RPG-a-Day, Week 3, Days 15-21

15. Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?
I used to be a huge system tinkerer. I loved looking at games, figuring out which system I could steal from game A and plug into B. In high school, I clipped out Stormbringer’s skills, and brought them into D&D. It mostly killed any reason to be a thief… but also gave people not laughable chances of success at skills, unlike the poor thief.

Over the next 15 years, I enjoyed creating game systems, which lead me to the Forge, which taught me how narrow my experience in gaming was. While I still tinkered and created a few systems for home use, I mostly turned into a game consumer–shopping for indie games and their intriguing systems.

Jennifer brought TV back into my life, greatly reducing the time that I used to spend in the lonely fun of scenario and game design. Game design proved similar to my novel writing ambitions… I realized that with my limited free time, I’d rather read books and play games that others had sweated over, or spend my time creating a great scenario for my group, instead of a game for the world.

16. Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?
This is kind of the flip to #15. At the moment, I’m not much of an active game modifier—partially because I want to try out the game as designed before I begin twisting dials. Though… I really can’t resist, thinking further. Even Diaspora was drifted in a Fate Core +” the designers talk about it this way these days” direction.

PTA is great, particularly with the three-flip tension build and clear new examples. Similarly, Psi*Run is great right out of the box—while there’s some meeting of the minds components (scope of powers, etc.), it works perfectly as written.

An easy answer is D&D 5e. I run mostly AL content, so consistency with other tables is a big deal—and I’m happy to not adjust things too much for my table in specific. If you make a bunch of stompy people—great! You crush the foes without breaking a sweat and get to feel accomplished. If you talk your way out of the fights? Great, we can get to the next encounter instead. Trusting the system and running RAW seems to solve so much.

17. Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played?
This is a question with a dozen answers, depending on definitions of “owned” like do I only count “intentional buys” or does “picked up for inspiration”, and “it was on sale, so I thought ‘what the heck’ and picked it up just in case” count? (Or, worse… all the games that are hard drive clutter but never even looked at!) Similarly, there are too many games that got barely-tried… like, we made characters, but lost interest before the game started.

So, cutting an arbitrary swath, I’ll go with two. The first is Dust Devils; I picked it up relatively early in my hanging around the fringes of the forge. It sounded interesting, but I was in the middle of two long term games, so never made a serious pitch to play it. Similarly, while I may have borrowed it once for something, I’ve never really run or played The Questing Beast. It’s still on my want to play list, but never comes to mind. Maybe I’ll drag it along to an upcoming RPG meetup… or even Strategicon, for use in Games on Demand. Hmm…

18. Which RPG have you played the most in your life?
19. Which RPG features the best writing?
20. What is the best source for out of print RPGs?
21. What RPG does the most with the least words?