Monday, August 31, 2015

RPG a Day, Week 4-and-change

I decided, in the end, to go ahead and finish out the month before posting my round-up collection here. So here we go, the exciting(?) conclusion of my RPG a Day 2015 coverage!

Day 22: Perfect Gaming Environment

My perfect environment would be a private room (like a living room or a special gaming room) with a big table, plenty of chairs, access to restrooms and refreshments, and... Yeah. Simple.

Day 23: Perfect Game for You

Oh hell, I dunno. I mean, I could rattle off an exhausting and probably self-contradictory list of traits I like in games. This is like picking a 'perfect food.' I have cravings and moods. I get urges for stuff I haven't had in years or wouldn't normally go for. Sometimes I'm willing to deal with a less-than-perfect presentation for some comfort food, literally and metaphorically. There are things that sound fantastic on paper but once I sink my teeth into it it's just an unpalatable mess.

Yeah, I'm just going to have to pass on this one. Also, I'm getting hungry.

Day 24: Favorite House Rule

This might be one of those 'because it's recent' things, but my Werewolf: The Apocalypse group has been toying with dropping the '1s subtract from successes' mechanic, because people were getting fed up with 'okay, I got two -- no, wait, no successes' multiple times a night.

Day 25: Favorite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

Well, what counts as 'revolutionary' in this case? I mean, I'm not sure if there's any one mechanic that's blown my mind as much as the core of the Apocalypse World/Powered by the Apocalypse system. Playbooks, 2d6, moves, all that. It's given me whole new ways of looking at RPGs in general.

Day 26: Favorite Inspiration for Your Games

I had to think about this one. I mean, I know a lot of people who use music for this, but that's not my style. The common source of most of my game inspiration usually comes from just picking up on stuff around me, things I read, videos I watch, and discussing them and in the process I'll just hit on an interesting interpretation or what have you. Best way to describe it.

Day 27: Favorite Idea for Merging Two Games Into One

I... got nothing here. Or at least very little, unless you count using tabletop games to simulate video games in the style of No Rest For the Wicked or that time +Bruce Baugh came up with a system for doing City of Heroes with Fate.

If you're just talking about tabletop stuff, a couple of things slowly come to mind. Once as a thought exercise I scribbled down some notes for recreating the Camarilla-Sabbat dynamic of Vampire: The Masquerade within a setting hack for Vampire: The Requiem, using only slightly-tweaked versions of Requiem covenants. (I can't recall the specifics off-hand, but I think it involved the Camarilla surviving as a fusion of the Invictus and Lancea et Sanctum after Rome fell, controlled by the Strix or possibly terrifying elders, and the banished Augurs combined with the nascent Circle of the Crone to become a Sabbat analog fighting them)

And then there's Lorefinder, which is a hack for the Pathfinder RPG that replaces the skill system a slightly-adjusted version of GUMSHOE skills.

Day 28: Favorite Game You No Longer Play

Far, far, too many of those. Assuming that by 'no longer play,' what is meant is 'not currently playing.' Because there are very few things that I've really given up on for good but still remember fondly. Hackmaster had its moments, I guess.

But beyond that, there are honestly just too many tabletop games that I'm not playing that I enjoyed so it's just really tough to gauge here. So this is sort of a half-assed pass.

Day 29: Favorite RPG Website/Blog

I don't really have one. Aside from Twitter and Plus, I don't interact with the community at large. I poke at message boards from time to time, but rarely at best unless I've got a real bug up about my ass about a particular thread.

Day 30: Favorite RPG Playing Celebrity

I don't really have one of these, as it's not something I tend to think about. I mean, put a gun to my head and make me pick one, I'll say Dame Judi Dench (Vin Diesel taught her D&D when they were working together on Chronicles of Riddick).

Day 31: Favorite Non-RPG Thing to Come Out of RPGing

Honestly, I think the tricky thing here is finding something that I can specifically credit to RPGing as opposed to writing in general (which is why I'm not going on a drawn-out spiel about how much I've learned through the world about research).

I guess my favorite thing is the friends and social connections I've made. I grew up in the middle of nowhere where I didn't interact with other people my age outside of school or the very rare family gatherings. I went to school, and I was one of the weird ones because I was undersocialized, and the other kids treated me like crap for it (the fact that I was reading two or three grades above my level and the teachers were fawning over me for it didn't help) and I didn't quite get what they were doing for a long time because I didn't have the social context for it outside what I'd seen on television shows. So as a result, I didn't really have 'friends' as much as 'other kids who didn't care enough to push me away.'

I eventually met some kids as weird as I was in a 'self-contained gifted' class (read: 'smart, but socially awkward and/or probably have ADD and are thus sealed off at the ass end of the school'), but what really gave us something to bond over was when I saw they'd brought some funny-looking dice to school and asked "Hey, what do those do?" and that led to my first conversation and eventual proper initiation about D&D.

Most of the people I've maintained connections with over the years have been through the furry fandom or RPGs, and damn near all of the ones I actually interact with in real life come from the RPG side of things. My best friend +Sean Smith and I first met through the White Wolf Game Locator on the old website, and we first clicked with the local gaming scene not through a nearby gaming store (as the only one in the area at the time was openly hostile to its customers) but through a LARP found on the same site. Pretty much everyone I've played with in the last decade has been someone I either met through that LARP or met because of someone I met through that LARP.

And then there's the various folks I've met through the old White Wolf message boards, MMOs, and Plus, who've done a lot to expand my horizons both gaming and otherwise. The gaming community has a lot of issues as a whole, but I've been pretty lucky to surround myself with decent folks capable of appreciating each other.

And that's my favorite thing to come out of gaming.

And to add a little something extra to anyone actually reading this post that wasn't in the original, I'd like to take a moment and link to Matt McFarland's response to that last question, because it's really good.

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