Friday, August 12, 2016

RPG-a-Day 2016 First Week Roundup

This is the first of my #RPGaDay roundup posts for this year. Sorry this is so late, but Gencon really threw my schedule off and I'm only now getting things lined up enough to post various related blogs and such.

A more detailed description can be found here, but RPG a Day is a project where each day you answer a question/prompt about your gaming experiences. You can follow with my posts roughly daily-ish over at my Google Plus page.

Here's the basic list of questions/prompts:

And here we go, Week One of my posts for this year:

Day 1: Real dice, dice app, diceless, how do you prefer to 'roll'?

Real dice, all the way. It was asking questions about a friend's D&D dice back in the 6th Grade that introduced me to tabletop gaming to begin with. I like the look of them, I like the feel of them, and I'm a little proud of the collection I've built up over the years of interesting/weird dice. I'm not averse to an app in a pinch, and I've got no issue with diceless systems or certain dice alternatives (cards, CritSuccess dice rings, etc.) but I'm one of those folks who's at his most comfortable rolling physical dice across a table.

Day 2: Best Game Session Since August 2015?

That would probably have to be a Werewolf session I had back in January. My characters' pack had discovered the Kinfolk destined to serve as the mouthpiece of the Cave of Secrets. They got their first glimpse at one of the nearby BSD packs, and found out what the deal was with the cave and the caern contained within it. That was the point where the setting for future plot had basically fallen into place. Ending of one thing, beginning of another, yada yada.

(Link to the write-up of the session itself:

Day 3: Character moment you are proudest of?

I so rarely get to actually play games instead of running them, most of my awesome character moments are far enough back that I can't easily recall them. And I'm not going to count an NPC for this because it's far too easy to 'script' those sorts of moments.

But one does come to mind.

Some years back, I played in a Dark Ages Vampire LARP, playing a nature-loving, pantheistic Malkavian wandering monk. This story wound up taking a left turn from the default timeline, as things fell out such that our characters wound up being the lynchpin of a concentrated movement to avenge the Salubri and exterminate the Tremere. Most of the folks took advantage of the opportunity to play low-generation characters, and some of us (myself included) wound up being lowered in generation further via diablerie or (in my character's case) as a blessing from Malkav.

To prepare for a siege on the Tremere stronghold (the name of which I cannot recall), I used the Malkavian Madness Network to summon as many members of my clan as I could. During the siege itself, I seeded Malkavians in as many of the combat units as possible and used Elder Auspex and the Network to help coordinate the battle, serving as a telepathic hub to relay messages and orders.

Not that we continued the game after wrapping up that story, but we wound up creating an alternate timeline where the Salubri returned from the ashes, the Tremere were all but wiped out, and I think we managed to avert the Anarch Revolt but don't quote me on that.

Day 4: Most impressive thing another's character did?

The first thing that comes to mind was a scene at a Mage: The Ascension LARP some years ago. Sean was playing a New World Order character and in one scene was trying to deliver some basic indoctrination to a captured Tradition mage, played by a guy who was sorta new to the setting. He delivered to the mage in question a speech about the nature of power and magic, the superiority of the technocratic paradigm, and the Technocracy's goals with regards to protecting humanity. A lot of this was stuff the other player was only hearing for the first time OOCly as well as ICly. At one point, just to prove a point about the nature of power, Sean's character called in a favor from the Syndicate and produced a pile of money just to burn it in front of him. Sean wasn't trying to completely recruit him, but at least begin a brainwashing process IIRC. After the speech, he went to throw a test to see how convincing he was, and the other player told him he didn't need to; just by talking, Sean had 'gotten through' to him.

Day 5: What story does your group tell about your character?

Again, as a consequence of almost never playing, I don't have much for this. The only thing that comes to mind, really, is the time a mage I was playing (Awakening, not Ascension) tried to escape from a werewolf who was grappling him and I managed to get an exceptional success on a chance die (requiring rolling five 10's in a row on a single d10).

Day 6: Most amazing thing a game group did for their community?

I dunno where to start, because over the years I've heard so many stories of game groups and organizations organizing or donating to charities.

One that comes to mind, though, is the Solving the Riddle charity tournaments. A Legend of the Five Rings play group in the Atlanta area, for years, have run charity tournaments in October to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. Another group, for about a decade, ran events to raise money for charities supporting the families of 9/11 first responders. 

Day 7: What aspect of RPGs has had the biggest effect on you?

This sort of goes back to the answer of a similar question last year, but it's the people I've met. I've been through a lot the last few years, and it's hardened me somewhat, but reaching out to more gamers has also greatly broadened my horizons and made me realize a lot of things about myself. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but talking about games online has helped me find people who've made me a better person overall.

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