Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#RPGaDay: Day 19, 20, 21

Aright; one more trio and then I'm caught up to today...

19: Which RPG features the best writing?

Star Wars.

Signed by Bill Slavicsek, Sam
Stewart, Sterling Hershey,
and Pablo Hidalgo
Okay, before you all start rolling your eyes, I'm going to clarify that statement; West End Game's original D6 based Star Wars RPG. It had a lot going for it. First of all, as I learned again while watching the "30 Years of Star Wars RPGs" panel at GenCon this year, a lot of what the WEG Star Wars game did was fill in a lot of gaps in the movies from an information standpoint. Until the RPG came along, there were no twi'leks, rodians, or ithorians. No one knew Sienar Fleet Systems made the TIEs, or Koensayr the Y-Wings, or INCOM the X-Wings and Snowspeeders. The name "Kuat Drive Yards" meant nothing, and didn't immediately bring to mind giant 2 kilometer long, triangle shaped warships. The RPG team and the developers on it created terms and ideas that are now used in Star Wars writing today. The gaming books that were written were designed from the standpoint of "we're the only ones making anything Star Wars right now, let's make it good." Sourcebooks such as Cracken's Rebel Field Guide and the Imperial Sourcebook are resource goldmines for every game and camapign that came after it. Out of the WEG Star Wars line came original work by folks like Pablo Hidalgo, Timothy Zahn, and Michael Stackpole.

Suffice to say that the Star Wars we know today would not have been possible without the work of Bill Slavicsek and his writing team at West End Games. One of the highlights of my week at GenCon was listening in on his panel and hearing the stories about the early days of Star Wars gaming. Shaking his hand afterwards and giving him an enthusiastic "thank you!" was a bonus.

20: What is the best source for out of print RPGs.

If you don't mind them being PDF copies, I have to direct folks to DriveThru-RPG. They've got quite a few games that have given up the ghost and faded into almost-obscurity. I'm sorely tempted to pick up a pdf copy of Mekton Zeta and Mekton Zeta Plus, just to have them on my tablet.

Which reminds me that I should really get a new micro-usb for my tablet. My 32GB one is starting to reach capacity...

21: Which RPG does the most with the least words?

I'm going to have to go with Lasers and Feelings. You can't get better than a one-page RPG that basically does it all for playing a "Not Quite Star Trek" game.

Speaking from a traditional published-work perspective, I'll probably look to Savage Worlds and FATE Accelerated. These two books are tight, digest-sized RPGs that can handle just about any genre or game as-is. Sure, there are expansion books that flesh out a lot of the details and give players expanded rules, but you really don't need them if you want to play a steampunk game, or a sci-fi game, or a fantasy game. All the rules you need are in those books, and the rest you can build off of them.

And with that, we're caught up to today. Tune in later this afternoon, when I answer the Day 22 question "Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run"!

No comments:

Post a Comment