02 #RPGaDay2020 Change

The Change prompts a passionate response from me, about exploring how a tiny Change can cause large effects. After playing some games for a while, usually a campaign/chronicle, I love exploring how even a tiny change to a mechanic can majorly changes things. I appreciate that this can cause surprising results. Some players don’t like this. Plus, not every game suits this. To clarify, I am referring to things that change during play, the areas of the environment can change, possibly whole laws of reality. Whilst this is not a common event for games/settings like D&D, it can happen, whereas it’s built into Mage: the Ascension via Reality Zones, likewise the varying effects on Changelings that the different regions of the Dreaming have. Similarly, games that focus on parallel worlds like GURPS Infinite Worlds or Cypher System’s: The Strange, etc.

An old work meeting discussing different designs for Quest, our play-by-mail RPG, and how to beat the memory limitations we had; the problem with working with old Pascal code. The aim was to reduce how much human moderation was needed with certain game aspects, so we could spend that time writing more and better stories, providing players more meaningful role-playing choices. The relevancy to tabletop is that I worked on designs to introduce tiny modifiers to achieve large effects on the game. I drew inspiration from RPGs like Mage, WFRP’s Realms of Chaos (Elric setting 😉) and Magic: the Gathering; from the global enchantments to Artifacts like Howling Mine; how different dynamic tweaks in play could change the feeling and maths of a game, without destroying what the game is. I surprised my old boss, who was happy to hear I was improving my ideas and how I explained them; in my first year working with him, I’d typically talked about big sweeping changes; I was still learning how agile the reality of business was and learning the delicacies of balancing the different preferences of each game’s community.

This leads me to my Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG) answer for today. From the 90s I have pages of game notes about adding/tweaking mechanics to achieve different outcomes. Like many role-players passionate about martial arts, real and fake, I was also a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and Mortal Kombat (MK), etc. When I first saw MK, and learned its setting, I pondered how to handle the mysterious Outland within Street Fighter, maybe borrowing from D&D’s Manual of the Planes, or the various Umbras for the World of Darkness? But… I knew one thing was common for players of SFRPG, the design approach taken resulting in a surprising speed of play, despite the sheer number of maneuvers. So any alteration to combat could quickly bog the flow down.

I ran an alternate SFRPG game that was similar to the TV show Mortal Kombat: Conquest, where characters could receive Blessings and Curses. For example: Shichifukujin (Seven Lucky Gods) Blessing grants +1 Attribute as an Auto Success once per day, which could be allocated before or after a roll! This is not quite the same as a Merit/Advantage or Flaw/Disadvantage, because it can come and go. Although once per day, this is a powerful ability, for example, a botch can be negated, or a character could see how much damage an opponent has done to them and then grant themselves +1 soak, or make their Dexterity one point higher, which could mean they gain that lucky bit of speed to avoid a nasty combo. Crucially once per day is a big restriction; is it best to save it? Luck is a fickle thing, each time they use their Blessing they could lose it, starting at 1 in 10 and raising by +1 each time it’s used. Characters could do things to please the Shichifukujin, doing so could reduce or even reset the counter. Initially, it resulted in players taking more time to decide, but after a short while, most of the time it was quick, thus not undermining the speed of play aspect of SFRPG.

As I’ve nearly caught up on Punho do Guerreiro (Warrior’s Fist) translations, I have been able to see what the team has previously explored. After RPGaDay I can go over my old ideas and work on a series of articles for the fanzine. 🙂 Also I’ll emphasis clarity of presentation, unlike the section above. 😉

Based upon this old temporary blessing idea, I added something similar to my Trophy Gold Incursion entry. I will be breaking down what I did, in a later blog post, the good and the bad.

Other Peoples’ Answers

Autocratik discussing change in gaming tastes

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/08/rpgaday2020-day-two-change.html

Runeslinger

https://castingshadowsblog.com/2020/08/02/rpgaday2020-day-2-change/

Melestrua with a fun framing for the discussion of an important practical topic, find out what CLOC is:

https://melestrua.wordpress.com/2020/08/02/rpgaday2020-day-2-change/

Complex Games Apologist discusses the interesting topic of environment stats.

IvanMike1968 gives a lovely summary about one of the beauties of this hobby.

Bryon1187 gives an interesting quick answer:

Craig Oxbrow’s The Watch House highlighting the usage animated GIF and RPGs

https://thewatchhouserpg.blogspot.com/2020/08/rpgaday2020-2-change.html

The Anxious Gamer uses prompt Change to give a review of Magical Fury

https://theanxiousgamer.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/review-magical-fury/

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.

#RPGaDay2020 + Street Fighter RPG

This year I’ve committed myself to the idea of posting for #RPGaDay in both English and Portuguese BR, specifically about Street Fighter RPG. I may make an extra post about other RPGs. This was inspired by the SFRPG Brazilian community’s level of activity and the all the numerous people that help make the fanzine Punho do Guerreiro (Warrior’s Fist) a reality! Extra thanks to Eric, my translation sensei 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfrpgbr

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfstg/

My health has improved a lot this year, so I am optimistic about the workload, but my dad’s health is poor so I might not have the time each day. Still, better to try and fail, then to not try at all. Now to finalise my ideas for the numerous prompts 😉

For the prompts, plus hex map and dungeon artwork go to Dave Chapman’s blog 😀

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/06/announcing-rpgaday2020.html

Portuguese BR

Olá,

O RPGaDay é um evento que acontece todos os anos durante o mês de agosto. Em cada dia, postamos algo sobre o RPG, acrescentando a hashtag #RPGaDay2020. Algumas pessoas esquecem o ano e só usam o #RPGaDay, eu uso ambos. A maioria das pessoas twita alguma coisa. Algumas pessoas fazem vídeos, escrevem posts em blogs, e/ou desenham imagens; algumas até fazem todas essas coisas. O objetivo é permanecer positivo; temos o resto do ano para fazer comentários negativos. Participam pessoas de todas as partes do mundo. Acho interessante e divertido ler sobre as anedotas e ideias de outras pessoas. É geralmente fácil escrever um Tweet curto de 280 caracteres, e às vezes difícil não escrever muitos Tweets em resposta.

Este ano estamos usando uma única palavra, os participantes são bem-vindos para interpretar a palavra da maneira que quiserem. Há um mapa hexadecimal e também um mapa de masmorra, para tornar o evento mais parecido com um jogo.

Enquanto um post pode ser sobre qualquer RPG, eu estou pensando em ideias relacionadas a Street Fighter. Eu poderia fazer dois Tweets, um especificamente sobre o SFRPG e outro sobre outros RPGs.

Como exemplo, estes são meus Tweets para 2019: https://twitter.com/Batjutsu/status/1157276746800082949. Para os anos anteriores, eu comecei em 2017 e houve longas perguntas, eu normalmente escrevia demais https://batjutsu.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/rpgaday/

Pensando especificamente neste grupo SFRPG do Facebook, além de ser divertido, talvez algumas respostas possam ajudar a gerar ideias e conteúdo para futuras publicações do Punho do Guerreiro. A sugestão diária poderia inspirar idéias sobre Manobras Especiais, aventuras, torneios, locais, personagens, Itens de Poder, e muito mais!

A vida é cheia de ocupações, portanto, se você perder um dia, não se preocupe, talvez poste em uma data posterior. Talvez você prefira trabalhar um pouco todos os dias em um projeto de Street Fighter, possivelmente apenas postando a ideia completa no último dia de agosto. Se você estiver muito ocupado agora, talvez poste suas ideias mais tarde, no final do ano.

Para não sobrecarregar este grupo, sugiro que para cada dia tenhamos um post central, em que todos possamos colocar nossas respostas. Depois, no dia seguinte, outro posto principal, e assim por diante. Para os participantes, porque há tanto conteúdo gerado, acho que é melhor manter as respostas curtas. Mas, se você quiser escrever muito, nem que seja apenas para seu próprio prazer, vá em frente. Divirta-se.

Eric “Musashi” Souza e Richard “Bat” Brewster

English

Hello,

RPGaDay is an event that runs each year during August. Each day we post something about RPG, adding the hashtag #RPGaDay2020; some people forget the year and only use #RPGaDay, I use both. Most people Tweet something. Some people make videos, write blog posts, and/or draw images; a few even do all. The aim is stay positive; we have the rest of the year to make negative comments. People from all over the world participate. I find it interesting and fun to read about other people’s anecdotes and ideas. It is generally easy to write a short Tweet of 280 characters, sometimes hard not to write lots of Tweets in response.

This year we are using a single word, participants are welcome to interpret the word anyway they want. There is a hex map and also a dungeon map, to make the event more like a game.

Whilst a post can be about any RPG, I am thinking about ideas relating to Street Fighter. I might do two Tweets, one specifically about SFRPG and one on other RPGs.

As an example, these are my Tweets for 2019: https://twitter.com/Batjutsu/status/1157276746800082949. For the previous years, I started in 2017 and there were long questions, I typically wrote way too much https://batjutsu.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/rpgaday/

Thinking specifically about this Facebook SFRPG group, in addition to this being fun, maybe some answers could help generate ideas and content for future Punho do Guerreiro publications. The daily suggestion could inspire ideas about Special Maneuvers, adventures, tournaments, locations, characters, Items of Power, and more!

Life is busy, so if you miss a day, don’t worry, maybe post at a later date. Maybe you’d prefer to work a little bit each day on a Street Fighter project, possibly only posting the completed idea on the final day of August. If you are too busy now, maybe you post your ideas later in the year.

To not overwhelm this group, I suggest that for each day we have one central post, that we can all put our answers in. Then the next day another main post, and so on. For those participating, because there is such much content generated, I find it is best to keep answers short. But, if you want to write lots, if only for your own enjoyment, go right ahead. Have fun.

Eric “Musashi” Souza and Richard “Bat” Brewster

 

 

#RPGaDay returns for 2020

A follow-on to my post #RPGaDAY2020 Has Been Announced and Dave’s (Autocratik) blog post, Anthony (Runeslinger) has also blogged about it. There is a key clarification that I missed off my blog post, although it is mentioned in video Dave and Anthony made, that the emphasis for #RPGaDay is that of positivity. I’ve reblogged Anthony’s post so you can check out the few rules. 😀

Casting Shadows

If it is possible to have a perfect year for RPGaDay to be run, I imagine 2020 is that year – the year of perfect vision. Hopefully, our hindsight will be as accurate as our day to day sight, and they will conspire to improve our insight and foresight as well.

Dare to dream!

Some Background

Each year for the past few I have enjoyed collaborating with the Autocratik blog on his idea for a month-long celebration of all that we love about roleplaying games. Each year, the event grows and changes a little bit, and each year brings all sorts of surprises as responses come in from all over the globe in different languages, in different forms, and about different games.

Last year we shifted from providing full questions to single-word prompts. We did this for several reasons, not the least of which was to make it easier for…

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#RPGaDAY2020 Has Been Announced

This year’s #RPGaDay has been announced, another inspiring collection of prompts, once again presented in a fun graphic by the great Will Brooks. I look forward to the event each year; I strive to read as many tweets and watch as many videos as possible, plus try to reply and encourage others to keep going. There are always interesting stories and ideas about role-playing, a treasure trove of anecdotes and wisdom.

I have thought about the various ways I could answer the prompts. I am tempted to be more creative this year, inspired by many previous participants, but in particular @Catrinity and @CoronaTinoF, who I wrote about in my summary of #RPGaDAY2019. Although this may cause me to have less time to read and respond to other people’s posts; I already know I will have a busier August than the last few years.

I have a few tabletop and play-by-email (PBEM) games on the go, plus I have started my #Lynchcraftian PBEM game, so I’m pondering whether to focus my answers for this year on something more IC, maybe Flash Fiction fiction. Or should I go with something relating to the Street Fighter RPG, since I’ve spent a lot of time recently translating the Brazilian issues for Punho do Guerreiro, plus I am planning a SFRPG PBEM.

For more information, check out David F. Chapman’s blog, plus watch the video of Dave (Autocratik) and Anthony (Runeslinger) discussing this year’s event.

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/06/announcing-rpgaday2020.html

#RPGaDAY2020

1    Beginning

2    Change

3    Thread

4    Vision

5    Tribute

6    Forest

7    Couple

8    Shade

9    Light

10    Want

11    Stack

12    Message

13    Rest

14    Banner

15    Frame

16    Dramatic

17    Comfort

18    Meet

19    Tower

20    Investigate

21    Push

22    Rare

23    Edge

24    Humour

25    Lever

26    Strange

27    Flavour

28    Close

29    Ride

30    Portal

31    Experience

Can I make my game better?

Below is a link to a great article by Runeslinger about making a game better. Since my comments show up first before the reblogged post 🙄, maybe read the article and then come back?

I am constantly striving to improve my games, and my understanding of the role-play hobby, in its myriad of forms. Based upon feedback from some of my players over the years, often my efforts are appreciated, the fact I ask for feedback and check-in with players about the game, but sometimes this has annoyed players, they’d rather just game.

There are a few people I no longer game with, leaving me conflicted, what could I have done differently? In some cases I definitely did not help, if I could I would act differently. With a few other people, essentially we simply had different gaming preferences, which is fine.

Who is driving the bus?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YulZ4qZz7M

In particular I loved the point about Session 0 never really ending. It is always Casting Shadows, an important consideration, and a good play on the blog name 😉

Casting Shadows

Not everyone asks this question, of course, but it – or some variation of it – is common enough. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling. A worry after a session, or a weight that builds as sessions dwindle in the rearview mirror.

It’s a curious question isn’t it? It invites a series of other questions. What is meant by better? Is it a struggle with a specific game or games in general? Who is asking? How much time has been spent on play, and what efforts have been made to address whatever problems are perceived with that play?

If this question doesn’t invite questions like these, and more, and on an ongoing basis, then is there really a game group or is it a few individuals tempting fate both in fiction with their characters and in fact with their use of leisure time? Is anyone driving the bus to Funtown, or…

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RPG Impact 8

Continuing with RPG Impact. The eighth RPG that has had a big impact on me is Wraith: the Oblivion. I’ve separated this game from the rest of the World of Darkness, because I think Wraith is the one stands alone, not just in concept and focus, but crucially in playstyle.

Apart from a few friends, nearly all the players I know won’t even try Wraith. For a few of them, the idea of playing a ghost was too much for them, never mind playing another character’s Shadow, or participating in a Harrowing. The troupe style play of Wraith had a big impact on me; this is one of the reasons why I suggest Wraith stands out from the World of Darkness.

Sadly, I’ve not run massive Wraith games, like with Vampire or Changeling, but at least the games I’ve played have been small intense fun affairs. One of my long-running World of Darkness chronicles will soon include some Wraith sessions, which I hope to blog about later in the year.

I think Wraith is brilliant, but no sale pitches here, in part because others have summarised the game so well. If you want to hear more about Wraith, here are 2 great links:

1) sameøldji made a great video about Wraith impacting him:

2) Runeslinger also listed Wraith as being a big impact upon him; he also made a great collection of videos about Wraith 20th.

Part 9

RPG Impact 1

On Facebook I was tagged by Runeslinger of Casting Shadows regarding:

Roleplaying Games which have had an impact on your gaming. Looking back, which ones stand out, changed your perceptions, are just plain fun, or in some other way left their mark on you? Go for 1d8+2 days, sharing thoughts on one game per day.

So many games have had an impact upon me and/or just plain fun 🙂 I rolled an 8, yikes 10 answers, that’s a lot of thinking and writing to commit to; so, was that roll a botch or a critical? I’ve had a busy week, so plenty of time for thinking.

My 1st Impact: D&D / D20

This group of games matter to me for two reasons:

  1. They matter so much to the hobby of RPG.
  2. My first RPG was AD&D 1st in 87, and I played it a lot.

I first come across interactive stories at about 8 years of age, via Gamebooks (Choose Your Own Adventure & Fighting Fantasy). My first D&D encounter was at 11, and it was quite the leap to go from a solo activity to collaborative play.  Maybe this is a boring or even controversial answer? But I reread the question and reminded myself the criteria included: just plain fun’. So many people have strong opinions about D&D, or D20 variations, I suspect people will debate the system forever. Personally, I have long since gotten over my love/hate relationship with D&D, and thus I have no problem acknowledging that it is a big deal to me.

Over the years I’ve returned to various editions of D&D / D20 many times, in particular at conventions and games clubs. Decades ago, I was sometimes surprised when I played in a great D&D game; I had expected some fun, but great? Why was that session in particular great? I’d return to pondering D&D, going over old debates/articles about the merits & flaws of the system, it led me to the conclusion that we often frame the debates in unhelpful extremes. Of course I’ve played in a lot of average D&D sessions, plus sadly some awful games, but that is also true of almost every system I’ve played.

So, given how many great D&D / D20 games I’ve played, and given how many players of D&D there are in the world, it wouldn’t surprise me if there have been more great games of D&D played, then there have been sessions in the entirety of many other systems! Also, if there was some magically point system and a high score table that could summarise peoples’ fun, anticipation, etc., that there would be a lot of highly ranked D&D / D20 sessions/campaigns. I suspect that would be an outrageous claim for some, but given the sheer numbers, is it really? My point is not to dismiss the value of a well-designed system, its clarity of explanation, intent, ease of learning, etc. , more of a constant reminder to myself that people value different things, plus that role-playing is more than the sum of its parts.

Batjutsu RPG Highscore

Whilst D20 is far from my favourite system, my old conclusions led me to stop caring about debating things so much. If players vote to play D&D, if the games I’d prefer to play at a convention are full, I appreciate that I might enjoy D&D. Likewise, even if I play one of my favourite systems, there could be many reasons it does not reach a hypothetical high rating. Returning to point 1, the impact of D&D on the hobby means it continually impacts upon me.

As always for me: systems matter, but players matter more.

Next: RPG Impact 2

PDF and the Mobile Gamer

A great article about the slow adapation of the RPG industry to making better virtual books. As someone with hand problems, I have a particular dislike of reading on small devices due to the common resizing requirements. It can also be a pain (literally) on my desktop, although thankfully speech recognition software can help a bit.

Casting Shadows

For a year or so I lived a lie. I didn’t know it was a lie while I was living it. It was that strange sense of change that comes with a lot of energy and conviction, stays long enough to leave scars, but vanishes in a moment and without warning. People shrug, and remark about how they ‘should have known’, but in truth such things are only visible in hindsight, and then only if you are the sort to look back.

For a year or so, I put print behind me and only bought games in PDF.

That year was around ten years ago now and while physics and ridiculous shopping fees have significantly impacted the number of titles I add to my library these days, I haven’t given that digital-only lifestyle another attempt.

One thing stayed with me, though. If available (poor Star Wars), I get all the…

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#RPGaDay2019 Summary

#RPGaDay this year was another interesting event, lots of participants and lots of different takes on the prompts. The team of Dave Chapman (@autocratik) Anthony Boyd (@Runeslinger) and wonderful graphic by Will Brooks (@willbrooks1989) made something a bit different with the prompts.

I read many comments appreciating the creative freedom the prompts provided. Of course it is not always easy to think of something; how best to sum up thoughts about the subject of RPGs, a hobby that is simultaneously complex and simple. Although it is time consuming reading/watching so many peoples’ contributions, as normal each day people said things I especially appreciated. I think this event nicely sums up the idea of ‘thinking out loud’, sometimes I think I come up with something interesting, whilst other times I am stating the obvious, or merely mentioning a preference. I am sure some contributors feel the same way, plus we never know what somebody might find interesting/inspiring regarding our subtly different phrasing. What is nice about even the simple answers is we can see commonalities, maybe useful to someone for a future sociology project. So, I wanted to highlight a few of the great contributors:

I think the lovely artwork and pithy answers by @CoronaTinoF wonderfully encapsulates the spirit of RPGaDay:

The fabulous written notes by @Catrinity were used to creatively present a personal play story:

Each prompt was used as a reminder of RPG stories:

https://www.youtube.com/user/JdrD30/videos

A great collection of videos and blogs by IvanMike1968:

Runeslinger’s videos, as normal some interesting thoughts and exceptional presentation variation. Dogs and RPG, what is not to like?

Each day Geek-Life Balance framed the prompts around their RPG plans:

https://geeklifebalance.wordpress.com/tag/rpgaday2019/

Roberto Micheri’s collection of videos:

Doc Perschon made some great videos. Due to time constraints, plus wanting to make higher production value, Doc decided to keep releasing videos over time:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC68SQ75PwAYebPWpdT8sHow

Last but not least the answers from Dave Chapman (@autocratik) himself:

https://www.autocratik.com/2019/08/

#RPGaDay2019 prompts 25 to 31

Continuing on with my video summary of #RPGaDay2019 tweets, prompts 25 to 31. Previous prompts 1 to 8

I badly explain a point in the video about RPG and suspension, using the example of how big breaks in music can really add to a song, adding suspension. I also couldn’t remember any tracks in that moment, so:

The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations, Nine Inch Nails – March of the Pigs, Metallica – Sad But True, Beastie Boys – Sabotage, Garbage – Supervixen, Alanis Morissette – All I Really Want, Scissor Sisters – I Can’t Decide, Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well, Tool – The Patient, Portishead – Only You, Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench, Queens Of The Stone Age – The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret, Tool the patient, Sigur Ros – Staralfur, Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls, Rage Against The Machine – Freedom, Kavinsky – Nightcall, plus so many more.

Maybe I need to return to this and explain myself clearer one day?