Not sure I said this last time but I think I am missing the point somewhat by doing #RPGaDAY in bi-weekly chunks. Having said that I will freely confess that the point for me was to get rolemasterblog mentioned on the twitter feed for #RPGaDAY. Anything that raises Rolemaster’s awareness has to be a good thing.
So to the questions…
22nd Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?
This seems like it is going to be which ever RPG the GM is most familiar with. Given the writers and audience here any answer that is not RM would be a little weird. On the other hand Rolemaster is not a ‘thing’ it is many things or even a whole library of things. Anything that requires me to dive into book after book to try and find the right ruling for this or that situation is not really my thing. I think that drives my style of GM prep where I insert the rules for each situation/hazard into the game notes and my desire for an ever more minimalist ruleset. I want to reach the Lagrange point between a full RM experience and no rules. I was once told that the car brand JEEP was an old army acronym for Just Enough Essential Parts. That is what I am looking for in a game and the ones that I find the easiest to run, for me at least.
23rd What RPG has the most jaw dropping layout?
I have the advantage of seeing other people answers to this question and there are some brilliant page layouts around now. By contrast Rolemaster, every edition from the originals to the newest core rulebooks for RMC are boring! The most attractive book in the RM stable I have seen is the Shadow World Players Guide. I don’t know if all of Terry’s Shadow World books look the same but I suspect they do not. Somehow I think RM’s design is stuck in the 80s.
I personally hate the FATE rules. They are just not my idea of fun but look at this page. There is no art, which is often sighted as one of the real barriers to having great looking books. Art is a real expense I admit. We have discussed that many times and at length.
First and foremost the most striking this is that they have rejected the ‘norm’ of the two column layout that just about every RPG rule book I have ever seen has used. The box outs are striking and add both to the clarity of the rules and the visual impact of the page. The useful navigation in the margins is an excellent addition making it easy to find related sections.
I am certainly going to adopt many if not all of these features into my future publications. I have always been a bit of a revisionist. I create things that are probably a bit crap but then I go back and improve and improve. I am no designer but I can recognise good design when I see it and I am not above borrowing other peoples great ideas and using them to improve my own work.
So on the basis that FATE has made me change the way I am going to create everything else I think FATE has to get my nomination.
24th Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more.
My answer to this is Nemo Works. I think the effort they put into their products is superb. I simply cannot draw so anything that allows me to create layouts and floor plans is an absolute god send to me. Their core product is just $8 but they have a number of PWYW addons that you can use to expend the core product into many different genres.
Pay What You Want serves a couple of different purposes. For many of the bigger games such as FATE and Shadowrun it is a loss leader. They are prepared to give away some products to get you hooked. For smaller and independent publishers they are not really in it for the money and may not even know how much to charge. I put out my house rules using PWYW so I could say I was not charging for a RM product. I see any payments as donations and entirely voluntary. I typically get between $1 and $2 per download and that is fine. I wanted to share the rules not make my fortune. If I wanted to make money I would be selling to the D&D audience not Rolemaster.
25th What is the best way to think your GM?
I think leave your lawyers hat by the door on the way in. I am certainly not perfect and I do not remember every rule, word perfect every time. We all make mistakes and we are all human. Most of the time I am super prepared and as I said above I actually include the pertinent rules in my game notes. The most likely cause of needing an on the spot decision or adjudication is going to be a player trying to bend the situation, spell or skill in a way which was not how it was intended. I don’t have a problem with this. This is the beauty of table top RPGs and what a computer RPG can never match. You can do anything you can imagine in that situation to survive or succeed. Sometimes that is going to stretch the rules. I like to think of myself when GMing as being on the players side. We are all their to have fun, the game was created to help them have fun. What I don’t like is when the game breaks down because a rules lawyer decides to argue with the GM. I don’t care if I am a player having to stop playing while the argument takes place or if I am the GM having someone disrupt my game and the other players. So the best way to thank the GM is enjoy the game and don’t go out of your way to break it!