#RPGaDay2019 10th August: ‘Focus’

August has come around once again which means it’s time for RPGaDay 2019. In a shift from the questions format of previous years this year is characterised by a series of prompts, which I’ll be attempting to answer each day with a short post, with the prompt word highlighted in bold each day.

Day 10: Focus

My focus for the rest of the year is releasing material. I’ve got a backlog that I need to get through before I can begin to focus on newer ideas. The Slice of Life Adventure Starters are top of the list. I’ve enjoyed producing them but I had wanted to have them all done well before now, as opposed to still having two of the five left to produce. Talentless Hacks, inspired by the bonus episode will follow the same approach as those that I have released before, a relatively traditional mission structure with clear antagonist. Clean-up Crew is a different kettle of fish though as I’d like to release a playset for Fiasco. I’ve started putting it together but am finding it a surprisingly difficult task. On the surface it should be simple, a playset is merely a series of lists but ensuring that they all work, are thematically useful and help build the type of story fiasco strives for is a challenge.

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#RPGaDay2019 8th August: ‘Obscure’

August has come around once again which means it’s time for RPGaDay 2019. In a shift from the questions format of previous years this year is characterised by a series of prompts, which I’ll be attempting to answer each day with a short post, with the prompt word highlighted in bold each day.

Day 8: Obscure

With the explosion of self-publishing, story games and indie RPGs it’s difficult to define what an obscure RPG is these days. In the technical sense the majority are as, unsurprisingly, all too many fall by the wayside. I don’t get to play as many small, less well known games these days (I don’t get to play all that many well known games either!) but if I were wanting to get back into that side of gaming I’d probably do so via The Gauntlet, who embrace small games through both their Codex magazine and their highly organised online games calendar. I briefly subscribed to Codex via the Patreon and would recommend it to anybody wanting to explore games that really push the boundaries of the hobby (I stopped only because it was clear that the games weren’t what I was looking for right now). Head over to gauntlet-rpg.com to find the blog, community forums and more details or to www.patreon.com/gauntlet to subscribe.

State of the Conspiracy: Character update

While I was unable to get a full update of Project Cassandra finished in time for the RPG Live UK event I was able to make significant progress. The character sheets have been updated to reflect the rules changes and I’ve identified all the edits required in the main text. Next up is getting them down on paper and adjusting the layout to suit.

Changing the text should also allow for a few additions. First up is a mechanic to allow for premonitions to be replenished, something raised during that disastrous DragonMeet playtest. Secondly additional advice for challenges and threats, again in response to the playtest feedback.

I’m hopeful that this set of edits will resolve the issues raised, especially with regards failure. I don’t know if I’ll make it to DragonMeet this year but I’m setting it as a tentative deadline regardless.

RPGaDay 20th and 21st August

Double post before I fall even more behind and because two days is the most dramatically appropriate number of posts to catch-up on.

20th) What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?

For me it’s a mix of eBay and drivethruRPG depending on whether I want to own physical books or not. I’ve drifted over to the not camp for games I’m just interested in if only because of the space saving or because it’s splat book 21 of a given system and really I only need it to reference a single page.

In terms of the single best out of print purchase I’ve had it was from an Oxfam bookshop. Somebody had obviously been clearing out their shelves and had donated a massive pile of WEG Star Wars d6 books. I ended up buying almost all of them, spent close to £100 on them which is probably the single biggest book purchase I’ve ever made.

21st) Which RPG does the most with the least words?

A difficult question but I think that I’m going to go with Hell 4 Leather. The rules fit on a double sided fold out (around A3 size) but manage to be both evocative and detailed enough to outline the entire story arc. The game is designed for single story play but because of the way scenes are described it has tremendous replay value.

The game isn’t known nearly as well as it deserves but I highly recommend picking it up: Hell 4 Leather on DriveThruRPG

RPGaDay August 17th

17th) Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

bf_thumb600Probably some of the really niche indie games such as Best Friends by Gregor Hutton, Cold City from Contested Ground Studios or Piledrivers and Powerbombs by Prince of Darkness Games. There was a vibrant Scottish small press community during the time I lived in Glasgow so I was able to pick up a lot of games I’d otherwise never have encountered.

I like reading RPGs as much as playing them so I do tend to pick up a lot of small things here and there without necessarily expecting to ever run / play them. The downside is, as always, time. I’ve got a lot of great games that I’d love to play and even more ok games that I’d just like to give a spin. There’s always something new and with the tendency for most players to prefer campaigns it can be difficult to find people to give them a try, especially given the onus on the GM having to teach the systems.