The day job is busy and we have much going on with the family, right now. So, I hope you will pardon me as I catch up and work ahead in one post.
Day 10: Favorite Publisher
Currently, this is most likely Pelgrane Press. I like the look and feel of their books. They do column layout and design better than most of their competition. I like many of their game lines and can use nearly anything rpg related as source material. They are also more than happy to talk to their fans and are quick to sign books for their fans at conventions. Simon and Cat are good people.
Day 11: Favorite RPG Writer
This is a hard one for me. If I buy a book, because a specific person wrote the book, it’s because they are a friend of mine. Shane Hensley, Jason L Blair, Jason Vey, Tim Brannon, and Dave Chapman come to mind very quickly. I like their products, but I am also friends with them outside of the rpg space.
If I buy a book, because I like the game line, it’s very rare that a book I purchase is by one single person. Ken Hite and Gareth Hanrahan are a great team up.
Maybe this is a take-away for me: look into rpg authors and discover them.
Day 12: Favorite RPG Illustration
Favorite? Not likely. Art, in this form, serves as inspiration. To narrow it down to one image is impossible.
I will side step and give you my favorite artist: Timothy Bradstreet. I first viewed his work in Vampire: The Masquerade. His images became icons for the game line. His work in Armageddon is awesome. However, his Punisher MAX image covers are just as iconic as his VtM work. I think the only genre I have yet to use his artwork as inspiration for, is fantasy. I should rectify that someday.
Day 13: Favorite RPG Podcast
I have fallen out of listening to podcasts. I grew disillusioned with what they were offering. Some gave too much non-rpg content, others added personalities or changed the line, another began covering topics I just don’t care about, and the worst wander down completely unrelated, unnecessary rabbit holes. However, if you are looking for recommendations, you could do worse than start with Podcast at Ground Zero, PLay On Target, or Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff. The latter two have been nominated for awards in the rpg industry.
Day 14: Favorite RPG Accessory
Nowhere else can I potentially play with friends across the globe, work directly with contributors, bounce ideas off friends to make sure I’m not going down a rabbit hole myself, or address concerns of fans. I can research my next game session, find images that outline the layout and history of a castle to include in my game, run name generators, and find new players for my games.
Dice rollers included, no dice tower needed. Cool battle maps can be found or built. Free scenarios for that new rpg you just purchased are there for downloading and using.
For me, it’s just as much an accessory as the next “tool.”
Day 15: Longest Campaign Played
This is likely Lowell Francis’ Freakish Band of Adventurers or a Vampire: The Masquerade game that I ran. Both went 3+ years, playing every other week.
Lowell’s was a game of continent travel, righting rights, releasing gods back into the world, and a game where one (?) character was a full blooded human (mine). There was a rakasta, elves, half-demon, aperkitus, and a wizard who was not all there, even if he did look human – in addition to my character.
The vampire game spanned years in game time. There were three players and an occasional fourth (who didn’t fit in the mix) who fought Nephandi, Sabbat, Inconnu, Angels, Highlanders, and everything else that the Internet could source in the mid- to late 1990s. The game ended with the end of the world and the characters joining different sides to support.
Day 16: Longest Session Played
It has been decades since I played one that would qualify. There were long nights playing Vampire: The Masquerade from dusk until dawn and overnights of D&D. None stand out for me this many years later.
Day 17: Favorite Fantasy RPG
Of a company I work for? Either Dungeons & Zombies or Spellcraft & Swordplay. They have the same author, but it depends on whether I want a ton of zombie options or just zombies.
Of a company I don’t work for? 13th Age. I don’t run it as is. I drop out the relationships ideas. I find them tedious and intrusive to my game style. What I do like is the mechanics. They use the same skill types as Spellcraft & Sorcery. The combat feels very gamey to me and completely in style of as characters build experience, their abilities increase with more than just feats or another cool thing. Damage increases, options increase, and if you’re looking for a game where you can min-max your heart out, you can likely do it with this one.
Day 18: Favorite Scifi RPG
Sorry, Dave, it’s not Conspiracy X. Although, Con X is my favorite modern game with a sci-fi bent to it.
My favorite sci-fi game is WEG Star Wars. Of sci-fi game, I ran this one the longest. If you look around the Internet hard enough, you can find a .pdf of material either from the game, or rehashed, to make a new product.
Eclipse Phase is a close 2nd. I think I need to run a campaign or two to see how the fun level compares.
Day 19: Favorite Supers RPG
The World of Darkness. No, seriously. It is or at least, that’s how most folks I know play it. Which is fine if you are looking to run a game where the setting is more supernatural than superhero.
I think the best rules out there are for Mutants & Masterminds. I haven’t played many supers rpgs: old DC Comics, old Marvel, Hero, and M&M. M&M is the best for my money. The math works out the best for me and in a game wherein you can potentially play the upper limit of power, you need that. Maybe, one day Beyond Human will fill this roll. For now, it remains vaporware. Don’t worry, I’ll keep bugging George to publish it. J
The superhero game I want is Gotham Central: players as human cops taking on super villains. Maybe one day I’ll do it and do it right. Mutant City Blues may be the way to go with this one. The game includes a chart of how different powers are related. That builds in another clue structure to the game. It also uses GUMSHOE which is clue driven.
Day 20: Favorite Horror RPG
I’ll stop right there. This one is going to be special.