#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 11

11. Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?

Fireland RPG

I remember seeing this ad for Fireland in RPG magazines back in the ’80s. It was such a garishly gonzo image I filed it away in the back of my brain in a futile attempt to save my sanity. Nazis and dragons can’t coexist in a fantasy world can they? According to the blurb (see below) those weren’t any old Nazis. They were “hordes of mutated creatures, demons and ghosts armed with rifles and grenades by their master, the insane sorceror Black Wolf”. Oh ok, seems legit!

Years later, the image was still haunting me… I’d never actually seen the game anywhere, no-one spoke of it. Did it actually exist? I found a thread on RPG.net that suggested the firm went bust after splurging on ads and crazy capital investment. And there was talk that it was possibly a more complex game than it needed to be. So maybe we all dodged a bullet there?

But it does seem a shame to waste such a gloriously gonzo cover. Maybe one to add to the neo-retro RPG pile of games that never were…
Anywhen blurb

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 10

10. Where do you go for RPG reviews?

Although I do enjoy watching RPG stuff on Youtube, if I’m looking for a review on a particular game I’m more likely to hunt for a written review. It’s so much easier to find relevant bits of info! Video reviews do have their place though, as visuals can be handy and the tone of the review is easier to pick up on.

But whether it’s a text or video review, one of the most important things to know is what are the reviewer’s preferences. In the past I’ve made the mistake of buying games based on reviewers’ recommendations only to find we have quite different tastes when it comes to game mechanisms.

Know thyself and know thy scribe, and thou shalt play many games that pleaseth thee!

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 9

9. What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

Barbarians of Lemuria: Mythic Edition

I’m pretty sure everyone will have proffered wildly different RPGs for this, as 10 sessions is quite a chunk of time to be playing something unless you’re into a game’s theme and mechanisms. As it’s so subjective, all I can say is what I would play in these circumstances.

There can only be one! BARBARIANS OF LEMURIA!

Well ok two, if you count the Legendary Edition 🙂

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 8

8. What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2hrs or less?

Maze RatsI reckon a rules-light game like Maze Rats would be great for a short session. The whole game is only 24 pages and largely full of random tables (magic, monsters, NPCs, treasure, cities, wilderness, dungeons). So you could read it and put together a short adventure with very little prep time. All the info for character generation fits on 2 pages and you could rattle off a PC in minutes. There’s only 3 stats in the game (Strength, Dexterity and Will) so there aren’t a lot of mechanisms to get bogged down in. Attack rolls and damage are dealt with the same roll so even combat is lean and mean! All in all, it’s a fantastic, tiny tome of RPG magic!

Maze Rats is available on DriveThruRPG for Pay What You Want so what are you waiting for?

ps it could quite easily be one of the best RPG toolkits I’ve ever picked up.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 7

7. What was your most impactful RPG session?

D&D Mentzer BasicAfter much deliberation the answer can only be my very first RPG session just over 30 years ago. My big brother had played Mentzer Basic D&D with a friend of his, and soon after he ran an adventure for me and my chums. I have a feeling it was The Village of Hommlet. I remember enjoying the experience of bumbling around this fantasy land harassing the inhabitants. One of us charmed a hermit who became trap fodder not long after. Poor fellow! But the bit that I remember the clearest was the description of the lashing rain and mud just before our wagon was ambushed by orcs. Those guys… always causing trouble!

If it’s not totally obvious why I chose this particular session, it’s because here I am, over 30 years later, still captivated by games that you really only need a pencil, paper and some dice to play.

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 6

6. You can game every day for a week. Describe what you’d do!

Hmmm… I guess running a game that had a fixed deadline would be an interesting thing to do. A timeline of events would unfold unless players intervened. It could be a hostage situation where the kidnappers’ demands must be met before 7 days have passed… or else! The events of each in-game day would be played out during a RPG session each day. It would be up to the players to use what little time they had to come up with a plan, obtain resources, train and execute it, while dealing with unforeseen events. Intelligence reports could be dripfed to the players throughout the week – but it’d be of various degrees of reliability of course!

I’d maybe schedule the deadline half way through the week to leave room for a time extension or other in-game complications. If the players completed the mission before the end of the week then there would always be scope to include a small bonus mission or two dealing with the fallout of events. These could feature different PCs from different sides of the conflict and may take place days, weeks or months later in the game world.

I was reading about Operation Entebbe earlier today and that’s undoubtedly the inspiration behind this. But there’s plenty of other real world events that you could mine ideas from for an action-packed week of gaming. Wikipedia is your friend!

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 5

5. Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

Over 30 years ago Games Workshop released the UK edition of MERP with this stunning cover art by Chris Achilleos. Even though I’ve never owned or indeed played MERP, I’ve found this image so evocative of the dark forces spreading from Mordor, that it’s stuck with me all this time. Truly terrifying!

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#RPGaDAY 2017: Day 4

4. Which RPG have you played the most since August 2016?

Our local RPG group has just finished a Dungeon World campaign that we’ve been playing over the past year whenever schedules allow. It’s been great fun and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a D&D-esque RPG that gives the players some creative input into the background of the world that they’ll be adventuring in. What better way to take some of the burden off of the GM and help get players invested in the game from the get-go?

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