Saturday, August 23, 2014
#RPGaDay catch-up 12 thru 23
I've been very busy and distracted recently so I'm way behind on my #RPGaDay entries.
12th - Old RPG You Still Play / Read
Traveler. I'm not sure why I'm still drawn to it. The rules are clunky, the technologies unimaginative, and the setting boring. We didn't even play it all that much. But it was the first sci-fi RPG I ever bought and I have an odd nostalgia for it.
13th - Most Memorable Character Death
Actually the character death I remember most was due to the DM being a dick. I went to a gaming club open house at the University of Maryland (probably 20 years ago now) and joined a session of D&D. The rules were 2nd Edition AD&D, which I was not familiar with. I think they just handed me a character to jump in but the main group of about eight players at the table with the DM already had full characters in the campaign. Several of us were sitting in chairs away from the main table and I leaned over to quietly ask a player sitting next to me about some of the 2E stuff on the character sheet, like what the heck is a THAC0? Well, the party was then walking along a narrow trail on a cliff side over a raging river. The DM, annoyed that I was not giving my full attention to His Majesty, looked over and said "Your character falls in the river and drowns." Just like that. No reason for the fall, no saving or skill roll, nothing. What a dick.
14th - Best Convention Purchase
My last memorable convention purchase was actually some anime art books by Masamune Shirow at Otakon several years ago. I love art books but there are not a lot of specifically RPG art books out there. I enjoy Shirow's work, although I wish he didn't feel compelled to make everything a fan service piece.
15th - Favourite Convention Game
Well, all the convention games I've played (only a few to be honest) were disappointing at best. The closest thing to a favorite convention type game I played in was not actually an RPG. Back in the early 90's some local wargamers put on a massive (massive) replay of the Battle of Borodino in 1812. The scenario actually included armies which were in the campaign but far from the battlefield, just to make it bigger and include more players. They had three tables which were 60 feet long and 8 feet wide with accurate terrain and tens of thousands of miniatures. The sheer spectacle of the thing was amazing. That's a game I'll always remember.
16th - Game You Wish You Owned
Anima, because the artwork is spectacular. I probably wouldn't even play it, just put it on the coffee table so I can pick it up and browse the art. I'm also drawn to Tribe 8 by Dream Pod 9 because it is a really cool setting with lots of deep material.
17th - Funniest Game You’ve Played
Basic Action Super Heroes, actually. It's not specifically meant to be funny but the rules are so simple that you don't feel really attached to the character and thus are free to do wild and wacky stuff.
18th - Favourite Game System
As a GM my favorite to run is actually Big Eyes, Small Mouth. The simplicity of the mechanics allowed me to pretty much memorize the gameplay rules in a couple readings. (Traveler is similar but has more fiddly bits and for some reason it just seems boring to me.)
19th - Favourite Published Adventure
The Desert of Desolation modules for AD&D, with the Shackled City adventure path (D&D 3E) as runner-up. I ran the Desert of Desolation modules using Chivalry & Sorcery for my group in college and it was really fun. I'm running the Shackled City now for my current group.
20th - Will Still Play in 20 Years Time…
At first I thought this would be a tough question, because 20 years is a long time from now. But looking back 20 years I realize that I'm not playing much now that I wasn't playing then--albeit an earlier edition. So I'm sure I'll be playing Call of Cthulhu, and possibly Pathfinder if my brain doesn't collapse under the crunch overload.
21st - Favourite Licensed RPG
Hmm, the only (probably) licensed RPG I have is the Dying Earth RPG. Jack Vance is still my favorite author and I was thrilled to see his Dying Earth books turned into an RPG. The mechanics are simple and work for the setting. I have yet to actually get anyone to play it...but maybe someday.
22nd - Best Secondhand RPG Purchase
Ooh, this is a bit of a tough one. It's a toss-up between the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for D&D 3rd Edition, Abyssals for Exalted, and The Plane Above for D&D 4E. The Forgotten Realms is a solid high fantasy campaign setting which I would be happy to run or play in. I also like the artwork, the overall look of the book, and the maps. I almost didn't buy the Abyssals book. The original Exalted book was about playing "special but flawed" protagonists mostly facing other "special but flawed" types. It felt too much like a superhero game. But the game setting was pretty cool and I finally spotted the Abyssals book at my FLGS (Games & Stuff). This turned out to be a great book and if I every run Exalted it will be an Abyssal campaign. The Plane Above was another of my may purchases of setting material. Campaign settings are brain candy to me and I've been looking for something different. The Plane Above is all about adventuring on the astral plane and I could definitely run an entire campaign based on this book.
23rd - Coolest Looking RPG Product / Book
The first one which came to mind is The Book of Ebon Bindings for Empire of the Petal Throne. It's very simple, but looks exactly like the grimoire of evil summoning rituals it's meant to be. A runner-up, mostly for sentimental reasons, is the AD&D Fiend Folio. A lot of the artwork in the earlier editions of D&D was atrocious. With the Fiend Folio I immediately loved the Githyanki on the cover. The interior art was a big step up from everything else I'd bought to that point. It's the only AD&D book I still own. It's a keeper.