Another five days have passed, another five prompts to answer! Let’s do it, nerds! For the fourth year in a row, RPGBrigade brings us a month’s worth of prompts to discuss and, in the process, think about and celebrate this great hobby! So, let’s get to it. If you wanna check out the last batch of answers, they’re right here.
August 11th: Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see return?
Started as a weird 4chan project to make a Neon Genesis Evangelion tabletop RPG, the original creators have abandoned this game after the release of the third edition, which is a damn shame. Evangelion is a fantastic franchise, and I think one that is positively perfect for tabletop play. There’s a heavy emphasis on inter-party conflict, as well as on character growth and development. There’s exciting action, but action that varies from encounter to encounter. Maybe you’ll be diving into a volcano one week, and the next you’ll be performing a synchronized dance with your allies, or trying to bust your way out of a giant dimension sphere. It’s great!
Alas, Adeptus Evangelion is currently on ice, and they finally broke free from the Dark Heresy rules and started to build their own system, and I really want to see what a well-designed system built from the ground up to run Eva looks like.
August 12th: Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art?
How about an RPG I literally just bought because the interior art inspired me?
Farflung is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that aims to explore science fiction at the fringes, where anything is possible. It’s the end of time, and characters can be, well, it seems like anything. From space-faring gods to emperors to simple explorers, it certainly seems like if you want sci-fi, and the kind where all of the science is explained away with “it’s the future, fuck it”, Farflung seems like your jam.
And, man, the art works for that.
The very vibrant art is filled with character, with emotion and character, and with style. It emphasizes a very specific kind of sci-fi, the kind where you go on the grandest of adventures and meet kings and gods and decide the fate of planets and discover ancient secrets. It reminds me of Space Dandy and Hitchhiker’s Guide and a bunch of other sci-fi I love.
August 13th: Describe a game experience that changed how you play
Reading Dungeon World.
I think that, even if you don’t intend to play any Powered by the Apocalypse games, owning one of the ones that’s really full of good GM insight, namely either the eponymous Apocalypse World or Dungeon World is absolutely mandatory. (Before I start any fights, I feel similarly about OSR games).
Dungeon World has a lot of astonishingly good GMing advice, and general good game design concepts, bound together. And, sure, a lot of it is just retreading the road paved by Apocalypse World, but Dungeon World was my first experience with the subgenre, and it was eye-opening.
Fronts. The idea of leaving the questions of your plot open-ended and discovering through play. Establishing Bonds between members of the party. Letting the fiction lead you forward. Dungeon World is an excellent guide on how to GM any game with any semblance of story, any concept of world.
August 14th: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?
My answer is going to be a bit skewed, since I’ve never actually been able to run a sandbox game, even though I direly wish I could. So, here’s a bit of a weird pick.
Yes, dread Pathfinder! The great tangled mass of the 3.X D&D rules, an unholy abomination of sourcebooks upon sourcebooks. How, pray tell, could I pick this game?
Well, Pathfinder‘s glut of rules content also, in my eyes, makes it a prime candidate for sandbox play! Your players can construct any manner of character that they want, given that the game has, like, 40 classes, each of which can be specified using any number of archetypes.
This goes both ways, too. As a GM, it’s easy to construct enemies from scratch using this robust class system to create distinct, thematic enemies. Sprinkle in enemies from the game’s seven or eight Bestiaries, pull from the massive amount of modules and adventures written for 3.X, and add in optional rules from the numerous sourcebooks available and, viola, you have a library of components you can use to assemble each and every asset of a fantasy world.
August 15th: Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?
Monsters and Other Childish Things is, in fact, the only game I’ve ever properly worked to adapt, not counting whole rules schemas (like Powered by the Apocalypse). Normally, my designers’ mindset has me just whipping up new rules sets for game ideas not easily handled by existing games.
However, as I wrote an entire blog post about, Monsters is a fantastic game for use to run a game of my favorite anime, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and so I immediately began adaptation once I had the idea.