18. What’s an RPG item you have played a lot in your life?
The game I got the most play from is probably 7th Sea (Alderac Entertainment Games), since that was a regular, reliable campaign that went on for at least four years. It’s the campaign I have most enjoyed playing in my life.
The game that I have been playing the longest and continue to play is Over The Edge (Atlas Games). I have been playing for 23 or 24 years and it’s still a go-to.
7. What was an impactful RPG session?
I spoke last year about an emotionally charged, intense session of Night Witches, so I’m not going to repeat it but it certainly is a good answer to today’s question. But again, because I’ve been gaming for a long time I have many possible answers.
Let’s pick a memorable episode of 7th Sea back in 2002, which I chronicled on my now-defunct website (Wayback Machine link). We were six heroes from Castille sent on a secret mission to the port of La Reina del Mar, occupied by Montaigne forces, to assist the still-resisting Castillan underground.
We had a rich tapestry of subplots going on after playing for two and a half years, including many pursued by PCs in secret. For the big climactic episode of the story arc (the portion of the chronicle that is only in bullet points because so much was going on), the GM—my husband Edmund—not only allowed us to split the party, something that still went against most GM advice you could find in those days, but he let us split three-way, then four, then five! Some of us were creating a distraction on the wharves, some were rescuing prisoners, some were blowing up the enemy flagship, etc. Continue reading “RPG a Day: And… Scene!”
3. What is something you have done with your game character that you are the proudest of?
Back at the beginning of the millennium when we had a four-year-long 7th Sea campaign, my character (Captain Constanza de Aldana y Orduño) had plenty of time to undergo a lot of character development. She went from a bookish young woman to a determined righter of wrongs, a Big Damn Hero.
As a player, at one point I saved off my experience for almost a year to buy the Advantage “Woman of Will”; it had been released in a supplement but I surely would have bought it at character creation if it had been available in 1999, so the GM let me buy it after the fact. It felt fitting to the character and to the advantage to save up like this.
As a character, Constanza ended up defeating the pirate Reis as well as putting the rightful king of Castille back on the throne — and secretly marrying said king. Her ship and estate were refuges for a collection of misfit NPCs that she she had saved from various perils.
25. Favourite revolutionary game mechanic
- Free-form skills, as introduced by Over the Edge (Atlas Games). They changed the face of gaming for me, turning characters back into concepts, not the piles of numbers they had been reduced to by earlier RPGs.
- Character troubles and backgrounds as stories a player wants to pursue, not a source of of disadvantage points to min-max with. First encountered in 7th Sea (Alderac Entertainment Games).
- A range of success that includes No but…, Yes but…, and Yes and…, as first encountered in octaNe (Memento Mori Theatricks). In the long run, it made a huge difference in my game-mastering.
15. Longest RPG campaign played
Face-to-face, I think that would be “Aldana Steel,” our 7th Sea campaign that lasted from 1999 to 2004. Online via VoIP, probably our Savage Worlds: Dark Heresy saga, from about 2009 to 2013, I think. Online text-based: probably “Big Trouble in Little Al Amarja,” an Over The Edge play-by-email from about 1996 to 1999.