Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My answers to the Porn Lord's questions...

Zak S., everyone's favorite game-blogger/game-writer/game-artist/erotic-performer has published the following questionnaire to GMs on his blog. 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?

A trap a long-dead that a human minister devised to imprison a "demon" (i.e a Colour Out Of Space) for a Call of Cthulhu game I ran once: a stone box with Elder Signs inscribed on each wall. The minister would sit in the box as bait and trip the box shut entrapping the being as energy being sucked him dry.


2. When was the last time you GMed?

Back in March of last year where I ran a Humanspace Empires game at GaryCon.

3. When was the last time you played?

Last Sunday. We played Star Frontiers.

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

For a The Day After Ragnarok campaign I had planned: "Follow our adventurers through the wastelands of Wisconsin as they journey to the rowdy, libertine, pirate city of Green Bay!"

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

Dream up new and better ways to torment them.

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

Chips, peanuts, pizza, burgers, subs, gyros, fried chicken, sushi, lasagna, prime rib, crown roast, turducken, antelope, bengal tiger, humpback whale, velociraptor, babies (as an atheist, I must keep up appearances)...

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

Right now, at this point in my failed and useless life, I find living physically exhausting. Seriously, right now my intellectual plate is rather full and I prefer to play than GM. It's less taxing on my tired, overtaxed, noggin.

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

A futuristic marine cadet is on his first cruise in a long-running science fiction campaign.

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

Depends on the setting. If we're playing the Standard Fantasy Tolkien-Inspired RPG Setting (TM) then no, we're not at all serious. It's been done so often that a little humor thrown in makes it more palatable. If the game is something new and different, then we start to treat the game seriously (unless the game is meant to be funny).

10. What do you do with goblins?

Serve them boiled with stuffed kobold.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
(chanting) "RAPE THAT PIG! RAPE THAT PIG RAPE THAT PIG!!!"

You had to be there to appreciate the proper context.

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


Pathfinder Core Rules to remind myself why I like OSR-style games.

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

I'd say my favorite is Bryan Gibson, who's done some amazing work (particularly mechanical designs) for Traveller over the years.

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

Not yet...

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

I introduced my friends to Deadlands: Reloaded by running a quick, page-scenario featuring a rogue Automaton trying to defend his former family from Darius Hellstromme's goons. Lots of gun slinging, dopey cowboy accents, and misadventures with dynamite.

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

A warm, clean, room with lighting that can be dimmed for scary games with a large table to accommodate maps and miniatures, comfy chairs, wi-fi, bookshelves with all the needed books, easy kitchen access, and about three or four nude Tsolyáni clan maidens to fan me or lounge seductively on plush cushions at my feet.

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

Dungeons & Dragons and Transhuman Space; the opposite ends of spectrum between high fantasy and hard science fiction.

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

M.A.R. Barker and Carl Sagan.

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

I like players who can actually get into their character rather than someone who just "runs" a character like a glorified wargaming ministure. Give us something to imagine! Give your character a funny voice and a personality. Make me laugh. Make me wince. Don't just sit there and blandly announce what your PC is doing. Give your character some life!

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

Using my education and background in journalism, I helped a GM by role-playing a reporter for an interlude in an online sci-fi game.

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

Two come to mind:
  • Tékumel: Savage Worlds Edition
  • Buck Rogers XXVc: Second Edition
23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

Not in very much depth. People either give me very odd look or smile condescendingly as if I were a mentally handicapped child when I mention that I game.

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