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Sage LaTorra

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 14: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

Well, typically what I prefer is "something different from the last open-ended campaign game I played." I like variety.

But if I have to choose one I'll say Burning Wheel, because there's so many great interlocking moving parts that I feel like two open-ended campaigns could be considerably different. Plus BW has provided two of my canonical Big Five games that shape who I am as a gamer: the Post-Arthurian England game and Burning Boston.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

Well I mentioned some of those a few posts back ( But another:

My first BW character was a grave digger who had a belief about respecting the dead. First session, about halfway through the hedge wizard PC (played by +Isaac Milner) decided he needed a body for some morally grey reason. I'm an agreeable person, so I said sure. The GM (+Ben P.) says "so, uh, what are your beliefs?"

It just clicked in a way that it hadn't before that my character could be distinct from my own interests. I'd played plenty of characters who had distinct personalities or looks or whatever, but their motivations were all more or less my own.

That's a fun thing to have available for characters. Now somewhat often I try to make characters who break from type for me, and give myself ways to hold myself to that. Beliefs are a great way to do that, but there's plenty of others.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 12: What RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

I'm going to have to go with Moldvay and/or DCC here. For me, there's something about black & white slightly gonzo art that inspires me more than more detailed colorful art. I think maybe adventure games (probably my fave genre) work better for me when I don't try to make them entirely real in my head. Something a little cartoony works better for my imagination.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 11: Which dead game would you like to see reborn?

Well I would say WEG Star Wars but that's happening.

I don't know, with PDFs and used book stores it seems like games don't truly die. Bunnies & Burrows doesn't need to be reborn for me to play it. I guess maybe for things that are hard to find in print and which are beautiful enough to be particularly enjoyed in print would count, but I can't think of any of those that haven't already been reborn.

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#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 10: Where do you go for RPG reviews?


Shut Up And Sit Down as well.

But overall I tend to trust personal thoughts from people I know the most. There isn't a big enough scene or enough serious reviewers for "reviews" as a genre of content to mean much to me.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 9: What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

Well, as posed, most RPGs fit. Not asking for the best RPG to play for that long means "most games" is an acceptable answer to me. I'd play any version of D&D for that long, and that's even enough time for more complex long-arc games like BW to show up pretty well.

So I'll just pick a game I want to talk about: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Ed. In 10 sessions you'll (likely) go from being a dirty peasant or horrible noble to feeling like you can do something. Seeing your chance of success spelled out so directly to start with, like 10% chance of doing it, means seeing those numbers go up over 10 sessions (unless you die) is really rewarding.

That said, the rest of the game is just kind of okay. The combat and skills are all pretty straightforward and don't do a lot for me. But the brutal odds and gritty style can provide a good center.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 8: What is a good RPG to play in sessions of 2 hours or less?

I may be alone in this, but Monsterhearts actually works kind of like this for my group. Maybe not quite 2 hours, but not too much above that, and we get a shitload done. There's something about amp-ed up teen drama and the game's design for 'driving your character like a stolen car' that leads to so much happening so quick.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?

Huh, "impactful" can mean a lot of things.

Biggest impact on my long term gaming development? Probably getting invited to play GURPS Reign of Steel with +Ben P.. From there I ended up playing more and more games with him, and eventually that led to In Nomine with +Daniel Lofton, which led to BW with that crew, which meant that when I got to Seattle and met up with +John Harper by chance we connected and played Trollbabe and Warhammer and that led to the gaming group that I still play the most with today. All from that one session.

Impactful, like it had the largest amount that hangs with me afterwards, would be a tie between the session where we discovered every Cthulhu campaign we'd played over multiple years with +Ben P. were all tied together and we'd unintentionally ended the world, or the session of The Inheritance at NMCon that many of us went in to skeptical and spent an hour at a bar unpacking after.

Impactful, like character drama in the moment that resonated with me, probably the session of our Burning Boston game where +Paul Riddle's christian convert native american burned his bible to start a file after his faith failed him yet again.

#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 6: You can game every day for a week! Describe what you'd do!

This used to be how I'd spend the week between Christmas and New Years, more or less.

1. Start a new game of something advancement-heavy, with lots of cool advancement character building options, and play it as much as possible. Maybe DCC, or Torchbearer, or Burning Wheel. Go with a fairly straightforward setup and just let it run wild.

2. Provide breaks between RPG sessions with my favorite high-player count complex boardgames. Here I Stand. Virgin Queen. Dune. A Distant Plain.

3. Fill in the remaining time with good food and party games. Towerfall. Nidhogg. Samurai Gun. Codenames. Cash & Guns.

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#RPGaDay Speed Run Day 5: Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?
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