Sunday, August 31, 2014

#rpgaday Thirty One - Challenge Complete!

Favorite RPG Of All Time

I'm just gonna say, it's probably in one of these pictures.  Probably.

(Not the complete accumulation, there's more in the garage, but this stuff is in the house for a reason, theoretically.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#rpgaday Thirty

Rarest RPG Owned

Probably that weird game I mentioned back on day eleven, Treasures of the Third Reich.  I mean, I’ve never found anyone else who’s even heard of it, much less any mention of it online.

But if you’re talking about something from a known publisher, either my first printing Call of Cthulhu boxed set (now signed by Sandy Peterson), or my first edition copy of Boot Hill, both purchased new.

Friday, August 29, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Nine

Most Memorable Encounter

There have been many great one, as well as some embarrassing ones (Troubadour vs. The Gourmand).  Two of the best were courtesy of the game GM, my buddy Greg.  Greg is one of those rare souls who has the means to buy lots of toys and the generosity to share them.  Pretty much all of the minis my Tuesday and Sunday crew play with are from his stash.  When he ran our epic 3.5 Forgotten Realms campaign, one of the capstone adventures included that massive Collossal Red Dragon mini Wizards put out a few years ago.

Even more amazing is the game at his house, which allows him to haul out his massive Master Maze collection.  I'm not a huge fan of 4e in many respects, but it is a terrific tabletop battle game, and playing in a fully WYSIWYG dungeon, with proper minis, is freaking awesome.

So to salute Greg, my most memorable encounter was an epic dungeon battle recorded in my Flickr Album "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools."

Thanks, Greg! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Eight

Scariest Game You've Played

I have no clue.  I don't get to play horror games, so the opportunity for scary really doesn't arise that often.

Unless you mean that time I was vaguely concerned for my own life and limb while playing a game. But that's more a thing to look back and laugh about.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Seven

Home sick today, hoping I can kick this cough that's kicking my butt.  So, while I'm waiting to call into a meeting I still need to attend, here's today's entry:

Game I’d Like To See A New/Improved Edition Of:

Well, three of the ones I’d have listed last year are already getting new editions (Feng Shui, Chill, and Unknown Armies).  ICONS Assembled just came out, and I’m so over the HERO System, I don’t think there’s anything to be done with it that would bring me back.

In my perfect world, a new, fully-licensed and expanded Buffy/Angel product line would be pretty sweet. Though I’d settle for just the sourcebooks that were previewed before the license expired.  Thanks to the Wayback Machine, I recently acquired the preview chapter of the unpublished Sunnydale book.  Oh, what could have been...

Or Castle Falkenstein.   I’d love a hardback line of those books.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Six

(Five to go.  I think I'm actually going to complete this.)

Coolest Character Sheet

Oh lordy...

Here's the deal: my gaming heritage starts with some early AD&D, then takes a fork to RuneQuest/Call of Cthulhu/Stormbringer, and then spends two decades with the Hero System. You know what those games are all notable for?  I'll give you a hint, it's not having characters you can fit on an index card.  For most of my gaming career, information overload was the name of the game.  As a result, pretty character sheets don't really light my jets. Give me all the information I need, in a format where I can access it when I need it, and I'm happy. that criteria, I guess Hero Lab's "In Play" feature would qualify.  But let's not say that.

Note that I'm not against pretty character sheets out of hand, just that I'm more of a fan of utility.  And now that I'm thinking of it, there is one that I find appeals to both my sense of design and efficiency.  It's the basic sheet for first edition Legend of the Five Rings.  I like it.  Let's say that one.

My opinion might be different had I ever played the game.

Monday, August 25, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Five

Favorite RPG No One Else Wants To Play

Unknown Armies.  Just once, I’d like to play a character that really lets me explore obsession and lust for power and rewards me for dancing on the edge of sanity.  Plus, the system just looks terrific.  I own everything for it.  I can’t read Tim Powers because of it.  But no one will play it with me.

This could just as easily be Delta Green, In Nomine, World of Darkness, Witchcraft, Night’s Black Agents, or any game where the PCs are conflicted or outright broken.  It’s almost certainly down to the folks I have to draw from when I recruit players.  Most of the folks I play with seem to enjoy being big damn heroes.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Four

Most Complicated Game Owned:

(I'm still sick.  But I couldn't take being in bed anymore, so I'm going to attempt a proper post this morning).

I'll just bet you thought I'd say Champions or the HERO System.  Not gonna.  While I freely admit the system has its complexities, they are almost entirely front-loaded and rigorously consistent.  By this I mean that once you've gone through the exercise of putting a character together, you know more or less precisely what the character can do, and the actual system at the table remains the same, whether you shift out to the macro-level, or drill down to a ridiculous level of detail.

Compared to exception-based games like D&D or Exalted, I find HERO pretty easy, truth be told.  Besides, there are plenty of games out there that leave Champions sucking fumes when it comes to complexity.  Space Opera and Aftermath come immediately to mind, as does Living Steel. (True Fact: I once played a man-to-man combat in LS with an experienced GM.  Three hours later, I still had no idea what I was doing.)

Thing is, I don't actually own those games, so I can't really cite them, if I'm being honest.  Thankfully, I have one that stands the test of time in its complexity through three editions:  Chivalry & Sorcery.

One of the first D&D alternates, C&S started out insanely complex, doubled down, and then went off in a nigh-incomprehensible third edition.  Here's the second edition character sheet. Well, part of it anyway.

If you're playing a magician, expect a few more pages.  Also, some very heavy lifting in the math department.  And that's just to figure out your CHANCE of casting a spell.  Seriously, it's mind-boggling.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Three

I've been sick for the past 24 hours. Nasty cough, high fever.  It finally broke and I'm on the mend, but today's entry is going to be quick and dirty. Best looking RPG book:  Vampire the Masquerade, 1st edition. It was the Nirvana of RPGs, for many reasons, but the layout was truly ground-breaking.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2014

#rpgaday Twenty Two

Best Secondhand RPG Purchase

I am an expert level used game shopper.  It used to be easier to hit hidden gems and cheap treasures, but now I find stuff priced for the collectors’ market (and sometimes, very
incorrectly; the Half-Price Books near me has the 4th edition D&D Red Box priced like it’s the Mentzer version).  When I lived in San Antonio, there was a privately-owned used bookstore near my office that had an entire wall of old RPG stuff.  From them, I managed to complete my collection of Avalon Hill RuneQuest stuff and Stormbringer supplements.  At the old HPB in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, I found pretty much everything except the main rules (which I already had) for FASA’s Star Trek, and on another day at that same store, a copy of The Book of Ebon Bindings, a hard to find grimoire supplement for Empire of the Petal Throne.

My most recent bit of particularly good fortune was probably finding a copy of Chaosium’s Trollpack, at HPB in Austin.  I paid more than half cover price for it, but I was happy to add it to the collection