Thursday, January 19, 2012
Zak posted this GM questionnaire. Here are my answers.
1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
Depends I guess. The magic system in Ghosts of Albion is my pride. The revised horror/fear and insanity system for True 20 that might never see the light of day (NDAs) was also really nice.
2. When was the last time you GMed?
Last weekend, Sunday Jan 15. D&D 3.x
3. When was the last time you played?
Wow. Been maybe 6 months. Pathfinder.
4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
Ghosts of Albion: Visit to Castle Dracula
5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
If it is truly "free time" I prep for the next adventure/encounter.
6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Maybe chips, trying to cut back on snacks at the game table.
7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
No. Sometimes mentally, but I GM little kids.
8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
My son figured out a way to immobilize a bunch of monsters and keep them from attacking the party without killing them. He played a great Lawful Good Paladin.
9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Sometimes. I allow jokes to lighten the mood as needed.
10. What do you do with goblins?
Goblins are one of my my most useful races.
11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
Hammer Glamour. I have the best NPCs.
12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
It happened to me. We were playtesting some new auto-combat software and the black dragon kept attacking my assassin. The trouble was the software didn't recognize the fact that my assassin was already dead and at -40 hp. It knew how to deal with 0 to -10, but beyond that, not so much. The dragon kept attacking my poor dead character over and over.
13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
4e Book of Vile Darkness. I looked at for a game, but opted not to use it. I guess purely non-research was the Dresden Files game.
14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
Wow. No idea to be honest. I am kind of art blind really. I can name dozens of designers and scores of authors, but maybe 2-3 artists. Sorry.
15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Yes. I can scare anybody and never resort to any blood and gore.
16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
Running the Gygax classics with my boys.
17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
In my game room. It is very-nearly perfect, I just need a fridge for sodas.
18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
D&D4 and Spellcraft & Swordplay. I enjoy them both and their common points make them seem even more different.
19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Led Zeppelin albums, Hammer movies, Shakespeare, "Man and his Symbols" by C.J. Jung, comics and Clark Ashton Smith.
20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
Enthusiastic. I can deal will all sorts of play-styles, but i want people to really want to be there.
21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?
The entire campaign of The Dragon and the Phoenix was inspired by real-life events. The birth of my children revitalized my desire to play older games.
22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
Hmmm. Not really, everytime I think there is something that needs to be written I find it online somewhere.
23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?
My wife tends to humor me. People at work think I mean computer games. People I went high school and college with I think scratch their heads.
Addendum: Why doesn't my wife play? She has tried on many occasions in the nearly 2 decades we have been married. It's just not her thing. She goes to Gen Con with us every year and she has fun, but RPGs just don't click with her, much like card games don't click with me.