RPG a Day 11-15

11. Which ‘dead’ RPG would you like to see reborn?

To my mind RPGs don’t die. If you can find a copy of a game you can play it. That’s one of the joys of the hobby. But I think what this is really about is community. Games do best when there are players around the world having new ideas and sharing them.

Stormbringer. That might be a good one to have more people thinking about. I’d quite like to see the revival of Top Secret work out well too. I don’t think I’ve ever played a straight forward espionage game.

12. Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

I hope it’s Amazing Tales. I really do. Our primary goal with the artwork has been to stimulate ideas. We’ve tried to include lots of little details that might spark ideas and discussions, and we’ve deliberately not thought too hard about exactly what’s going on in any given picture. Particularly with the full page illustrations we’ve focused on providing all the elements you need to tell a story without telling you what that story is.

Magical Fight

When I was thinking about the art for the game my biggest point of reference wasn’t another RPG, but Dixit, the artwork for which gets your mind going like nothing else.

13. Describe a game experience that changed how you play

I’m going to use this question to give a shoutout to Ralph, author of the Department V blog. During and just after my time at university I got to play in a number of games run by Ralph, which I’m pretty sure were universally excellent.

What I got from them, or at least, one of the things I got from them, was the notion of stripping back a game to the interesting ideas at its core, throwing away the rest and pushing the ideas to their limits.

As far as I can tell his blog and the excellent fictoplasm podcast are continuing to plough this particular furrow with great success.

14. Which RPG do you prefer for open ended campaign play?

At the moment I’m running a campaign based around the Nights Black Agents ruleset, and the Delta Green background. I’m pretty happy with how that’s going. Nights Black Agents gives you a lot of tools for managing a world and characters place in it, and it gives the players plenty of meaningful things to do with experience points beyond simply ‘getting even tougher’.

I like Feng Shui too, and I haven’t mentioned that in answer to any of the questions yet, so I’ll name it here. Feng Shui, because nothing makes a campaign open ended the way time travel and alternative realities do.

15. Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

Oh, this will be Feng Shui again. You see I love Feng Shui. I love that it’s so committed to the notion of action movies that it explains that the plot is supposed to advance through fights. I love that your characters start out incredibly tough and get tougher.

But I don’t love the thing that’s so common to RPGs. A fight starts, and just at the moment when in a film everything would happen *really fast*, the gameplay gets really slow. Feng Shui’s combat system is fast, as these things go, but it could be a lot faster.

So I fixed it. I don’t claim that this system is balanced,  or that it treats all characters equally, but I ran a short campaign with it, and it rattled along at a good pace.

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