This is the second half of the #MayRPGQ2018 challenge for tabletop role-playing game enthusiasts from Brie Sheldon.
May 18: Where do you play that most encourages your creative side?
Big Bad Con. This convention is my Christmas, it’s the best weekend of the year. People who show up there are ready to say yes, to try new things, to take risks. Its effect stretches on through the year for me, recharging me with enthusiasm and ideas.
May 20: Who do you want to play with more than anything and why?
Theron Bretz and Jess Nevins. I’ve known them online for over 15 years but have never a chance to meet in person: they are in Texas and I’m on the West Coast. They occasionally game together and I would love to sit at their table, probably for some superhero game.
May 22: Why do you play and make games in the genres and styles you do?
Escapism, wish-fulfillment fantasy, shared imaginary space, real-time story creation. Although I appreciate games with higher philosophical and artistic ambitions, they’re not what I crave.
To be clear, Scott Lynch once expressed pretty clearly his—and my—take on wish-fulfillment fantasy…
May 24: What games do you want to take apart and make into something new?
GUMSHOE, DramaSystem, AGE. These are systems that all (in my opinion) underplay their potential; I feel like I could make them better with a good hack. Castle Falkenstein too, because it’s time for an update after nearly 25 years.
Hayley Gordon and Vee Hendro of Storybrewers Roleplaying. They released Alas for the Awful Sea last year, and are currently working on Good Society: A Jane Austen roleplaying game. I would love to work with these most excellent designers.
May 28: Where do you want to go, event-wise, to play a game this year?
May 30: How do you think you can make the gaming community better?
For years I have been trying to grow the audience for role-playing games by organizing play events aimed at newcomers, particularly ones that are not “the usual suspects,” and I’ve made efforts to learn about diverse game authors and support them.
For almost three years, though, I have had an even better opportunity: as project manager for Fate line projects at Evil Hat Productions, I have been able to encourage new diverse talent and help broaden and deepen the talent pool. And now as the new Fate Line Developer, I will have even more access to encouraging, hiring, and supporting diverse people and under-served groups.
Bonus Question: What is one game mechanic or setting element that just butters your biscuits?
The “create an advantage” action in Fate Core and its descendants. I have written previously about how important it is mathematically, narratively, and tactically.
My delight is with the fact that by creating a snippet of fiction, a player now has a mechanical effect that can be manipulated and shared in a variety of codified ways. This is crunch mechanics, not the hand-waving of “if you make the GM laugh, you’ll get a bonus.” And this crunch is dictated by the fiction, not the other way around (e.g., “you don’t get an attack of opportunity because you’re not in the right square.”)