In stark contrast to last year’s yesterday question, #RPGaDAY inquires about an RPG I prefer for open-ended campaign play. That post’s topic is “What Makes a Successful Campaign?” My answer: endings.

I’ve gotten to a point in my gaming where I realize there’s a story being told in the game — stories have endings. Protagonists in stories change, either themselves or their situation or their surroundings.

It’s why I like television shows with story arcs, where any season’s final episode can serve as an ending for the entire thing. Shows that are just cancelled leave me disappointed — we’re building to something and there’s no payoff.

A game where we just keep adventuring, just because? Why? Why the hell is my fighter out there fighting? Is that all there is? Is there nothing that would ever have him say, I’ve achieved a goal. I can rest. All of these games where you just play until we get bored and want to move onto another thing? Those aren’t for me.

Previously on RPGaDAY…

Last year, we talked about rituals at the game table, but I haven’t done much face to face gaming since then, so I don’t have much to add. The only gaming I’ve had since then have been one-shots at conventions or the like, and the only ritual of transition to game-space has been the GM handing out character sheets for us to fill out and an “Okay, let’s begin.”

In 2015, the topic was “Should I attend Gen Con?” This is a big question that I keep revisiting. In 2016, I talked about future convention plans. Earlier this month, I expanded on last year’s answer.

Recently, the podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff had a lightning round episode, where they took questions from their Patreon backers and other common folk, and I inquired if they would revisit this topic as well:

Two years ago I was debating if I should return to Gen Con as a freelancer looking for work in the gaming industry. I had been there before and it seemed rather difficult to connect with professionals in the gaming industry between the crowded exhibit halls and the after-hours events.

Right about that time, I listened to episode 153 of the podcast where Robin said, “The chances of being able to strike up the casual interaction on which so much networking in any field is based is going to be reduced because at night, when we have a chance to sit down and unwind, we’re going to be with our tightest homies and not seem to be… approachable.” And Ken replied with “I hate to say it, because Gen Con used to be great one-stop shopping for freelancers… I would find it amazing if a freelancer was able to get two words of quality time, edgewise, with a busy booth owner.”

Do you feel that situation has changed at all in the past few years? What other venues would you suggest for freelancers getting into the field to network with established professionals? And finally, how would you — an established industry person — prefer to be approached by a complete stranger that is trying to get involved in the gaming industry?

They didn’t use this question in their 250th episode where they answered a lot of questions, but the last time they did a show like this, I asked a question and they answered it in a later episode.[1]

In 2014, the topic was “Favorite Convention Purchase”. Still, my purchases at gaming conventions tend to be more on the board game side of things. But as RPGs go, I’ll still go with The Armitage Files, a campaign book I keep pulling out from time to time. I know it’s a bit odd to list that here right after I confess to the world how much I just don’t get Cthulhu, but that’s just how good this campaign is.

  1. That question: “Why Cthulhu? By that, I mean, why do gamers love Cthulhu games? Boardgames, RPGs — it seems as if you slap Cthulhu on the game, it just sells. What is the draw?” was answered in episode 153, three episodes after the big lightning round episode. []

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