Catching up on #RPGaDAY and there’s a whole bunch of questions left. We’re on Day 24, and I’m going to hit a whole bunch of them here to zip through Day 28, because these aren’t interesting questions or questions that will produce my goal of 500 words per topic.
Consider this a lightning round, then.
24: Share a Pay What You Want publisher who should be charging more. Apart from that really wanting to end with “…charging a fixed price”, I really don’t like this prompt because it’s sort of asking “Which publisher undervalues their product and, in turn, helps to lower the expectations of what games should cost across the board?”
From my recollection, PWYW started relatively recently, with Evil Hat offering some items at that level, which made sense because those small things were loss leaders to get people interested in the larger line of product they carry. I’ve just picked up Dresden Files Accelerated1, which has a product number of 0032, which means that they’ve got nearly three dozen game things (accessories start with a 9 instead of a 0). With a large line to draw people to, it’s okay to give out free items. Where other publishers get it wrong is they have a small number of product (or just the one product) and publish it as PWYW because they see Big Indie publisher doing that and it works for them, but Evil Hat works on a level that a company with just three pdf products doesn’t. And then you start to see something that you spent hundreds of hours getting ready being downloaded 153 times, making four dollars from three paying customers.
I wish all of the small, one-person shops, would actually sell your works for their value and turn to PWYW or free pricing for loss leaders to create more customers for your business. Otherwise, your products are simply hobby items, undervalued and flooding the same market that professional products try to compete in.
Dang. I nearly went 500 words there.
25: What is the best way to thank your GM? The person running the game is also a player at the table. Just how she should be telling the people with protagonist characters, “Thanks, I had fun with you guys,” the other players should thank her, too. Depending on the game, she might be putting in a lot of prep time to help facilitate fun. Let her know you appreciate it. Tell her what you liked about the game. Give her inspiration for where you think the story is going and how to maximize her fun as well.
26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources? What? Which actual physical product provides the most resources? That would be any game that comes with a lot of examples — and I’m not talking about a multi-page long transcript of a game session bit. I’m talking Apocalypse World style where it goes in and gives not just examples of a miss, a soft (7-9) success, and hard (10+) success, but also includes an example of “a mistake & correction”.
27: What are your essential tools for good gaming? Apart from people to play the game with? Hell, I can run a session of Shadowrun using twigs and berries, if I must.
28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group? This was a thing when I was a teenager and a bit of a thing when I was in college, the first time. Now? Unless it’s a game based off of an existing IP, nothing.
Previously on #RPGaDAY…
Last year, the questions were “What makes for a good character?”, “What hobbies go well with RPGs?”, “Most unusual circumstance or location in which you’ve gamed.”, and “Thing you’d be most surprised a friend had not seen or read?” The prompts for 2016 were awful, but here we go: a good player, what the hell question is this?, we thwarted a real-life terrorist attack while playing a game about spies this one time, and what the hell does that have to do with RPGs? Seriously, 2016 was the worst.
In 2015, the topics were “Favorite House Rule”, which I still think is adding Fan Mail to any game we play; “A Revolutionary Game Mechanic”, where I wrote about how player narrative control over the GM’s story first happened in Twilight: 2000, of all places; “Favorite Inspiration”, which is pretty much like asking authors where they get their ideas from; and “Favorite Idea for Merging Two Games into One”, which is suspiciously like Day 30’s prompt for this year.
In 2014, the topics were “Coolest Looking RPG”, which is kind of like yesterday’s writing, but we get to include the artwork, so I’m going with Tales from the Loop; “Favorite Game Nobody Wants To Play”, where I still have a hard time getting anything PbtA to the table; “Coolest Character Sheet”, which is something I’ll have to revisit as there have been some really nice sheets out lately; “A Game You’d Like to See Updated”, which is kind of like the earlier “dead game” question, but the answer here is Blue Planet. Hint: It’s always going to be Blue Planet.