Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RPGaDay 2017, Week 3

Alright, so I'm home from Gencon. And for the most part, I managed to keep my daily updates going until the end of it! Woo!

Anyhow, this post collects the third week of RPGaDay. And as I did last year, I'll wait until the end of the month for the fourth and final roundup.

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

Just saying Fate Core/Accelerated would be both cheating and slightly untrue. Actually, I'm going to say Atomic Robo RPG. "But Chris," you may say. "Isn't that just another flavor of Fate?" Yes. Yes it is.

It's the specific implementation that matters. The notion of Modes as skill packages can add just that tiny hint of flavor to a character. I've got a mostly-finished Star Wars hack in my notes, for instance. Handling Force-sensitive characters is simple enough in theory -- Write up the classic 'Force Skills' from past SW RPGs (Sense, Control, Alter) as skills using ARRPGs framework and build Modes using them for Jedi, Sith, and untrained/independent Force Sensitives. (Yes, I'm aware that without some handwaving and houseruling, it makes it difficult if not impossible for someone to start off as a Force Sensitive and become a Jedi, but theres a reason why I said it's a mostly-finished hack.)

Similarly, while I haven't done any actual work on establishing firm mechanics, I've considered throwing together a similar hack for L5R. Clans are Modes. Schools (Bushi, Shugenja, Courtier, Monk, and some specific ones) are Modes. And then you have other stuff representing the character's skill set and methods. But if you want to play a Scorpion Shugenja, take the 'Scorpion Clan' and 'Shugenja' Modes. Want to play a Kakita Duelist? 'Crane Clan'  Mode and, we'll say, 'Duelist' should do ya. But if you want to play a Daidoji Scout instead, then maybe go with 'Crane Clan' and 'Bushi.' I dunno, I'm tossing around ideas here. This is a post discussing RPGs, not a design whiteboard.

But hopefully you at least get an idea of what I'm getting on about.

Day 16: Which RPG do you enjoy using as-is?

Taking this as "least house-ruled/hacked of the stuff you run/play," I'd say Monster of the Week, with the second edition Chronicles of Darkness stuff as a close second only because I don't get to run it as often. But neither of those games really lacks in anything I particularly need/want to produce the sort of narrative experience I'm after.

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

That would be Nobilis, Second Edition. Just never really had the opportunity or a group that would be amenable.

(Honorable mention goes to Hunter: The Reckoning, which I've owned forever in tabletop but only played/run as a LARP.)

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

That depends. If you count 'running' as part of 'playing,' then it's Pathfinder, as I keep up a running Pathfinder game alternating with other stuff to keep up a weekly schedule without having to make up plot every week.

If running games doesn't count, then the answer is Vampire: The Masquerade, on account of all of the LARPing I've done over the years.

Day 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

Okay, this is one of those questions that's really broad and subjective and would require stopping and thinking out too many individual RPGs to figure it out. So, alternate question.

Alternate Question: What makes an RPG book special in your eyes?

This may seem like a 'duh' answer or 'cop-out' answer, but it really comes down to an emotional connection to the content. Maybe it has a piece of art that really spoke to me, or a certain passage. Maybe it's something I ran once, or received as a gift. But if somehow I've had cause to invest some sort of emotional resonance to the book, that makes me consider it 'special.'

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

Assuming we're talking about printed books, I'd say go with Half-Price Books or eBay.

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

Huh. Um... I legitimately don't know how to gauge this. I mean, maybe I could just put off this entry until I get home and scour the shelves looking for the most evocative short book, but I'd rather get this out of the way. So lemme see...

Alternative Question: How far from human do you enjoy getting the chance to be in an RPG?

I actually prefer to keep my characters pretty human and grounded, admittedly. Every now and again I'll get a wild hair and want to play something really out there, but a lot of my characters reflect something of myself, even if it's just a superficial or a 'what if I'd turned out this way' sense. And that's a lot easier to do with more human characters.

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