15 RPG Questions

Woohoo! An RPG question-answering meme! As always, I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but better Nate than lever. This one is from “Matt Snyder”:http://www.livejournal.com/users/matt_snyder/37084.html via “Jim”:http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_11_21.html#005670.

*1. What is the first RPG you ever played?*

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn. I was intrigued by D&D but this was right around the time of the whole gateway-to-satanism nonsense, and I was young and impressionable in West Michigan, so a sci-fi game seemed safer.

*2. What RPG do you currently play most often?*

For the past year it’s been the Marvel Universe RPG with one group and D&D (3rd edition) with the other, more intermittent group. But totalling up game-time over the past decade, Amber comes out easily on top.

*3. What is the best system you’ve played?*

Too hard to pick. But in terms of invoking their respective genres/worlds/tones successfully, I give high marks to (chronologically) the James Bond RPG, Ars Magica, D&D 3rd edition, and My Life With Master.

*4. What is the best system you’ve run?*

See above.

*5. Would you consider yourself an: Elitist/Min-Maxer/Rules Lawyer?*

Elitist, if any of the above, but can you be an Elitist and still play D&D? For that matter, can you run D&D without being a Rules Lawyer?

*6. If you could recommend a new RPG which would you recommend? Why?*

Well, I wouldn’t recommend the Marvel Universe RPG, having played in a MURPG game for quite a while. I enjoyed that campaign immensely, but the enjoyment was mostly in spite of the system, not because of it. My Life With Master is very fine indeed, but having played it twice, both one-shots, I can’t quite imagine using it for an extended campaign. Looking forward to trying “Trollbabe”:http://www.adept-press.com/trollbabe/ soon. Kind of intrigued by “Enemy Gods”:http://wicked-dead.com/enemygods/, too.

*7. How often do you play?*

In theory: once a week (group 1) plus bi-weekly (group 2). In practice, the first group hits about 75% and the second about 50%. Which averages to about weekly.

*8. What sort of characters do you play? Leader? Follower? Comic Relief? Roll-player/Role-player?*

It’s funny — thinking about this made me realize how much more often I’ve run games than played in them, and as a result how few data points I have for this question. I play leaders more than followers, emphasize roles over rolls, and never make a character who doesn’t have the potential to serve as comic relief, even if that’s not his main purpose. That “his,” by the way, hints at what I think is a more interesting question: “How often do you play characters of the opposite gender?” I never have, and I don’t think I would, though I always think it’s cool when other people do.

*9. What is your favorite genre for RPGs?*

Fantasy, in all its myriad forms.

*10. What genres have you played in?*

I’ve covered all the bases at one time or another.

*11. Do you prefer to play or GM? Do you do both?*

I prefer to GM, though I happily do both.

*12. Do you like religion in your games?*

Sure — though I can’t think of a game I’ve participated in where it’s played a pivotal role.

*13. Do you have taboo subjects in your games or is everything “fair game”?*

There was a point a few years ago where I was good and ready to ban any and all Monty Python references from the game, permanently.

*14. Have you developed your own RPG before?*

Actually, no, which seems funny now that I think about it. Playing D&D in Jos, Nigeria in high school, trying to keep out of sight of some of the disapproving eyes in the missionary community there, we had to cobble together a system based on a 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, a Monster Manual that was missing some pages, and the main book from the basic D&D expert set (the blue one). So I suppose whatever that was was pretty much an invented system.

*15. Have you ever been published in the Gaming Industry? If so…what?*

Nope. I had a D&D adventure in the pipeline with Atlas, but then WOTC went and took the yuan-ti off the SRD, which pushed it all back right at the time when Atlas was phasing out its Penumbra line of adventures anyway. So it kind of fizzled.