Thursday, August 31, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 31

We made it to the end. A post a day. What an achievement. Want to know a secret? I wrote most of these posts in the first few days of the month, then scheduled them all to post one a day as I knew I would never be able to keep up the momentum (except for the 19th, where I was in Providence). Is that cheating? I don't care! Anyway, on with the last question of this year's RPG a Day challenge:

Question 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?


That's all I can really ask for in the next year is to continue gaming with friends. All the rest is just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 30

Question 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would mostly like to see?

Oh goodness. Mash-ups are not my strong point, certainly not the obvious ones. I do use inspiration from all genres in my games, but I tend to find 'mash-ups' can be sometimes glaring and incongruous when not done well.

Keeping this on topic, at least for this blog, and looking at the Mythos, it seems that the very nature of the Mythos means that it fits well with almost every other genre, in a way that it has already been done.

D20 fantasy style? Already done with D20 Call of Cthulhu, or Cthulhu Invictus and Cthulhu Dark Ages.
Pulp Cthulhu? Done.
Gaslight Cthuhu? Done.
Steampunk Cthulhu? Just played a game of Cogs, Cakes and Cthulhu earlier in the month.
Cyberpunk Cthulhu? There's a GURPS book for that, as well as a whole game system.
Modern day? All over that in to many ways to list.
Straight up Historical game? That's what it's all about, for any time period you could imagine.
Cthulhu vs Nazis? Done. Twice.
Near Future/Post apocalyptic? Again, not hard to find.
70s/80s Pop culture/cartoon? Got that covered.
90s/00s Pop culture/cartoon? Gotta catch 'em all!
Anthropomorphic cats? Yeah, got that!
Psychadelic dreamworld of infinite possibility? Uhuh, and again, twice.
Western Cthulhu? It's on it's way.

What I'm not seeing is Space Opera, although that has been done in film with Alien and Event Horizon, to name two off the top of my head, so they can be transferred into game mechanics at the touch of a keyboard.

Superhero Cthulhu...

Ok, so maybe that's not been done yet, 3 colour superheroes don't match up with the type of horror that the Cthulhu mythos brings, although there are corners of both the Marvel and DC universe where Cthulhu and his buddies can, and do thrive.

Gar has got the closest to this. Damn that man! Though I insist that this is not the 3 colour version of any masked vigilanties!

My Mash-up of choice? Capes vs Cthulhu, the RPG! Gauntlet thrown!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 29

Question 29: What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?

There are a couple that come to mind. The Sedefkar Simulacrum, was without a doubt the best produced Kickstarter I have backed, and they came through with what they promised.

I have backed a couple of RPG books and adventures that have not yet been fulilled, ut look to be on track, including two by Stygian Fox (Fear's Sharp Little Needles, and Hudson and Brand), Pax Cthulhiana by Two Starving Gnolls, Cold Warning by Golden Goblin Press, and The Star on the Shore by Dark Cult Games.

I have not yet recieved any of these products, but in terms of communication and being on time with what they have offered, I can fault none of them. I think most kickstarters these days have learned from the mistakes of others, and not stretched themselves too thin on the stretch goals, and kept things tight and reasonable, so as to be able to finish the product they are actually selling.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 28

Question 28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

Surprising to say, it's not Monty Python. Not these days. Maybe if we played more fantasy games it would make a comeback.

Firefly/Serenity is up there, as is Alien and Star Wars. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 27

Question 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

Gaming to me, comes in many forms. RPGs are but one facet of this many-varoius hobby of ours. And to my mind, there is but one essential ingrediant to a good gaming experinece, and that is to game with like minded and fun people. 

Get a good gaming group around you, and the rest will follow.

Thus ends todays lesson in the Tao of Gaming.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 26

Question 26: Which RPG has the most useful resources?

The resources that imediately comes to mind here, are props and handouts.

I love props and handouts. Physical items that help with play, advance the game, and increase immersion are things I look for. Maybe I should be a LARPer.

Of course, one game excels in this, Call of Cthulhu (seeing a pattern here yet?, this is a Lovecraftian blog after all). This excellence is not through the company who make the game. Yes most adventures come with handouts to copy and give out at the back of the book, but other games companies make/made more effort than Chaosium (the handouts for the Empire in Flames campaign by GW come to mind). No, it is not through the efforts of Chaosium that Call fo Cthulhu makes it's name, but through the efforts of fans. It would take forever to list all the ways in which the support of the fan community help the game, and indeed all lovecraftian games, but here, for those amongst you who are neophytes to the scene, is a short list of places to go for Lovecraftian handouts and props:

Add to this list, resources available though the myriad of smaller companies who produce licensed Call of Cthulhu products, and the forums and podcasts available, and you have a community and resources for any part of the game you could think of.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Suckered in!

Ok, after the great game of Cogs, Cakes and Cthulhu with Lynne Hardy at NecronomiCon, I have folded and picked up this little book!

*Sigh* Just spent the last few evenings going through old books, comics, DVDs and miniatures trying to weed out the collection to stuff I actually use and read to make space, and then I go and do something like this!

I tried!

RPG a Day: Day 25

Question 25: What is the best way to thank your GM?

Simply say thank you. Also, tell them what you enjoyed about the game/session/campaign. Feedback is always welcome.

Of course, if there's something you'd like to see improved, a good GM will always want to hear that too, so don't be shy. Criticism, if constructive, improves the experience for all involved.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Necronomicon Dissection: Part 6, Purchases

Ok, so there were many reasons for going to a Con like this, but one of them is surely to pick up on products that you can't get elsewhere, or without spending too much on postage. With this in mind, I think I was actually quite restrained in my purchases.

First off, I had a list of books to buy at the Chaosium stand (although I did spend my Cult of Chaos credit, and won one of these through the Extra Life Charity event prize draw). I was able to get the following:

Pulp Cthulhu
Two Headed Serpent
Grand Grimoire of Cthulhu Mythos Magic
Doors To Darkness
Dead Light

Another tip to the vendors hall led me to find a couple of second hand book stores, who had all the kinds of books you'd want to find at a Con like this, including: H P Lovecraft : The Shadow over Innsmouth and other Stories of Horror, as well as a copy of August Derleth's: The Reminiscences of Solar Pons.

The Necronomicon Press stand was there, where I hooked up with a copy of TED Klein's: The Events at Poroth farm. I had this in mind to buy before I went to the Con, as finding anything written by this guy is extremely hard. I have his novel, Dark Gods, and his short story the Man with the Horn in another compilation, but when I saw they had made a chap book of this story of his, I had to buy it. I have even put off listening ot the HPPodcraft episodes on this story till after I have read it. After my game on Sunday, I was reminded by Brian Courtemance of this book, also by Necronomicon Press. So, that's on the list for next time.

During the Extra Life charity event, I bought a copy of Hypergraphia, Special NecronomiCon Providence Edition. No doubt I'll be writing on this small booklet again, as it contains an article on the disappearance of Hochelaga, right here on the island of Montreal.

Lastly, not bought at the Vendors hall, but at the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council, on Wednesday morning:

Off the Ancient Track: A Lovecraftian Guide to New-England and New York Jason C Eckhardt.
Quite a useful little book for wandering round town, and other parts of New England. Came in handy when I missed out on the walking tour around town.

Journal of Lovecraftian Science: Biology of the Old Ones, and the Journal of Lovecraftian Science: Essays from Yuggoth, both by Fred Lubnow with illustrations by Steve Maschuck.

The conceit of these little volumes is that Lovecraft's fiction is real, and these explain the real science behind the creatures described, complete with references to real scientific articles. I think it would be great fun to build on this by using these books as references for further scientific articles. Like a scientific version of the Lovecraft circle.

So that's all from the con, except for a bunk of pictures of the town and the bus tour, which I'll post in the next day or so.

Necronomicon Dissection: Part 5, Sunday

Sunday was a short day in terms of scheduling, but I did make it to the Chaosium Panel: Favourite Scenarios in the morning. I'm not sure that any of the scenarios metioned were a surprise to anyone in the audience, in fact there was only 1 I had not heard of. here are the members of the panel with the scenario they chose to highlight as their favourites:

Christopher Smith Adair: Sacrements of Fear
Badger McInnes: Grace Under Pressure
Chad Bouchard: Paper Chase
Paul Fricker: Unhealthy Occupation (Unspeakable Oath 14/15)
Mike Mason gave the honorable mentions to Bad Moon Rising, Dead Light and Mr Corbitt.

Of these, the only one I hadn't heard of was the one Paul spoke of, but I have been looking into them all as options to run in the future.

As this was the last day of the Con, I had initially thought to do the walking tour, but decided at the last minute to do the morning stuff at the con, then go round and take a few more pictures in town. Unfortunately, both the John Hay Library, which had an exhibit of Lovecraft's papers on display, and the Providence Anthanaeum were both closed on Sunday, so I only got photographs of the outside. This of course does mean I have things to do that I need to go back to Providence for!

The last event of the con for Kris and I was a game of Cogs, Cakes and Cthulhu. A slightly re-purposed game of Cogs, Cakes and Swordsticks, run by the game's author, Lynne Hardy. I think this may have been the best game of the weekend, although Dan's Myanmar adventure ran it a very close second place. After that, there was nothing more to do than take the long drive home. Also at the table, Brain Courtemanche, writer of the Genius Loci scenario which appeared in Doors to DarknessSurvival tally +1! Ending on a high.

Adventure Tally
Death: 4
Survival: 2
Unsure: 1

Alright, so I died more than I lived, and I had most fun in the games where I died. That about says it all from a Call of Cthulhu gaming perspective I think.

There's one last post like this to come, with the small pile of loot from the Con.

NecronomiCon Dissection: Part 4, Saturday

Saturday morning started off as all the other mornings did, at 9am with the Chaosium panel on Campaigns in Call of Cthulhu, where amongst other things, it was announced that they have revamped the Masks of Nyarlathotep. Then went into detail on what the panelists thought about writing and running longer campaigns.

MUP and Good Friends podcast. Combined podcasts for combined fun. Here are some pictures for a segment they did at the start on the eclipse. I'm not sure how that'll work in the podcast version, which both teams will be releasing, but it'll be fun to listen to them try.

Extra-Life Charity event. If you don't know what this is, find out more here. What it was in actuality was a tremendous deal of fun, where I got to sit at the table with many great names in Call of Cthulhu gaming, for example Chad Bouchard, Scott Dorward, Con-organiser Niels Hobbs (who apparently never gets to actually game at the con) Badger McInnes, and of course, the GM for the finale (where I was extremely lucky to have a seat at the table), Mike Mason. Of course there is no winning in these games, as we all died in the end, but I was very happy to be sitting there at the table as the very last roll was made. Very satisfactory and so much fun! Death tally +2. Which was small for 2 hours of gaming at tables that were essentially TPKs every 30 minutes. My highlight of the game, killing off Mat Sanderson, even though he was neither at the table, nor indeed playing at any table!

The evening started off with the H P Lovecraft Literary Podcast Comedy Quiz Show. A second chance to be in the same room as these guys, who I have been listening to for the past however many years. It was so much fun to see them, though I did not actually go up to talk to them. Coward that I am. Not that they didn't look to be very approachable, just that I'm not entirely sure what I would say to them, except, I have been listening to your show and like it. Conversation would run pretty dry after that.

The evening game was the Owls Hollow LARP. Whilst this was fun, it did confirm that I am not a LARP player. The total free form aspect of these actually eave me floundering, I need a more structured adventure format as provided by more conventional table-top games, so I'm glad I did it, but won't bother again at any future con trips. Survival tally, 1 more death.

Finally, there was the Chaosium get-together, as advertised on the Yog-Sothoth Forums, at the Boom Box which was a Karaoke bar. I was somewhat confused by the choice of venue, but after hearing Mike Mason Sing, I'm not at all surprised. He has a very fine voice! We didn't make it along for the start of the night, but it was fun while we were there.

Adventure Tally
Death: 4
Survival: 1
Unsure: 1

Keeper Jon couldn't make it in body, but was there in spirit, and puppet.

Keeper Chad discusses Monsters related to the Eclipse

HPLovecraft Literary Podcast 'Comedy' Quiz

RPG a Day: Day 24

Question 24: Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.

Dean (from Adelaide), owner of the wonderful blog Cthulhu Reborn, and maker of exquisite handouts for various Call of Cthulhu adventures, and indeed the fillable pdf character sheets available on the Chaosium site, has written a series of supplements and adventures under the title Convicts & Cthulhu. Go download them, and PWYW. They are worth it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

NecronomiCon Dissection: Part 3, Friday

Friday morning started off (at the wondrously early hour of 9am) with the Chaosium panel on Pulp Vs Pure. This was set upas a debate, with Keeper Dan, and Cris Lackey on the side of Pulp, and Paul Fricker and Lynne Hardy taking the side of the Pure, To be honest, it wasn't much of a debate, as both sides were pretty much fans of both, but I was taken by the thought put forward by Chris Lackey, that all games of Call of Cthulhu are Pulp, if not in tone, then at least in execution, as that is the way that most players will end up gaming it.

A fun panel, selling me on the Pulp rules even more than I originally had been, enough so that I bought them later that day (more on that later)

Lunch time was the tie to go listen to H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast live. I have been listening to these guys pretty much as long as they have been on air, and it was both surreal and wonderful to be in the same room as them while they recorded. I look forward to hearing the podcast version!

Scritch Scratch
Straight after the podcast, it was up to the gaming room for the first of two games with Lynne Hardy. This one was the 7th ed CoC modern day adventure Scritch scratch. I think this one will see light as a published scenario some time. I played Manda, a London based TV producer, filming in back woods Yorkshire. I died in a flaming mushroom cloud of spectral rat carcasses. Tally, 1 death. I loved every minute of this game, this was the kind of game I came to the con to play in. A google search of the name of the adventure and the Keeper suggests that Lynne has actually written a story of the same name. I must look that one up.

After an hours break for food, it was time for my second game of the day. Weekend in the woods, 7th ed COC classic era game, run by Dan Comb.This had to be the worst game I have ever played in. Not the worst scenario, I must say, it seemed quite well written, after all, the GM pretty much sat and read it out to us anyway.

I could go on at great length as to why this was a badly run game, and indeed, in the bar afterwards I did. And the next day when I ran into two of the other players. the other players turned out to be Jeff Erwin of the Into the Darkness Podcast, who, as I talked to him after the Podcasting for Gaming panel the next day, invited me to get in touch to game with them. Another of the Players was Daupo, whom we met the next day in the vendors hall, and where we commiserated with each other over the horror that was the previous day's game. Anyway my character survived, so tally 1 survival.

What I will say about this game is as follows. Before the con, I did consider adding my name as a Keeper to the con list. I didn't do this, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have never run a con game, nor any game with such a short duration, so was extremely hesitant as to my abilities to make the format work. Secondly, I was insecure in my keepering abilities, and how they would go over with such an expert crowd. Lastly, I wanted to game, not keeper, as I get to do that here.
After this debacle, I will never doubt my abilities again, though I will say I need to practice games of this length before volunteering to keeper at the next NecronomiCon.

The evening there was supposed to be the Yog-Sothoth forums meet up, Maybe it happened, I dunno, I was held hostage at the table for 5 hours, so Kris and I went to the bar, had a couple drinks anyway, then went back to the hotel.

Adventurer tally:
Death: 1
Survival: 1
Unsure: 1

RPG a Day: Day 23

Question 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

I'm not a great one for noticing design and layout, except for when it is done badly, I think this hots me more than when it's well done, as this is one of those things that the goal is to make something so user friendly that the actual layout isn't what hits the normal user.

I can think of a few RPGs that hit me as having bad layout. Old games aside of course, as back in the day we didn't really think of these things so much.

Call of Cthulhu 6th ed, English version, is one such layout. They got into the habit of making huge columns down the side of the pages with repeated art that just took up space, and padded out the book for nothing. This added with the use of dark pages with grey text. *Shudder*

However, the flip side is the way the european verions of Call of Cthulhu (German version by Pegasus, and French version by Sans Detour) changed how RPG books were made. With both art work and layout changes that literally rewrote the rules on RPG sourcebook design.

I never owned any of these versions, even though the French versions are readily avaiable here in Quebec, but what I have seen is pretty Jaw-Dropping. Furthermore, these versions of the game have had a huge impact on how Call of Cthulhu 7th ed was designed and produced, especially the new version of "S.Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors".

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NecronomiCon Dissection: Part 2, Thursday

Or how I survived the Con, Part 2. As I previously stated, this summary is split over five posts. The first four posts covering the days of the con, and the last being what I purchased and other pictures of things I saw.

The con proper didn't start till about 1pm, so we had the morning free. First we wandered up college hill, taking some pics of the area, then into the Ars Necronomica exhibition. The level of art was really very high. We are not talking fan art here.

After that, we had booked on to the Providence HPL Bus Tour. Met Keeper Dan from the MUP. As part of the tour, we saw the site of his birthplace (his Grandfather's mansion is long gone), a couple of his homes, as well as his grave and the Ladd observatory, where he did spend some time. There are conflicting reports as to how much time, and whether or not he had a key or did any observations The bus driver/tour guide said yes, the observatory caretaker said no, there's always a caretaker, who let him in, rather than giving him a key), but either way, the place is still very cool, and maintained as it was then.

I think I'm actually going to break the pictures of the tour up into smaller posts, as there are a few of them. Once I do all these summary posts, I'll get right on with the picture posts. So much content from one quick 4 day trip! However, the Good Friends of Jackson Elias seem to have done the same tour, and have posted some videos of the stops here.

After the tour, it was back to the hotels to get on with the gaming The first game was a Delta Green game with Dan Alban for Monsoon over Myanmar. The prep this guy had gone to in terms of setting the scene, and the way he wove actual Myanmar culture and history into the mythos was very well done. A lot of fun was had by all at the table. I didn't manage to figure out who was the other player who had TPKed my last squad, but I did make it through to the finale, and we did break up the Animist cult that was eating the locals and enemy alike, even though it is not entirely clear that we made it out of the jungle after that! So score for living through the adventure, that's a maybe.

RPG a Day: Day 22

Question 22: Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

The ones where I know the rules.

For me it isn't so much the RPG rules that dictate what I play, but the kind of adventures that can be told through the system at the table.

Though if you take this question to mean, rules aside, what is easiest to run? Then it has to be any game where I know enough of the setting to be able to improvise freely. There are a few games I can do that with due to many years of by-in in the past, but I can't see many newer games allowing me to have the time to do this unless they are based in the real world, or near enough!

NecronomiCon Dissection: Part 1

I have returned and survived. A wonderful 4 dys in Providence R.I, at NecronomiCon 2017.

I had originally planned to do some live blogging from the Con, but I didn't have access to this account whilst away, as I only had my tablet. As it turned out, I doubt I would have had much time to have written much anyway.

I just want to say, that it was a great event, where I met and gamed with so many great people.

I will be posting a summary of what I did and saw, but I'll break it down into a post per day, so as not to hit you guys with a wall of text, with a few pretty pictures of Providence strewn throughout.

Anyway, here's a fun little image to start things off!

Monday, August 21, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 19

Question 19: Which RPG features the best writing?

Yeah, no, I got nothing. I don't really tend to read the fluff bits TBH. Also, although I had a whole pile of posts scheduled to go, this one slipped through the cracks while I was at NecronmiCon.

Ah well, there goes the 100% record! 

RPG a Day: Day 21

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

Cthulhu Dark.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 20

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

Second hand shelves at your FLGS, followed by pdfs. This is my preferred order, as I do still prefer real paper books. The source of the pdf may be drivethruRPG, or not, depending on if you're looking for a legit source or not.

I must admit, I'm not a great browser of ebay for these things, as ebay use in Canada is low, and international shipping prices make this very much not an option for me financially. If I were in the UK, this would be different.

Friday, August 18, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 18

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

Played? It's a toss up- between Deadlands, Legends of the 5 Rings and Buffy. If actual sessions played is the count we go by, I think Deadlands might squeak it, but I don't have a running total.

Ran as GM, then again it's a toss-up between MERP and Call of Cthulhu, but only because I ran MERP all afternoon, every Sunday for many many years. These days, it's all Call of Chulhu.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 17

Question17: Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

I have to say, that my RPG library is split over two continents, so there may be games I own that are in the UK that I have forgotten about, but of the games I own here in Canada that I have never played/run, the winner (?) is Doctor Who, Adventures in Space and Time

I own the original box set with Ten on the cover, as well as the first supplement released for the game, but I have neither run nor played this game. 

That is not to say I don't want to.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 16

Question 16: Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

The answer to this question is literally my post to the last question, since I answered in the negative. Most of them.

I guess I'm just dreadfully vanilla in this aspect. I suppose that comes from my basic rules-lawyer nature.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NecronomiCon Providence 2017

I have not yet mentioned this here, but I am going to NecronomiCon 2017, in Providence, RI.

It is going to be an intense 4 days, my timetable is already packed, and there are a great number of things I want to see and do whilst there. I will try to update this blog while I am there, but I have the feeling that most of the posts will have to await my return, as long blog posts will not be a priority for me.

My experience of conventions has so far been limited to local conventions. I went to Conpulsion a couple of times when I was living in Edinburgh, and some of the smaller conventions here in Montreal, that have come and gone. This will be my first trip away just to go to a convention for hobby reasons (work congresses don't really count).

My previous experiences at Conpulsion have taught me that if you actually want to get any gaming done whilst at a convention, you need to be organised, so I have booked up at least one game per day. Including Delta Green, Call of Cthulhu, Cogs, Cake and Cthulhu ( a variation of Cogs Cakes and Swordcanes) and an evening LARP.

I'm also excited to go to the live recordings of the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast, as well as the Good Friends of Jackson Elias/Miskatonic University Podcast cross-over event.

Add to this, the tours of Lovecraft's Providence (both walking and bus tour), and the various panels on gaming and weird fiction, and socialising with other attendees, and I will have little time to visit the trade hall, which may indeed be the saviour of my wallet.

Thankfully, I have already scheduled my RPG a Day posts ahead of time!

This is going to be intense!

RPG a Day: Day 15

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

I'm not really sure what this question is getting at. Does it mean adapting a system to fit another background, or time period? If that is the case then I guess it would depend on the background or story I was trying to tell, and then I'd find a rules set that would best fit the tale I want to tell.

In the past, I may have used generic games systems to do this, such as GURPS, or the like, but these are not so fashionable in a day where people are building mechanics specific to the type of story, or core activity that the people at the table want to engage in.

If it means do I adapt rules, and make houserules? Well, if that is the question, then I don't really do that at all. Not with RPGs, wargames moreso. I sometimes play fast and loose with rules, adapting them to particular situations, or I forget what a rule is, and make something up on the fly to keep the game flowing, but that is the case for most games, even rules sets I know well.

So how to answer? I guess I don't adapt RPGs that much at all!

Monday, August 14, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 14

Question 14: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

Call of Cthulu. Next question.

Okay, let me go a bit deeper here. I like Call of Cthulhu for Campaigns, as this allows you to have a slow spiral downwards in terms of character progression. I am not one for killing off characters quickly, but allowing them to breathe, and for their players to lead them down the path of madness through their own curiosity.

Cthulhu is also known for its long campaigns, be it the old classics like Masks, Orient Express or Mountains of Madness, or the newer ones like the Two-Headed Serpent.

Okay, I mean, this is my perfered style of game to play or to run, so I can and would do open-ended campaign sytle with most (but certainly not all) games. Other shout-outs to the WFRP Campaign, and Legend of the Five Rings for wonderfully complex worlds that allow for this type of game, that I have both played in and run.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 13

Question 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play?

There have been a few. One of the biggest changed to my play style is easy to trace though, and it came with the simple act of changing gaming group.

For most of my life, I gamed with my brother and school friends, in a group that to my knowledge, still gets together weekly to game. We grew up together, and evolved together through many years of gaming, and playing certain games. However, there were certain tropes and styles that we stuck to, as that was how we did things. I'm not saying we were static, just comfortable.

The biggest change for me was moving through to Edinburgh, and joining GEAS. This exposed me to much more different ways to play games. I think the biggest change for me was allowing myself to become more immersed in my character, no matter which character. This immersion was allowed, and indeed encouraged in the GEAS crowd, without scorn or embarrassment. I loved that, and still aim for this immersion in my games today.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 12

Question 12: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

SLA industries.

With art from Dave Allsop and Clint Langley as the backbone, with a  wealth of black ink drawing on the inside of all the books released for the game, the art was always integral to the game in terms of giving us a look into the headspace of the authors and artists. Not that that was always a comfortable place to be, but neither is the World of Progress!

This game was the essence of 90s gaming for me, and the art played a very big part in that.

Want to see what I'm talking about? Just go here and scroll down.

Friday, August 11, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 11

Question 11: Which 'dead game' would you like to see reborn?

Of course, 'dead game' is in quotations, as that is not dead which can eternal lie. No game is dead as long as the books exist in some form and someone somewhere decides to play it. I guess what the question is aiming at is which unsupported lines, or OOP games would I like to see getting the love! The thing is, in this golden age of RPGs, many of these games have been brought back. I mean, you don't have to look far to get new editions of Paranoia, or Chill, for example.


Yes, I know that since the demise of this super crunchy and of it's time Lord of the Rings game, there have been many other games that allow you to play in Middle Earth, but the death of MERP by Iron Crown Enterprises is one that still gets to me. Indeed, even though ICE has lost the license to write products for Middle earth, it seems I am not alone in this, as ICE still has a page to field questions about the game, so even this is not a completely 'dead game'.

For me, it was not just about Middle Earth, it was a conjunction of the world building through the connecting maps of the series, the Angus McBride artwork on the covers, the system, ok, that was of its time, but it was relatively simple. The books and adventure were affordable, and they introduced me to a concept that I strive for in my games even now, balance.

Yeah, if ever I would wish for a game to be brought back from the 'dead' it'd be MERP.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 10

Question 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?

Into double figures, yay!

Okay, so reviews? does have a great wealth of reviews to search through of different calibre, I have been known to browse those if need be.

Reviews from R'lyeh is also a great place to go for reviews. It does have a Lovecraftian slant, but is not exclusive.