Wednesday, 18 January 2012

GM Questionnaire

I hate filling in forms, but Zak Smith asked reasonably nicely so I will.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

Working the infamous South London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray seamlessly into Glorantha, and getting it published in Tradetalk.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

Last Sunday 17.00GMT-20.00GMT, players, Alex Willamson, Michael Moscrip and Stephen Goodman, trogging round Balazar.

3. When was the last time you played?

Saturday 17.00GMT-19.30GMT, AD&D Against the Giants G1

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.

Lady Isho, sorceress of the Dlamelish Temple and one time subject of the spiciest gossip in Jakalla, has died and the PCs are in the funeral procession/peripatetic orgy taking her to her final resting place.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?

Rattle dice, sharpen pencils, sip tea.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?


7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

No, but it does give me a mental buzz that makes it hard to sleep afterwards.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
Noggin Threeteeth utilised pickles bought in the Hill Cantons to detect quicksand on his way to sack the Shining Tower.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
No, they don't make it too unserious, though I might be guilty of laughing up some other GMs serious ideas.

10. What do you do with goblins?

Convert them to Reform Calvinism and teach them some rousing hymns.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?

Used a bit of the Dying Earth as inspiration for a D&D spell.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?

Plotting to turn a dungeon full of excess furniture into an out of town shopping 'experience' for the locals rather than carting all the bloody stuff away. I suspect some of it has found its way into that bawdy-house that has opened up near the Caves of Myriddin.

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?

The Mongoose Runequest Elves book, because I was looking for inspiration for further stuff to unload on the brave souls schlepping through the wilds of Balazar. Not much cop I'm afraid, but at least it only cost me a dollar for the pdf.

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

William Turner, the old British landscape master. Evokes place and atmosphere like no other painter; too much RPG art is figurative, needs more landscape and impressionism, IMO. Show me the place and I will imagine myself into it.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?

Not really, I'm not running those kind of horror games at the moment, but I managed to wig a few people out with an old CoC game I ran.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)

Having a party start a slave revolt in the old 'D' series AD&D dungeons, resulted in pitched battles all over the vast 'Underdark' map.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?

Upstairs in an old British country pub with proper beer on tap, an open fire to burn the dead PC character sheets and home cooked steak and ale pies to finish the session.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?

The Book of Ebon Bindings, the classic MAR Barker tome of horrible demons and horrible ways of summoning them, and the ultra-bucolic MERP Shire background book, which made those snivelling little oiks the hobbits actually look interesting.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?

Different things with different games, but for my current Gloranthan game on the serious side we have The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer, an examination of ancient religion and magical beliefs, is certainly in there, as is the Rustavi Choirs album 'An Oath at Khidistavi', a collection of indescribably ancient Georgian folk songs and chants, contrasted with the B-movie 'Million Years BC' and the BBC/HBO toga wearing soap 'Rome'.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?

Ones willing to roleplay, who try to act and react as ancient and medieval people would, not just Joe from Huddersfield doing what Joe would do if he met an Ogre outside Tesco while he happened to have a meat cleaver in his hand.

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

I have worked with real criminals, so whenever such types turn up in my games I can't but help play them as scrotes I have actually known.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?

The City of Jakalla worked up from MAR Barker's notes into a book with design elements from the Players Guide to Kaiin from the DERPG line, bits along the lines of Vornheim and yet other bits from the RQ2 treatment of Pavis and the Big Rubble.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

Don't really know anyone who is into RPGs who doesn't play.