23 #RPGaDay2020 Edge

So many RPGs are about living on the Edge, primarily of mainstream society, the exceptions to the norm. It was one of many things that I appreciated about Cyberpunk in my youth, the view from the edge; Edgerunners: “3. Always take it to the Edge.” Cliché fun 🙂 Building upon Cyberpunk, countless other games, and studying psychology, my passion the last few years has been exploring the edges of identity.  Understandably not everyone wants to deep dive the topic in an RPG, so fiction writing has been my main outlet for this.

Quick mention of the importance of the Edge in Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (VTES) card game. My friends and I used to use random objects to represent it at the table, which was not always sensible, as inevitably somebody would run off with our Edge to show others. This led to us using a dice, boring but sensible. The picture below is at our local Nightclub; thankfully we invested in plastic card sleeves. 😉


Edge for Street Fighter RPG

For my SFRPG answer, I’ve spent the day trying to think of an alternative to my initial thought: the wrestler Edge (Adam Copeland). I pondered fusing more Cyberpunk in to SF, after all it already has Cybernetics, but I was not inspired by this. Of note, Warrior’s Fist Issue 12 (English), Punho do Guerreiro 12 (Brazilian) expanded on cybernetics some more. Then I started getting ideas relating to my Game of Death meets Twin Peaks adventure. Edge is an actor and has been in various shows; in particular he gives a brilliant performance as Kjetill Flatnose in the Vikings TV series. So, maybe somebody in Kabuki Town has cast Edge.

Edge SFRPG Stats

For tomorrow’s topic of comedy, maybe I should make SFRPG stats for Edge (U2)… 😉

Other Peoples’ Answers

Charles Etheridge-Nunn @charlie_en


Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger


Bob Freeman @OccultDetective


Melestrua @Melestrua


Geek-Life Balance @cybogoblin


Craig Oxbrow @CraigOxbrow



Insomniac @1nsomniac13


John M. Kahane @jkahane1




This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

14 #RPGaDay2020 Banner

I’ve had quite the creative day with this prompt; the community has a wide range of answers, see some below. I experimented with converting Garou pack totems from Werewolf: the Apocalypse for Street Fighter, but decided it was too big a project and to save that for another time. I then dabbled with a design for banner capturing tournaments and arenas for Fantasy or SFRPG; old FPS inspiration from Unreal Tournament (Clan FATZ / BEER) and Quake. The ideas got out of hand, and I am behind schedule due to other priorities, so I then thought about Banner in the terms of journalism and headlines, which led to Screamsheets.

Back in the 80s, one of the dreams for the various Cyberpunk games I played was to have a Screamsheet generator. Ideally it would allow for focused topics and even fine level of control. Sadly I never got around to creating that, too busy doing other things to focus on a big project with little pay off; classic programmer problem of spending hundreds of hours coding a generator, when it would be quicker to just make the thing manually. Maybe with the massive interest in Cyberpunk Red by R. Talsorian Games and 2077 by CD Projekt, somebody will create one; maybe somebody already has?! Of course random typically lacks quality, plus the issue of information that is mostly random noise. So, like most, I have employed the old fashioned method of occasionally making a handout.

For Street Fighter, besides headlines, there is the fun of creating tournament posters. Would also be cool to have a tournament poster generator. My games library is still unfinished, but somewhere behind many boxes are my old Street Fighter and Cyberpunk handouts. Could make for a fun and embarrassing future blog 😉

I’ve a few links, but if you know of some good ones please let me know. 🙂







Whilst not about Screamsheets, Augmented Reality, The Holistic City Kit For Cyberpunk Games is a pay what you want supplement that could be of use to someone running a dark future game.

R. Talsorian Games has a Kitbashing: The Screamsheet Kit

Other Peoples’ Answers

An epic banner session by Ryan Heck | Aqualith Media @aqualithmedia


Charles Etheridge-Nunn @charlie_en


Sue Savage @SavageSpiel


Craig Oxbrow @CraigOxbrow



Heather Fey @slapjellyfish


Kehaar @DissectingWrlds


Paul Baldowski @deesanction


Eric Jacobson @viscounteric


Bob Freeman @OccultDetective


Ben Erickson @darkcyril


John M. Kahane @jkahane1


Different word direction by Paco from GMS Magazine 🙂 @gmsmagazine

Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger


This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

09 #RPGaDay2020 Light

After a childhood full of Cyberpunk, WFRP, and D&D, it was not just rules light/lite that interested me, but unencumbered characters. Shopping can be fun, many RPGs provide escapist fun when it comes to planning and acquiring many different items for our characters, but obsession and greed can run things; both IC and OOC. Whilst still at high school I came to realise why some games felt like a struggle, the circular emphasis some had regarding loot and acquisition, how for some players it invited them to step on the murderhobo treadmill. Obviously a few clearly choose murderhobo treadmill, I could at least appreciate the clarity of preferences they provided, so we didn’t waste each other’s time.

Discovering V:tM in 92 helped me learn different things, in part because with much older adults. One bonus being that typically Vampires do not care about lists of items, no more PC shopping obsession; both as a player and a GM/ST. Playing various TTRPGs and Play-by-Mail helped me find peace with regards to PC shopping; obviously growing up and getting some maturity helped. 😉 Curiously being introduced to GURPS and Champions was interesting, both could feel encumbered due to all the options, but they could also be played in in a light way as well. I also liked that the old Storyteller was a bridge between detailed equipment lists and specialised explanations and the more minimalist systems. I appreciate that some see this as a half measure, or even categorise Storyteller as crunchy due to vast list of powers; well it is, but as always they are optional. People can of course play any as murderhobos … keeping this light 😉

Returning to Cyberpunk in 96 resulted in a very different game. 🙂 The vast lists of equipment were now appreciated for what they added to the setting and an individual’s style. The differences between the various firearms and armour barely mattered.

Not a separate Street Fighter answer today, just to explain this is one reason I love SFRPG, it is very minimalist in regards to equipment, focusing on character and martial arts. For its time it was quite revolutionary, showing how building a focused relationship between ‘Rules-Setting-Goals’ could enhance the game. Some people saw the game as a joke, a few I spoke with saw the minimalist setting as slapstick. The game was not helped by the company handling, the fast turnaround leading to the infamous Players Guide. Still the overall game was solid back in the 90s, just amend Cartwheel Kick many times and its golden; these days the community has hammered the problems out. 🙂

With SFRPG, whilst a few equipment lists exist, for most games they are irrelevant. Interestingly, for the people I have run games for, they have never complained about the depth of the Special Maneuver system, because it is clearly a part of the heart of the game. I was tempted to add a mechanic or maneuver for today, but I’ll keep to the Light prompt and reflect upon what will enhance, not overload.

Other Peoples’ Answers

Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger


Craig Oxbrow @CraigOxbrow on Rules-light RPGs.


Sue Savage @SavageSpiel



Bryon1187 @bryon1187 duration of light sources

Kehaar @DissectingWrlds


Melestrua @Melestrua


Paco from GMS Magazine @gmsmagazine

Bob Freeman @OccultDetective


Roberto Micheri @Sunglar



Heather Fey @slapjellyfish


John M. Kahane @jkahane1


SM Hillman @smh_worlds


Paul Baldowski @deesanction


This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

06 #RPGaDay2020 Forest

Today’s prompt stimulated many thoughts, so I consulted my #PieChartofIndecision, but I kept adding things to it! I read and watched other #RPGaDay participants’ answers and many of the topics I’ve been pondering are well discussed/summarised.

Not being able to gather for tabletop is bad enough, so of course there is no LARP for me this year. I knew some people have taken their LARP games online, primarily playing their LARP character via virtual Tabletop sessions; typically a no-no, but understandable in these tough times. I have several games on the go, but I’ve been toying with this idea myself.

Forest had me reminiscing about an old Scouts Guild events (Lorien Trust, UK). The organisers had arranged for a guide with actual expertise in woodlands to teach us IC. Always excellent when someone with such in-depth knowledge teaching things, plus it added something rare and special to that event; the pyrotechnics were special for that one. I have spent a lot of time camping, taking long hikes, but I’m also aware that being in the UK, our forests are better labelled woods, being mostly small, safe and lovely. Forests are something more, some nice posts below about this. 🙂

Whilst browsing I watched Paco’s video. I started to write a reply to it, but then also took inspiration from it. Check it out:

I have played in several sci-fi games that included forest scenes, but on reflection I couldn’t think of that many experiences; typically the games were set on spaceships, stations, bases, focusing on machinery or virtual spaces. I thought Paco made an important point about most Sci-Fi RPGs and the lack of nature. Some good analysis. Are the genre expectations boxing us in (priming)? Which I guess is a part of Paco’s reasoning. I also wonder whether part of the reason the focus of various sci-fi games is the way it is, is due to striving to differentiate things to our other genre games: fantasy, urban, near future, etc.? Is this the same logic that many Sci-Fi writers also use, thus perpetuating the genre tropes? Tropes RPG designers/writers then drawn upon.

A powerful old sci-fi movie comes to mind: Silent Running. In part because of the amazing ending credit song: Joan Baez ‘Rejoice in the Sun’!

I have made some notes in my game ideas to run file: the lives of people aboard an interstellar lifeboat, taking a generational journey after the Earth was devastated by an ELE asteroid strike. The crews understanding of both nature and machinery being of equal importance, in part the size of the ship and the amount of plants and wildlife aboard. A Warhammer 40,000 version of a generational ship lost in the warp also came to mind, but too much GrimDark! To tone things down, this could have be taken down a grimy cyberpunk route, but I’m inclined towards something more HopePunk. Many game systems, but currently I’m leaning towards Trinity Continuum, maybe even Aberrant. Exciting, but another project that I feel would require me to research numerous topics more.

SFRPG Plant Imbued

Background: Plant Imbued (nickname Treants).

This background expands the type of Elementalists, the difference being the character’s connection to the planet has manifested as an ability to interact with plants. Like other Elementalists, Plant Imbued characters are drawn to environmental concerns.

Appearance: As the character gains ranks in Plant Imbued, their appearance becomes slowly less human. This also provides the character with a source of plant material, so the link between their background and expensive Special Maneuvers, but not earth or water but plants, is important.

Psychology:  A Plant Imbued’s psychology can lean towards that of Earth or Water, but they are still individuals. Of course some are driven by more fiery passions, in part because of the harm done by many humans to plant life.

Many prefer to split their time between humans and going deep in to more natural terrain. Some even choose to be solitary, living deep in nature.

Soak Modifier: a Plant Imbued can choose to have:

  1. None (neutral).
  2. Same as Earth
  3. Same as Water

Special Manuevers: Some from Earth and Water – needs more playtesting, for now experiment. 😉

Like with other Elementalists, there is the prerequisite of needing the background rating equal or higher than any Elemental specific Special Maneuvers.

Regeneration (1) but only via photosynthesis. If an Arena does not have access to sunlight, or an artificial light source that mimics sunlight (most don’t), the regeneration maneuver will fail.

The character can still their use their powers when in a sterile area, like a laboratory, etc., Optional: maybe things are a bit harder?

Ponderings: Plant Bending, like the members of the Foggy Swamp Tribe. Force of Nature.  Swamp Thing & D.C.  The Green, Treants, Dryads, Gaia & Garou. Etc.

Other Peoples’ Answers

Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger choose to explore Lever for day 6, another room on the dungeon map


Eric Souza @mhseric

Joel Salda @Saldamandar

Melestrua @Melestrua


Leojenicek @D_and_DHaiku

Geek-Life Balance @cybogoblin


Chris Longhurst @potatocubed different forests and meanings!

Blake Ryan @BlakeRyanBatman

Questing GM @questinggm

  1. John Ross @SJohnRoss

Heather Fey @slapjellyfish


John M. Kahane @jkahane1 the underforest


Kehaar @DissectingWrlds


Sue Savage @SavageSpiel


Charles Etheridge-Nunn @charlie_en


Jorge Valpaços @ValpacosJorge

Ahltar @ahltar

Emma @emmarsheard

Bob Freeman @OccultDetective


Ben Erickson @darkcyril


The Rolistes Podcast @rolistespod

taichara @tjerrian

Aaron Marks @LevelOneWonk

Bryon1187 @bryon1187

Timothy S. Brannan @timsbranna


Adam Dickstein @alien_barking


Nick Bate @ickbat

Mark Craddock



This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

Finish with The Cure – A Forest

03 #RPGaDay2020 Thread

I had plenty of thread ideas, so I consulted my #PieChartofIndecision. Patterns, Fate, Time, Labyrinths, Ariadne, and TV series The Dark were all strong contenders. I’ll be writing about my Trophy RPG Incursion: Labyrinth of the Mind, after this event. Reminiscing about my long running LARP character’s pattern being merged with a Fate Elemental is probably of no interest to anyone but me. Mystic Threads in Mage: the Ascension are a topic I love, enabling diverse paradigms to more easily tap into potentiality, but I write about Mage too much. Several participants have mentioned running multiple plot threads, see below. So I went with pluralising thread and to write about character and clothing.

An old saying that appears in varying ways is: “the man is his clothing” or “clothes makes the man”; to modernise that: “the person is their clothing”. Whilst I don’t entirely agree with this sentiment, since I’ve met too many interesting people in rough clothing, I appreciate it still holds social power. My first two years of RP mainly covered fantasy clichés, if I even thought about clothes it was to copy descriptions from fantasy novels and the few movies I’d seen. At 13 years of age, it was my old referee Pete that introduced me to Cyberpunk 2013 and “Style over substance”; the invitation to explore what a character wears as an extension of their personality. Obviously many adult gamers, and I’m sure some young, understand the fun of exploring a character’s attire, whether the surface level of appearance, to exploring different fashions, or maybe diving deeper to the psychological underpinnings of why an image may appeal to someone. Add in the social norms and we have a complicated social tapestry, how our threads can quickly weave different groups together, or set them apart.

As a player I like to take a bit of time to consider my character’s look and what it means, implies, and why they care. If a character doesn’t care, that in itself speaks volumes.

GEF 1112 Stalik 2
The cobweb threads of my old LT character Stalik. Hot day, after lots of running around healing, so face paint has mostly melted.

Street Fighter RPG Answer

Keeping with my answer of threads, it is hard not to laugh at the tropey nature of the game setting and the prominent characters and their clothing. Having been part of martial art demonstrations, wearing different outfits in public, I appreciate how weird can people treat you looking silly (to them), so it just goes to show what outsiders/rebels the World Warriors are, to not care about their appearance, or how they’re perceived. Thankfully various comics and anime had the characters wearing clothing more appropriate to the social situation they were in, helping to break the cliché appearance some players assume their character is required to keep.

Building upon Punho do Guerreiro (Warrior’s Fist) issue 5 introduction of Items of Power, and taking inspiration from Jackie Chan’s The Tuxedo, we can explore the idea of magic clothing for SFRPG. This is easier to integrate for a chronicle that utilises True Magick, like issue 8 does with a fusion with Mage: the Ascension.

Duplicating Jackie Chan’s Tuxedo would result in a very powerful item, certainly requiring more than 5 background points. However, if we tone things down, an item could be made giving a non-martial artist basic fighting process. Temple guardians with Elemental Sashes. As normal with SFRPG there is the issue of not overwhelming the core game with more modifiers, if a PC can have magic items, maybe the World Warriors and others have some as well. 😉 It is a busy month, but it is something to work  on later for future issues of Punho do Guerreiro 🙂

Other Peoples’ Answers





Sue Savage presents a story about threads


Complex Games Apologist

Roberto Micheri

What ties sessions together?

The Rolistes discussing threads of Fate

ivanmike1968 discussing social threads

GMSMagazine with a great example of a plot thread

Parts Per Million on Solo Role-Playing and Zweihander


Eleanor Hingley @Magpie_Elle


John M. Kahane with alternate usages for webs



M&B Liam @_Boganova_

This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

RPG Impact 6

Continuing with RPG Impact. The sixth RPG that had a big impact on me was Call of Cthulhu. When I was first told about the game, I was confused as to what all the fuss was about; although I was still a kid. I’d read horror stories, I’d run horror sessions of D&D and WFRP, well, what I thought was horror; the usual stuff: windy isolated locations, abandoned places, ghosts, spiders. Later I played and ran a lot of Cyberpunk and Vampire; I appreciated tragedy, personal horror, and the beast within that cannot be ignored.

I first played Call of Cthulhu (CoC) at 18 and it had a big impact upon me, because I played it wrong.

I don’t enjoy phrasing it that way, after all we can play RPGs in all manners of ways, but obviously there are ways to play something wrong; granted most of them are childish tantrums. Since the mid-90s, I’ve been open to different play styles. Whilst I still have my preferences, I am willing to play things I’m not keen on, to compromise with a group, etc. All part of growing up. When I play/run a game, I strive to play the genre and intent of the game, appreciating both players’ and characters’ goals. This has served me particularly well at conventions, or games clubs, because playing with strangers is always a big gamble. All of this came about partly because of my first CoC session and a lesson in role-playing.

I was playing a one-on-one session with someone who didn’t particularly like to run games. I had nagged them into running something. I rolled up a character, the Keeper laid out the scenario and of note I had an old character that was very rich. The character had purchased a bargain property, the plan was to renovate and flip it for profit, however, the workforce was refusing to complete the work, so my character went to inspect things. Several odd but low-key incidents occurred; eventually the foreman left, my character was left alone in a strange big house. They couldn’t find anything of note. Another strange and frightening incident occurred, so the character ran out of the house. My character tried to arrange for someone to investigate the house, using their vast wealth. The Keeper got frustrated, said time passed, that no one answered the call. I got frustrated and said that since my character could afford it, they’d write it off as a loss. We hit an impasse, neither of us seeing a way to realign our differences. The Keeper called an end to the game, I didn’t argue, nor did I present a workaround.

We didn’t fall out over the game, but sadly it reinforced my friend’s opinion that running games sucked. That night I relived the game events and came to some conclusions about how we could have played differently, I appreciated that the Keeper had likely become frustrated with me earlier, that I was playing CoC without keeping the genre and game goals in mind; yes I was playing a character, but I was not playing an investigator. At the time I’d mostly been GMing, I wanted to be a player, to explore someone else’s story; a particularly unhelpful approach for a one-on-one. Plus, nagging someone to do something they don’t like was the origin of this whole mess; obvious in hindsight.

Later that week I chatted with several players about why they loved CoC. We discussed the issues of IC and OOC goals, how these sorts of games were not so straightforward regarding the alignment of player and character goals. They also explained more about Chaosium, because despite having a lot RPG experiences, in many different systems, it was a company I had barely looked at.

My friends loaned me copies of Call of Cthulhu and Pendragon 🙂 It changed my opinion from: “Chaosium, maybe I should finally try one of their games.” To “Chaosium, there is something extra special about them.”

Part 7

RPG Impact 5

Continuing with RPG Impact. The fifth RPG that had a big impact on me was Champions / Hero System. In my first Vampire group, one player was obsessed with Champions and arranged to run a game. At that point I hadn’t played any Supes RPGs yet, nor looked at GURPS, so I was delighted to skim through the densely packed Champions rules and contemplate all the possibilities. Character creation was slow but fascinating, different to the simplicity of the games I’d predominately been playing: Cyberpunk & Vampire. I was somewhat reminded of Warhammer’s Realm of Chaos books, the key difference being those powers were random and unbalanced by design.

I made a few characters, then settled on a character inspired by Eldar Harlequin Solitaires. I thoroughly enjoyed the character creation process; I vaguely recall pondering solo RPG ideas, again somewhat inspired by Narrative Wargaming from the Realm of Chaos.

How was the game play? Well, the first session was messy, silly premise, and mostly it was one big team fight. It was fun, even a nice change from the serious sessions I predominately played. Sadly, the game faded away, it was a few years until I returned to the system.

In the mid-90s, I run a short campaign with the group I’d been playing with since high school. It was fun, but the players didn’t quite gel with the system. Roughly they felt that whilst it was fun, it was too much work, and that they could have fun more easily with other games; not helped that 2 players were not keen on Supes genre. We discussed whether they thought things would improve as their system expertise grew. They thought even if they thoroughly read the rules, that they’d still prefer other games. By this stage I had Marvel Super Heroes and D.C. Heroes, plus I had a lot of experience with Palladium games, none of which appealed to them. Instead, we returned to the World of Darkness, primarily Mage and Changeling.

One of regular players loved GURPS, they convinced me to look in to it, using the Hero System as a comparison; awesome, another system I liked yet didn’t do much with for years 😉 Some time passed… I managed a mini-game of Champions using the new Fuzion system; although easier to play, the players gave similar feedback to before. In the 2000s I ran Aberrant a lot, resulting in multiple chronicles, plus some smaller chronicles with other groups, so I eventually got some long-term Supes gameplay 😉

I have met people that played Hero for years. Whilst the system is dense, I’d argue that it is not much denser than various D&D editions. Did I pitch the game in awkward ways? Or was it simply a case of player preferences amidst an option rich field?

For me, Champions/Hero System is ‘the one that got away’.

Part 6

RPG Impact 4

Continuing on with RPG Impact. The fourth RPG that had a big impact on me was Vampire: the Masquerade, then later all the World of Darkness. In early 92 there were only a few VtM books out, so we had to fill in a lot of the blanks. The emphasis on storytelling was not a revelation for most of the people I played with, we’d embraced that aspect of RPGs from playing deadly systems like WFRP and Cyberpunk as kids. What impacted me was the atmosphere, the stronger focus on internal character struggle with their beast within, and the lore, both given and promised.

Rich lore was no stranger to us. At that point I had read enough RPG books, magazines, and novels. I had learned enough bits about the history of RPGs at my local games store and been told stories about Traveller, Paranoia, etc. I’d explored different game settings, delved in to the various D&D lore, visited the planes (pre-Planescape). The same with the scale of the lore for Warhammer and Cyberpunk. I think the key difference is the blending of real life and hidden lore; although, even then I recognised this was a great cliché. I’d read Interview with a Vampire just a few months before playing Vampire, so the setting felt familiar to me. I recall talking to players in other groups about this mix of real and imaginary history, power and monster, of the familiar and the urban myth, everybody was interested.

I’ll borrow from my last blog, the Cyberpunk tagline about Style over Substance, and my claim that it has both Style and Substance. Vampire, the World of Darkness has lots of both.

As much as I loved Vampire, playing/running many games a week, I found the later additions to the World of Darkness to be even better. Since I was buying all the books, I enjoyed adding bits from each game line into another, but I was careful not to swamp the core game being played. I rarely ran games with PCs from different supernatural types (Nightfolk), preferring to keep the focus within each game-line.

Considering how much D&D and Cyberpunk I’ve played/run, it still seems weird to me just how much of an impact the WoD has had on me. I’ve had countless hours of fun; it helped me get a job at a games company. But, over the years I have wondered whether the whole WoD is over-hyped, some people believe so.

  • The debates about power levels.
  • Debates about when to roll.
  • The arguments over Rule 0.
  • Whether pretentious people tarnished the rep?
  • Whether the sheer amount of books produced swamped things?
  • Whether the power creep ruined things?

I typically feel that I also need to acknowledge that the WoD has problems. Like with D&D, Palladium, etc., some become angry at the mere mention of these games. I’ve met a lot of people that hate the WoD, or hate the players they’ve encountered playing the games. I’ve certainly played with a few players who loved playing FangedMurderHobos or SuperFangs, plus encountered some at conventions and a lot more online; whilst not my preference, if the players prefer a silly/crazy/etc., type of game, then I’m all for it.

When the Forge debates over GNS started, I understood why Vampire in particular was in the crosshairs of some, especially regarding it being confusing in its design, or some being annoyed by the writing tone. I’d like to avoid arguments, but decades ago I concluded that the WoD setting being messy is partly because it is myth, plus there are in-game effects confusing things, and the mechanics are supposed to be of a mixed style. The game’s financial and critical popularity somewhat validates my P.o.V., but again I appreciate why many think this is a cop-out, or even nonsense. For those that hate Vampire/WoD, I get it, likewise for those that love Vampire/WoD. I have long since grown tired of these chats, but cannot help but dwell upon them…

Have I been building towards a joke about being an Elder Role-player who is suffering from ennui? An old injured Garou Galliard circling Harano? Somewhat 😉 I hope this response encapsulates a fraction of my passion for this game series, and I’ve not even touched on my love of Werewolf, Changeling or Mage being an order of magnitude more than for Vampire. Mummy, Hunter, and Demon are cool as well 😉

Wraith? Well, even though Mage is my favourite, I think Wraith deserves its own entry.

Part 5

RPG Impact 3

Continuing on with RPG Impact. The third RPG that had a big impact on me was Cyberpunk 2013. I’ve blogged about my early Cyberpunk days previously. As a kid I loved the Cyberpunk setting, the technology lists, discovering the genre books of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, etc., but despite how cool Netrunning was I hated how it disrupted gameplay, and other things about the system bugged me, yet …

Cyberpunk introduced me to the tagline: Style over Substance.

We took that tagline to heart, in part because of the great guidance of my first Cyberpunk Ref Pete. Much more than with Warhammer, the deadliness of Cyberpunk helped my fellow players and I appreciate why character, story, and intentionality mattered. When life was so fragile, why fight? Why argue? Why risk it? Etc. We always had the option of a quick blast via Friday Night Firefight. Instead, we choose to play characters, to explore motivations, to take risks.

Returning to my problem with the mechanics, yes the game has a high chance of a botch, yes the long shopping sessions could be a pain, yet it didn’t stop the fun. We played the game a lot, particularly in 1990, gaming almost every day, a few days 12 hour sessions. We had so many were great sessions. We have returned to the fun, again, and again 🙂

Of course the Cyberpunk tagline is wrong; it has both Style and Substance.


Part 4

RPG Impact 2

Continuing on with RPG Impact. Around the same time I started tabletop RPG I was introduced to wargaming, starting with Warhammer Fantasy and the then brand new 40,000 (September 87). Later an older friend was selling painted Skaven models, which I started using in my D&D games. I think it was 88 when I came across a 2nd hand copy of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP); even 2nd hand, it still cost me more than I earned in a week delivering newspapers.

Whilst the players at my high school RPG club mostly played D&D, I saw other RPGs there, in particular Star Wars (West End Games), Palladium Fantasy, WFRP and later Cyberpunk. WFRP felt different to D&D and Palladium, not just because of the mechanical differences, but the grim rich setting. I was growing bored with the various D&D settings, which felt like a zoo, whilst WFRP lore seemed to be more cohesive, dare I say realistic; of course at that young age, and without the Web, I was not aware of how much stuff had been made for D&D. Also, I guess it was easy for me to get into WFRP due to the wargame and reading White Dwarf. Reading about famous battles and then getting to play our own battles, plus the obvious basis of real life to the ‘Old World’ went someway to giving the WFRP setting a relatable sense of gravitas.

WFRP was my first introduction to Fate Points (FP). Initially they seemed so obvious, but then the question of why other games didn’t have FP resulted in some interesting debates. My young mind needed to learn why genre expectations mattered, what a story promise was, plus how FP affected a game and player decision making. I’m all for taking little bits from different systems, even large-scale fusions, but FP are something I rarely use in games that weren’t designed with them in mind.

Another thing about WFRP was how much fun I had, in particular my Chaos Champions campaign. Two of my old time favourite RPG supplements are the Realm of Chaos books: Slaves to Darkness & The Lost and the Damned. I also learned about Narrative Wargaming from this game, which later helped me appreciate different types of Play-By-Mail.

Part 3