Friday, September 2, 2016

RPGaDay Challenge 2016 - Post Mortem

The RPGaDay Challenge for 2016 is over, and I actually  managed to complete it.

I'm as stunned as you are. Maybe more so.

I think the questions this year were better than those of the previous for the most part, but I also think there were some flops, and missed opportunities.

General Observations:

Some questions relate to being a player, some to being a Gamemaster, and some are unclear and open to interpretation. That's fine, and probably a good idea, but it often leaves me feeling like I am reaching when trying to answer the player oriented ones. I just don't play as much as I GM, and certainly haven't in the past.

I almost wish there were player question, GM questions, and a set of meta 'gamer' questions. I know that's not realistic, but it's how I feel.

Some questions feel like they could've been lumped together. They come off as a bit redundant. The ideal game room (#30), where would you game if you could game anyway (#29), and the most unusual situation or location you've gamed in (#27) seem like they could've been reworded and made into one question.

Likewise other questions could use specifics, and elaborations (or definitions). Question #15 is one much maligned by me. It asks for 'your best source of inspiration for RPGs'. All RPGs? One source for everything? I would prefer something like, 'What is your favorite source of inspiration for your favorite game', or something along those lines.

Good Vibrations:

It is my personal feeling that what is informative, and enjoyable about these types of questionnaire challenges is learning what your fellow GMs think about various elements of the hobby, and sometimes learning something about you yourself in the process.

For me, only Question #31 really did that. Some of the other came close, but that's the only one that made me look at my own way of doing things, compare it around to other responders, and then stop to think about it.

More of this kind of thing would be great. This is what the RPGaDay Challenge needs more of IMHO.

Great Expectations: 

What I'd like to see in the future are questions with a wider range of subjects, and an attempt to reach the reason behind the answer.

When we develop questions for the kids at the tutoring center where I work, we don't just ask, "Did you like this story?", or "Do you think Tammy was right to bring her dog to the vet right away?". We follow that up with, "Why, or why not?" 

Some questions I'd like to see asked, and the way I'd like them to be worded would be:

What is your favorite game to run, or play? Are they the same game? What makes it your favorite?

Have you ever created a game based on an IP that doesn't have an official game? What made you want to game in that IP? Why do you think it's never been officially licensed?

What do you feel is the most difficult genre to run? Why?

If you could be guaranteed a group that would be absolutely into the idea, what game would you run right now?

Questions like that are far more interesting to me than what kind of game room would you build, or whether you like hardcovers, softcovers, nuts, raisins, or plain oatmeal. 

Well, that's all there is about that.

See you next year!

Barking Alien


  1. Yeah, this year the questions just didn't do it for me - too many variations on "what's your favorite color?" type stuff. Having done the last two might have had an effect as well as I feel like I've already answered a lot of these questions before. Maybe putting a time limit on it, something like "what's something that made your whole table break up laughing in the past year" or "how many sessions have you run in the past year and is that too much, not enough, or just right?" or "How many different RPG's have you run or played so far in 2016?" all might put a more specific focus on the whole thing. These general "in your whole life" type questions are really only good for one go. Maybe throw in a throwback question or two - "what was your favorite game ten years ago." Yes, I know not everyone was playing ten or twenty years ago but I still think it's a better question than "what dead person would you like to have at your table".

    And I agree with you that 27, 29, and 30 are way too similar. 27 could lead to some interesting stories but too many of them were

    Maybe I'll write up a set myself, say for the end of the year.

    1. You, WQRobb, and I discussed the possibility of creating our own set of questions at one time. I think it might be a really fun exercise.

      While I am OK with looking at ones time in the hobby as a whole, it is the nature of the questions that I find a little lacking. They don't really tell me a lot about how my fellow gamers run, and play their games. That's what I want to know about.