The Death Star Job

"The man you are looking at is Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, governor of the Imperial Outland Regions and overseer of the Empire's ultimate weapon, a massive space station with firepower unlike anything previously known in the galaxy. Your mission is to obtain the plans for this 'Death Star' project from Tarkin's star destroyer, The Devastator, so our technicians may analyze it.

Dispose of this holoprojection in the manner dictated by standard operations protocols."

The bride's tears

The bride's tears stream down her face as she stumbles down the town's dusty main road. She fumbles with white lace of her dress, now splattered with blood. This day should have been a bright point during a recent string of misfortunes in Oakshadow, until that shot rang out.

RPG a Day 18: Favourite Game System

There are a handful of games with subsystems that I dig (say, Space: 1889's inventions), or handle certain situations in a novel way (teamwork in Fate), and some systems that I hold dear for altering how I viewed the necessity of game mechanics (Over The Edge), some systems are even considered with what would probably best be described as sentimentality (WEG's D6 from the original Star Wars RPG). But Daniel Bayn's Wushu stands out for giving me the mental permission to run and play the game I had previously only tried to.
Wushu RPG
Before that, in many cases I would find myself struggling against the game's own rules to make it behave the way I thought it should. This doesn't just mean "hacking" a game, since every game should be hacked by its players, this means actively getting hindered by the very rules that are supposed to help you create a story.

This is most obvious in handling things like difficulty modifiers and the other crunchy bits specific to a genre or setting, so the thing that ought to be nifty and engaging, the thing with the most details - often the highlight of the game - actually gets discouraged.

Wushu encourages the actual storytelling, giving mechanical weight to being descriptive, which I like to have at the core of my games.

Most games will have you tell what you do - rather, attempt to do - then have a die roll say whether it happens at all; occasionally this wastes a perfectly good description, or the mechanical outcome doesn't match what would have been the cooler result. Some will get around that by having you check for the mechanical outcome after a general and vague intent ("I take a swing at the guy"), the idea being that you'd describe the specifics to match a die roll. Though it *allows* for description, there's no game-driven reason for it - the goal is that much more within reach without needing to describe your groovy Kung Fu maneuver (or clever method of reading the mark's body language or whatever).

Of course, it doesn't hurt my preference for this system that I like swashbucklers, wuxia, and 1930s pulps, all of which value style over tactics, sheer potency, or (sometimes) realism.

(I seem to have missed a few entries in this "RPG a Day" thing, and I may come back later to fill in the gaps, but I won't give you any odds)

RPG a Day 7: Most "intellectual" game owned

Though I own a handful of high concept, experimental, literary, thought-provoking, social-commenting, and artsy games, as soon as I play them, they are games for a dumb guy.

RPG a Day 6: Favorite RPG never get to play

For a decade or so I would've said I never get to play any RPG, but in the last couple of years I've managed to get in on a handful of games - though Over The Edge is something I haven't played since around the time of its original printing.

Over The Edge

It unlocked what an RPG could be by giving me the mental permission to get away from "traditional" games; the stories and characters took precedence over things like tactics and mechanical balance. With setting elements referencing Robert A. Wilson, the Weekly World News, and William S. Burroughs, I could run games based on the terrible fiction I wrote in college.

Its influence can be seen in just about any "indie" game these days, as well as many sensible "mainstream" games - so even though I don't play the game itself, I'm still using it.

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