RPGaDay (Parts 21-31)


21. Which die mechanic appeals to you?

I like die mechanisms that provide good detail with minimal effort, some people refer to these ideas as rich resolution systems. One Roll Engine comes to mind as an example of this… D&D and Pathfinder are the opposite of this because they require a lot of effort with application of modifiers and sometimes reference to tables, before a simple pass/fail result is generated.

This is why I love the Otherkind die system. You roll a bunch of dice based on the number of problems your character is trying to avoid and the number of success criteria that might be associated with the task. Once dice are rolled, you allocate the results of individual dice to individual criteria. Each die has an outcome associated with a specific element, this way players can choose what is more important to their character at this point in time. It allows a stronger control of the narrative while keeping an element of randomness.

22. Which non-dice system appeals to you?

If I want randomisers in my game, I’ll often stick to cards which can be read for their rank and their suit, instantly creating a rich resolution system (richer than many die systems at least). If I’m not going with dice, I often prefer the LARP notion of using no system at all and relying on human nature, and player skill when it comes to manipulation of events and resolution of combat.

23. Which game do you hope to play again?

I hope to play something akin to Raven’s Nest again. It’s one of my long term goals to create a new incarnation of it, combining live action elements with miniatures, in an elaborate and spectacular set-up.  

24. Which RPG do you think deserves greater recognition?

The Law

But if it comes to games that I haven’t written, then my mind tends to gravitate to games that get more recognition than they deserve. If I had to pick something, then I’d consider a game like “Big Eyes Small Mouth” which was a stripped back system with a decent amount of crunch, it felt like it was influential toward to designs of many games I the years after it’s release, but there weren’t a lot of games that admitted to this influence. Maybe it was a case that these games referred to other games, which were in turn influenced by it… so the connection between games wasn’t as direct… maybe people didn’t want to directly indicate their inspiration from this game because it was never intended to be something serious, and was instead generally used to simulate anime.

As a spin-off of this, the “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai” game, which was a project branching off from “Big Eyes, Small Mouth”, deserves huge recognition as a game trying new things with a single-player/single-GM narrative format. I don’t recall seeing similar ideas in games for another decade or more.     

25. Name a game that had an impact on you in the last year

Relics by Steve Dee is a really interesting idea, and I love what he’s doing with it. I’ve discussed it a couple of times over the past year, but the first time I really played it was at EttinCon just over 6 months ago.

26. Your gaming ambition for the next year

At the time of writing, I’ve just sat my interview with the NSW Department of Education, with the intention of becoming a teacher of visual arts and industrial arts. I’m hoping to be posted a position in a school at some time in the near future, and in that school to set up a gaming club for students which will focus not only on play, but also on getting kids to design their own games. There has been some incredible work using roleplaying and gaming in the classroom across the Scandinavian and Northern European countries, and I’d really love to play with some of these ideas in classrooms of my own.     

27. Share a great stream/actual play

I’ve only started watching and listening to game streams and actual plays… sorry, but they have been boring me. I watch the screen and see that in a lot of cases there is an enthusiastic GM who drives everything, while a single player is engaged and most of the remaining players sit there bored waiting for their turn. Watching and listening to these reminds me of many of the worst elements of participating in a convention game under a bad GM… with the added problem that I know I can never participate in the game, so I’m stuck with those other bored people I’m watching.   

28. Share whose gaming excellence you’re grateful for

I’m grateful for an old friend named Michael Corbin who was running game conventions in the 1990s. This is the time when I first started going to conventions, and I ran a game session that he wrote. His advice really helped at the time, and prompted me to meet a number of other legends in the local game scene including folks who founded the “Australian Freeform” scene and pioneered some incredible concepts in live-roleplaying that are now being considered innovative as they are being discovered by the Jeepform and Nordic crowds.  

29. Share a friendship you have because of RPGs

The strongest and best friendship I have because of RPGs is my marriage. I met my wife at a LARP, I fell in love with her through LARP. We haven’t gamed for a while, but hopefully we’ll find another group to join soon.

30. Share something you learned about playing your character

Perhaps the most important thing that I learned about playing a character is the fact that you don’t always need to be the centre of attention, you can be the supporting character in someone else’s story and still have fun.

31. Share why you take part in RPG-a-Day

I love to share my ideas about games and love to read other people’s responses about similar subject matter. RPG-a-Day helps to build the gaming community, and it’s nice to feel a part of the community.   


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