All manner of scifi/fantasy/nerdness: RPGs, comic books, Firefly, RPGs, Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, RPGs, Avengers, Doctor Who, And RPGs. And comic books. And RPGS. Not a "fandom" blog, unless D&D alignments count as a fandom.


Sometimes I think about what it will be like when I go to a retirement home or a nursing home, and I think to myself “Will I still be able to GM then?  Because I’m not really doing too much else with my days and it would be awesome to just have Mondays be Dungeons and Dragons, Tuesday is Shadowrun, Thursday is Savage Worlds: Solomon Kane, Friday is Star Wars RCR, and Saturday and Sunday we spend playing Munchkin and Settlers of Catan.

Anonymous asked
Biggest regret + biggest triumph in pen-and-paper/tabletop RPGs? As GM, as a player, or both.

Biggest Regret (as a player):
My current Earthdawn character was supposed to be a meathead / meatshield, simple straightforward “I hit things” kind of guy.  But somewhere along the way, I became as grumpy as the rest of the group.  I really wish I’d started the character more friendly and concerned about others, as that group’s dynamics gradually became more and more antagonistic towards each other.  I really wish I knew a way to go back and fix it, but anything I think of is just so out-of-character now and the other characters all think I’m just a stupid hit-first-and-ask-questions-later warrior.

Biggest Triumph (as a player):
So this is a little vicarious but, for about a year I played a hacker in a Shadowrun group.  The GM didn’t really know/understand the hacking side of Shadowrun very well, being more interested in the magic side.  He went to GenCon the next year and played in the Shadowrun Tournament where they assign people characters to compete in missions.  He got assigned a hacker and, while he wasn’t sure how to really play a hacker, he told me afterwards that he just spent the whole time asking himself what I would do.

He ended up winning first place in the tournament.  I take it as a personal victory.

Biggest Regret (as a GM):
I had a middle schooler who has been asking me for a long, long time about getting into RPGs.  He loves Dr. Who and comic books and doesn’t really feel like he fits in with his super-athletic older brother and the sports crowd.  He really wanted to play ever since I got the Doctor Who RPG, but I never had time to really dedicate to it.  One afternoon we planned to get together and he came over and wanted to play the Doctor Who RPG.

So I tried to run the included adventure for him, using a ruleset I didn’t know, with him being the only player.  It was really awful, and I’m worried that I might have made him hate RPGs because of how unprepared, clueless, and boring it was.

Biggest Triumph (as a GM):
I’m still pretty proud of myself for the 17-person Marvel Universe RPG game I ran for a while in college.  MURPG as a system sucked, but people still had fun even though there were waaaay too many players for that game.  And as long as people have fun, I’m going to count it as a win.



is the tabletop Shadowrun any good

because the setting is the best setting in the history of fiction 

Yes. Though the rules can look overwhelming (which is a problem people are trying to fix).

I’ve run and played it off and on for about the past 5 years.  I actually just ran a one-shot for some friends last weekend.  Two of the three had never played Shadowrun before and wanted to try it out.

My recommendation if all of you are new to it is to gradually work in all of the rules.  Pick either a tech-centric adventure OR a magic-centric adventure to start with.  The mechanics around the matrix and hacking and those sorts of things are completely separate from the mechanics around magic and astral space.  Ease yourself into it until you feel comfortable with one of those and then introduce the other.  That way, nobody gets too overwhelmed with the variety in the rulesets.

[EDIT because weilongfu raised a really good point:]  Shadowrun is NOT cyberpunk D&D.  Combat is built to be lethal in Shadowrun and players need to recognize that the game world really discourages folks from just going through every scenario guns-out-blazing.  You need to think through the missions, call you contacts, and make a plan that isn’t “Kill whatever gets in our way.”  Sure, you still need to be competent in combat, but the players should also know that, if they roll initiative, it’s because something has gone horribly wrong. 

Drek My Runners Say

Street Samurai: Okay, so we'll just kill her bodyguards and then grab her.

Hacker: I don't want to take her.

Street Samurai: Why not? That's the job!

Hacker: Because I want to see if she'll date me.


There are times I read the official boards, see where things have gone for Shadowrun, and just reply with a strained, “really?”

Blood magic infused nanite nuclear bombs.

Really. This is apparently a thing.

An important distinction when talking about RPGs…

More important than rules, plot, setting, alignment, or character concept, is the fact that everyone should have fun.

It is not more important that you have fun.

Anonymous asked
Lowest int pc you've ever played / ran for?

I’ve talked quite a bit before about my Shadowrun Troll named Tanq.  His intelligence modifier was somewhere between a cabbage and a rock.  He spoke only in phrases from the Warcraft 3 Orc Peons. 



"Something need doing?"

A complete and utter moron, but man could he take a hit.