Saturday, January 21, 2012

23 GM Questions a la Zak


From D&DwPS:

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
Hmmm... you know, I cop most of my ideas from the comics I read. I think my favorite was those Cage Skeletons I posted at the start of this blog, but I was flipping through a 3.5 or Pathfinder bestiary (I don't remember which) and I saw that somebody already did them, it's called "Animated Object" I think.

2. When was the last time you GMed?
Two weekends back.

3. When was the last time you played?
Last weekend on Saturday.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
Adventurers from across the universe(s) team up to fight the legendary heroes of old in a cross-dimensional tournament held in an ancient valhalla-esque heroes' hall, where the winners go on to fight an ancient fifth-element style evil planet of devourment.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
Mostly flip through my notes, or stare at them in silence to make them feel awkward and hasten their decision-making.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Usually whatever my players bring over.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
I find it about as taxing as band practise, so yes.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
Playing Star Wars last weekend, my wookiee Aargh! strapped on the bounty hunter's jetpack, swooped in between ten armed guards, grabbed our bounty and flew away. Aargh! made it back alive, barely, when the villain detonated a spore grenade in a failed escape attempt but we cashed in on that guy in the end.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Well, 3/4 of my players take my somewhat serious setting and make it unserious. One of them takes my somewhat serious setting and takes it much more seriously than I do.

10. What do you do with goblins?
For my Pathfinder game I use Zak's different-coloured goblins (green, red, black and white) from an old D&DwPS post, and I added two more (yellow and blue) so I can roll a d6 whenever goblin encounters are called for. For the Arthurian game I'm working on, I'll do something different but I don't know what yet.

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

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
Trigger McGillicuddy, the drunken wizard, asking me if the Lizardmen are "partying".

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
Labyrinth Lord, wherein I attempted to get my head around the treasure tables.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
I'm not really a connoisseur of such things like some folks I read, but probably Edward Burne-Jones and John William Waterhouse.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Not yet, try as I might.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
Ruins of Undermountain in middle school. Shit was crazy back then!

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
A room with a giant stereo system playing the soundtrack to the first Conan movie at all times. Also roman-style couches and perhaps a mini fridge.

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

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Fairy tales, and old Hellblazer comics.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
One that will take the game & setting on its own terms, whatever those may be.

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

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
Man, there is already a product for everything I can imagine, and many that have been imagined for me.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?
Nope, I keep it deep under my hat when I'm talking to normal people. I do have an excellent sounding board though - my old buddy 4th replaced me as DM back home, he's my gaming Oprah.

Follow up question, in her own words: why does your girlfriend/wife not play?
"I honestly have no idea what D&D is all about. Do you guys dress up and give silly voices to your characters or something?." Hmm, likely her very busy "real life" thing is a big factor.

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