#RPGaDay 2017: Day 22

#RPGaDay for 2017 starts its fourth week with a question which bridges the gap between our preferences and the characteristics of the games we play. The question asks, which RPGs are the easiest for you to run?

I have thought about this a lot over the years, and I think if we take familiarity out of the mix as a primary factor, then a pattern is revealed. What I mean by that is the easiest games for me to run are D100 games as I have run them so often, in so many styles, for so many people, that I feel like they are just a part of who I am as a GM. What makes them so? A significant part is all the practice and familiarity. A second significant part is their inherent logic and transparency.

Removing the years of play and remembering what it was like to encounter the games for the first time, my answer might be different.

Dice pool games in the lineage of Storyteller, Shadowrun, Unisystem, and Ubiquity wherein you do not roll and total, but roll for number of successes – typically versus a static difficulty number tend to be as easy for me to take in and use as D100 games, and I tend to be able to pick up the quirks of the mechanics faster as there tends to be more consistency in how the system elements are applied than within the vast selection of D100 titles over the decades it has been in use. The mechanics can sometimes be more predictable.

Outside of mechanics, games which focus on characters and use characters as a window into the setting are easier for me to want to use, and easier to get into actual play. History has shown us a pattern that hints about what gets played and what sits on the shelf, and this is a part of that pattern.

As far as setting is concerned directly, games which equip you to start scenarios which can be considered as primary examples of play in that setting are much easier for me to run than ones which offer a survey of the setting. As technology and society in the game world become more complex, this becomes more and more important to me. I can improvise, invent, and take inspiration from a clear starting point and be satisfied. With a published game I am trying to use, I do need that clear starting point.

Question 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

As a note on this question, jaw-dropping simply refers to the extent to which you like it, not that it has to be over-the-top awesome as a display piece.

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