Wednesday, 18 January 2012

23 answers for Zak

More from Zak S.  Bunch of questions.  Answered below.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
A ritual combat in which the important thing was not to kill your opponents, but to push them out of the square.  That was great fun to create and run.
2. When was the last time you GMed?
Today, on the internetz.  Last face to face game was in November 2011.
3. When was the last time you played?
Today, on the internetz.  Last live session was on January 1 2012.
4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
Demon-infested mall opens for business. 

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
Make trousers, at the moment (online games).  Live games, I just plot tactics and remind them about anything they've forgotten.  "Yup, that's a lava pool."
6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Online games, I restrict myself to coffee and cigarettes.  Can't break any more keyboards.  Live games, we usually host and there is food.  Players tend to bring snacks for communal grazing.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
This is stupidly hard to answer.   None of my PCs do particularly spectacular things.   Possibly Akahale the dragonborn warlock intimidating a bad guy with his in depth knowledge of by-laws.
9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Not so much in online games where the immersion is better.  Virtually impossible to retain atmosphere in a face to face game, but sometimes the magic happens and it's wonderful.

10. What do you do with goblins?
I prefer kobolds.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
Mikelmerck - my fantasy version of Yorkshire that's being evolved here.  Very slowly.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
 An encounter requiring a party with zero Charisma or diplomatic skills to talk their way into a farmhouse without upsetting an old lady.  The results were both hilarious and pathetic as we frantically scraped through our skill lists thinking of ways to get in.

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
Mythic Russia.  It's a beautiful book and I'd like to run a game sometime.

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

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Oh yes.  I've scared them a few times.  I like swingy, dramatic battles and try quite hard to build encounters around that notion.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
Last time I GMed live.  It was a one shot delve for some level 15 PCs and came incredibly close to killing them all.  It really all came down to one round of the dice.  Not because of the near TPK, but because the battle itself was so cinematic and engaging.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
A room devoid of mobile or other phones with plenty of food around.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
Possibly Houses of the Blooded and 4e's Heroes of the Feywild.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Renaissance art history and the Civil Service Legal Department.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
People who are pro-active and bring interesting PCs who push plot along just by doing stuff I didn't think of.

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

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
 I'd love a book of maps ranging from cities to countries to all points between.   In my head, this book provides maps in many different styles and is stupidily heavy as it will be A3 size.  It may exist for all I know.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?
Not really.  A lot of conversations I have about drama could just as easily be about RPGs though.

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