roleplaying games

RPG a Day, part 2

Another week of interesting questions.

August 4: Which RPG have you played most since last year? The answer here is FFG Star Wars, split between Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny. No offense to our GMs, but as it’s also the most-played RPG of the year before for me, I’m quite sick of it.

August 5: Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game? I missed this one on Twitter, but I do have an answer. Burning Wheel best captures the spirit of the game, and it’s not just the cover, it’s the form factor of the entire book. Burning Wheel looks a bit like an ancient tome, inviting you in to read and discover its secrets. The entire game is built around this idea of continual mastery and advancement, both for players and for characters, and starting it with this mysterious, nearly illuminated book is extremely evocative.

August 6: You can game every day for a week. Describe what you’d do! I said start an involved game, but let me specify. I’d want a game where having a number of sessions back to back allows for rapid character and story development. Both GURPS and Burning Wheel could provide enough detail that I could set some groundwork and then after that week come back to a very well-developed campaign.

August 7: What was your most impactful RPG session? The two I listed were Seamus’ Masks one-shot, and my session zero for my online group’s low-quorum Apocalypse World game. The Masks session broke into dramatic play, a playstyle I admittedly had no faith in our group to pull off (I loved being proven wrong, though). The Apocalypse World session was wonderful in that I saw the gears turning in players’ heads regarding player-facing play. I hope to replicate that sort of play in many of my games, but that “ah-ha” moment was beautiful.

August 8: What is a good RPG for sessions of two hours or less? There’s really only two requirements: your players already have their prep done (rules knowledge and character generation), and there are as few rules transitions as possible. Games without demarcated combat or with very quick combat work well, as do very structured games like Torchbearer where you can play a few turns and then leave off very easily.

August 9: What is a good RPG to play for about ten sessions? My answer here is PbtA, specifically Apocalypse World. The PbtA advancement arc tends to last ten sessions, and actually crossing a bridge to a new arc is tough. Those ten sessions are great, though. While I’ve read and played a number of PbtA games, I find that Apocalypse World is still one of if not the best in terms of balancing player freedom with genre simulation, as well as still being the best example of the ideal PbtA “conversation” playstyle.

August 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews? As I said online, no one source. Being a blogger myself, I know how many good resources are out there, and tend to engage with Google or social networks to find them. While I sometimes read RPGnet reviews, I find that they either don’t cover games I’m interested in, or cover them from a very strange perspective.

Like before, most of my answers are on Twitter, where I’m @LevelOneWonk. Looking forward to continuing the month.

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