#RPGaDay2015: Week One

It was recently brought to my attention that I’ve now been blogging for over a year. Congrats to me for keeping it up, with only the occasional inexplicable absence. Hopefully the momentum’s built up now for me to continue for years to come.

Anyway, what reminded me of this anniversary was the beginning of RPG a Day 2015, a one-question-a-day autobiographical gaming history thing that I also embarked upon last year. And by embarked upon, I mean I started it, and kept going for most of the month… but didn’t finish. Oops.

Like last year, I’m going to give this a go, but do seven at once in a single post at the end of each week. Unlike last year, I’m going to finish this time. Probably.

So, writing from this year’s Nine Worlds geekfest (I’ll try to write about this next week too!), here we go with the first week…

  1. Forthcoming game you’re most looking forward to. Is Force and Destiny out yet? Well, it certainly wasn’t in my FLGS last Friday when this question was supposed to be answered, so I’m going to count it as “forthcoming”. I’m really excited to try out the new Star Wars system (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition is the closest I’ve come to trying it), and Force and Destiny seems like it would be my favourite place to start. There’s just something about a team people trying to live it up to the Jedi’s example, whilst also having NO IDEA what the Jedi were really like because they are utterly extinct, that really fires my neurons. All being well, this will be the next campaign I run, or the one after next.
  2. Kickstarted game most pleased you backed. Logging into my account, I can see I’ve backed six different Kickstarters: Night Witches, Paranoia, World of Darkness: Dark Eras, Bulldogs (Fate Core Edition), Undying and Microscope Explorer. Of those, only Night Witches has shipped, but I’ve barely played it – I lost my hard-copy book within weeks of receiving it (idiot). Anyway, the Kickstarter I’m most pleased I backed isn’t any of those! A friend of mine backed the Kickstarter for Saga of the Icelanders at a level that got us four books, and I chucked in a quarter share to get one of them myself. I’m very glad I did. I’ve still only played it once, but it was one of my favourite ever one-offs, so I know I’ll be playing again. (Ok, so technically this was crowd sourced with IndieGoGo not Kickstarter, but shut up.)
  3. Favourite new game of the last 12 months. Honestly? Nothing jumps out… Thinking of new games I’ve played, I wasn’t blown away by Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition or Atomic Robo. Night Witches looks like it could be interesting, but like I said, I haven’t played it enough to judge. Despite my excitement here, I never picked up East Texas University (can’t justify buying ANOTHER Savage Worlds book I never use), and Feng Shui 2 hasn’t yet come out in dead tree form. I dunno. Let’s say Dark Heresy Second Edition, which I think is just about within the last 12 months. Or if it isn’t, The Gaean Reach.
  4. Most surprising game. In a good way? Fate Core. I completely ignored the Kickstarter for this, not because I wasn’t a Fate fan, but because I already owned Diaspora and didn’t see the point in a generic, setting-less version of a game I already had. How wrong I was. The clarity and consistency of Fate Core placed it head and shoulders above every other iteration of the system that proceeded it, turning something interesting but flawed into one of the greatest RPGs ever made. Which was surprising. My least pleasant surprise was probably Wild Talents. I played in a one-off of this with pregenerated characters and had a great time; after purchasing the rulebook to try and replicate that fun again, I was horrified to read through the power-creation chapter and realised I was completely incapable of getting my head around how the nuggets and bolts of “building” your superpower was supposed to work. Back to my long search for a superhero system that works for me
  5. Most recent RPG purchase. The questions isn’t “most recent game purchased”, so I suppose my answer would be a pack of index cards that I bought last week in advance of a Microscope game. Less cheekily, well, do we count Kickstarters? I very recently backed both Undying and Microscope Explorer. If not… well, I’ve not actually been buying that many RPGs recently. I’m slogging my way through the Warhammer “End Times” series instead, and haven’t had many new campaigns starting that would require me to break that trend. I think the last book I bought was the Smallville: High School Yearbook at the UK Games Expo. Honestly, I’ve barely looked at it. But it’s hard to find, and I got it cheap. So.
  6. Most recent RPG played. Fate Core. Session 35 of my ongoing Ferrymen (hard sci-fi) campaign. It was a fun one, characterised almost entirely by the PCs’ success – I’ll have to be tougher on them next time! Two nights before, it was Fate Core again, this time for session 2 of my renewed Buffy the Vampire Slayer campaign. I like Fate. The day before it was a Leverage one-off, the day before that it was Microscope, and the day before that someone ran me a Trail of Cthulhu one-shot. I’ve been doing lots of gaming recently.
  7. Favourite free RPG. Can you guess? It’s Fate Core. It’s probably my favourite RPG period, so the fact it’s available on Evil Hat’s website for free means it’s pretty much got this category sewn up. Admittedly it wasn’t free for me, because I like to have a hard-copy for reference purposes. But it was a classy move to put it out for free anyway.

Looking ahead there’s some tough questions coming up… things I haven’t really thought about before. But I shall not be deterred! This time, I shall see it to the end.

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