Another question that has a couple of ways to address it. Do you mean personally — what we want to play, what i hope happens in a game? From the industry — what I want to purchase, or trends in the RPG scene?

In the personal realm, I am looking forward to seeing how the D&D game plays out. This is my first shot at doing fantasy in decades, and I’ve been trying to amp up the horror and existential dread end of things. I never liked how finding monsters and stealing their treasure was just a sort of work-a-day thing for adventurers in games; this should be stuff that is frightening and awe-inspiring.

I’m hoping to convince the new players to branch out from 5th ed. and try some other stuff. We’ll see how it goes.

From the industry? I’d like to see a move toward smaller, more tightly written books, with better (not flashier) layout and design. I’d like to see a bit less politicking and more keeping things fun. I want to see the Fate version of the Greek myth game that Evil Hat’s got on the back burner, and I want the d6 Star Wars republish (Thank you, Fantasy Flight!)

I hate to say it, but I think most of them have been done. Greek myth meets sci-fi? Hellas. Cyberpunk and fantasy? Shadowrun. Mythos meets pulp meets sci-fi? Atomic Robo.

It’s a tie. The folks at Evil Hat did a multi-book Kickstarter that included the Atomic Robo RPG. It was well-run, successful, got the books out on time, and kept the backers informed every step of the way. Similarly, the Transhuman Kickstarter by Posthuman Studios for the Eclipse Phase game was excellent on communication, delivered slightly ahead of time, and had been continuing to pump out their stretch goals on time.

I would also throw in a big shout out for Dr. Dante Lauretta and the people at Xtronaut Games for their superb Kickstarters for Xtronaut and the soon-to-ship Constellations board games. Lauretta is a project manager, I believe with the OSIRIS-Rex mission, and both campaigns were absolute exemplars of how to do Kickstarter. The games are also superb and I highly recommend them.

Specifically, they asked which films/series were the biggest source, but I think that’s a bit limiting. This is a curious question more for what it says about geek culture, rather than gaming itself…every game, I’m sure, has had it’s “Game Over, man! Game Over!” or “Let’s nuke it from orbit…” moment.

I’d bet good money it’s the most used quote regardless of group.

Outside of Aliens, which has an excellent selection, there’s the ever-ready “Get to the choppah!” or any other Arnold-ism. I rather like quips from South Park or Archer. More interesting, I think, is that there is a quote”shorthand” or “macro” to explain a situation or character’s reaction to the same for many gamers and geek in general. Even in real life, I address the nostalgia that people spout off about the “good ol’ days” with the Winter Soldier quote, “The food’s better; we used to boiil everything. No polio is nice.” when people idealize the past.

Gamers, if anything, are so immersed in popular culture, whether its movies, music, TV, or books, because we use games to mix and match ideas and characters, and try to find a version that is ours. We like seeing permutations on our favorite entertainment (with the possible exception of Star Trek fans — who always want something different, until they get it…then they bitch about velour shirts and bad sets from the 1960s like it was real.) For all the complaining about cultural appropriation, it is the heart of gaming and geek culture at large, whether it’s a black Batman, a young white girl doing Japanese anime cosplay, a Korean Wonder Woman, Japanese comic book writers stealing from Greek  mythology, or copyright-infringing, fan-made Star Trek films — this is a subculture that borrow, bends, reworks, repurposes to make something unique and cool. Just like cultures have done since time immemorial.


If you’d asked this 20 years ago, it would have been a library and a notebook. Today? A good laptop or tablet. You can store the rule books, have a dice program, notes, maps, pictures, mood music — whatever you need. Need to access information on the fly? If you’ve got wifi, there you go.

When I was running Battlestar Galactica, I used my MacBook Air because I would have so many windows open to access character writeups, ships, etc… Running Hollow Earth Expedition, I often just use my iPad or laptop. For the current D&D game, there’s such good support apps — I highly recommend Game Master 5 and Fight Club 5 — that I use the iPad exclusively.

Define resources…

There are a few games that do a plethora of splatbooks to give you new mechanics or setting material, or reference material. If we’re using that as a metric, there’s no competition: GURPS.

What do you want to play? GURPS has a book on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a sourcebook on being an accountant in the 17th Century. It will be almost scholarly in quality (well, for today, it’ll be better than scholarly), it will plug and play. You can use the material for other games and never play GURPS. (That would be my recommendation.)

If you are talking a game with online support, apps for character building, GMing, and plenty of books with rules and creatures you’ll never use. Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd or 5th edition (I’m including Pathfinder in this, so Paizo fans settle down.)

I can’t speak for others but for me? A good Islay scotch (Lagavulin, please!) or gin (The Botanist.) Good food comes in second.