Here we are, in the final week of #RPGaDay2016! It’s been a fun month of seeing other gamers answering these interesting questions on social media (Twitter and Google Plus being some of the most popular for sharing). And I’ve managed to keep up this year! Looking forward to having more varied experiences to share next year, as well.
Day 24: What is the game you are most likely to give to others?
If I were giving it to someone new to RPGs, I’d go with something easy to learn and play. I may even go with an Indie RPG like Wayfarer: Things Beyond Wonder, or a diceless RPG. Dungeons and Dragons is always a good bet to get new players started, and it’s the easiest system to find other players for, so it is the most likely choice as a gift.
I started with Rifts, and though it’s my favorite game, I really caution new players against cutting their teeth with that level of crunch – and when I introduce new players (even those who have played RPGs before and are just new to Rifts), there’s a lot of hand holding.
If I were giving it to a veteran RPGer, I’d probably go with an interesting Indie game that they maybe haven’t heard of. Or a bigger name game that they don’t have yet, but have expressed an interest in, like Shadowrun or Numenara – or maybe even World of Warcraft: The Role Playing Game, if they also enjoyed WoW.
Day 25: What makes for a good character?
Honestly, that the player enjoys playing them. So long as everyone is having fun and nobody is hurt, it’s a good character.
As a Dungeon Master, I usually prefer my players to have the following: a short background, a reason for adventuring, a disability/vulnerability/hindrance, and a hobby or two (reflected in their skill selection where possible). I feel it rounds out the character and adds to the story. I reward detail and use these quirks as stepping stones for their own individual stories as we game. Everyone gets a chance in the spotlight at my table, and a more fleshed-out character, one that they put themselves into, is usually more fun for everyone.
Day 26: What hobbies go well with RPGs?
Reading comic books/manga/graphic novels. I feel that anyone can draw a lot of creativity from the endless supply of comics, and it’s especially helpful for those who need a visual or illustrative example to convey what they mean or to understand a situation.
There are plenty of other hobbies that go well with RPGs, of course. Artistic hobbies, watching movies, reading and/or writing, voice imitation, video gaming, blogging, and probably loads more that escape me at this moment.
Day 27: Most unusual circumstance or location in which you’ve gamed.
I don’t actually have anywhere odd or any strange circumstance in which I’ve role played. I mean, I could see myself and our group gaming in the hospital to cheer up an afflicted player, but it’s never happened (thankfully).
There was an event that I was planning which you could consider unusual. It was December of 2012 and the world was supposed to end. I was planning a one shot adventure wherein my players would be responsible for “saving the real world” on the day it was slotted to end. It was going to be a blast, we were really excited about it.
And then on the 7th, my Mom died and I found out I was pregnant just a couple of days after. My life was forever changed. Role playing was the furthest thing from my mind, and my game was cancelled. Gaming eventually became a big influence on pulling me out of my resulting depression, but I still don’t feel up to trying that one shot adventure.
Day 28: Thing you’d be most surprised a friend had not seen or read?
In regards to gaming? I don’t really have an answer to that; there are so many different systems, settings, supplements, and homebrews to choose from, I can hardly expect someone to know them all. I guess if someone genuinely hadn’t heard about Dungeons and Dragons, I’d be pretty surprised.
In regards to movies, books, and media in general? Star Wars. I am always baffled when someone says that they haven’t seen Star Wars (the new ones or the originals). Of course, Firefly and Doctor Who are close second and thirds – especially when I hide references to them in my games.
Day 29: You can game anywhere on Earth, where would you choose?
That ideal game room in the 30th Day’s question.
For real, though, I’d game just about anywhere. I think it would be especially awesome to game in a children’s hospital or something similar, a place where I can use gaming to help other people.
I can’t be the only one who wonders how role playing at the United Nations’ big table would go down, though, right?
Day 30: Describe the ideal game room if the budget were unlimited.
Well of course, there’d have to be one of those fancy gaming tables, right? I’d prefer something with individual cubby-holes, power outlets for laptops, in a circular or semi-circular shape so we could all see each other well, cup holders are a must, and a lowered center with a whiteboard or grid that can be covered by a level table surface. And no hard, uncomfortable dining room chairs!
We’d have the gaming table, of course, but I feel like it would be better suited to board gaming, because I’d rather have a more casual environment for RPGing. I’m thinking a comfortable sofa or two, some appropriately proportioned coffee tables, and individual seats with the fold down desktops (like you’d see at a community college). Throw in some beanbags for optimal comfort.
Multitudes of shelves for all the gaming accessories and books, hooks for backpacks and jackets, a microwave, a coffeepot, a toaster oven, a mini-fridge stocked with sodas and snacks, storage containers filled with miniatures and dice, a huge whiteboard on the wall, a small closet with cleaning supplies, a wireless printer, fast wireless internet, a computer and a 3D printer, air conditioning, and decent lighting fixtures.
Heck, if we’re talking ideal, no holds-barred, throw in some great cameras and software for streaming so we could open our game to Twitch viewing.
Day 31: Best advice you were ever given for your game of choice?
“Don’t throw everything you’ve got into campaign creation. Your players WILL surprise you.” And you know what, they were right, my players got sidetracked for two whole sessions because they got attached to an NPC that I hadn’t created a backstory for, but who had a fun accent that they really enjoyed. From then on, I’ve tailored an on-the-fly DMing style, where I only have a basic idea of where I want the players to go with it, and a whole list of “Line, Hook, and Sinker” plot hooks for when (not if) they get off target.
The Dungeon Rat
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