Monday, August 31, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 31: Favourite Non-RPG thing to come out of gaming...

This is it - the final day of #RPGaDAY2015 - and possibly the final #RPGaDAY post ever (we'll see).
It is "Favourite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing".

In my video I mention a couple of things - how I got my first job thanks to gaming, and meeting my lovely wifey.

In addition to all this, I must also mention my old gaming group. The Eight as we used to call ourselves (even though there were more than eight of us at many times).

We started gaming as two different groups and came together over the years. Through many years of school and beyond, these guys have always been a huge part of my life. I've mentioned them many times on this blog, and although we're divided by geography, we always know that we're keeping a look out for each other... ready to rally to support if any of us are in need.

So, without RPGing in school, not only would I have never got that job in the council, working for Nature Conservation and Archaeology, which lead to me going to University, and meeting my wife who is also a gamer. But also, I wouldn't have had the amazing friends and support that I needed.


I guess that's why I started RPGaDAY to begin with last year.

Playing roleplaying games may seem like a sad and nerdy thing to those unfamiliar with it, but it changed and shaped my life for the better.

When I keep going online and finding such negativity, I just wanted to do something positive.

But, of course, someone didn't even like me doing that. Yes, daily disliker - you troll - I had noticed you systematically disliking my videos every day. It's that sort of behaviour that made me want to do something.


As to whether RPGaDAY returns for another year will depend upon a few things...

If the RPG playing community want to do it again?
If I can come up with some new questions that people actually like (and won't complain about)?
If I can justify the amount of time and effort it takes to do this.

RPGaDAY inspired me to get back into writing WILD, right at the moment when I was feeling the most unmotivated. And I'm really glad about that. But I can't help but feel that the last two months of video making, editing, planning, scheduling, and so on, could have been spent writing!!

We'll see...

If you want to do it again next year, comment!
If you have ideas for questions, comment!
If you think it's had its day, let me know...

Until next post - which may be a while, I'm going to spend some time away from the interwebs to recover and do something productive - be good to each other... and stay multi-classy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 30: Favourite RPG Playing Celebrity

Today's topic was a bit of a fun one - inspired by a news item online listing gaming celebrities, I just thought it'd be cool to hear if people knew of any others, and to discuss the coolest gaming celebs out there.

My choice was an obvious one, mostly as his love of D&D had inspired one of his most popular characters. And the dynamic of his D&D group playing had influenced the way the group worked in the Fast & Furious movies.

Vin Diesel is a bit of a legend as well.

Until tomorrow, for the final day...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 29: Favourite RPG Website / Blog

Today's RPGaDAY2015 entry is Favourite RPG Website / Blog. I used to go on almost every day, just to see what the news was, what people were talking about, but that has all kinda fallen by the wayside.

I just don't get much chance to surf, when I could be writing!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 28: Favourite Game You No Longer Play

(Oh, to the tune of "Love Story"...)

Where do I begin?

There's such a long list of games that I don't play any more. Most of the time it's because I don't have a gaming group, or the time, but some games really stand out from the others as being sorely missed...

Kult, Mage: The Ascension, Star Wars D6, WitchCraft, Ghostbusters... the list goes on. But I decided to go for a different game for my choice.

Special guest on today's video is the awesome Cat Tobin who has picked, not one, but three totally amazing games that she wishes she could play, or play more of. Great choices too.

Ho well, three more days to go!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 27: Favourite Idea for Merging Two Games Into One

...which really was pushing the boundaries for how many characters you could squeeze into the little box on the image.

Today's question was mostly the "what game system would you like to use with another game's setting?" type question, though I've loved some of the other responses I've seen.

Here's today's video. Just me in this one, so you'll just have to put up with my boring face this time...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 26: Favourite Inspiration for your Game

Day 26 is all about inspiration - what inspires your gaming? Is it something specific, like me being inspired by a few movies, or something broader - looking at the wonders of nature, the weird things that really happen, real life X-Files?

To help with today's video, Andrew Peregrine recorded a piece from the place that inspires him - a particularly cool backdrop for a video!

In a related note, the writing on WILD has picked up since RPGaDAY2015 started, which is kinda what I was hoping would happen. Though, it has inspired me to stay off-line a lot more, possibly taking a holiday from the internet in September... We'll see...

Stay Multi-Classy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 25: Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

Day 25 of #RPGaDAY2015 - Don't worry, it'll be finished soon!! So, day 25 is Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic. It's an odd one, because there have been many times reading through new rulebooks when I've gone "Wow, that's a brilliant idea!"

Hero Points, Escalation Die, Health levels instead of Hit Points, Diceless gaming, FATE dice, GM-less play... Where to begin?

Today's video features special guest Gareth-Michael Skarka. Meanwhile, I yatter on about the wonders of Hero Points.


Monday, August 24, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 24: Favourite House Rule

Final full week of #RPGaDAY2015 has begun, and today we're on Favourite House Rule. I must admit, while I spend a lot of time on rules in the writing, when it comes to gaming there are a few rules I sometimes ignore - usually in the heat of the battle!

I mean, in the middle of a shootout with alien invaders, are you really keeping track of how exhausted you're getting at the stress of the fight?

Sometimes, house rules make things more exciting - and the special guest in today's video is Grant Howitt who has written many games and some particularly cool and enlightening blog posts about running games. You really should check out his site...

The rather excellent Raising the Stakes document, mentioned in the video, can be found here:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 23: Perfect Game For You

Perfect game... wow, that's a difficult one. So may times I've thought "this is it, this game is perfect" only to discover, over time, that there are elements I'd change or do slightly differently. But, as I discuss in the video, maybe it's not so reliant upon what you actually play, more who you play it with and finding that perfect level of engagement.

Special guest on the video is Ole Peder GiƦver, and my sincerest apologies for my awful pronunciation of your name dude! Since chatting to him online, I've had my eyes opened to a whole new world of gaming that I never knew existed - some of it weird, some of it enlightening, and all of it very different from my gaming experiences. Seriously worth listening to what he has to say...

Tomorrow sees the start of the final week of #RPGaDAY2015 (well, the last seven days, if you include the bank holiday Monday final day)... Onto the final stretch.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 22: Perfect Gaming Environment

Day 22 is the rather odd question, "Perfect Gaming Environment". Where do you like to play?

When I was young we did all our gaming around a table, but then, a lot later in life, I discovered the delights of gaming in comfort. Sitting on the floor, bean bags, piles of cushions, or on the sofa... Oh, yes...

Today's video, the awesome Shanna Germain from Monte Cook Games is the special guest, who tells us how the environment can be changed to add atmosphere and effect to the game.

Friday, August 21, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 21: Favourite RPG Setting

Cutting it fine! With only an hour left of day 21, I've been uploading tomorrow's video, watching the last couple of episodes of Person of Interest (Season 3), and then just remembered I need to add a blog post.

But, the Matrix Reloaded is on TV!! How am I going to concentrate now?

Thankfully, in today's video, I have help from Josh Fox from Black Armada Games...

Before you say "Oh, you're bound to say Conspiracy X, you wrote it!"... well, I didn't. I may have worked on it for a few years, but I didn't create the setting. I loved it so much I wanted to write for it, and convert it to Unisystem, but I just played around in the setting for a while - I didn't make it.

Right, agents are coming. I gotta split.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 20: Favourite Horror RPG

Day 20, the 20th of August... just so happens to be H.P. Lovecraft's birthday. And you thought no planning went into the days and the questions! Day 20 is Favourite Horror RPG, and I've chosen a game I've spoken about many times in the past.

However, today's video also features special guest Derek Stoelting, who looks after the Unisystem books for Eden Studios, so you can probably guess his favourite straight away!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 19: Favourite Supers RPG

Day Nineteen of #RPGaDAY2015 - Favourite Supers RPG. Again, I have to admit, I'm not really a supers player. I read a lot of comics, love superhero movies and series, but the only real game I ran of a supers game I did the craziest thing you could imagine for a supers game - I took the superpowers out of it.

I ran Golden Heroes for a few months as a gritty, dark, costumed vigilante RPG. It was mostly nonsense, but it was fun.

My favourite is a different barrel of powered monkeys...

So there's that one.

We're over half way through the month, and the response to the whole of #RPGaDAY2015 has been mostly positive and enthusiastic. The whole idea of it is to talk in a positive way about gaming, and have fun.

There have been the usual negative comments about the questions, the odd one here and there who think the questions are too boring and gone off and done their own thing, and my resident daily "disliker" who has been disliking 70% of the videos religiously around 9:30am.

Most days I can brush this off - there'll always be someone who doesn't like what you do. I know that. You can't please everybody.

Some days, like today, I can't brush it off, and wonder why I'm even bothering.

Still. Tomorrow is another day. And another question.

And I'll hopefully have had more sleep so won't be a grumpy old git.

Until then, be good to each other.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 18: Favourite SF RPG

Just a quickie tonight as it's game night! Ironically, playing a fantasy game when today's question is Favourite SF RPG.

So many contenders... Star Frontiers, Babylon Project, Conspiracy X... but there's one that will always be the favourite in my books...

Monday, August 17, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 17: Favourite Fantasy RPG

The question that launched a thousand answers of "Dungeons & Dragons"... the question where I don't say D&D... just to be weird like that.

Must admit, while I've played a lot of D&D, Runequest, and more - and while my only current game is fantasy - I've always preferred modern settings or science fiction. You can blame a very formative experience in my youth seeing Star Wars for that one.

However, when it comes to fantasy RPGs, I did prefer something else to D&D. I'm sorry...

Today's video features guest appearance by freelance writer and designer T.R. Knight.

Right, back to writing!

Stay Multi-classy!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 16: Longest Game Session

It's really a sign of the times when a long game session for an oldie like me is about three hours. I'm in a game once a fortnight, and find it hard to squeeze in the time to do it. Gone are the days of my youth - when I was a teenager we used to play four or five nights a week, and afternoons at weekends. Just couldn't get enough of it.

It's weird but I can still picture the rooms we used to game in, at various houses... the subdued lighting, the DM screen, the 8pm cup of tea.

We just wanted to keep on playing.

One day we had the crazy idea of playing non-stop for 90-hours to raise money for charity...

Many thanks to Lynne Hardy for helping with today's video!

I've written about our marathon before as part of my "Roll Your Own Life" blog posts, you can read about it here!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 15: Longest Campaign Played

That's one of the great things about tabletop roleplaying games... They don't have to end if you don't want to. You can do some cool one shots, short adventures, and small stories, but sometimes those adventures string together into a continuing campaign that can go on and on. It's usually due to circumstances outside the game that the story ends.

I've played a few long running campaigns - the longest is probably the Vampire: The Masquerade game that became Mage: The Awakening (and then morphed into Kult, and eventually WitchCraft).

You can find out all about it in the video below, which also features a special guest in the form of gaming guru Robin D. Laws.

Friday, August 14, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 14: Favourite RPG Accessory

Favourite RPG Accessory is a deliberately broad topic which allows gamers to talk about their favourite dice, cards, character sheets, screens, maps, apps, and gizmos.

While I love dice... and have far to many to actually use... my accessory of choice would have to be something a little more recent. And, something from a game I'm yet to play. Weird, huh?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 13: Favourite RPG Podcast

Podcasts are a funny thing. Some people don't really listen to them at all (I must admit I don't get much of an opportunity) and some people religiously listen to loads, almost constantly going about their lives with their headphones in one ear listening to something or other... (You know who you are...)

I don't really bother, but I do subscribe to a few and pick and choose which episodes I want to listen to - usually the ones that have interesting rule discussions, or a guest that I really want to hear. (Must say, the Gillian Anderson episode of the Nerdist Podcast was brilliant).

So, a short video today, and if you know of any cool podcasts that you think I should be listening to, let me know!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day Twelve: Favourite RPG Illustration

Day Twelve of #RPGaDAY2015 is a great opportunity to fill the social medias with really cool art from your favourite games.

In today's video, I managed to recruit the Creative Director of Cubicle 7, Jon Hodgson, to help out and show off some of his favourite artwork that has inspired and influenced him.

When it comes to my fave, I'd have to go with the cover that leapt out from the shelves when I was perusing the game shelves back in the early 80s, picking the first RPG I'd buy and GM...

Look at it...

It's glorious!

On the front cover of TSR's sci-fi game, Star Frontiers, it was THE selling point for me. Just every part of it was cool. It was everything I wanted in gaming as a teen who had just seen Star Wars and wanted to explore cool planets armed with blasters.

Oooh yeah!

Having discovered that the artwork is available as a print from Larry Elmore's site, I'm seriously tempted... If I can just convince the wife...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day Eleven: Favourite RPG Writer

Day Eleven of #RPGaDAY2015 and it's another tricky question. So many great writers, so many great games, and even more tricky is that I'm friends with a lot of them, even if it's only over the interwebs.

However, picking my favourite writer(s) came down to the one game that really changed the way I looked at RPGs and how they are written. Previous games I'd played and run were very "traditional" or "old school" - after all, it was the early 80's... but then along came this one game that didn't take itself so seriously, and had a "voice". A real voice that wasn't just "turn to the table on page 37". It was a voice that was full of character, charisma, sarcasm and humour.

And that game was West End Games' "Ghostbusters".

It wouldn't be until many, many years later that I'd see that sort of writing again in the form of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. But that Ghostbusters RPG changed the way I game, and made me want to not only write RPGs, but write RPGs like that.

Monday, August 10, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 10: Favourite RPG Publisher

Yeah, I'm gonna get a lot of stick for this one. And I know a lot of people on my friends list are game writers and publishers so they don't want to sound biased or show favouritism, so it's understandable if you skip this day...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 9: Favourite Media You Wish Was an RPG

It's almost like I put this question in there as an excuse to talk about Harry Potter again isn't it?

If you want to check out the blog posts with the extensive look at the designs for an officially licensed Harry Potter RPG that never came to be, just follow the links below...

You can read the first post, "Adventures in a World of Magic" here:

The second week I looked at the product itself in more detail, looking at how the game would look like a Hogwarts textbook, and immerse the players into Harry's world by keeping the feel of Rowling's brilliantly envisioned setting.

You can read the second post, "Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry..." here:

The third post really got down to the details of the game system and how it works, looking at the character sheets, stats, how the dice are used, and how simple mechanics can maintain the feel of the wizarding world, and suspend the belief of the players.

You can read "It's our choices, Harry..." here:

The fourth and final post looked at the supplements that could be produced for the game, expanding the potential to provide players with endless possibilities that will keep players of all ages playing for months and years to come.

You can find the last post, "The mind is not a book..." here:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 8: Favourite RPG in the Media

Sorry, long day / week at work, then distracted by catching up on Person of Interest on TV (seriously, UK TV, you really need to sort this out... we're a whole season behind!)

On the subject of TV, and the media in general, today's question for #RPGaDAY2015 is all about how our favourite hobby is portrayed on TV, in movies, books, comics, and even online or in the press.

It's a tough one. Community did a great job of capturing the feel of D&D without ridiculing it. But my answer is going to have to stick this side of the pond...

Friday, August 7, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 7: Favourite Free RPG

Right down to the wire again today! With just under an hour to post on the 7th, I'm uploading the next video while frantically posting about today's.

Hopefully I'll have more time to post about topics as the month progresses, which is a shame because I really like today's video. It's great to get people talking about the cool free RPGs that are out there - some of them are only a handful of pages, but contain some of the most revolutionary, and most innovative games out there.

Luckily, I had help with today's video in the form of the awesome Anita Murray, from the London Indie RPG Meetup group.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 6: Most Recent RPG Played

Ah, the wonders of the day-job... it's getting close to deadline, uploading the video for Day 7, while I hurriedly write a blog-post for Day 6.

So, Day 6 - Most Recent RPG Played. 

That one's pretty easy, as I'm only really playing one game at the moment which is a medieval fantasy style setting using cinematic Unisystem. Yes, this is the very game I was levelling up my character when I blog-posted on Tuesday! (Hopefully she won't keep failing her rolls now).

As always, share and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 5: Most Recent RPG Purchase

Yeah, I know... it's another "what have you bought" topic. Last year's one was criticised for being very purchase heavy - but then I thought it was interesting to find out how people started in RPGs... what was the first game they bought, etc.

Maybe it's just criticism from people who don't actually buy RPGs..? That'd be weird.

Maybe it's just that not only do I play and write RPGs, I'm a bit of a bibliophile too. I love the feel of a new book, that print smell, the layout and design of the page...

Sorry... getting a little distracted. Where was I?

Oh yes. Day Five is "Most Recent RPG Purchase".

As I mentioned before, I haven't really bought an awful lot recently. Times are tough, and I just don't have the cash to spend, or the time to play the games. However, when I was told about Of Dreams and Magic, I thought I'd better check it out.

Of Dreams and Magic certainly has a really cool feel, almost like the original Mage game, with characters who can manipulate reality through the power of their dreams. And it's very pretty too...

You can find out about Of Dreams and Magic at ODAM Publishing's site, here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 4: Most Surprising Game

It's Day Four, and a rare thing is happening - RIGHT NOW!! I'm supposed to be gaming. I'm actually supposed to be levelling up my character right at this moment, so I'm just going to post the video...

...and thank Becky Annison from Black Armada Games for helping out with the vid (and for picking a particularly excellent game!)

Monday, August 3, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 3: Favourite New Game of the Last 12 Months

Again, I'm cheating a little with this one. I haven't really bought a lot over the last year, so my choice for this day's answer is actually a supplement for a second edition of an older game...

I posted the video early this morning, which features a guest spot by the ever awesome Paco Garcia from GMS Magazine.

My choice is the Blessed are the Children supplement for the excellent Little Fears RPG. I loved the first edition of the game, and hadn't picked up the second. So when the 3rd supplement for the game was Kickstarted, and there was a backer level to get all three of the books to date, I leapt at the chance.

You really should check out Little Fears if you can.

Right, I've a manuscript to format, and I have the strange urge to rewatch Buckaroo Banzai...

Until tomorrow...

"No matter where you go, there you are!"

Sunday, August 2, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 2: Kickstarter you're most pleased you backed...

I went through a really dangerous period when I got a bit carried away backing Kickstarters. I backed the Veronica Mars movie, Tabletop Season 3, and when it came to RPGs I looked at those shiny books (and I love shiny books) and clicked "back" on a lot of them...

I've had a couple of bad experiences which have put me off a little - that and having to be a little more financially savvy these days - but I love the opportunities that Kickstarter has given the hobby.

Unfortunately, being in the UK a lot of the really cool Kickstarter games are expensive to back, purely because of the nightmare of shipping costs, and the roulette of being charged by customs for importing cool games.

However, some companies with connections have found ways of distributing locally, and often these are the Kickstarters I leap at. Otherwise, it's showing my support backing at PDF level and hoping that the "in print" version will make it to the regular shop distribution.

So what game leaps out as being the one I'm most pleased I backed?

Numenera is very high on the list, as is Little Fears, and the Fate Core.

But for sheer production values, it's going to have to be a more recent one...

In today's video I've been joined by James Holloway, from Gonzo History Gaming

As always, share and enjoy!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 - Day 1: Forthcoming Game You're Most Looking Forward To

Hi everyone!

It's that time again. A whole month of me going on about tabletop roleplaying games again.

I'm sure there will be a few days around the end of week one when things will get a bit tight on the schedule and days may be a little late, but I'm hoping my organisation skills will save me, and my preparations will pay off.

Each day I'm hoping to post a video detailing my response, and a short-ish (depending upon how busy things get with the day-job) blog post that'll embed it.

Last year, #RPGaDAY was great, a huge success that spread further around the globe than I could have ever hoped. This year, I'm just happy to have you take part again. Thanks everyone.

So, lets get this show on the road...

Day 1 - Forthcoming Game You're Most Looking Forward To

Today's video I'm helped out by the ever cool Dominic McDowall-Thomas, who sent me his video from the incredibly warm GenCon 2015 dealer hall during set-up day this week. Thanks Dom!

Definitely, the game I'm most looking forward to is the new edition of Kult. I loved Kult, and I'm eager to see what it's like with a new game system.


Above all, I hope you enjoy #RPGaDAY2015. I know a lot of people enjoyed last year and found it motivating with the writing and videoblogging, and inspirational.