Day 31: Share why you take part in RPG-A-DAY

Some people have stuck to the questions, while others have gone off script and effectively posed their own questions to answer. I think aside from just talking about our preferred hobby, the value of questions like this help us analyze and understand just what assumptions or preferences we have around gaming.

Day 30: Share something you learned about playing your character

I’ve usually got only a few paragraphs in response to these, but this one is long. Apologies in advance.

The character I’m playing right now in Masks is the teen superhero “Radiance”, aka Summer Skye Newman. For those not familiar with her backstory, buckle up, because it’s the result of 50 sessions of play and about as much side-story on our forums.

Day 29: Share a friendship you have because of RPGs

I think all of my long-lasting friendships have come from some kind of online “game” (including the text-based MUDs of old), but I’ll go with local and recent and say Gray Pawn, who I got to first meet at the Wayward Coffeehouse for some pulp space opera shenanigans. He’s the guy that gave me the confidence to try actual game design, not just create worlds, and it’s been a fun and rewarding experience. On top of that, he’s got an amazing ability to infuse both characters and games with heart and purpose, even when he doesn’t quite believe in his ability to do it.

Day 28: Share whose inspiring gaming excellence you’re grateful for

Not Masks this time! Though that has been great.

Credit here goes to people like Gray Pawn, Jay Loomis, Mike Agney, Phil Nadeau, and the other gamers over the years who’ve run or played in some of the best games of my life.

Stuff like Pandora’s Lair, Thursday play-test at the Treehouse, and other experiences won’t make sense to most people without a lot of explanation, but I think part of the appeal of gaming is that sort of secret mystery - the unique alchemy that results when a few people do something fun together. Maybe those individual moments of magic are experienced and then lost, but we’re always able to create new magic.

Day 27: Share a great stream/actual play

Well, you knew this was coming.

The GM of the Monday Masks game, Doyce Testerman, has put a lot of work into reformatting the game as a podcast, in addition to the original YouTube videos of the sessions. While the YouTube videos come with maps, goofy memes, and other visual accompaniment, the podcast is cleaned up, sped up, and diced into neat segments under an hour each.

If you want to jump into the issues list and pick a specific one to listen to based on what happens, here’s an index to everything: (click on a specific issue to find a brief recap of major events, or ask me to put together a master page that does it)

Day 26: Your gaming ambition for the next year

The stretch goal is easy: publish at least two playable, replayable, and entertaining games. I’d take one as a partial success here.

As a player and GM, I’d like to maintain at least one steady game through next year. My gaming schedule has been pretty bad for a lot of reasons, and it’s been hard to keep a group together due to changing life circumstances. This sounds like a pretty miserable goal, but that’s where I am. 😃

As a person, I’d like to do the same thing I tried to do last year: use gaming to talk about meaningful topics in safe and productive ways, and to help my friends through difficult times or give them a breather from stressful lives.

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

If you’ve been following my posts, you can probably figure out the answer is “Masks”, which coincidentally I’ve been playing for just over a year.

I’ve had a lot of other stuff happen: deaths in the family, house moves, major changes at work, friends getting busy or being unable to meet to game. I tried running a couple games that didn’t pan out for various reasons, and that’s been rough. But that Monday/Tuesday Masks game has been hitting like a prizefighter (almost) every week, and that’s been good for me in a lot of ways.

Day 24: Which RPG do you think deserves greater recognition?

I have a whole PDF folder of these. You want me to pick just one?

Day 23: Which game do you hope to play again?

I’ve been gaming for awhile, so I could probably name any number of systems or settings that I had fun with, and would love to return to in some form. Eclipse Phase, Mekton, Champions, Mage, and Rifts are staring down at me from the shelf. There’s newer games, from the Kickstarter Epoch of Gaming, that I’ve played maybe once and not returned to. And there’s plenty of games that were hopeful investments but never paid off in a group. But the question says “again”, so we’ll confine ourselves to that.

Day 22: Which non-dice system appeals to you?

I enjoy light-touch systems that encourage social scenes between characters. There’s a lot of fun in games where the PCs just talk about whatever, sure. But sometimes you need to set a certain mood or hold a certain tone. Human interaction is at the heart of a lot of storytelling, and to set that mood you need certain types of interaction to happen.

Examples are certain PBTA-style Bonds (earn XP if you explore a topic with another PC), Influence and many moves from Masks, and games with “downtime scenes” or the like.