8. What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?
[Wherein I give up on picking a single option.]
If you’re going to plan on a 2-hour game, you had better use a streamlined system with rapid character creation. Systems that are well-suited include Fate Accelerated, The Shadow of Yesterday, PDQ, Wushu, Over The Edge, etc.
Over the Edge
Continue reading “RPG a Day: Two Hours!”
27. Favourite idea for merging two games in one
I have to go back to my on-the-fly conversion of octaNe (Memento Mori Theatricks) to Fate Accelerated (Evil Hat Productions) at Big Bad Con 2013. It’s not a genre mashup but a system mashup, and it worked like a charm.
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.
This tale is late, but my writing time in the last quarter has been spent primarily on the War of Ashes RPG. Despite the lateness, I want to share this gaming experience because I think it may be useful to others. It’s on my mind because I’m wrapping up one of the last details for the draft of the War of Ashes RPG, the creation of short sample adventures.
When I was on Games On Demand duty at Big Bad Con in October, I had two options prepared: a FAE Muppet Show game or an octaNe game. Players sat down at my table, interested in trying Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) for the first time but not too hot about the Muppets. Two were actually in the wrong age bracket, too young for the original Muppet Show and too old for the Disney re-launch; and one was my husband, who had recently played the Muppets game and had not played octaNe in a long time, so was ready for some post-apocalypse mayhem.
I wanted to give my players the game that would entertain them most, and somewhere in the back of my mind I had been making connections between the two systems; the spark went ZzzaPP! and I decided to run the game I had planned for octaNe but using the FAE system.
I’ve already talked about the game premise here: Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA contract employees, hired to retrieve the pets left behind by policy holders who were Raptured. The game writes itself! I had prepared an EEBP_brochure which I asked the players to fill; this would obviously be our adventure, the pets they had to save. The key points were these: Continue reading “Fate: A Tale of Conversion-on-the-Fly”
So as I was saying in my previous post, one of the games I have ready for Games on Demand at Big Bad Con this weekend is Jared Sorensen’s octaNe: the psychotronic game of post-apocalyptic trash-culture america (Memento Mori Theatricks). Because this is supposed to run in a 2-hour block, I created handouts that include the character sheet and rules summaries for the players.
octaNe is inspired by movies like Six-String Samurai, Repo Man and The Road Warrior. In a nutshell:
Gas up your smartcar, tune up your six-string and don’t forget to feed your monkey. octaNe is a roller-coaster ride through irradiated wastelands and strip-mall paradise from the alien rockstar splendor of Shangri-L.A. to the decadent neon strip of Lost Vegas. Masked wrestlers rule the lands of New Texaco and sentient monkeys study the Tao in the flooded ruins of San Francisco.
Global warming? The world got a whole lot cooler.
There’s a premise I’ve wanted to use for a while with this setting. Back in 2009, a funny guy named Bart(!) posted a spoof site called “Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA“, satirising one of the many end-or-the-world scares we seem to get every six months or so. Its offer:
You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind?
Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.
I love it so much. Yes, it’s the Rapture did happen, and yes, you were wrong about disbelieving it, but by gum, you’re an ethical atheist and you have a contract! You have to save those pets! So I also also created a EEBP_brochure that uses the Website’s text. It’s absolutely perfect to suggest endless complications when you roll poorly…