Saturday, July 8, 2023

I Didn't See That Coming - Watching the Walkers


Watching 'Fear the Walking Dead' has reminded me of one of the biggest rug-pulls in my roleplaying game playing.

Let's set the scene - in one of my recent blog-posts I mentioned that, after I stopped watching The Walking Dead when they killed off one of my favourite characters in the most brutal way, I finally went back to watching the series, and kinda binged the last five seasons in a couple of weeks. I must say, considering I couldn't see the appeal of Negan, especially after that scene, and wondered why they'd chosen him for a sequel series with Maggie - I finally see it. Negan's story arc was actually really good, and by the end I could honestly see a guy who felt remorse for the horrific things he'd done, and was trying to do better.

We finished season 11 last night, and my wife surprised me by saying she actually missed watching the series already - so I dug out the first season of Fear the Walking Dead that she'd bought for me on DVD back when we were really into the series and the comics... just before we stopped watching completely. About half-way through the incredibly tense first episode I had a weird flashback to an RPG we played as teenagers - and how Free League could do the same with their cool The Walking Dead Universe RPG.


Back in the 80's, one of our usual GMs (Pete) ran a game for us using his homebrew Odyssey game system. He said it was just to test things out and make sure it all worked, and we generated some pretty ordinary characters. As it was a homebrew, we had generic character sheets, and we all played ordinary people invited onto a cruise ship as a prize for a mysterious contest, and we figured it was going to be one of those murder-mystery type games. 

The sessions continued, and suddenly the ship started sinking, and disaster! We washed up on an island, and figured 'oh, it's going to be a survival game, where we're shipwrecked and there will be badguys and stuff like that'. (Bear in mind, this was decades before Lost

But that wasn't it. Something happened, and suddenly we gained superpowers. Yes, we'd started a superhero game, but had no idea that we were playing a superhero game until the powers mysteriously kicked in. I did not see that coming. None of us did. Pete looked pleased that his plan had come together, and his RPG based on the comic series The Elementals came into fruition.


Why did Fear the Walking Dead remind me of this? Watching that first episode I just thought how cool it would be to be a player in a The Walking Dead Universe RPG campaign, but not actually know that was the game you're playing. 

Have character sheets that don't have the logo, or any really obvious rule bits. Have the players generate generic characters, and make them think they're going to play a cool murder-mystery game or something else - anything that doesn't involve the walking dead. Play a couple of intriguing games with the players thinking the game is one thing, maybe some news reports in the background of rising tensions, and then... the murder-mystery changes genre suddenly when the body at the murder scene gets back up and starts attacking!

I know it's unlikely with licensed games like this, as you kinda have to have the logo and copyright on the character sheet, but it's certainly something that can be done easily by GMs with a bit of tweaking to the sheets. It's like taking a 'Session Zero' in a different direction.

Like the prelude bit in the old Vampire: The Masquerade games, but if you didn't know you were going to play Vampire

I could really see Free League doing a 'set up' book, just filled with GM advice and campaign ideas so that players could experience that same rug-pull moment. It'd be awesome. 

In the mid-80s, when we played that Odyssey game, it was amazing and revolutionary. I'm sure you're all doing something similar in your games now...

Saturday, July 1, 2023

This August - the 10th RPGaDAY


Title - RPGaDAY 2023 - Tenth anniversary edition

This August you are invited to take part in the TENTH annual RPGaDAY challenge, celebrating everything we love about our tabletop hobby.

When I launched #RPGaDAY all those years ago, I thought it was going to be a short-lived thing that no one would be interested in. Just a way for me to keep my mind occupied during a pretty tough month. But thanks to you, everyone who has been involved in #RPGaDAY over the years, and especially Anthony (aka - Runeslinger), #RPGaDAY has continued over the years and this August sees the tenth annual #RPGaDAY challenge.

Admittedly, the time I have to dedicate to #RPGaDAY has dwindled over the years as the day job piles on the workload, but this year I thought it would be interesting to look back at the questions that started it all. Reuse the questions from the very first year! There have been some tweaks and changes, some rewording to make it more inviting, and some interesting emphasis. So without any ado, here are the prompts for #RPGaDAY2023.

RPG a Day social media graphic of the prompts

The text version of these prompts will be available at the end of this post, but you'll notice that certain words in each prompt have been presented in caps/bold. Over the many incarnations of #RPGaDAY we've experimented with simple questions and single word prompts. This, much like the crew of the Enterprise experienced, is the best of both worlds. This presents you with THREE ways to approach each day in August - 

1) If you've never taken part in #RPGaDAY before, or came to this more recently, simply look at the prompt for the day and use it to inspire a social media post to spread the word of everything cool and, above all, positive, about tabletop roleplaying games.

2) If the prompt doesn't inspire, look at the highlighted word and use that as the prompt. For example, day 4 asks 'Most RECENT game bought'. If you haven't bought a game for a while, or don't want to share what it was, you can use the word RECENT as the prompt and talk about a recent game you played, or actual play you watched.

3) The other way to do #RPGaDAY, and this is the one I'm very interested in, is to use the prompts to inspire a social media post as normal, but if you took part in the first #RPGaDAY (or have a very good memory of what you would have answered back then) compare your answers. It can reveal if your favourite character has changed, or favourite game system. It'll be interesting to see if your opinions have changed over the years. If you are doing this, some of the questions have '(this year)' added so you don't simply repeat the same answer.

Remember, this is about spreading the positivity. No moaning about anything, or saying something is bad. Tell us what you love, what you enjoy playing, great games you've experienced, and how these games have had a positive impact on you.

Remember also to tag everything #RPGaDAY2023. And also remember, this takes place in AUGUST. I always share the prompts a month in advance so that we can get translations shared to get as many people taking part as possible, and to give those vloggers and podcasters a chance to prepare their episodes in advance and take some of the strain off of trying to produce 31 posts in a month.

Thank you everyone again for taking part, I hope you have fun again this year seeing how things have changed. 


Text Version of Prompts (English)

1) FIRST RPG played (this year)


3) First RPG BOUGHT (this year)

4) Most RECENT game bought

5) OLDEST game you've played

6) Favourite game you NEVER get to play

7) SMARTEST RPG you've played

8) Favourite CHARACTER

9) Favourite DICE

10) Favourite tie-in FICTION

11) WEIRDEST game you've played

12) Old game you STILL play

13) Most memorable character DEMISE

14) Favourite CONVENTION purchase

15) Favourite Con MODULE / ONE-SHOT

16) Game you WISH you owned

17) FUNNIEST game you've played

18) Favourite game SYSTEM

19) Favourite PUBLISHED adventure

20) Will still play in TWENTY years time

21) Favourite LICENSED RPG

22) Best SECONDHAND RPG purchase

23) COOLEST looking RPG product / book

24) COMPLEX / SIMPLE RPG you play

25) UNPLAYED RPG you own


27) Game you'd like a new EDITION of...

28) SCARIEST game you've played

29) Most memorable ENCOUNTER

30) OBSCURE RPG you've played

31) FAVOURITE RPG of all time

Single word prompts summary (English)
















16) WISH

















French Translation by Francois Letarte

#RPGaDAY fête ses 10 ans #RPGaDAY2023 est un défi pour tous les amateurs de jeux de rôle. À tous les jours du mois d'août, #RPGaDAY2023 propose un mot ou un énoncé auquel vous répondez et que vous partagez sur le web dans vos réseaux sociaux, en vidéos, en podcasts, dans des blogs ou autres. Diffusez l'amour de votre hobby tout le mois d'août en participant au #RPGaDAY2023 Cette année pour le #RPGaDAY2023 , il y a trois façons suggérées de participer 1- Répondre à l'énoncé du jour ou 2- Utiliser le mot en MAJUSCULE et s'en inspirer pour créer un énoncé ou une autre publication en lien avec le jeu de rôle ou 3- Répondre à l'énoncé du jour et comparer avec vos réponses de la première édition de 2013 si vous y avez participé. 1) PREMIER jeu de rôle joué (cette année) 2) Premier MENEUR de jeu de rôle 3) Premier jeu de rôle ACHETÉ (Cette année) 4) Le plus RÉCENT jeu de rôle acheté 5) Le plus VÉNÉRABLE jeu de rôle joué 6) Jeu de rôle préféré JAMAIS joué 7) Jeu de rôle le plus INTELLIGENT joué 8 ) PERSONNAGE préféré 9) préféré 10) FICTION préférée dans un jeu de rôle 11) Jeu de rôle le plus ÉTRANGE joué 12) Vieux jeu de rôle ENCORE joué 13) FIN la plus mémorable d'un personnage 14) Achat en CONVENTION préféré 15) MODULE / SÉANCE UNIQUE de convention préféré 16) Jeu de rôle à posséder de ta liste de SOUHAIT 17) Jeu de rôle le plus DRÔLE joué 18) SYSTÈME de jeu de rôle préféré 19) Aventure PUBLIÉE préférée 20) Jeu rôle toujours pratiqué dans VINGT ans 21) Jeu de rôle sous LICENCE préféré 22) Meilleur achat de jeu de rôle USAGÉ 23) Jeu de rôle au look le plus COOL 24) Jeu de rôle le plus COMPLEXE / SIMPLE joué 25) Jeu de rôle NON JOUÉ possédé 26) FEUILLE de personnage préférée 27) Jeu de rôle dont tu aimerais une nouvelle ÉDITION 28) Jeu de rôle le plus EFFRAYANT joué 29) RENCONTRE la plus mémorable 30) Jeu de rôle le plus OBSCUR joué 31) Jeu de rôle PRÉFÉRÉ parmi tous


Here is the Brazilian Portuguese translation, by Richard 'Bat' Brewster and Eric Souza 

Em agosto deste ano, você está convidado a participar do DÉCIMO desafio anual RPGaDAY, que celebra tudo o que amamos em nosso hobby de mesa. 

A versão em texto desses avisos estará disponível no final desta postagem, mas você notará que certas palavras em cada aviso foram apresentadas em maiúsculas/negrito. Ao longo das várias encarnações do #RPGaDAY, fizemos experiências com perguntas simples e sugestões de uma única palavra. Assim como a tripulação da Enterprise experimentou, este é o melhor dos dois mundos. Assim, você terá TRÊS maneiras de abordar cada dia de agosto  

1) Se você nunca participou do #RPGaDAY antes, ou se chegou a ele mais recentemente, basta olhar para o prompt do dia e usá-lo para inspirar uma postagem na mídia social para divulgar tudo o que é legal e, acima de tudo, positivo, sobre os jogos de RPG de mesa. 

2) Se a solicitação não inspirar, observe a palavra destacada e use-a como solicitação. Por exemplo, o dia 4 pergunta "Most RECENT game bought" (O jogo mais recente comprado). Se você não tiver comprado um jogo há algum tempo ou não quiser dizer qual foi o jogo, pode usar a palavra RECENTE como estímulo e falar sobre um jogo recente que tenha jogado ou que tenha assistido. 

3) A outra maneira de fazer o #RPGaDAY, e essa é a que mais me interessa, é usar as sugestões para inspirar uma publicação nas mídias sociais normalmente, mas se você participou do primeiro #RPGaDAY (ou tem uma ideia muito boa do que teria respondido naquela época) compare suas respostas. Isso pode revelar se seu personagem favorito ou seu sistema de jogo favorito mudou. Será interessante ver se suas opiniões mudaram com o passar dos anos. Se estiver fazendo isso, algumas das perguntas têm "(este ano)" adicionado para que você não repita simplesmente a mesma resposta. 

Lembre-se de que o objetivo é divulgar a positividade. Nada de reclamar de algo ou dizer que algo é ruim. Conte-nos o que você ama, o que você gosta de jogar, os grandes jogos que você experimentou e como esses jogos tiveram um impacto positivo em você. 

Lembre-se também de marcar tudo com a tag #RPGaDAY2023. E lembre-se também de que isso acontece em agosto. Sempre compartilho os prompts com um mês de antecedência para que as traduções sejam compartilhadas e para que o maior número possível de pessoas participe, além de dar aos vloggers e podcasters a chance de preparar seus episódios com antecedência e aliviar um pouco a tensão de tentar produzir 31 posts em um mês. 

Espero que vocês se divirtam novamente este ano, vendo como as coisas mudaram. 

Versão em texto dos prompts (português) 

1) PRIMEIRO RPG jogado (este ano) 

2) Primeiro MESTRE DO JOGO de RPG 

3) Primeiro RPG COMPRADO (este ano) 

4) Jogo comprado mais RECENTE 

5) Jogo mais ANTIGO que você já jogou 

6) Jogo favorito que você NUNCA conseguiu jogar 

7) RPG MAIS INTELIGENTE que você já jogou 

8) PERSONAGEM favorito 

9) DADOS favoritos 

10) FICÇÃO associada favorita 

11) Jogo mais ESTRANHO que você já jogou 

12) Jogo antigo que você AINDA joga 

13) Personagem mais memorável que MORREU 

14) Sua compra favorita em uma CONVENÇÃO 

15) MÓDULO / ONE-SHOT favorito da convenção 

16) Jogo que você DESEJA de ter 

17) Jogo MAIS ENGRAÇADO que você já jogou 

18) SISTEMA de jogo favorito 

19) Aventura PUBLICADA favorita 

20) Ainda jogará daqui a VINTE anos 

21) RPG LICENCIADO favorito 

22) Melhor compra de RPG DE SEGUNDA MÃO/USADO 

23) Produto/livro de RPG MAIS LEGAL 

24) RPG COMPLEXO / SIMPLES que você joga 

25) RPG NÃO JOGADO que você possui 


27) Jogo do qual você gostaria de ter uma nova EDIÇÃO... 

28) Jogo MAIS ASSUSTADOR que você já jogou 

29) ENCONTRO mais memorável 

30) RPG OBSCURO que você já jogou 

31) RPG FAVORITO de todos os tempos 

Resumo dos prompts de uma única palavra (português) 












12) AINDA 








20) VINTE 












And the graphic!


German Translation @ScarSacul @drachenzwinge
Deutsche Übersetzung #RPGaDay2023 #pnpde

1) Das ERSTE PnP welches Du (dieses Jahr) gespielt hast
2) Das erste PnP bei dem Du selbst SPIELLEITUNG warst / Ihr erster PnP-SPIELMANAGER
3) Das erste PnP welches Du (dieses Jahr) GEKAUFT hast
4) Das AKTUELLSTE Spiel, welches Du gekauft hast
5) Das ÄLTESTE Spiel, welches Du gespielt hast
6) Dein Lieblingsspiel welches Du NIEMALS spielen werden kannst
7) Das INTELLIGENTESTE PnP welches Du gespielt hast
8) Dein Lieblings-CHARAKTER
9) Dein Lieblings-WÜRFEL
10) Dein Lieblings-FIKTIVES-Setting
11) Das MERKWÜRDIGSTE Spiel, welches Du gespielt hast
12) Ein altes Spiel, welches Du IMMER NOCH spielst
13) Das am meisten erinnerungswürdigste ABLEBEN eines Charakters
14) Deine liebste CONVENTION-Anschaffung
15) Dein Lieblings-Convention MODUL/ONE-SHOT
16) Spiel bei dem Du den WUNSCH hast es zu besitzen
17) LUSTIGSTES Spiel, welches Du gespielt hast
18) Dein Lieblings Spiel-SYSTEM
19) Dein liebstes VERÖFFENTLICHTES Abenteuer
20) Was ich in ZWANZIG Jahren immer noch spielen werde...
21) Dein liebstes LIZENSIERTES PnP
22) Dein bester SECOND-HAND PnP Kauf
23) Das am COOLSTEN aussehende PnP Produkt oder Buch
24) Ein KOMPLEXES / EINFACHES PnP, welches Du spielst
25) Ein UNGESPIELTES PnP, welches Du besitzt
26) Dein Lieblings-CHARAKTERBOGEN
27) Ein Spiel bei dem Du gerne eine neue EDIION möchtest..
28) Das GRUSELIGSTE Spiel, welches Du gespielt hast
29) Die am erinnerungswürdigste BEGEGNUNG
30) Ein OBSKURES PnP welches Du gespielt hast
31) Dein LIEBLINGS-PnP aller Zeiten
??) Vergleiche Deine Antworten mit denen vom ersten #RPGaDay

Und in einem Wort:

5) ALT
23) COOL

#RPGaDay #pnpde Deutsche Übersetzung als Infografik

Spanish translation by Roberto Micheri

Versión de texto de los temas (en español) 1) PRIMER JDR (juego de rol) jugado (este año) 2) Primer JDR para el que fuiste DIRECTOR DE JUEGO (gamemaster) 3) Primer JDR COMPRADO (este año) 4) Juego que compraste más RECIENTEMENTE 5) Juego MÁS ANTIGUO que has jugado 6) Juego favorito que NUNCA has jugado 7) El juego de rol más INTELIGENTE que has jugado 8) PERSONAJE favorito 9) DADO favorito 10) FICCIÓN vinculada a un JDR favorita 11) El juego más RARO que has jugado 12) Juego antiguo que TODAVÍA juegas 13) MUERTE de personaje más memorable 14) Compra favorita en una CONVENCIÓN 15) MÓDULO o ONE-SHOT favorito 16) Juego que DESEARÍAS tener 17) El juego más DIVERTIDO que has jugado 18) SISTEMA de juego favorito 19) Aventura PUBLICADA favorita 20) Seguirá jugando dentro de VEINTE años 21) JDR basado en una PROPIEDAD EXISTENTE (licensed) favorito 22) Mejor compra de RPG de SEGUNDA MANO 23) Producto o libro de rol más COOL (genial, guay, que mola) 24) JDR COMPLEJO o SIMPLE que juegas 25) Juego(s) de rol SIN JUGAR que posees 26) HOJA DE PERSONAJE favorita 27) Juego del que te gustaría una nueva EDICIÓN... 28) Juego más TERRORÍFICO que has jugado 29) ENCUENTRO en un JDR más memorable 30) JDR POCO CONOCIDO (obscure) que has jugado 31) JDR FAVORITO de todos los tiempos Resumen de temas en pocas palabras (en español) 1) PRIMER 2) DIRECTOR DE JUEGO (gamemaster) 3) COMPRADO 4) RECIENTEMENTE 5) MÁS ANTIGUO 6) NUNCA 7) INTELIGENTE 8) PERSONAJE 9) DADO 10) FICCIÓN 11) RARO 12) TODAVÍA 13) MUERTE 14) CONVENCIÓN 15) MÓDULO / ONE-SHOT 16) DESEARÍAS 17) DIVERTIDO 18) SISTEMA 19) PUBLICADA 20) VEINTE 21) PROPIEDAD EXISTENTE (licensed) 22) SEGUNDA MANO 23) COOL (genial, guay, que mola) 24) COMPLEJO o SIMPLE 25) SIN JUGAR 26) HOJA DE PERSONAJE 27) EDICIÓN 28) TERRORÍFICO 29) ENCUENTRO 30) POCO CONOCIDO (obscure) 31) FAVORITO