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. Continue reading “#MayRPGQ2018: Part 2”→
For May, we have another neat challenge for tabletop role-playing game enthusiasts, the #MayRPGQ2018 challenge from Brie Sheldon. It has questions for the even days of the month.
May 2: How do you introduce yourself?
To other gamers, I usually mention my long-time online handles, dating back 20 years: Anemone, Evil Anemone, Méchante Anémone, and variations thereof. If I know we have gamer friends in common, I mention them. And to publishers, I mention that I have written for Atlas Games, Evil Hat Productions, Generic Games, Vigilance Press, and ZombieSmith, and that I am project manager for the Fate line at Evil Hat (plus awesome new responsibilities I’ll talk about later this month.) I do have gamer business cards I use at conventions! Continue reading “#MayRPGQ2018: Part 1”→
Final round of Kira Magrann’s cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge.
Day 25: Being a tabletop role-playing game designer means…
Argh! This kind of question makes me worry about gate-keeping. I feared at the beginning of this challenge that many people would self-select out because of impostor syndrome.
I think of the definition as flexible and inclusive: if you create games, supplements, scenarios, settings, rules, playbooks, worksheets, and other tools to share with the world, if you listen to constructive critique and try to improve, if you keep polishing your work, then I’d say you are a game designer.
I’m not saying that keeping your meticulous DM campaign notes since the first game of D&D you ran in 1979 and trying to run games in that compendium at every convention makes you a game designer. Based on my training as an engineer, I think that in order to qualify as a designer:
You need to articulate what it is you are trying to create.
You need to separate the product of your work from your own identity, enough to listen to reasonable criticism.
You need to want to improve the product of your work even if the improvement goes in a new direction.
You need to keep informed about approaches other designers have used to solve similar problems so you don’t try to reinvent the wheel or publish fantasy heartbreakers.
You need to think of several different solutions to every problems rather than pre-select based on bias.
You need to try, evaluate, reject or refine, and try again until your design can be pronounced good by comparing to your objectives.
These are features of design, any kind of design. It’s not about how many copies you sold, or how long you have been working on an idea.
Part 3 of Kira Magrann’s cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge.
Day 13: Biggest influence?
In roughly chronological order:
Over The Edge by Jonathan Tweet (Atlas Games); Robin’s Laws of Good Game-mastering by Robin Laws (Steve Jackson Games); Truth & Justice and The Zantabulous Zorcerer of Zo by Chad Underkoffler (Atomic Sock Monkey Press); Fate Accelerated by Clark Valentine, Leonard Balsera, Fred Hick, Mike Olson, and Amanda Valentine (Evil Hat Productions).
Over the Edge
Truth & Justice
The Zorcerer of Zo
But the funny thing is that I also got influences from games I thought were deeply flawed such as:
Primetime Adventures, The Esoterrorists, Burning Empires, Apocalypse World,
Kira Magrann started a cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge. Everyone who participates in creating RPGs is invited to chime in! Kira’s list of daily questions is included at the bottom of this post. They’re mostly short answers on Twitter and other social media, but I thought I would re-post them here in small groups, with better grammar and a few more characters.
Day 1: Who are you?
I’m Sophie Lagacé, a Canadian expatriate living in the San Francisco Bay, avid gamer, convention organizer, blogger, and game writer. I write and manage projects for Evil Hat Productions, and write freelance for Vigilance Press, Atlas Games, Generic Games, ZombieSmith, etc.
OK, Ramanan S pointed out to me that we have not had significant discussions of race in tabletop roleplaying games since The Thing last year. I take that as an indicator of the chilling effect, but nonetheless it’s not a good excuse. We need to talk, and even more so we need to act.
This is not a post to examine the root causes and come up with an overarching plan to eliminate racism, tokenism, erasure, etc. I can’t be the one to tell you all about race problems in the tabletop gaming community. I’m not on the receiving end, and my white privilege means I will, by definition, not be able to see all the instances.
It’s up against high-quality, popular releases but it’s so nice to be on the list. (Now I know that at least four people read it!) ^_^
I am so very fortunate that on my first professional writing gig in the role-playing world, Evil Hat Productions let me create a book the way I wanted to, with the support of their fantastic knowledge and staff resources. It doesn’t get any better!
[Edit: Traduction française disponible chez ptgptb.]
A big challenge in role-playing games is that they are usually read several times in greatly differing circumstances. In this section I focus on their ease of use at the game table. I’m not talking about system choices and mechanics, but strictly about how well the book supports game play.
3. Use in Play
At the game table, the reader will be trying to find specific information quickly, particularly rules information.