RPGaDay Roundup, Part 1

I had such great plans, gentle readers. I had intended to blog all through my trip to Gen Con, and every day of the con, and all the way back home. The capricious powers which oversee internet access, however, had other ideas. So today I am playing catch-up so I can go back to a post a day starting tomorrow.

In the interest of not casting wall of text, I have broken up my round-up into three manageable parts. Look for Parts 2 and 3 later today, but let’s jump into Part 1:

Day 7: Most “Intellectual” RPG Owned

Personally I consider every RPG I own to be intellectual, at least compared to many other types of games. But not all games are the same; I know Kobolds Ate My Baby does not occupy the same intellectual realm as, say, Dogs in the Vineyard.

Looking at the RPGs I currently own, I’d have to say Microscope stands out as particularly intellectual, though with a large helping of imagination and creativity thrown in. For those who have never played, Microscope is a cooperative history/world-building game, in which you work with the other players to weave the history and stories of your shared time period. It’s perfect for those evenings when you want something fun and rules light.

Day 8: Favourite Character

I’ve had several characters I’ve enjoyed playing over many, many years. But hands down my absolute favourite was my first Living Greyhawk character, Argent. Argent was a gnome bard who made his way from adventure to adventure atop his trusty riding dog Coda. Normally, a bard, never mind a gnome, would be considered a waste of space at most LG tables. But for some reason, no one in our area was playing clerics, which meant a dearth of healers. Suddenly Argent, with his cure light wounds (and later a wand of the same), was a friend to all. And I played it up; Argent was never afraid to get in the thick of things to heal other characters in combat, trusting in his abilities and the sure-footed Coda to carry him through. Always cheerful and charming regardless of the odds, other players came to love the little guy almost as much as I did. As a result, a character which could have had a very short life expectancy ended up reaching retirement age.

Favourite moment with Argent: Killing an erinyes with a jam tart. Okay, okay, more specifically: Argent cast uncontrollable laughter (the material component of which is a jam tart) on the poor flying devil, and she died from the fall. But hey, she died happy!

Day 9: Favourite Die/Dice Set

I have a lot of dice, so picking a favourite is hard. But I have a d4 which I made from a rock I found on a hike when I was twelve. In no way did

A battered reminder of good times.

A battered reminder of good times.

I carve this rock, it just happens to be in the almost perfect shape for a d4. I obviously don’t use it for gaming these days because there is no way it rolls true. But for a while, every magic-user I ever played got a lot of mileage out of magic missile with that die.

As for favourite set…whichever set I’m currently playing with is my favourite; if I’m using it it means I’m playing.

Day 10: Favourite Tie-in Novel/Game Fiction

My answers to this one are a little broader. My favourite tie in novels are Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Queen of Thorns, and King of Chaos, written by Dave Gross for the Pathfinder Tales line at Paizo. Each is set in a different region of Golarion, following the adventurers of Chelaxian noble and Pathfinder Varian Jaggere and his bodyguard Radovan. Dave has a knack for telling an engaging story while bringing his environment to life. None of the novels seem shoe-horned in to their region, instead they present a very natural and entertaining look at what makes each area special. Plus they’re just great adventure stories with interesting and layered characters. If you haven’t read them yet I highly recommend you pick them up. I also suggest subscribing to Dave’s website, you won’t be sorry.

For game fiction in general, I really like the entire run of short-fiction Paizo posts for free on there blog every Wednesday. Sometimes it’s a chapter preview from an upcoming novel in the Pathfinder Tales line. More often it’s a wonderful piece of short fiction, spread out over four posts. Again, I highly recommend checking it out.

Day 11: Weirdest RPG Owned

I don’t own anything truly weird at the moment, with the bulk of my collection given over to Pathfinder and the like. But once upon a time I owned a copy of an RPG, the name of which escapes me, that used the I Ching as its main resolution mechanic. Players, or player and GM, would cast their fortune, compare them, then after some discussion come to an agreement on which fortune trumped the other. I picked it up at a convention as someone’s home-brewed game system, and only played it once. The thing that made it especially weird was that the game had nothing to do with Chinese mythology other than the use of the I Ching. It was just a straight-up fantasy game. If anyone knows the game I’m talking about and can point me to it, I’d love to read it again.

 Day 12: Old RPG You Still Play/Read

Until fairly recently I was involved in an ongoing Boot Hill RPG play-by-email. Boot Hill was sort of a sleeper hit for TSR back in the day. While it never had the following D&D, Gamma World, or Star Frontiers had, it still had its devout players. And it was a tight little game which did what it advertised: let you role-play in the Old West. The rules were simple, game play was pretty smooth, and you could immerse yourself in the table-top version of a Spaghetti Western with relative ease. If you liked that genre, it was everything you could want. If you didn’t, you likely never knew it existed.

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