Thursday, January 19, 2012

Answering Zak’s questionnaire


1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
A Drama Point system for Legend of the Five Rings that let my players decide which encounters they wanted to roleplay and which ones they preferred to “pass over” with a few die rolls (or none if they paid higher), besides allowing them to bid on how their character should face their demise (and if they wanted to pass Drama Points to their next character, thus motivating a “generations’ game”). Drama Points were rewarded usually by solving plots and roleplaying (with input from the players themselves).

2. When was the last time you GMed?
Last Saturday (January 14).

3. When was the last time you played?
Last November, but I really prefer to run games instead of playing them.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
Strange and mysterious horned white-skinned gaijin were seen at the Rokugan’s north coast.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
I plan things to shake them up.

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

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
I believe the response above also answer this one.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
Due to a temporary insanity my scoundrel in Warhammer Fantasy decided to trust in the hungry giant instead of the party’s spellcaster.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Take my settings too much serious in my opinion. They’re supposed to have fun and liberty of action, not to be actors or uphold cannon.

10. What do you do with goblins?
I try to be a cowardly and sadistic bastard while using them, but limited by the IQ of a retard ape.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
A scientific article suggesting that the T-Rex was actually a carrion-eater. I used this to turn the T-Rex in my campaign in a gargantuan hyena. The players loved it.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
The party’s knight slaying his liege “by accident” in a duel. After a few seconds of silence and shock, the entire group fell laughing (except the knight’s player).

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
Isle of the Unknown. I was reading it for flavor and ideas for bizarre encounters.

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

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Sometimes. Once I had the honor of listening to one of my players describing a real nightmare he had with Tharizdun, during our Greyhawk campaign.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
Hmm… definitely John Wick’s Digging for a Dead God. It was the most bizarre mix of fear and laughs that I ever saw. One of our best nights of gaming.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
A big table with good chairs; snacks and drinks close by; a notebook for book checking and soundtrack. All of that in a house somewhere quiet, cold, high and beautiful.

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

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Anime and Historical stuff. I used both, in different degrees, sometimes in the same campaign.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
Mature players, which can separate their characters from themselves, their fellow players and the game itself. I don’t have patience anymore for spoiled kids and narcissists.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?
My Japanese classes (for Oriental settings and strange cultures) and my sense of claustrophobia (for creepy underground scenes).

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
A game dedicated to Clark Ashton Smith’s fantasy fictions (and another to Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen).

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?
I had one or two friends once in such situations, but our conversations eventually (and unfortunately) stopped. Currently, my wife.