#RPGaDay2018 18. Art that inspires your game

Chris Foss, Brom, Michael Manning, Jim Burns, Tim White, Dougal Dixon, Chris Achilleos, Moebius, Frazetta, Whelan, Gary Chalk.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 17. Describe the best compliment you’ve had gaming

thomas-du-crest-truce-accepted

Presented without context…

Oh, you bastard!”

I think you’re kind, that’s what matters.”

*Player’s face slowly drains of colour as the penny drops*

I, have an erection.”

Oh. Oh! Ohhhhh! Oh my fucking god! Then that means… ohhhhhh.”

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 16. Describe your plans for your next game

vincent-tanguay-starchild-frame-5

Whatever we play next will be – in part – down to my group. We always negotiate to try and find something that everyone can enjoy or tolerate, and that the Games Master actually wants to run. We’ve been gaming together long enough that this isn’t the kind of impenetrable gear-grinding deadlock you might think.

That said, I’m tossing a few ideas around.

There’s a lot of games that I own, that I haven’t played (a flaw in being a designer and collector) and which I’d like to. Doing a different game – with pre-gens – each session as a sort of ‘taster’ or smorgasbord could be a fun thing to do and a change from the longer campaigns we more typically run.

I did write a conversion for the Destiny computer game, to be able to run it using the Cypher System (Numenera). We played a one-off game of that at our little friends-only con last year and it was, amazing, a lot of fun. I might like to return to that at some point.

Otherwise, I have a hankering to run my own Machinations of the Space Princess game in more of a campaign setting. It’ll help me to produce support material to sell and I’m sure I can have a lot of fun with it, cutting loose in something that doesn’t have a huge and unwieldy lore setting around it.

Then there’s the other games in various stages of development that need playtesting…

Yeah, tricky to decide when you have an embarrassing number of potential choices.

I will, hopefully, be starting to do some streamed games on my Youtube channel at some point. So, tentatively, if you’re interested and can do UK hours, let me know.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 15. Describe a tricky RPG experience you enjoyed

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While I’ve got you, I’ve been suspended off Twitter for no real explicable reason, my last three Youtube videos go into details. The Amazing Atheist and some others have had their accounts restored after a ruckus so any noise you can raise on Twitter about this would be appreciated.

Despite past experiences, people keep assigning me villains to play and then acting all surprised when I take their villainy to the logical extremity of possible evil, given their beliefs and talents. Really, if you don’t want something horrible to happen, don’t suggest I play a horrible character.

This reared its head in a game of Perfect at a small convention where, perhaps, the chap running the game hadn’t quite conveyed the point particularly well. It’s supposed to be a game where everything you do necessarily ends up being a thought crime, or worse (not unlike the real world today, perhaps). Myself and the other player who turned up for the game both decided to take this on full-bore in other ways however. I chose to play someone who was not incidentally a criminal or any of the other things that the depicted society was afraid of, but was them wholeheartedly. He was a foreign (gasp!), drug dealing (eek!) criminal kingpin (ooh crikey!). The other player, meanwhile, chose to play a Jack-the-Ripper style serial killer.

Needless to say, the game didn’t go well, but intrigued by some of its mechanics, I bought it.

Another example would be Exalted: The Abyssals. In this game I played a tactical, scheming character based on a combination of Klytus from Flash Gordon and Inquisitor Sand dan Glokta from The First Law series of fantasy novels. This was a man who condemned thousands to death with the grim calculus he performed on his bone-and-iron abacus. The sheer fact of the matter was that, in the long term, you need live people to make undead minions, and with an eye on the long game he established breeding camps to ensure there would always be a fresh supply of living flesh to turn into undead flesh.

I think I shocked even myself with that.

Stepping into the shoes of other people is a key, interesting part of roleplaying. Some of the most challenging experiences are stepping into the shoes of villains – especially if they consider themselves to be right. This can be difficult, but it can be… well, enjoyable is perhaps not the right word. It can be edifying and interesting.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 14. Describe a failure that became amazing

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My Cyberpunk players were escorting a tanker of Chooh2 (alcohol fuel) through an area. This was as a part of the Land of the Free/Home of the Brave module for Cyberpunk 2020, if I remember correctly. They were stopped off at an abandoned gas station/town when they were attacked by a band of Nomads in the hire of one of their many enemies.

They dove for their vehicles, seeking to turn this into a road chase where they felt they had something of an advantage. One of the characters, a heavily borged-up Solo clambers into the truck and swings it around to try and get out of the dunes and ruins.

One of the Nomads, seeing this fat, wallowing, ripe target of a fuel tanker stands up on the back of the pick-up truck he’s riding, and lets off an RPG at the tanker. It hits, it penetrates the armour, desperately trying to be fair I only give it a chance of igniting and exploding.

It does.

The Solo in the cockpit is engulfed by a massive explosion. We start rolling damage and working out exactly how much he takes. Thanks to extensive skull and trunk modification his body-core and brain are relatively unhurt, but all four cyberlimbs are blown off. His flaming body takes flight, blown clear of the explosion at a considerable rate of knots.

I mentally lay a 10 x 10 grid over the thumbnail sketch of the gas station/town I’ve doodled and roll a scatter to see where he lands.

He lands on the town well, doing enough damage (rolled) to break through the old wooden boards and to fall down the shaft.

I roll to see which way up he is.

Head first.

He survives an enormous explosion, a limbless, fireball flight across a town, a fall down a well, only to drown in the couple of inches of water at the bottom of a gunked up well.

That was definitely an heroic failure.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 13. Describe how your play has evolved

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I much prefer to be the Games Master. When it comes to playing I tend to go with fairly high-concept characters that don’t necessarily mesh that well with the game or the rest of the group. Even if that limits the amount of time I am playing or contributing, I still find those more interesting characters to play (like the SF writer whose frozen head was evacuated to the Moon during the fall, in Eclipse Phase).

Over time my Games Mastering style has developed to the point where I find most one-off games unsatisfying. I much prefer longer campaigns where I can really get into the swing of the world, get the players invested, reflect the changes that they create in the setting and allow a story to emerge naturally over time. That isn’t to say I just sit back and let it happen, rather I set about creating a world in which Plots(tm) are already in progress and which the players are likely to find themselves intersecting with.

I’ve always been a freewheeling Games Master, but my preference for improvisation (and simple systems that make improvisation easier) has only grown over time. I’m just seeking – always seeking – for that sweet spot between trad-gaming and story-gaming that fits me just right.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!

#RPGaDay2018 12. Wildest character concept?

andrej-klimov-andrej-klimov-virus-3d

Perhaps the strangest character I ever played was an intelligent virus. This was in the groundbreaking RPG ‘Over the Edge’ which is about to enjoy a comeback with a new edition. Over the Edge practically challenges you to come up with the most over the top and peculiar character idea that you can, and the setting itself is like Philip K Dick and William Burroughs had a love-child that took after Hunter S Thompson.

The system is loose and narratively based enough that you can play just about anything, although it may not be terrible effective. ‘My’ ability to take over and operate communally through hosts was an edge power, and so I was not terribly good at it, nor were the various hapless people I infected terribly competent. Nonetheless, having an instant flash-mob at your beck and call and being able to take a few, unimportant casualties along the way proved incredibly useful.

As a GM the wildest bunch of characters I was ever presented with were for Deadlands: Wasted West. Everyone loaded themselves up on so many flaws in pursuit of chips to spend to boost their roles that the game practically ran itself. Chaos was unleashed the moment the pyromaniac character’s imaginary leprechaun friend told him to burn things or the gunslinger was goaded into action by being reminded he was supposed to be a hero.

Fun times.

*Sob*

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!