(a broadside)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In order to get back into the spirit of things, I thought I'd fill out a questionnaire from the wonderful old school blog Playing D&D with Porn Stars.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

Probably a group of villainous NPCs called The Resurrection Men. They are largely responsible for the name of this blog, surprise surprise. 

They're a sect of a dozen necromantic miscreants who, but for the leader, know each other only by a number. They're organized as separate two-person teams, each with a different job within the organization. The basic idea is that they use their necromantic abilities in the name of rampant amoral capitalism.

 A favorite scheme is to kidnap a beautiful person, kill and animate this person, pimp the corpse out for the pleasure of secretive clients with exotic tastes, and then send in another team that pledges to locate the missing person, who is then taken out of rotation, resurrected, and returned to kith and kin seemingly unharmed.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

There was a brief Deadlands campaign in the summer of 2011 that followed the exploits of a traveling Dog and Pony (and monsterhunting) Show throughout Kansas. I moved to a different area, however, and play was suspended.

3. When was the last time you played?

Last night, 1-20-11. It was a wonderfully silly Slipstream game wherein my character, a weird robot thing made out of botched medical goo, garbage, and a Lite-Brite for a face, lead a small town of marooned folk in defense against the onslaught of awful half men, half locomotive people.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.

A prison escape behind enemy lines and through leagues of hostile territory in a war torn countryside.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?

Cross my fingers in front of my face like a boardroom supervillain.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?

Chips, pizza, chicken wings, whatever.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

In a good way, yes.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?

A half-orc paladin of Kord refraining from dousing the flames from his person while fighting off a pack of enemies because he thought it was crazy awesome enough to make Kord proud.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?

Serious games tend to go off on benders of silliness with some regularity, but I can't recall having a comedic setting turn ghastly.

10. What do you do with goblins?

 I prefer not to use them as fodder, but as sneaky little bastards full of sadistic tendencies and low cunning. Surprise big bads, monsters under the bed.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?

Renaissance Florence. I'm working on a sort of quasi historical Shadowrun for kicks..

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?

From a culturally inappropriate player in that last Deadlands game came a bit about the group's Indian Strongman. The strongman's character had yet to give him a name, so the other gentleman in question, in character, told the joke of how Indians received their names. In short, "When Red Deer Running was born, at the moment of his birth, the first thing his mother saw was a beautiful deer running off into the forest... and so Running Deer was named. It is the custom of our tribe to name the offspring according to the spirits in nature visiting upon the birth." "Why do you ask, Two Dogs Fucking?" 
So the character was henceforth known as Two Dogs Fucking. Which is awful, and was awfully funny. Writing that out, I now feel kinda shitty about that..

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?

The Iron Kingdoms monster books. Love that setting, love the bizarre critters of that setting.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?

Someone who does the art for death metal albums.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?

Nah. At least I don't think so. No one has ever said as much.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)

I have never had that work out all that well without some heavy overhaul on my part.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?

A basement dungeon with a 4 x 8 table with a dry erase top, nearby library of books, and a nearby mini-fridge. Also kitschy posters and trinkets.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?

I don't know. I'm not really looking for any at the moment.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?

Historical accuracy and left field wackiness.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?

One who is serious when it is warranted, funny where required, and at most times enthusiastic.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?

I accidentally recreated a sniper scenario. So there's that.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?

A fantastic representation of the Earth in its entirety, down to the last detail. I'm pretty sure that Alexis at the Tao of D&D is working on addressing that, however.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

My wife. She's tried, but the feeling of not being as knowledgeable or as into it as others at the table, as well as social awkwardness and an absolute antipathetic relationship with dice have hindered that.
Goddamn, but it's been a while.

Despite best intentions and at least two New Year's resolutions, I've been puttering around for the last couple of years. I keep telling myself that I should be putting more words out into the universe, but I have this dreadful nihilistic belief that nothing that I say matters or is meaningful.

I should get over that.

I've repeatedly promised myself that I should endeavor to write about a thousand words a day if for no other reason than to keep my skills sharp. Sharp may be overselling me a bit. Maybe something along the lines of "slightly pointy" or "less dull than a pecan shell."  Besides, when was the last time I wrote an essay for something that wasn't school related?

How would you know? Why am I asking you?

Yes, there is certainly no small chance that I'm talking into the wind, but so what? I get a handy dandy little online journal in which I at least pretend to write to an audience. Couldn't hurt.