#RPGaDAY2015: Part Six, the Savage Horde

Day Twenty One: Favourite RPG setting?

Well, clearly there’s Glorantha, but on the other hand there is also what’s known as the NEARSIDE from Broken Rooms (the RPG formerly known as THE NEARSIDE PROJECT). It’s published by Greymalkin Designs who are also responsible for the ‘high fantasy brought low’ game DESOLATION.

Broken Rooms is mostly written by Stephen Herron, and deals with thirteen alternate versions of Earth, where things are going very badly indeed.

There’s a world struck by an asteroid, a world where aliens have invaded, a world turning into an icebox. I could go on…

At this point I should probably mention I am responsible for some of the stuff in Broken Rooms – some worlds and bits and bobs – but I do genuinely think it’s an excellent background for exploring anything from high adventure to subtle introspection, all wrapped up in a deeper undercurrent of story about grief and meaning and what’s all this stuff about the number 13…

Day Twenty-two: Perfect game environment?

I like a table and comfortable chairs. It’s not essential but I think people get more into ‘game mode’ (if there is such a thing) when they’re sitting around a big table and have enough room for their character sheets, pencils and dice, beverages and snacks. Plus enough space in the centre of the table for maps or handouts. Bonus points if the table is away from the television, passing non-player traffic and any other distractions.

Gold star if there’s a giant chalkboard on which to write down important stuff about plot etc.

Day Twenty-three: Perfect game for you?

Anything. Okay, almost anything.

It’s the players (GM included) that make the game, not trivial stuff like background or setting or system. Clearly there are settings I prefer – superheroes (in disaffected vigilante format), spies (worn down, world weary, post-cold-war looking for a new foe style) – but, whatever is on offer I’ll usually give it a try. I’m not a huge fan of unrelenting grimness, but even that can be lightened by the right group.

Everyone gets together and tells an entertaining story for a few hours/days/years. That’s the perfect game.

Day Twenty-four: Favourite House Rule?

Avoid rolling dice as much as possible. For example if your character is a surgeon and you’re sticking on a band-aid, you don’t need to roll. If you’re a competent driver moving from A-to-B, no dice required unless you’re attacked by ninjas or something.

Also, if you pull the trigger on a game-prop toy gun, your character has pulled the trigger on their in-game weapon. Hi-jinks ensue.

Day Twenty-five: Favourite revolutionary game mechanic?

I’m not really a systems kind of player/GM. The best mechanics are the ones I notice least, I guess.

My own home-brew “Seeds of Time” game (not-Doctor Who but set in the same universe) involves character sheets that are just a concept (lost princess), an assortment of qualities (bright, resourceful, athletic, fearless), and some positives and negatives (+technical stuff, zero-g combat; -stubborn, alone). Everything else we just play by ear.

“Roll this and get a high number.”

That said, I liked the “box cars” thing from FENG SHUI, and the damage clock concept in Apocalypse World.

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