You’d think, after doing RPGaDay for a couple of years that I’d remember it was coming up. You would be wrong. So here is my standard update post, bringing us from August 1 to today. Daily posts will begin tomorrow, as is my wont.
August 1: Real dice, dice app, diceless, how do you prefer to ‘roll’?
Dice. Always and forever, dice. I can’t help it, I love them so much! I can appreciate diceless systems, and I can even enjoy playing them from time to time. And I do understand the usefulness of a dice app for convenience; Roll 20 would be a much more drawn out process without their in-app dice macros. So I’m not against either of those options.
But given the chance, I want to roll actual dice. I love the tactile feel of them in my hand. I love the tension as I rattle a handful of dice, hoping for the right numbers to come up. I love collecting the perfect sets of dice for each of my characters. Dice are too much a part of the game for me to ever give them up.
August 2: Best game session since August 2015?
I’d have to say my best overall session since last year was the first session of my 5e D&D game. It was a perfect confluence of the things I love about gaming; introducing new players to the game, bringing a new game world to life, navigating a new game, and building a new group of players. It was my first time back to the D&D game in over a decade, and I’d forgotten how much I loved the game. And 5e is a great edition to come back on.
A very close second? A recent session of Pathfinder in which the group fought a shadow-infested triceratops skeleton. It was so much fun to run, and the players were having a blast the entire time. Plus, any time you can have a triceratops skeleton smash open an enormous fish tank right in the middle of the battleground? Do it, you won’t be sorry.
August 3: Character moment you are proudest of?
This is a hard one to answer. I’m currently GMing two Pathfinder campaigns and DMing two D&D 5e campaigns, so my play time is limited to non-existent. But my buddy Scott has been in town while on holiday recently, and I got to play a swashbuckler character in a PFS scenario he wrote. Merrick has been a lot of fun, and my favourite moment with him so far was the inadvertent insulting of the aged matron of a Tian Xia family. How was I to know she wouldn’t appreciate my bawdy story? It killed down at the teahouse.
August 4: Most impressive things another’s character did?
No one thing, but it is an absolute delight to watch my friend Anita play her gnome sorcerer Twig in my Council of Thieves campaign. Anita plays a perfect gnome character, inquisitive with little regard for her own safety. The interplay between Twig and the character Kring (half-orc barbarian), her friend and self-appointed minder, is one of the best things about the each session. When two players can mesh their characters in such a way that it enhances the experience each session, it’s truly a gift as a GM. And relatively recently we’ve added in a Halfling rogue which has become Twig’s partner in crime. Fuel to an already robust fire…
August 5: What story does your group tell about your character?
As per my answer on August 3, I don’t get to play a lot. So I don’t think I’ve played a character enough recently to allow my group to develop stories about my characters. Things should change this fall, and I’ll be back to playing more. We’ll see what stories will come.
August 6: Most amazing thing a game group did for their community?
For the last couple of years a group of my friends have formed a team for Extra Life. Team Knifeshoes has raised thousands of dollars for children’s hospitals, and it’s one of the best things I get to be a part of every year. I’m looking forward to it again this year, and I have some special tabletop events ready to go which I hope I’ll be able to pull off. They also have a Tabletop Appreciation Weekend running September 16-18, so see what’s shaking for that.
August 7: What aspect of RPGs has had the biggest effect on you?
The social aspect of RPGs has had the biggest effect. I’m an introvert, so left to my own devices I will happily spend all my time alone in my room reading, or playing video games, or watching stuff on YouTube and Netflix. Having a fun excuse to get together with friends and play pretend? Yep, I’ll take it. And as a GM I get to indulge my introversion by sitting alone and dreaming up encounters and game worlds for my players. Really, it’s the best hobby I could have stumbled into (way to go, ten-year-old me!).
August 8: Hardcover, softcover, digital? What is your preference?
My preference is always for the physical book, whether it’s hard or soft cover. But as a busy GM on the go, especially one who has made several trips to Gen Con and PaizoCon over the last several years, I have also embraced the digital age. Currently, most of the Pathfinder books I own are in digital format, though I’m shifting the needle on that. Most of what I own for all my other games, though, are books on shelves. I enjoy cracking open a gaming book to look things up, and I like walking in to my game room and seeing the books lined up on the shelves. My library is only going to get bigger. [insert evil laugh]
August 9: Beyond the game, what’s involved in an ideal session?
It’s hard to describe what makes a session ideal for me, outside of the actual gameplay. I can describe it best as ‘easiness’. When my friends and I are just together, and none of us is having to work terribly hard at having or creating a good time, that’s easiness. I’m lucky enough to have several groups which achieve that on a regular basis, and so I’ve managed to get to a place where I’m excited about each session because of that. Play shouldn’t be work, and if it is that might be the time to find another group.
That’s it, tune in tomorrow for regular RPGaDay updates through August.