#RPGaDay 2017: Day 2

Question 2: What is an RPG that you would like to see published?

Where yesterday we looked at readily available games that are ‘already out there’, today is a day for speculation and the sharing of dreams. Is there an Intellectual Property that is begging to be given new life and possibilities in RPG form? Is there a game-changing genre mash-up just waiting to be released? Is there a mechanic, simple or complicated, which you would love to see ‘out there among them’? Today is the day to talk about it for #RPGaDay.

My response doesn’t involve a specific IP, but is inspired by many properties which include psychic powers or technologically-enhanced humans. An example of the sort of setting I mean would be Adiamante by LE Modesitt Jr. It is also inspired by properties where the protagonists and their foes are at a hyper-level of competence, such as special operatives and con artists. Examples of this could be Leverage, James Bond, or even Burn Notice.

Games like this already exist, and I love them, but there are parts of them which can get slow and have an impact on how a session must be run. Being able to portray and relate the sort of information available to the characters often requires shifting in an out of character and having conversations in concrete game system terms about what has happened or will happen. I still have fun doing that, but to do so, I surrender the chance to play these games in the mode of play that I find the most enjoyable – one in which we communicate in the first person narrative voice, and need to shift between IC and OoC stances as little as possible.

Games like the third edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay have begun to include tools, such as status cards, sliders, and tokens, which can relate a lot of the information that psychic and highly-trained and hyper-competent operatives would be able to glean as a matter of course. Careful design of such physical indicators  to be used by all the players, would allow players to drop a lot of the back and forth about what they can and cannot discern and predict about behavior and replace it with a simple glance around the table to see what conditions are displayed. The requirement to step out of character to ask questions in game terms, can be reduced and in some cases removed.

I think that would be fantastic. Play would be faster. Roleplay could be more nuanced and layered. GMs could explore challenging investigative story types with more confidence, and once the group gets familiar with playing this way, who knows what developments would follow?

Question Three shifts away from specific games and asks us to share where we get our news about new RPGs, or our go-to places for RPG-related information. Are you anticipating a new release? Are you unsure if a game is for you? Where do you go to get reliable and timely information?

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