with leaving a campaign unfinished. It's only fruit for more ideas later.

Where do you go for RPG reviews?

Again the same as news, either ENworld or blogs or other forums/review sites, sometimes I just look at reviews on RPGdrivethru, but that only confirms what I have already seen about the game.

Which dead game would you like to see reborn?

hmm, it doesn't help that I know of so many games and done research about them, but never actually played most of them. my first knee-jerk reaction is Alternity, but it is being redone, so . . .

I'm thinking maybe Pendragon, It has always been something I want to play, but I've never seen a hard copy and finding players interested in that sort of game is another matter entirely. I think if it was new game people might want to at least try it out.

12 August 2017

RPGaDay 2017, day 8

What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?

Most people may not think that D&D is a good fit for extremely short games, but in my experience that is one of the best ways to play the game. Having frequent short sessions can be great fun and players tend to get more involved with the long term game. I think not just D&D really, but any RPG can be played as a short game and still be great. It's just a matter of confining the scope of the game to something that can be done quickly and moving things alone, eliminating time where players just kid around. Having short 1 or 2 hour games has more to do with style of play than with the actual game or system used.

11 August 2017

#RPGaDAY 2017, day 7

What was your most impactful RPG session?

I'm not sure off the top of my head.

It may have been the session where my elf PC, Galron, befriended a White Dragon. We were exploring the Basic Module B1, I know because we also found the room with lots of pools in the same session. We found a lump of Ice blocking one of the tunnels. We were trying to find a way past it when it started to move; before we could do anything there was a white dragon breathing ice at all of us. Galron was the only one to make his saving throw, and everyone else was frozen solid.

I must have been 9 or 10 when this happened. I tried talking to the dragon, but not much came out. I didn't know what to do or say; I had never had to actually role play before without the help of others(I was shy as a kid, so being put on the spot made it worse). After several minutes of my blubbering, the dragon burst out laughing, and decided to help this stupid elf. The dragon brought the rest of the party to the room with the pools and we put them in one which was full of healing potion. After that we had a long term friendship with that dragon, and even protected some eggs for it once, and went on to found the Dragon City. Galron became my favorite character for a long time.

That session had a lasting impact on the setting. Also I started to role-play more and take a more active part in the game after that session.

10 August 2017

#RPGaDAY 2017, day 6

You can game every day for a week. Describe what you would do.

Well obviously, I would game every day. I have done this before, back in high school during parts of the summer or winter breaks. Right now I would probably run 2 or 3 games of my current campaign, and be a player in other games the rest of the week. Hopefully different genres.

09 August 2017

#RPGaDAY 2017, day 5

I know I missed a few days, maybe I'll catch up this weekend.

Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

I know it's cliche, but I think the Players Handbook of 1e fulfills this description best. It shows what might be a common party of adventurers looting a dungeon. Though the Holmes cover is a close second. I really prefer the style of the Holmes cover more than the Players Handbook. The Holmes book also shows an entire party and a room full of treasure and they are fighting a dragon, so it has a certain appeal to me.

06 August 2017

A Change

After reading this post by Alexis, I have decide to change some things in my DMing methods. I am going to ditch the screen once and for all. I have been convinced for a long time now that running without the screen is better. I have talked about it and even tried it a couple times, but I was never committed to it. I always went back to it, at least for D&D, because of all the charts on the screen; they can prove to be so useful. If I really need them so badly I can print out a cheat sheet an store all the info I need immediately in a binder or folder.

I am also going to change my approach to teaching the game to new players. I have been used to a rotating cast of new or relatively new players changing every week due to my running for the tabletop club at CSUN. I would just tell the player what die to roll and then tell them what happened, I would not tell them why they were rolling or what their chance of success was or any basic principles of the game. And this worked because there were very few players who showed up every week and people enjoyed themselves and didn't have to worry about reading and memorizing a 300 page tome. In all my time at CSUN there was only one player who showed any interest in the actual rules and the book, though he had played 3.5 and 5e before, so that may have prompted him. I sent him a PDF of the Cyclopedia, but I don't think he actually went through it thoroughly.

To change this apathy in the rules I am going to actually try to teach the rules through play and maybe even give them some of the DM responsibilities such tracking npc hp. When I ask the players to roll I will tell them their chance of success and why they are making such a roll. Why are they making an ability check instead of a saving throw? why use wrestling rating instead of an ability check? why a to hit roll instead of an ability check, why does an ability adjustment apply here and not there? Simply put I will tell them what type of roll they are making, chances of success, bonuses or penalties, and the why of it all.

Also I am going to make a stronger effort to engage them in the fiction of the world; explain the possible motivations of npcs and why things happen the way they do. A goal here is to encourage cooperative play. All the players should work together toward a goal of their own choosing, not something I have dangled in front of them and they feel obligated to follow because "that's how you play D&D." I will try to encourage them when they suspect danger where there is none or they are foolhardy when they should be cautious. If there is some danger the players should be warned of it before it appears so they always have a choice, and have complete control of their characters' agency.