Girl Underground meets the TARDIS?

There’s a game in development called Girl Underground, which focuses on a central Girl (in the vein of Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, Mirrormask, Spirited Away, etc) having an adventure in a weird secret world, with her companions. Only The Girl has stats. No one plays the girl. Everyone plays wondrous companions. You roll with The […]

The Hollow, by way of World of Dungeon: Turbo

I’m running a game for my kids, inspired by The Hollow series on Netflix, and for said game I’m basically using a loosey-goosey version of World of Dungeons: Turbo. However, the setup for the game doesn’t closely match the original World of Dungeons: Turbo premise, so I’ve already spent a fair amount of time scribbling […]

Masks Prep: Brainstorming + Random Situation Tables

MOST IMPORTANT BIT – Problems, difficulties, goals, and victims should all have a FACE (or faces): people that the heroes interact with – (Masks moves are about interacting with people – if a situation doesn’t provide that, character will struggle to engage.) PICK A LOCATION – Pick a location one or more of the team […]

How to Train Your Dragon with Risus hacks

I’ve been playing an RPG with my kids set in the Archipelago of How to Train Your Dragon. As a prelude to writing about the play itself, here are the rules I’m using. Dragons: Wanderers of the Archipelago A Risus variation for How to Train Your Dragon Adventures (Based mostly on Risus Guard, a Mouse […]

Masks, Game Advice – On Playbooks

While listening to various sessions, I realized I had some advice for both Masks players and GMs when you’re getting ready to start a new campaign and pick out playbooks. You can subscribe to the Masks podcast series with your preferred podcast app right here. http://randomaverage.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-01-14-Masks-Game-Advice-On-Playbooks.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | […]

Masks Menagerie Tropes

A couple weeks ago, I joked that I should try to identify the main tropes that show up in our current Masks game. Unfortunately, some part of my brain didn’t know I was joking. So. Adaptive Armor – Jason’s Nanobots Alternate Company Equivalent – The HHL as this world’s Justice League (hopefully the JL and […]

The Real Dark Side of Star Wars: Spoilers

[This is a repost of a post I wrote about two years, which has inexplicably disappeared from the site.] I need to talk about something pretty shitty, but it requires a little background information, first. Many of you probably already know this background info, but some of you don’t, so I’m filling it in for …

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RPGaDay 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in the next year?

Right now, Masks. Probably two different games, ultimately, given I'll be running it for the kids as well as the online game. (It's getting easier and easier to pull this off as they get a bit older.) I'm sure a touch of No Thank You, Evil, maybe with Kaylee running the game. I'll be playing […]

RPGaDay 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?

Mash-ups don't get me very far these days. See, I play with my kids a lot, and they don't know the baseline genres well enough to appreciate mash-ups of those genres. Which is to say, they just don't get the joke, yet. At the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to dive into this a […]

RPGaDay 28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Aliens, but… I mean, it could be a hundred different shows. This was, however, more true back when I was playing face to face. These days, a lot of the 'quote banter' that used to suffuse our table talk has been replaced with posting relevant […]

RPGaDay 27: What are your essential ingredients for good gaming?

Flippant answers aside for once. Attention. Respect. Engagement. And a small group people with whom you could easily see sharing a 3 to 4 hour car trip, enjoyably. Everything else is a bonus. —– Now if I was going to go back to the original question and talk about essential TOOLS, I'd talk about Roll20 […]

RPGaDay 25: What is the best way to thank your GM?

Players creating stuff or in similar ways demonstrating their interest and enthusiasm for the game. I love that stuff. It just makes my day. Also feedback, good or bad. But in either case, just engaging above and beyond "shows up on time every week," you know? I've been blessed by this level of engagement both […]

RPGaDay 22: Which RPGs are the easiest most enjoyable for you to run?

Switched up the question a bit, so I could answer "Probably PBTA stuff. Probably." For me it's a VERY GOOD mix of the kind of game approach that favors the GMing style I developed primarily with Amber DRPG, but built on a system and mechanics that regularly inject unexpected elements into the game, which was […]

RPGaDay 18: Which RPG have you played the most in your life?

Dungeons and Dragons, easily. I've been flailing at it since I was ten. Full-steam ahead all through high school. Several games in college, though it was rarely the 'main' game. A four and half year game that bridged 3rd edition into 3.5, plus a pile of Living Campaign play at that same time, all of […]

Masks, Session 1, Not Exactly Actual Play

For our first real session of Masks, I decided to start off the game[^1] with a super-awkward morning-news-show-style interview with most of the team and the interviewer, Tasha Starr. It was deliciously horrible. When Iconoclast finally blasted in the streetside window and shouted "this interview is over!" the Bull's immediate reaction – over a live […]

RPGaDay 15: Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

I don't really like adapting games much. I'm not a system designer by either preference or practice – I like running and playing, and I really enjoy when the rules as written just… work. There's a joy in that. I have, in the past, done a success-counting hack of Risus that I liked, an Approach-less […]

RPGaDay 11: Which 'dead game' would you like to see reborn?

Haven, the Free City by Gamelords, Ltd. It was an urban setting for a DnD clone where everyone basically played different flavors of thieves. Since you were thieves, the game focused on personal interactions, intrigue, and political and social plotting in a way that was decades ahead of its time. Tragically, the team behind Gamelords […]

RPGaDay 9: What is a good RPG to play for about 10 sessions?

I'd say most PBTA games (and in a lot of cases most games that share that design-space in the industry). You need more than a couple sessions to really get them going, but characters tend to resolve arcs after about ten sessions and lapse into a bit of thumb twiddling after that until they get […]

RPGaDay 8: What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?

That may not be useful to a lot of other people as a recommendation, but No Thank You, Evil! and Hero Kids are both designed with shorter scenarios and challenges in mind, due to their target audience. I don't think I've ever run NTYE! for more than an hour at a time. Outside specific games, […]

RPGaDay 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?

Who needs therapy if you've got "impactful" RPGs, right? Impactful is such a weird word. I've had lots of memorable sessions. Impactful seems like "something that changed you outside the game" and I'm not convinced that's why I play RPGs, so… Man, I dunno. Okay, here's one, maybe. Dogs in the Vineyard. Our second serious […]

RPGaDay 6: You can game every day for a week. Describe what you'd do!

* Monday: Pirate 101 with Sean and Kaylee. (Alternately, family game of Masks.)* Tuesday: Normal Tuesday Roll20 group, playing whatever we're currently playing.* Wednesday: Overwatch with Kate and Kaylee. (Alternately, family game of Masks.)* Thursday: Dungeon Crawl Classics, GMed by Tim.* Friday: Playing DnD 5e Adventurer's League, via Roll20/Discord.* Saturday: Luxurious full-length afternoon of DnD […]

RPGaDay 5: Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?

This one's a bit easy for me: Tales from the Loop. It's entirely possible this answer is chicken-egg cheating, since Tales from the Loop started life as an art book before it was an RPG, but regardless, the cover's a perfect match for what the game's about. As an added bonus, it's a solid game […]

RPGaDay 2017: What RPG have you played most since August 2016?

One of the nice things about recording all our online game sessions is it makes it pretty easy to simply look this kind of thing up. (I knew the answer, though I was curious about the specific numbers.) The 'winner' in this case is a apocalypse engine hack I built for our Star Wars game […]

RPGaDay 2 – What is an RPG you would like to see published?

+Matt Wilson??'s Galactic. Looking back, it wasn't the dice mechanic that grabbed our group, it was the wonderful idea of everyone playing a ship's captain, and then ALSO having crew members on the other player's ships (using micro character sheets that were essentially specialized help/hinder dice for that Captain, sort of like Risus shieldmates). That, […]

RPGaDay, Day 1 – What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now?

I'm actually going to be running Dungeon World in about 90 minutes, and I'm absolutely excited about that, as we may or may not be wrapping up our trek to the peak and under-peak of Deathfrost Mountain [^1]. With that said, any other day this week I'd probably answer Masks, as I had time to […]

The Art(ist) of the Game

I’m very lucky to have +Michael Williams in my regular Tuesday night (hangouts-based) gaming group. (we’re currently playing Dungeon World and Lady Blackbird, after wrapping up a 30-session pbta-hacked Star Wars campaign.) I’m lucky to have him because he’s a great player. I didn’t even KNOW he could draw until he started turning out these […]