#RPGaDAY2022 day 13 ~ How would You change the way you started RPGing?

I would have continued to play basic dungeons and dragons alongside advanced dungeons and dragons. I would not have given basic up

I would have played and purchased as many games as possible. It was really hard to get new games and essentially the closest we got the game stores were the music store & the head shop which sometimes carried role-playing materials. I probably would’ve had to buy many of them by mail order sending in a self addressed stamped envelope and money orders.

I would have been more aggressive about joining groups and creating stable game groups. I would have had more people live near me that were willing to play. Not just people my age, but people who had been in the hobby in the seven or so years before I started playing.

I would not have taken a break like I did. I would have continued to play.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 12 ~ why did you start RPGing?

When I was younger I fell in love with reading. My parents introduced me to the Lord of the rings and the chronicles of Narnia at a very young age. I also discovered other fantasy and lots of science fiction. Stories like Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss family Robinson also captured my imagination as well as the Greek myths. besides reading there was no shortage of interesting fiction on television and in movies for me to gravitate towards.

Very often when a story was over I would wish that it continued. I wanted to see what happened next. It seemed like there should be more.

Just as often I wondered about the decisions that the characters made in the stories. Why did they do that? Would I have done something different? Why didn’t they do it this way? It was not uncommon for me to imagine myself in those same situations, or imagined myself as some other person with different qualities in those imagined situations. I thought about the decisions I might make and what might have happened as a result.

Like all children I did not have a lot of power or autonomy in my own life. My own childhood was not spectacular, and this only magnified the feeling of powerlessness. It was nice to be able to imagine some ability to make decisions and affect the world around me.

Role-playing games were instantly appealing because in essence they allowed me to do just that. Together my friends and I could share imagined situations and take on the role of characters within them who were able to make their own decisions. No longer would it be a passive experience, we would be able to be active participants in these scenarios.

I don’t believe I had the experience or language to really express why they were so appealing back in the day, but an honest look through time reinforces my belief that this is what made the role-playing experience so appealing to my younger self.

#RPGaDAY22 day 11 ~ If you could live in a game setting, where would it be?

I can’t lie, I like creature comforts. My two favorite inventions are air conditioning and indoor plumbing. i’m a fan of all of our modern conveniences and knowledge. Furthermore, I really prefer a calm and peaceful life. Adventures! Makes one late for breakfast.

It’s interesting, because this question does not ask us what kind of character we would like to be, just what setting. It’s easy to get carried away thinking that it would be awesome to be a circle knight taking matters into one’s own hands. I just don’t want to live In the brutal iron age.

I’m very fond of dystopian future and settings like hollow earth expedition, but these might not be my first choice to actually live in. Then again, if the physics generated by the system of hollow earth expedition were part of the setting then that might be kind of cool.

I think I would like to live in a setting that is essentially the modern world but with a twist. It would be hard to pick. Maybe broken rooms? Of course I would want to be one of the people who experience the emergence of unusual powers. Maybe quantum black or delta green? I like Delta green better, but if I have to live there I might choose the much happier world of quantum black where the shotguns can kill the Shoggoths and we can sleep at night knowing that we protected humanity once again.

And of course we would be sleeping in our air-conditioned homes with indoor plumbing and Wi-Fi.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 10 ~ when did/will you start gamemastering?

1981. I ran my first game. I couldn’t tell you played. It’s not that important. What is important is that I read the book and figured that not only was I going to have to run the game, but that it would be fun and rewarding to do so.

Too many of us are serial players and never run games, or are perpetual game masters and never play. I greatly prefer to do both. You really get to experience the total… experience that way.

If you’re hesitant about running your first game ever or in a system new to you, I understand. However this is not a competition, and the other players are there to help you. If they aren’t, then you need new people to game with!

This is the scenario, what do you do?

#RPGaDAY2022 day 9 ~ What was the second RPG you bought?

I am cheating a little bit as I did not really buy my first RPG. However I didn’t buy anything after my second RPG for a very long time.

After I get the basic D&D set, some of my friends at school told me that I really wanted to be cool I had to play advanced dungeons and dragons. So, I bought my own copies of those books and other materials related to them. So my second RPG was AD&D, now referred to as first edition.

Funny thing is, later on in life I discovered that I like basic so much better.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 8 ~ Who introduced you to RPGs?

I think I mentioned before that I had become aware of role-playing games, namely dungeons and dragons, before 1981. I think I also mentioned that in junior high school I met people that actually played them. However, my answer to this question is… Nobody.

Or, looking at it another way, I introduced myself to them.

When I received the basic set in 1981, I read it from cover to cover a few times. I got the understanding of how the game works. I didn’t know the other people well enough to ask them to join their games, and I really didn’t live that close to them. So, I decided I would run it for other people. It seemed like something that I should be able to do. It also seemed very fun.

It took a while to get things going, and I never really did have a success with a stable group when I was younger, but I managed to catch the RPG bug all by myself. All I needed to be able to do was read!

#RPGaDAY2022 day 7 ~ Describe a cool part of a system you love.

I think that a good mechanic should solve a problem, help reinforce who the characters are, establish how the world works, and reinforce the genre that you are going for. I was very tempted to talk about the D6 roll try for low Mechanic but I’m going talk about something else that has made an impression on me.

My online group has been playing alien by free league publishing. The base system is not very revolutionary. It uses a dice pool, the dice used are six sided, and sixes are successes. Extra successes can produce better or additional effects. The dice pool is assembled based upon the attributes and skills of the character. Pretty standard.

However, various experiences in the game introduce stress. Each character has a stress tracker. Stress tends to escalate upwards, although certain things can reduce or eliminate it. Stress isn’t an entirely bad thing, as the player now adds a number of different colored six sided dice to their dice pool. Just like the harried characters in the alien & aliens movies, The characters in this game are paying more attention to what they are doing in their moments of stress and are more likely to succeed. However, should a one be rolled on any of the stress dice, This prompts a panic roll.

A six sided die is rolled and the characters current stress level is added to it. Make sure it’s consulted which gives you an idea of what the characters reaction is going to be. This varies from holding it together to trembling, to becoming so upset that they raise the stress of everybody else around them, to running away, freezing in their tracks, and other appropriate reactions based upon the genre. Eventually they are unable to successfully complete any tasks.

The game gives clear instructions not to roll too often as this will artificially escalate the stress level.

My experience with this mechanic is that really helps to reinforce the genre that the game is based upon. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I have really enjoyed it. It certainly helps create the atmosphere of the movies.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 6 ~ How would you get more people playing RPGs?

This question is interesting. It asks me how I would do it. Not how somebody else should. I don’t know why I have not been voted supreme Emperor of role-playing games but it’s probably for the best. So to steal a line from somebody else, I will think globally but act locally. That is, after all, the best any of us can do.

Thinking about the answer to Yesterdays question, I think the answer to this one becomes more obvious. Meet people where they are. I know plenty of people and we have some common interest in some sort of fiction. If not fiction as such we have common interest in certain concepts and ideas. Maybe current events or history.

I go to the movies with a friend of mine and pretty much what we watch is action. This is the kind of guy that I should ask “hey, would you like to play a game that’s kind of like these movies we watch?,” I’m sure I could use something like broken compass to emulate some of these over the top action movies.

That’s my short and simple answer. Find out what people like, offer a seat at a game like that. After all, it is what we do with our existing groups. We float ideas past each other and eventually we all agree on a genre. For the Newcomer we might as well let them experience some of their favorite things. At least that’s what I would do.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 5 ~ Why will they like this game?

My daughters are just shy of 30 and 27 years old. When they were younger, I really used to enjoy watching the shows they liked with them. In fact, right now, I am watching Steven Universe with my youngest daughter and it’s a fun little show to watch. Sometimes I used to find myself in the house watching SpongeBob or the Fairly Oddparents when I suddenly realized that my children were not actually home.

This is why I backed the Kickstarter for the hugely successful Avatar the last Airbender RPG. even though PBTA type games are not my favorite, I knew that I had a good chance of getting my daughters to play this game with me because of their familiarity with and love of the subject matter. The show itself has a pretty interesting story and a very compelling setting. From what I understand the RPG allows you to play in various points in the history of that world which offers a lot of possibilities.

Because my daughter is well-versed in the genre and intellectual property I don’t believe this will be a hard sell. In fact, my intuition tells me that she will actually enjoy playing in this setting. It’s not that different from when I first started playing dungeons and dragons. The game was heavily influenced by Tolkien, and I was a big fan of the hobbit and lord of the rings. It made entry into that world and “buy in” Extremely easy and I was enthusiastic about playing the game.

Build what they know, and they will come.

#RPGaDAY2022 day 4 ~ Where will you host a first game?

Some people like going out. I like it myself, but I am most comfortable in my locus of control. I like my house. I can’t play rock ‘n’ roll to enthusiastic audiences in my house, but I can play role-playing games there.

I’m lucky enough to have a semi finished basement with lots of room. I have tables and chairs and everything I might need to run a game right there in relative comfort. This is where I would host a first session.

Now considering that my answer for day number one was that my daughter would be the person I would introduced to role-playing games, this means that she should have some friends play with her. However, a lot of them are not local. While this is disappointing, technology has provided a way.

I remember running a game for a group of people that I used to play in a play by post game with. I found it kind of entertaining at the husband and wife were on separate devices in the same house. At the time I ran it on Google hangouts. ~ I can see a similar situation happening with my daughter and I in separate areas of the house with her friends on Zoom as I run a game session for all of them.

So the final answer? At my house, online, or a combination!

Notice how I am always at my house. 😉