Monday, January 30, 2012

Ten Questions with ... Barking Alien

Barking Alien asked some questions over the weekend - questions that demand answers! So here we go...

Stolen straight from the source...

1) What is the most common type of environment or terrain encountered thus far in your current or most recent campaign?

Space Station corridors in Star Wars. "Dungeon" in RtToe 4E. A warehouse in ICONS - hmmm, lots of interior stuff going on there.

2) What is the most exotic or unusual environment or terrain encountered thus far in your current or most recent campaign?

I had the flooded interior of a wrecked spaceship in Return to the Ruins of Adventure. Full of crew members who were killed or mutated in bizarre ways.

3) What environment or terrain type have you never used but always wanted to? Why haven't you?

I haven't run an underwater adventure in years and years but that may change soon. I also like the volcano fortress-lair too but haven't had an excuse to use one. Too much low-level D&D - volcano was on the menu but TPK's have a nasty way of interfering with your plans.

4) Do you have a combat rule or mechanic from another game system you are using in the game system you currently play, played recently or generally play?

I love the "Epithet" from ICONS (basically a Fate-esque Quality) and I'm trying to drag that into all of my games. I even included it in my proposed West Marches style game.

5) In your opinion, what genre has received too little attention in regards to RPGs based on that subject?

A few years ago I would have said "dark space fantasy" but the surge of 40K games has that handled now. Now I would say games based on the Classical Era - Mythic Greece, the Roman Republic & Empire. There are a few out there of varying quality but there isn't one that relly grabs me, which is why I keep trying to convert D&D to cover it.

6) If a quality RPG on the aforementioned neglected genre came out tomorrow, what would make you buy it? What would prevent you from buying it?

What has prevented me from playing some of them, even after I bought them, is crappy rules. I want serious attention to historical detail, and then I want good, tight mechanics, preferably for an existing game like Savage Worlds or D&D - we don't need to reinvent the mechanics just to be different.

7) Do you find it easier to learn the rules of a game by reading the rule book or by sitting down and just playing it?

I'm a reader. Reading the rules tends to inspire me and influence the kind of campaign I want to run. Even if I'm playing and not running, I still like to read the book before I sit down to play.

8) Name a currently available artist not normally associated with RPGs who you'd love to see do some RPG work.

Jack Kirby. Ah, currently available. Frazzetta. Darn. Not sure, as I tend to become aware of artists because they are associated with an RPG rather than the reverse.

9) What one book, movie, video, etc. that is not an RPG that you think should be.

I think a game roughly based on "24", with some kind of random plot turn element or maybe a player-controlled mechanic for it,  and an emphasis on time pressure - say solve it in a single session, could be a lot of fun and have a different feel than the typical campaign session.

 I know it's old school but an official Thundarr game & setting would be cool (Icons?). A new James Bond would be fun for some of us. Modesett's Recluce books might be fun. The list gets a little longer if you change that to "not an RPG that you like" as I think the "Savage Worlds of the Savage Sword of Conan" would be awesome and better than the d20 version.

10) Can you think of an RPG you've run or played in which the GM (be it you or someone else) used/referenced non-game related books to run the campaign more often then game related books?

I've used a lot of Atlases over the years to run Rifts and Twilight 2000. I've used some of the non-gaming Trek books when I've run and played Star Trek, largely for ship names and illustrations of ships and planets. I've used similar things for Star Wars too. If I ever get to run a WW2 Supers game I have a pile of books to use for that, as I do for a Greek or Roman or Norse campaign too.


Adam Dickstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Dickstein said...

Thank you for playing Blacksteel. Johnny Olson informs me that you'll receive a number of parting gifts, including a years supply of Rice-O-Roni, the San Francisco Treat!

In all seriousness though, thanks for your answers. I love learning more about what others in the gaming community are interested in and what they are doing in their games.

Isn't it funny how often we use interiors? I mean, between dungeons, starship corridors, the halls of supervillain hideouts and castles, our PCs see almost as little daylight as the players themselves. Ooh. Too close to home. ;)