RPG a Day 2015: 4th, 5th and 6th

Here is a continuation of my participation in #RPGaDAY2015 .

4th: Most surprising game

uHxB65HI’m going to interpret this as most surprising game session. The closest that I can think of was a recent D&D 5e game (my ongoing Age of Heroes campaign) which took place in the Immortal Zoo of Ping Feng (set in Vornheim). A few key moments that really shocked me (in a great way):

  • The secret mastermind of the dungeon is an innocent-looking nightingale. The party encountered it in the very first room of the zoo. Their first reaction? One guy said “I throw my javelin at it”. He rolled a 20. The core puzzle of the dungeon was ruined (it worked out in the end, though).
  • I peppered the dungeon with weird fountains that gave a random magical enchantment to whoever drank from it first. These effects were randomly determined from a table featured in Kabuki Kaiser’s the Mad Monks of Kwontoom. I expected the odd character to try one or two of them… But one character in particular tried to drink from all of them. His Persian warrior changed race (became a dark skinned Nubian), got darkvision (w/ red eyes), white hair, became fearless and halved his Intelligence score. Stunning…
  • The party fought a giant octopus. A few sessions earlier, they had somehow dehydrated a tentacled ooze monster but kept it’s walnut-sized shrivelled corpse. A character tossed this thing into the octopus’ pool in the hopes that re-hydrating it would summon another monster to battle it. The player jokingly said that it would be funny if the two monsters exchanged a tentacled high five instead. I said that there was a 50% chance that this would be the case. The resulting scene was hilariously awesome, eventually leading to the ooze monster over absorbing water and exploding.

One of the most memorable and surprising games ever, for sure!

5th: Most recent RPG purchase

Night Witches CoverThe last game that I bought was Night Witches, a Powered by Apocalypse game by Jason Morningstar. The setting and theme are inspired by the real Night Witches, a Russian all-female pilot squadron during World War 2.

It is a fantastic book with beautiful layout, artwork and writing. It’s well crafted and suited to an intense night of gaming. Still trying to find time to run this!

It’s super inspiring and has influenced my design for Koru: Island World, especially how I handle the core stats, Bonds between characters and Harm rules. It’s a work of art and I recommend it to everyone.

6th: Most recent RPG played

The easy and boring answer would be Dungeons and Dragons, 5th edition. But I’m the Game Master, not a player, per se, so I’ll think back a little harder about what was the last game that I ever played (as a character).

The answer would be the new World of Darkness. It was a street-level mortal campaign in which we were all regular folks without any supernatural origins. My goal was to play Corbin, a dapper university student and occultist.

Unfortunately my participation was short due to very bad disagreements with the Storyteller. I argued with him vehemently about the tone and structure of that campaign and especially over his railroading and style of storytelling. I still maintain that he is absolutely awful as a Game Master and should stick with playing characters. He’s the infamous Storyteller who flat-out told us “look guys, you HAVE to go into the evil sewer or else there’s no story”.

It was a terrible experience (not the first) and cemented my desire to never play again.