18 August, 2017

Images from the Sprawl (part 2)

Here's the second batch of images. They spread a bit more in subject matter and experimental style...but generally maintain the vibe.

It's going to be tough finding stock imagery of characters in the Agency armour if I'm planning to do more in this style, and that's probably why this type of imagery is going to be used more for the generic elements of the setting. Maybe I'm just going to have to construct some cosplay armour and take some of my own stock photos.

RPGaDay2017 #18

Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

I've probably sent more time LARPing than anything else, and for this the most hours of preparation, telephone call back-room dealings and politics, engagement on a regular basis, all point to White Wolf's Minds Eye Theatre.

Including the five years I portrayed a Russian Silver Fang Ragabash, as the Sydney Sept Alpha of thirty or forty regular werewolf players. The girl who was to become my wife played the Beta of the Sept.

Close behind this was my time in the Sabbat, where global connections led me to portraying a member of the Sabbat Inquisition, a Salubri Antitribu.

When it comes to tabletop gaming, I hate to say it but it's probably Rifts. Those formative years at the end of high school back in the mid 90s have a lot to answer for.

17 August, 2017

RPGaDay2017 #17

Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

Even if I haven't played a specific game, I think I've mined almost everything on my shelves for soe kind of inspiration at least once...

...but I'm sure I'm probably missing something.
Hmm...hang on a sec. Let me go over to my shelves and take a look.

[A few minutes pass]

Let's see... there's a first edition Wraith (dated 1994), with a second edition beside it and a bunch of sourcebooks that I never got around to playing, but they were certainly mined for ideas in other campaigns I've run, even if those ideas only saw influence in minor parts of a fantasy campaign or as crossover elements in a Vampire-Sabbat/Werewolf/Mage chronicle.

There's an original AD&D book (1978), but I think I actually picked that up more recently when a housemate moved away and left the book behind. And I have both played a version of D&D, and played an OSR-styled game, so I can't in good conscience say that I haven't played this.

Oh...there's a winner.

I got this in high school back in 92-93, thinking I'd play it because myself and a few friends had played a couple of games of Iron Crown Enterprises' MERP, and one of those friends had decided to buy Rolemaster as a more advanced game. We talked about doing something sci-fi, so we chipped in together and bought a copy of Space Master. Then we actually played two or three games of Rolemaster and figured it was cool in some ways but really unwieldy. Ever since then, Spacemaster has sat on the shelf knowing full well that I'll probably never find the right group to run it.

It mostly sits on the shelf for nostalgia value.

Images from the Sprawl

I've been on a bit of a roll with my illustration over the last few days...not sure how much longer it will last, and I've got some assignments to do (which usually kill my momentum).

If you're connected to me via other forms of social media, you've probably seen a few of these, but here's the first dozen...some of which were shared earlier. I'll try to post a dozen images each day, while this spurt of creativity lasts.

16 August, 2017

RPGaDay2017 #16

What RPG do you enjoy using as it is?

The last RPG I used as is, in a campaign setting, was Pathfinder...I didn't enjoy it.

The last RPG I used as is, in a one-shot, was Dungeon World...despite being driven by the Apocalypse engine, I did enjoy it.

But as I said in the last entry, I don't enjoy using many RPGs as they stand. I'll always try them at least once to see how they're "meant to work", but inevitably I feel the need to start tinkering.

RPGaDay2017 #15

Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

I have trouble playing anything straight (which is basically going to screw up my answer for #16 as well). When it comes to adapting games, I usually streamline things when I play them, forgetting a lot of rules unless they are really necessary to the specific situation being resolved...and even then I might just tweak the rules a bit to make things more story focused than mechanically focused.

I like the idea of using a central mechanism of play (which is why I liked the videos mentioned in my last post), and if I think one of the offshoot mechanisms of a game is just too unwieldy, I just shift everything back to that central concept.

I guess I enjoy adapting the various incarnations of D&D, because there is so much to adapt in them...so many mechanisms to strip out, so many fiddly bits to ignore. White Wolf's World of Darkness stuff is similar in this regard.

Other than that, I love adapting and modifying my own game systems. Running them a couple of times in a convention format with a few completely different groups of players, then tweaking them before going through the cycle again with a completely different group of players. The cycle iterates, and I never quite get it perfect, because my ideas of perfection continually evolve, but it's a fun journey.

So currently, I have the most enjoyment adapting The Law.

Core Mechanics

+Paul Stefko has started producing a series of podcasts/vlogs called "Core Mechanics".

The episodes are quick, simple, and provide a basic overview of fundamental systems in a range of games. At the time of writing, he's got five of these episodes available and I can't wait to see where he goes next.

It's similar to what I tried a few years ago here on the blog with my "Game Mechani(sm) of the Week" series, so it is i teresting to see someone else's take on the subject matter.

I suspect future episodes will focus on "Fate" and the "Powered by the Apocalypse" engine, but in that latter case it will be interesting to see whether he assumes the core mechanic as the dialogue of alternating MC-move/player-move in a narrative framework (kind of like the way he describes investigation in the Gumshoe games as a non-dice oriented phenomenon, as compared to the rolling of dice associated with other skills...which is considered a non-core idea)...or if he'll focus on the "roll 2d6, add modifiers, compare to chart of 6-or-below/7-9/10-or-above" which ends up heading in all sorts of directions depending on the specific move taken.

Anyway, go over and have a look. Subscribe. I want to see him do more of these... He might even get around to doing one of my games once the big games have been dealt with.