Wednesday, August 31, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 29-31


The last three posts for RPGaDay 2022 are about RPGaDay. How...I don't even know really. The questions this year were so lackluster that this seems both disappointing and fitting. 

Let's see...

#29. I can't really think of anyone in particular. I would love more of my gaming friends to take part but honestly I don't think they all think about games in the way I do, as much as I do, and they don't all have a regular means of posting their thoughts on it if they were so inclined. 

That said, there are definitely some that can and should participate next time but would they? Maybe if the question were more engaging. 

Which brings me to...

#30. Outsource. The. Questions. Announce several months in advance that you will be collecting ideas for questions from those who would like to participate. Get those that take part in the RPGaDay event to generate the questions this next time.

Questions for RPG gamers by RPG gamers. 

#31. I first started in 2014. I've been doing it 8 years.

And...that's it. 

See you later tonight for the bonus round.

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 28


OK first, I don't randomly tag people. I don't do it and don't usually like when it's done to me. Tip for future RPGaDay events, nix this. 

Second, who the heck has a D8 lying around? D&D players that's who. The rest of us would kindly you appreciate you choosing a die EVERYONE probably has, like a D6. 

So I've rolled 1d6+1 and got a 5, plus one makes 6. That's the number of favorite RPG cover art images I will post. See there, now everybody's happy. 

I am a visual person; far more easily and intensely inspired and excited by images than words. When the two meet and merge to compliment each other I am over the moon but it is rare and I am picky. It is my [likely unpopular] opinion that most RPGs across the board still have pretty weak artwork to this day. I am especially irked by Superhero and Anime based games that don't look like professional Comic Books or Anime. Don't make a game about an artform if you can't emulate that artform.

Some games have a 'house style' such as D&D and Pathfinder that might be very popular and technically well done but they just don't do it for me. It would be too easy to just post covers from IP based games since you know the art there will be good and I am biased by the fact that I like said franchise so it may not be fair to favor the art.

This brings us to...

Paranoia - Second Edition

Art by (Not sure - James Holloway? Doesn't look like Holloway)

Neighborhood Ghost Story Peekaboo aka Peekaboo Horror
First and Second Editions

  Art by Nagomi Ochiai

Skyviators of The Cloud Seas aka The Ocean of Clouds Skyviators

Artist Unknown

Traveller - Japanese Boxed Edition

Art by Naoyuki Katoh

Villains and Vigilantes - Second Edition

Art by Jeff Dee

Wares Blade - First Edition Boxed Set

Artist Unknown

Yes, a lot of these are Japanese produced TRPGs for the Japanese gaming market.

As noted in the beginning of the post, I left out games based on Intellectual Properties for this list. If I were to include them, a few would trump the ones shown here. Specifically:

OK, almost done. This year has been...well...kinda meh. I think maybe meh is being kind. Not bad but really boring. Not much to make you think or share your ideas. What's your favorite cover art? This one. How long do you game for? A few hours. Might as well have made them yes or no questions. 

Oh well, been kind of a crappy month for me overall so looking forward to it ending on all counts. 

Later days,

Barking Alien

Sunday, August 28, 2022

You Seem To Have Caught Me Midjourney

This is a tough post to write because what I will say is hard to for me to admit.

It is something that's been coming for a while now but I've been resisting saying it 'out loud' [in a manner of speaking] and still refuse to except it. Maybe I believe that putting it in writing will help or even make it go away.

As much as I love gaming...I am not loving gaming. 

Here I am celebrating 45 years in the hobby and it is a chore, an uphill drudge through oncoming winds carrying a heavy stone to have something, anything to write about. That is because my blog is an RPG blog primarily and I am just not enjoying gaming like I once did. 

There are many different reasons and factors contributing to this but the worst of it is I really hate not being excited about it. I want, more than anything, to love running and playing RPGs again. It's kind of who I am, part of my identity for better or worse. I'm not especially skilled or talented at many things and this is the one thing I think I am actually great at and I'm not having a ton of fun doing it. 

Don't get me wrong, I am having some fun. I am not hating it by any stretch but...the magic is missing. My motivation has waned. There are days when it feels arduous to bring myself to want to run or play. 

At the same time I am feeling as creative as ever. More so! Have you encountered Midjourney? It is an AI based Image Generator that can create some truly gorgeous pictures by entering in a series of prompt words. I have become pretty obsessed with it. What do I use it for? Creating RPG images and getting inspired by those images to create adventures. Then...not wanting to run or play overly much. 

What gives? 

Yeah, I can produce incredible campaign art in seconds and so I have. Dozens of planets. A multitude of Alien Species, intelligent and animal life alike. Even some Fantasy stuff for some odd reason. Why though? Why am I doing this if I'm not excited to use for anything? 

Simply put, my head is always filled with ideas. It's wonderful and terrible and it's been this way my whole life. I need to create whether I am excited to do so or not. If I don't I feel like my head will pop like a balloon or I'll be crushed under the weight of unrealized concepts.

Anxiety is a b**** i'nit?

Anyway, I've rambled enough. I hope the spark comes back and soon. I miss loving my favorite thing. 

Barking Alien

So where's all the art I've been making? Well, I will reveal it slowly, once I can connect it with some game material I am actually motivated to post along with it. The image of my Hogwarts RPG campaign character Frank Pellgrove (previous post) was made with Midjourney. 

Hopefully soon. 

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 22-27

These being separate entries seems...umm...kinda weak. A bit of a cop out if you don't mind me saying. You could have had one of the post days ask say something like, 'Tell us about your current character', and had five more interesting questions for us in the days that followed.

Also, what if you are in more than one campaign and have multiple current characters? Heck, I've been in games of Star Trek and Champions where I played more than one character in a single campaign. That's pretty much the default for Ars Magica. I know I could just pick one but it's just... 

Also also, what if you're a 'Forever GM' type of Gamemaster? You're lucky you caught me at a good time as through much of my 45 years in the hobby I was only a GM, rarely playing in any games regularly enough to have a character worth mentioning. 

Anyway, I don't really feel like going through each of these individually so here goes nothing all in one fell swoop...

I currently play two characters, though both games have taken a short break due GM and player commitments and end of Summer travel. 

The first is Francis 'Frank' Pellgrove, my 5th Year Ravenclaw student in my friend Alex's homebrewed Hogwarts/Wizard World campaign. He isn't currently in much of a situation, having just completely an adventure arc wherein spirit-like magical entities tried to possess most of the students and facility of the school for complicated reasons. 

I've been playing Frank - or Frankie as my friend Dan's character Gretchen calls him - for nearly 6 years now. He's been all over, from Hogsmeade to a Tropical Island full of Pirates hidden inside of Tea Cup. 

Frank is a good soul, a salt of the Earth, simple but honest lad from a small, rural farm in Northumbria. He loves animals, be they magical or mundane, is interested in plants, loves food of all kinds (often eating things his friends would shy away from) and never passes up a chance to get dirty. He is a very physical Wizard and therein is what makes him unique and special. He rarely casts spells, keeping his wand tucked away in his back pocket or in his belt. 

You see, for Frank, no 'Expelliarmus' is as disarming as tackling your opponent to the ground or punching them in the stomach. For all their powers, you'd be surprised how unprepared Wizards are for someone throwing a hard right hook. Now don't get him wrong, Frank isn't a violent fellow. No sir or madam or anyone else if it please you. However, if you threaten to cause harm to his friends, his family, his school, or any beastie, expect to expecto-ed right in the patronum. 

What has changed about Frank over the course of the campaign is so big I am not sure how to explain it here. A lot of it can be summed up in an exchange between Frank and his friend (and fellow PC, played by my buddy Leo), Aremis Bonaventure. Frankie pointed out that the OWLS and NEWTS tests were not something he was really ever concerned about.

Sure, he'll want to do well when he takes them but to Frank they don't matter. Frank will go home and be a shepherd and farmer, inheriting the family farm, small and low-end though it may be. If he passed his tests he'll be a Farmer, if he fails them he'll be a farmer. I cast Hakuna Matata. 

Aremis suggested he - Frank - didn't have to be a farmer. He could be anything he wanted to be. This absolutely blew Frank's mind. It has never even occurred to him. When Aremis starting suggesting occupations, including working with creatures (Frank never uses the word Monster) in the field and even a sort of Magical Oceanographer (long story - short version: Frank has developed an interest in boats and Sea Creatures in particular), Frank almost fainted. After that conversation, Frank saw life a little differently; it was not only full of beauty and wonder but strange and unpredictable possibilities. His world got a lot bigger in an instant. 

My other current character is Panopus 'Blinky' Dodomek, a Boosodian Mercenary and former Bodyguard to high ranking Hutts in a mid-level cartel. Laid back, gentle giant type fellow with a little 'Goodfellas' thrown in. I'll be honest, I like him but I don't 'know him' yet. He's my character in a Forged in the Dark campaign using Scum and Villainy, as well as a fan produced Star Wars skin called 'Hutt Space'. 

It's OK so far. I like it enough but the system kind of gets in the way of just playing the character and the story sometimes. I am far too aware of the gaminess of it. It's still a work in progress though so we'll see how it goes. 

That's it. Something else coming later today. See you then. 

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 21

Here's a big secret from my World of Aerth / Winghorn Guard campaign world unknown to most player and their PCs even to this day. Others have had to risk life and limb to find this bit of lore and here I am giving it to you all for free. 

You're welcome.

Why Dragons Have Hoards...

Uncommon Dragon Hoards
Art and Concept by Lauren 'Iguanamouth'

"Greetings and Salutations friends, as well as all seekers of knowledge Arcane and obscure who are not yet friends. Perhaps you are mere acquaintances. Perhaps you wandered in off the street. Hmm, now where was I? Oh yes, I am the one and only Ipperius Argenti-Hydrangea WitSpear, proprietor of Witspear's Wondrous Wizardry Emporium and consultant to none other than The Winghorn Guard on matters of myth, legend, folktale, and truth, for on Aerth these things are all one and the same. 

Today I shall reveal the history of Dragons and why they are such avid collectors of...well...that depends on the Dragon. You see it all began at the beginning, as most things do. The first fact you must understand is that every people on Aerth have their own creation myth and all of them are so very, very wrong. Yes, sadly it's all nonsense I'm afraid. 

The multiverse was created by The Great Alicorn, or Winged Unicorn if you prefer, in the Oldest of Times. Creating an infinite array of Universes is difficult work as you might expect, so The Great Alicorn created helpers to assist in the construction. These helpers were The Dragons. 

Each Dragon used the vast knowledge, power, and skill it had been given to form the Stars, the Planets, and all the non-People bobs and bops that form the Cosmos. Red Dragons used their fiery breath to carve canyons, Silver Dragons combined Ice and their ability to Stop Time to form glaciers, the iridescent Pearl Dragon breathed life into the environment, and the Poison Gas of the Green Dragon prevented said life from growing out of control. 

One assumes this all took a ridiculous amount of time but as the Winged Unicorn had not started Time ticking yet in the same way we know it now, it was completed right on schedule. It was quite exhausting however, tiring in a way that only making Universes can be. Before the Dragons went down to a long deserved slumber, The Great Alicorn held a celebration to thank his creations for their efforts. During the festivities, Tiamat - the multi-headed foreperson of the Chromatic Dragons - asked, "So what becomes of all of creation now as we go to sleep?"

"It will be run by my newest creation, Gods", said the Winged Unicorn, "Deities, beings of great power very different in form from yourselves. They will explore what you have made, run it for a time, and eventually make creations of their own to live in it I would imagine."

The Metallic Dragons all nodded. What a splendid idea. What a grand experiment!

The Chromatic Dragons were not so pleased with this news. "We did all the work and the enjoyment and rule of it goes to someone else? Not even to you but new beings who did nothing to help forge it? That seems unfair and more than a bit foolish." All eyes turned first to Tiamat as she finished uttering these words, then to The Great Alicorn to see his reaction. 

He gave a warm smile and handed her a drink. "An interesting assessment. I shall think on it." And so he did...

The thoughts of Multiversal Creator Entities do not form quickly. The Dragons, even Tiamat, grew tired of waiting for the Winged Unicorn to change its mind and drifted off to slumber. They made their beds in the places they'd built that they favored. Caves were very popular, as were deep forest groves, and under the dunes of deserts. So tired were they that they slept for a thousand years and more. 

Sort of. You see, Tiamat and the Chromatics didn't go to sleep right away*. They rallied and argued, planned and schemed, and made a foul pact with one another that when they woke up they'd take the worlds they'd made for themselves. They were owed! It was their handiwork after all! 

When they did eventually wake they found the Universes were very different places. They were full of People. Yes indeed, the races of Humans, Dwarves, Wilders, and Elves - and even stranger sorts - had taken residence in the Dragons' domains. The people were using THEIR wood, rock, and metal! They were living in their forests, deserts, and snowy mountains! No! No this would not do. 

Today...if you wonder why the Dragon hoards stolen gold be aware; to her it is HER gold. She made it. It's hers. The Green Dragon by the river has taken back her wood in the pile of ornate furniture she sits on. That artwork gathered by the Blue Dragon of the Eastern Sea was created with paints made from minerals and plants he helped construct!

Dragons aren't stealing and hoarding...they are taking back what's theirs."

Barking Alien

*Incidentally, this is also why Dragons sleep so much and why their lairs sometimes seem to small for them to fit in. First, they are still tired from building the world. Second, when they went to bed in that cave it looked very different from how it is thousands of years later. 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 20

Per session? Per campaign? Oh RPGaDay, you imprecisely worded list of specific questions, don't ever change. Ya'know what do, 'cause that would be really helpful. 

These days, my sessions are all online and last about 4 hours or so, 5 if we push it. This is practical and sensible, since we often start in the evening and some of us have to get up early the next morning for work (myself included). 

In my heyday and even up to few years back (pre-Pandemic), sessions averaged between 6 and 8 hours, with some going even longer. Obviously as folks get older and have families, commitments, and the inability to stay focused for long periods of time, shorter sessions are inevitable. 

As for campaigns...

This is no set length for a campaign and length and quality are no indication of each other. Our Hogwarts and Star Trek campaigns (run by my friend Alex and I respectively) are each well into their 6th year, while my Sunday group tends to run a game for around a dozen or two dozen sessions before changing to something else. We will sometimes - though rarely - revisit a previous game, which is something I hope and intend to do with our Champions and Red Dwarf games. 

Right now...well I won't go into it here. Be on the look out for a post that goes into my feelings on my games and campaigns at present in more detail tomorrow. For now, I think I've sufficiently answered the question. 

Later days,

Barking Alien


RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 19


Hmm. That is a good question. Finally. 

My favorite game that has actually stayed with me - we'll get back to this in a bit - has to be the Star Wars RPG by West End Games, commonly referred to as Star Wars D6. 

There are a lot of reasons this game has stuck with me, with the prevailing one being it is just really good.; it is a exceptionally well put together game with consistently good supplements and decent auxiliary products that works just as well today as it did in the 80s. 

The system is the closest I've seen to hitting that perfect sweet spot between rules lite and detail, fluff and crunch, with only Free League's ALIEN RPG giving it a run for its money. Not only is it mechanically sound, it is mechanically comfortable for me to the point where I can run it without the rulebook for the most part. Not long ago, after a long time of not playing it, I executed the rules for taking multiple actions incorrectly but after a quite check things were back on track. Not that I know and remember how that rule functions, well, I once again don't need the book.

It is also very much Star Wars and not just Star Wars, but a particular flavor of Star Wars that I really love. It's 'Original Recipe' so to speak. The game feels like the Original Trilogy because that's what it was made to emulate and all we really had to go on back then. 

Star Wars, The Role Playing Game just punches in all the right coordinates for the perfect jump to lightspeed. If you have tried it, give it a go. 

May The Force Be With You,

Barking Alien

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 18


Again with places to play? I guess this is really important to...people? I'm going to go with people.

I don't really think about this to be honest. I want to play wherever we can relax, be ourselves, talk in funny voices, roll dice, and shout out in excitement. So...anywhere I guess. OK, I guess most people don't like to cry in public but I haven't had a play that could be brought to real tears in a long time so again, it does matter to me enough to have a 'favorite place'. 

I guess...I really don't know. 


Barking Alien

Sunday, August 21, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 17


Is this really a question for me? I guess if you're new here...

I am all about the Future. 

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 16


Wow...contemplating this question has made me sad. Why'd you do that RPGaDay? Why you wanna go and make me sad.

The perfect game, in a very literal sense, is impossible. It is made even more so by several factors:

  • Some of the greatest players I've ever known are no longer with us.
  • Others simply don't have the time to commit to a regular gaming schedule of any kind. 
  • A lot of the gamers I know now just don't play in my preferred style.
  • I feel I am more 'at odds' with rule systems these days. It's harder to find one I like.

When my longest running D&D campaign - the first Aerth / Winghorn Guard game - ended, I voiced my concern that I would never again have a game that good. Essentially I feared that at 16-17 years old I was done. I'd run the best campaign I was ever going to run. 

My good friend Richard Krinsky (shout out to Rich!) said, "You will never run your BEST campaign if you keep running games, because you learn from each one and improve the next." Pretty wise words for life in general but I find myself thinking about this a lot lately. Was he wrong? Few games I've GMed over the past five years or so come close to rivaling my best work. 

That's not universally true. There are some I am quite proud of and I feel could stand on the same stage as some of my more epic games of yore; Yellow Sun, our Red Dwarf setting campaign was nearly perfect. My Original Series Era Star Trek Adventures campaign 'Star Trek: Prosperity' has been a lot of fun with some very memorable moments. The latter is also my longest ongoing campaign to date, clocking in at over 6 years of real time. 

The 'Perfect Game' though...

It would be Science Fiction, preferably along the lines of Star Trek or The Orville.
It would feature a sizable group, say 7-9 players.
It would be played either twice a month or weekly but I'd settle for once a month.
Sessions would be at least 6 hours.
It would be a combination 'Adventure of the Week' and reoccurring subplots or story arcs.
It would be Character driven, Plot Focused, and have a good deal of World Building. 

So there you have it, the perfect game. What would it actually be? No idea. It's hard to think on it further knowing it is very unlikely to become reality anytime soon. 

Barking Alien

Saturday, August 20, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 15


I am going to assume this is open to things like fictional characters, celebrities, and the dead; otherwise why would this question even exist?

I generally and vastly prefer to be the GM, so this isn't a question that brings great excitement or interest in me. That said, I'm going to say Seth MacFarlane. 

Given what I've seen from The Orville (my current favorite Science Fiction anything) I think a Science Fiction campaign run by him would be right up my alley. I have no idea if he plays RPGs or ever has but if he was into it and gamemastered I'd really like to give a MacFarlane run game a go.

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 14

First, I do like getting tagged or tagging others. 

Second, suggesting a new RPG isn't special for me. Well, it can be but that act of doing so isn't particularly special. I do it all the time.

Barking Alien

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 13


Why would you change the way you started RPGing?

Has no one else EVER seen ANY time travel or alternate history media?

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 12

I noticed a lot of people answered this question with all sorts of celebrations of what RPGs are, what they allow you to do, and the joy they have brought and continue to bring to their lives.

That's why you continue playing. It doesn't answer why you started.

As much as I love them now, I started because the idea sounded neat. That's about it. When described, it struck me as a cool thing. I liked reading, writing, and telling stories about fantastic places and heroic characters and this came across as a game that let you do that with others. As I said...neat. 

Honestly I sort of started for the same reason George Herbert Mallory climbed Mount Everest. "Because it was there."

Sorry there's no deeper meaning or personal epiphany. I was 8.

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 11

That is a tough one.

Outside of games based on Intellectual Properties and popular franchises, I usually shy away from 'game settings'. I tend to find the settings RPG companies come up with less interesting than coming up with my own. There are some great ones, don't get me wrong, but they're never as going to be as good as a campaign world I can specifically customize to the interests and preferences of myself and my players.

I suppose that if pressed to choose one and leaving out IP related settings, I'd have to go with classic Traveller. It has space travel, alien species, advanced technology, and all the Science Fiction-y things that I love so much. I also like it's blending of the classic SF literature that I appreciated so much in Junior High and High School - Isaac Asimov,, Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and many other favorites.

Honestly, including pop culture franchise worlds would be difficult these days as the ones I previously adored have gotten pretty mudded over the past 5-10 years. Too bad there isn't an official The Orville TRPG. If there was, I'd go with that. 

Barking Alien


Sunday, August 14, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 10

I ran my first game in the Summer of 1978, a a little more than two months shy of a year after playing for the very first time. 

A friend had the Basic Dungeons and Dragons game and since I was the only one among the potential players with any past RPG experience, I was voted GM by default. You can read a reference to this here

I definitely prefer to run over playing as a PC and have since way back then. While I do enjoy playing more now, Gamemastering is still my first and foremost love. 

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 9

The second RPG I bought was the third one I owned. 

This might require some explaining...

Though I'm pretty sure this is another story I've told before, perhaps more than once even, I received my first RPG as a gift from my aunt. It was Basic Dungeons and Dragons, published in 1979. I have already been playing the game for two years and running for one when I received it. I'd used boxed set and books owned by friends up to that point. 

Between receiving this life changing present and 1982, I was given other gifts by other relatives, mostly my grandparents, that would result in my obtaining various Advanced D&D books, Modules, and Dragon Magazine.

I played other games but they were always owned by friends of mine. That was until I started working at a local Comic Book Shop and earning money doing chores for family and neighbors. One day in 1982 a bunch of friends and I took what money we had and went on an epic quest from Brooklyn to Manhattan to find the fabled geek mecca, 'The Forbidden Planet'. A Science Fiction/Fantasy store that sold novels, comic books, toys, models, and anything and everything nerdy, it was also carried Role Playing Games. It was there I found Villains and Vigilantes. 

I instantly fell in love with it as I was a huge Superhero Comic Book fan but sadly I didn't have enough money to get it. I was a little short, so I pulled my friend Martin over and read him the back of the boxed set in an imitation of Ted Knight as the announcer/narrator on the Superfriends cartoon. After he finished laughing he agreed to split the cost and we each paid half. This was the first RPG I bought. 

Barking Alien

Saturday, August 13, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 8

Day 3 was 'When were you first introduced to RPGs'. As it happens, when I linked to my previous telling of that tale, I also end up telling you who introduced me to RPGs because...that's how stories work. If I tell you about the day I first played an RPG, I will probably be mentioning who was there and involved. If someone was a player, someone was the Gamemaster. 


I was introduced to RPGs by my friend Thomas Zizzo. I was 8 years old and Tom was 7. He learned to play from his older brother.

We were friends for a relatively short time. I was a year older and went to Junior High School before him and as it turned out, a different one then he attended if memory serves. 

Thanks Tom. I will never forget you and what you did for me. Hope you're out there somewhere, happy and doing well. 

Barking Alien

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 7

I've played a lot of systems and seen a lot of parts...hmm...let me start again.

It's hard to choose any one part of any one system since I run and play a lot of different games, each having some element or other that makes that particular RPG work well for what it specifically does. 

I love the Stress/Panic Dice and its result from Free League's ALIEN RPG and have found it works really well for other settings where people are prone to freaking out and making bad situations worse (Red Dwarf and Ghostbusters for example). 

I really love the base mechanic of Star Trek Adventures, where the more successes you roll the more information you can get or the more damage you can cause. Excess successes beyond what was needed to accomplish a task can be exchanged for additional or improved effects. This is a great concept and potentially very cinematic. 

Two Japanese TRPGs I played years ago had awesome systems that I sadly can't recall in enough detail to duplicate them today: Mobile Racer Championship had a cool 'Shot Clock' mechanic for racing while Burning Spirit had a Martial Arts system similar to the Magic System in Ars Magica. 

Thing is, I could go on and on, listing favorite parts from favorite systems extending my entire 45 years in the hobby. Bare in mind that for me, while its nice to have nifty parts of fun systems, rules in general are not my favorite part of the RPG experience.  I think this will suffice for now as I have other, more interesting subjects to discuss. 

Barking Alien

Monday, August 8, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 6


The way I would get more people playing RPGs is to consider whom among the people I know do I think would enjoy them. I would then offer to introduce that person to gaming. The choice of who I address RPGs to wouldn't be and hasn't been based on age, race, religion, gender, politics, or any other such particulars. My only consideration would be and has always been that I think they would have a good time and make a good gamer.

Barking Alien


Saturday, August 6, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 5


I'm going with the idea that 'this game' refers to the Day 2 question, 'What is a good introductory game?'.

Based on my recommendation in that post of choosing a first game based on the interests of the potential player it seems self-explanatory. 

Why will the Star Wars fan really like the Star Wars game? Why will the Lord of the Rings fanatic enjoy The One Ring RPG? Really? 

Barking Alien

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 4


Someplace with a table and...well that's not even necessary really...I don't understand the question. Rather, I don't understand why it is a question. Why does it matter? 

I am sure people have preferences and I suppose if I really consider it for a moment I do too but beggars can't be choosers. Growing up we gamed where we could game. I've run and played in New York City subway cars, on school buses on the way to Day Camp, in my apartment, in other peoples' homes, in class rooms, outdoors; you game wherever you find yourself when it is time to game. 

Where isn't very important to me. What and with whom are the key bits.

Barking Alien

Thursday, August 4, 2022

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 3


This month, indeed this entire year, is dedicated to the fact that I am celebrating 45 years of being part of the Tabletop Role Playing Game hobby, having first played Basic Dungeons & Dragons at the age of eight on August 25th, 1977.

I've told this story before so I won't go over it again here. Instead check out my Secret Origins:

Barking Alien

So far this year's question based prompts are fairly easy, though not super engaging as of yet. I've looked ahead though and there are some good ones on the horizon. 

RPGaDay Challenge 2022 - Day 2

Any game that you can confidently run and easily explain to a new player, that they find interesting and want to try, makes for a great introductory RPG.

My personal recommendations is to start off with something the new player enjoys. Are they into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Introduce them to the hobby with a rules-medium Supers game. Do they like Science Fiction? Perhaps they should begin with classic Traveller or Star Trek Adventures. The idea is to get the ball rolling with a title or genre that will appeal to them so part of the hurdle of learning RPGs, the investment of emotion and mental energy, is already taken care of.

It is much easier to teach someone something they want to learn. 

I don't recommend starting with Dungeons and Dragons these days because it gives the impression its the only game in town. Those interesting in RPGs are going to hear about or already know D&D so start them off with something else so they get better exposure from the get go. 

As noted briefly above, I recommend rules-lite to rules-medium game for the initial introduction. Start simple, let the person getting into gaming process all the components and then gradually add complexity. This is how nearly every hobby works. It also doesn't scare or intimidate a newcomer with have to go through three textbooks and material just to play a game. Let them enjoy themselves first and if they do they'll likely want to dig into the deeper stuff later. 

Barking Alien