RPG a Day 16-20

16. What RPG do you enjoy using as is?

I think small simple games get the most use ‘as is’, simply because there’s so little to change. I don’t think I’ve ever changed a thing when playing Fiasco for example. And in that spirit of small games, I’m going to name The Quiet Year. It takes a couple of hours, it gives a great story every time, and it’s very simple.

17. Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?

Whatever it is, it’s probably a PDF sat somewhere on Google drive. But the book that’s been on my shelves longest without being played is Torchbearer. The basic idea of the game, a gritty and tough world, where a lack of resources is at least as much of a challenge as lurking monsters appealed.

But on reading it, it’s just too darn procedural. It feels like a boardless boardgame, and it’s got something which I detest in gaming. The players are asked to explicitly discuss decisions their characters make in terms of mechanics and processes. For me that kind of thing wrecks the experience of roleplaying.

I still like a lot of the ideas, I’m glad I read it, but unless I run across it at a convention or something I don’t think I’ll be playing it.


18. Which RPG have you played most in your life?

Vampire. In my defence, it was the late 90’s and I was a student. We all did it.

19. Which RPG features the best writing?

So many RPGs feature short bits of fiction and flavour text that when I see the phrase ‘best writing’ that’s what springs to mind. But in all honesty I can’t remember any of those bits, so they can’t have been that good, and that’s not where the bulk of the words are anyway.

I think the real challenge to writing a roleplaying game is describing, in words, a process that is going to be acted out by people you’ve never met, to tell a story you’ve never thought of. Writing clear rules, in otherwords. And that’s hard. Especially if you want the text to remain engaging and interesting. Amazing Tales for instance has very few rules, the entire game fits onto a single page, and that was surprisingly hard to write.

So as an answer to this question, Fiasco. I don’t know if it’s the best. But it certainly meets the criteria.

20. What is the best source for out of print RPGs?

I have no idea. If I wanted one, and I suppose I might be interested in a copy of the original Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game, I’d start by looking on Ebay.

Well, it’s there.




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