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Subject: RPG Geek of the Week #36: Chris Tannhauser (HiveGod) rss

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Jim Patching
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It's Sunday which means I am no longer the Geek of the Week; rather I am the Geek of Last Week. I've enjoyed my time in the spotlight but now I shall diminish and go into the west ... or perhaps just go downstairs for Sunday lunch, either / or really.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Chris Tannhauser as the new Geek of the Week. The first time I spotted Chris was through his Talismangler session report for Talisman. I thought it was brilliant, so I Geek-buddied him and have been following his adventures on both BGG and RPG since then. I've always got the impression from Chris that he'd be a very fun chap to game with and fun is what gaming is all about, isn't it?

So thanks Chris for accepting my nomination and I'll pass you all over to him so he can introduce himself in his own words. Grab your popcorn.

Quote:


Quote:
You make it to the main airlock with the naked orphan under one arm. Low-V rounds spark off the bulkhead around you as a single laser hit bursts the ablative shoulder pad on your vaccsuit like a grenade, punching you off your feet and through into the lock proper. You hit the deck faceplate-first and skid on your belly, sprawling into an equipment rack. At first you think you're seeing stars, and with a sickening jolt you realize your faceplate is cracked.

You can feel their footfalls thrumming through the deck.

"Computer!" you scream, "Seal the main lock!"

The boots stomp louder, closer. The orphan squirms beneath you, gets his wind back, begins to wail.

"COMPUTER!"

"--kkkkKKKK--" she's being hacked, cored out with a nightmare cocktail of worms, datarupters, logic-bombs. There may not be enough of her left to make a difference...

Suddenly, the airlock bangs shut, the iris valve snicking off most of an arm holding a gun, a cheap slug-thrower. It clatters to the deck.

You look from the gun to the sealed iris valve -- it's already glowing dull red where they're cutting through. They'll be here in moments.

You drop your ruck and up-end it, spilling out your entire inventory:

- The MAMO rod (Main Airlock Manual Override)
- A spray can of Emergency G-Webbing
- Half of a Luv-Luv Bot™ sterilization kit
- A cheap, stamped-metal slug-thrower (submachine gun)
- 34 rounds of Low-V ammo in a banana clip
- A severed arm, complete with vaccsuit bracer and gauntlet
- A crying orphan, the last surviving member of the crew you came to rescue

The computer's fried, so comm is down. You saw MGBM take a hot one to the head, and Chapel's probably gone EV again. Like he always does. Chances are he's going to hull the ship, or spike the drives, like he always does. Then again, chances are he's already dead.

They're almost through. It's gonna be a good-sized hole. The orphan clings to your leg, crying.

So how about it, hot-shot: Whaddya do?

That bit I wrote for Jeff Wiles' Chit Chatter of the Day thread pretty much sums up my RPG sensibilities. It would be so easy to web yourself in and blow the main lock when they finish cutting that grenade hole... but then there's that whole orphan thing.

Dammit.

As my players would say, it's never a choice between good or evil, but evil or awful.

FISSILE MATERIALS

A good RPG session is the holy grail of hobby gaming.

It has the potential to give rise to everything from the absurd and scatological to the sublime and transcendent. A magic circle where making pretend sacrifices can actually end up feeling like something. This is why we congregate, week after week, doing spit-takes with Mountain Dew, in the hopes that this time we will also gasp, and be changed.

UNTHINKABLE ENGINEERING

Like so many of us, I got my start with a basic D&D boxed set back in 5th grade. But even before that -- as I had to save my allowance for weeks to get that magic box -- we played a pure storytelling version of the game in the lunch arbor during school. My friend Steve had seen his older brothers playing D&D, and though they wouldn't let him play, he eavesdropped on their sessions enough to have a rudimentary idea of how it worked. He would describe the dungeon environs and happenings and when a monster appeared we would all shout what we were doing at the top of our lungs. Since we didn't have any of those funny dice, or stats, or even proper rules, the idea was to be first and loudest. If Steve didn't hear you CHOP THE MONSTER!!! with your AXE!!! you probably got eaten.

Once I got that box I was the only one with enough hubris to be Dungeon Master. And, as you DMs know, once you're in that seat others are reluctant to take on the responsibility of running an entire universe. Pretty soon you're always DM because you're the only one who knows how... and the better you get, the less interested your players are in giving up that sweet, sweet smooth-running-game feeling.

From AD&D I made the jump to Traveller and Call of Cthulhu, again, almost never as a player. The early '80s saw an explosion of RPGing with Top Secret, Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, Paranoia, Bushido, Ghostbusters, Cyberpunk 2020... you name it, I probably bought it and ran it. I was a junkie, chasing the dragon, seeking that transcendent moment of RPG satori.

In college I shed pretty much everything but my core loves: AD&D, Traveller and Call of Cthulhu. It was at this time that I ran my first long-term Traveller campaign for two of my friends. Before we knew it we had spent several years of clockwork weekly sessions in the same universe with the same characters. That campaign was the whetstone upon which I sharpened my already-pointy Game Master fangs -- it formalized my current ethos.

At the table:

Paper, pencils, dice.

Period. That's it. No maps, no minis, no rule books. It's all theatre of the mind, baby.

The GM is the only one who needs to know the rules.

All the players need to do is tell the GM what they're doing and the GM will adjudicate and narrate outcomes, asking for die rolls as needed. Keep the story moving without hitting the crack-a-book pause button.

In the game world:

The universe is the universe.

I'm not out to get you. The world is an autonomous machine that operates pretty much the way you'd expect it to. Antisocial behavior attracts the authorities. Stupidity tends to result in death.

GO BOLD

Do boring things and I will do what I must to liven it up for entertainment's sake. And having everything go pear-shaped is the best entertainment. Go bold, be radical, step outside the expected and I am likely to reward you with success.

This is also where I found that I love stripping characters naked, breaking all their crap and squeezing them down to the fuck-it point where, with nothing to lose, the most interesting things can happen.

This is where I learned to make every choice one between evil or awful.

MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION

There are six of us in my current group -- the Thursday Night Academy -- rockin' the weekly sessions for almost a decade now. We mainline Traveller and Call of Cthulhu campaigns with occasional side trips into D&D 3.5/Pathfinder and Paranoia. As RGPing is not a solitary pursuit I am literally nothing without these guys, in the same way a stage play is meaningless without actors. They are my inspiration, and for all the awfulness I subject them to my real motivation is to wow them every time...

...to transcend the paper-pencils-dice and achieve one of those forever moments, whether to be sick from laughter or to actually feel a twinge at the pretend death of an imaginary friend.

Or, barring that, to have at least one of them forget to save the last bullet for himself.



Poll
Two Truths & A Lie
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
I have never actually played Traveller as a player.
25.9% 7
I prefer to have a separate set of dice for each RPG.
44.4% 12
RPGs totally got me laid.
29.6% 8
Voters 27
This poll is now closed.   27 answers
Poll created by panzer-attack
Closes: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:00 am
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Jim Patching
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Here's a couple of questions to get things going:

Have you got a favourite RPG?

What is it about that game that makes it your favourite?

As I said above, I think your Talismangler session report was brilliant. Which of your contributions to the Geek are you most proud of?
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Jaime Lawrence
Australia
Sydney
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Jingle Bells, Cthanta Smells, I will kick his ass
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Congratulations, Chris!

My questions:

Imagine you were deigining the ULTIMATE RPG.

1) What dice/randomiser would it use?
2) What genre would its setting be?
3) What other mechanics would you like to tinker with?

(For the benefit of regular readers, I've retired the mega-question. On request, new GOTWs are more than welcome to answer it )
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Jim Patching
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Hida Mann wrote:


(For the benefit of regular readers, I've retired the mega-question. On request, new GOTWs are more than welcome to answer it )


You've got off lightly there Chris
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ɹǝpun uʍop ʞǝǝƃ
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Congratulations, Chris!

The questions:
d10-0 What is your beverage of choice and would you drink it at the game table?
d10-1 Do you go for thematic/background music for your games and if so, what's your favourite style?
d10-2 Assuming that you have spare time outside of The Geek and gaming, what other hobbies do you get involved with?
d10-3 What is the farthest place away from your home town that you have played a game?
d10-4 Chit Chat is a) Home; b) Full of weirdos c) Meh; d) Not as good as The Tavern; e) Too time consuming? Please pick any that apply and let us know what you think about the social side of The Geek.
d10-5 Do you have any game ideas inside of you, screaming to get out?
d10-6 In your opinion, what is the most beautiful part of your country?
d10-7 What is printed on your favourite RPG themed T-shirt?
d10-8 Are you still sporting that +10 beard of manlyness?
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Chris Tannhauser
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California
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Just as you're about to take a sip of your morning coffee something grabs you by the neck and yanks you sideways through three mind-effacing dimensions and a squalid demiplane...

Thanks so much for the enormous honor, Jim! I shall do my very best to provide a week's worth of entertainment.

Though I'm working this weekend I figured I'd better poke my head in here lest my character get very brave.

"Sorry I missed last night's session -- how'd it go?"

"Oh, you were very brave."

"What? I specifically said my character would remain napping at the inn!"

"No, you wouldn't have any of it. In fact, we found this awful, stinking hole that was -- if you can believe it -- breathing and you demanded to go straight in!"

"No no no!"

"That's what we said! But there was no stopping you -- you gave a rousing speech about courage that shamed us all and wouldn't even let us tie a rope around you just in case!"

"Did I... make it back out okay?"

"Oh, hell yeah! You did great! Of course, it took all the charges in that wand you've been saving and something ate your armor..."

"What?!"

"...and the good news is you get to look forward to fourth and fifth levels all over again!"

So, I'm here, my character is napping at the inn -- he's not going anywhere and, no, he's not interesting in "getting it on" with anyone or anything.

You know what? Just to be on the safe side he's in a deep coma from a self-inflicted head wound. And he has a venereal disease.

Looking forward to a week of TPK-free fun and games!

DICE IN FISTS AND LET'S ROLL!!!
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Dave Bernazzani (@rpggeek)
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Congratulations Chris! Well deserved!

I've got a few questions...

- If you could snap your fingers and make one change (in the way the site works, database handling, user interface, etc) here at RPG Geek, what would it be?

- If you had to pick one RPG to spend your time with on a desert island (and you would have 3-5 friends there, of course), what would it be and why?

- Do you train your dice? If so, how?

Enjoy your week!

-Dave
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William Hostman
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Gaming in Greater Anchorage area, Alaska since 1978. Looking for Indy-willing RPG players in Eagle River (or willing to drive to Eagle River). Geekmail me if interested.
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Congrats!

My usual questions:
d10-1 What's the worst system, ignoring the GM, you've enjoyed?

d10-2 What's the worst system you've played more than one session of?

d10-3 If there was one mechanic you could banish from the universe forever, which and why?

d10-4 Have you done PBM, PBEM, Play-by-Post, play by phone, play by chat (voice and/or text)? If so, how do you feel about it?

d10-5 Have you played T&T or derivatives?

d10-6 Generic systems - Good or bad?

d10-7 How long should copyrights last? (Not how long they do, but how long should they...)

d10-8 Open Licenses - Please opine.

d10-9 Have you ever been in a vehicle assaulted by a large Herbivore?


Edit: And for you:

Favorite Traveller Ruleset?
Favorite Traveller Millieux?
Favorite Traveller Product?
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Empress
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Sweet! Congrats. Didn't know you played over here.

Who.
What
Where
When
Why
How
You Sure
Really
How come
How much
Inconceivable?

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Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Congratulations Chris

1 What's you're favorite monster?
2 What's you're favorite beer?
3 Wich boardgames do you prefer?
4 What's you're favorite meal?
5 Will you congratulate you're BGG counterpart and ask him/her some questions?
6 What was the most strange character you've ever created?
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Bruce McGeorge
United States
Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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Hey you kids, get off my Avatar!
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Congrats Chris!

1 Is there anything new in 2010 that's on your acquisition list? Any specific plans for it?

2 Just curious... given your Avatar, I expected to see some love for WFRP 1E or 2E, but I don't even see them rated in your collection. I do see WFRP 3E there. Oh, I guess I need to phrase this in the form of a question. Did you really manage to avoid 1E and 2E? What attracted you to 3E?

Enjoy your week!
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Samuel Sol
Brazil
São Paulo
SP
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All engines full to awesome land!
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*tap* *tap* Is this thing on?
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Oh Hive God! Congratulation!

1. DO you use your eyes against the perverts of RPG nudity?
2. Is there any kind of adventure you wouldn't run? Why so?
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Chris Tannhauser
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San Diego
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Okay, I'm here, I'm running my character, and I'd just like to retroactively declare that at no time during my absence was he ever without his pants. I'll allow the gimp mask, but only as a prophylactic measure.

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone! Before I get too settled into the hot seat and tackle your questions I'd like to introduce the members of my weekly RPG group, the Thursday Night Academy, who will no doubt be stopping by to say VERY NICE THINGS about me.*

*All other comments will be scribed in the Book of Grudges, woven into the reaction-matrix DNA of future NPCs, and used to weight critical die rolls.

George

George Rothrock
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San Diego
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"But I'm mad NOW!"

Fusion grenades + teleporter = two great tastes that taste great together, so when Cap'n Puddin' Cupcakes (or whatever her name was) got pissed at the port authority at the orbital starport it took the entire party to keep her from cooking up trouble.

George is also our Call of Cthulhu Keeper, and since he's a history major with a focus on the Golden Age of Radio we get a thoroughly textured treatment of the '20s & '30s. He's very, very good at running Cthulhu -- so much so that he engineered the only time I've ever felt gut-punched by a turn of events in a game.

Snack Rating:

Very Good. Brings many bottles of Pelligrino and foreign cookies. Occasional chocolate-covered pretzels.

Tod

Tod Kuykendall
United States
California
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"Does cutting the flesh underpants off a dead hoodoo-man qualify as emergent gameplay?"

(I'm not going to get into it.)

Tod works incredibly hard on character creation, coming up with extremely detailed backstories that dovetail perfectly with his actual stats and skills. He actually tries to role-play while the rest of us are behaving like unfocused sociopaths. He also ran the most mind-bending combat I've ever participated in: a multi-level Paranoia free-for-all that involved all of our entire clone families at once. Everyone was experiencing the battle from four, five or six perspectives simultaneously. Still makes my head spin just thinking about it.

Snack Rating: N/A

Since we game at Tod's house we're honor-bound to provide the snacks. Especially since we force his lovely SO to flee upstairs to escape the shouty-loud profanity.

Although if I had to give him an actual rating is would be very poor due to those Chinese yak-meat pies. They smelled like cat food and tasted like hatred.

Jas

Jason Zer0
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Del Mar
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"I'll experiment with his immortality!"

He heard that the villain was conducting experiments in immortality and kindly offered to "help."

Jas is a self-described "lazy player" who nonetheless ends up with well-researched historical characters like the smelly old lady he played in our last Call of Cthulhu game. He prefers to shoot things from very, very far away.

Snack Rating:

Very Good. Brings those pretzel-chip thingies that get eaten all gone in the time it takes me to use the bathroom and get a drink out of the fridge. (Bastards!) Also those tasty rice crackers and assorted Japanese sweets.

Dave

David Sullivan
United States
California
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"I thought it was more important that one of us get out of there than both of us."

Pretty much says it all, and I have the boot-print on my back to prove it. And everyone was startled when I turned up, minus a third of my already meager Sanity. Thanks, Dave!

Dave likes to play handyman/fix-it characters who know how to cross the red wire with the black. But never forget he'll hold your head in the toilet if he thinks it will advance the party's agenda. Also, he'll do things like upload his consciousness into a starship computer because he's bored.

Snack Rating:

Needs Improvement. Jujyfruits? Really?


Torin

Torin Hill
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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"Who pushed my mini into the room?"

While I harbor an irrational hatred for maps & minis, I tried it out when I ran DCC #13: Crypt of the Devil Lich. The party approached what was obviously a character-eating trap room and so arranged their minis carefully. The rogue crept in to check it out and BANG! the doors slammed shut and the whole crazy ride started...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
...a crushing-spike-wall-elevator ride down into water that had dire shark ghosts in it!


Torin laughed at the few hapless fools who were stuck down in it -- until he realized someone had nudged his mini. And the maps don't lie, son!

T cut his GM teeth on an unfortunately ill-fated Rippers campaign where we were, I believe, difficult players grappling with a new system that was just not meshing well with our preferred play style. He did a wonderful job of presenting and running a fully fleshed out Victorian world -- I actually learned a lot of history in that game -- in the end it was the clunkiness of the Savage Worlds engine that killed it.

It was also the first game I'd played where "someone" altered Wikipedia entries to match the history of the campaign... including the wholesale manufacture of source documents to support the changes.

whistle

Snack Rating: coal

I honestly don't recall T ever bringing any snacks at all!

Derrick

Derrick Farwell
United States
California
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"By God, which one of you is evil?"

Spoken at a fancy dinner party after taking the needle off the record by cocking his Lewis gun:



Pretty much says it all. D likes to play punchy/thumpy characters who are unafraid to start the party early and is most comfortable when shit's blowin' up.

Snack Rating: ???

D's been out this summer but I'm sure he'll shoot for five-star status when he gets back into the swing. Like fancy coffees, cheese burgers and lap dances for everyone. And tissues -- you know, for all the cryin'.
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Chris Tannhauser
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San Diego
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And as far as what we're playing goes, we're currently between games -- having just finished a short D&D 3.5/Pathfinder adventure -- but looking to kick it back on this Thursday with a trial run of a modified version of World of Darkness.

Campaigns I am DYING to pull the trigger on:

FUBAR
This is a real-world heist game where the players are a crew of safecrackers, con-men and otherwise "skilled" criminals who are tasked with acquiring desirable -- and heavily protected -- items for a mysterious and powerful client. Hopefully the title doesn't give too much away...

I've had the overarching plot scripted for a while now and have been casting about for a good, rules-light system to run it with. I picked up d20 Modern and found it just awful; had high hopes for Savage Worlds and hated the funky dice pools, mathing for aces, soaking, etc.

I sat down and wrote out a wishlist for what I needed the system to do and realized I was describing a tweaked version of World of Darkness. But we'll see.

DAISYCHAIN
The players are the Brand Continuity Unit (BCU) for BlueGreen Sky, a massive orbital foodstuffs concern. They're a black-bag group who's job is to make shit never happened. Anything that would make share prices dip gets erased -- rumors, bad news, malfeasence, children. Put it in a sack with a rock and drop it in the ocean... Then take the suborb back to your Tokyo penthouse for high-fives and blowjobs.

I'll be using a hacked-down version of GURPS Transhuman Space (Second Edition) for this one.

FAILSAFE
Heavily modified Traveller, and the final campaign in a trilogy of massive adventures:

In THE CLOCKWORK GOD the players were the willing torpedoes of a sympathetic AI attempting to expose -- and kill -- the alien influence controlling the destiny of the Human Sphere.

In STONECUTTER the characters were, unbeknownst to them, the constituent parts of an information-based superweapon, designed by unsympathetic AIs as a "final solution" to the human problem. After finally figuring out why everyone was out to get them -- they were the only uncorrupted copy of the weapon -- they suicided by flying into a star.

FAILSAFE will pick up where we left off, with new characters, in a universe where half of human civilization lies burning due to the imperfect copies of the superweapon (the Stonecutter) that were unleashed. The Machine Sphere is taking full advantage of humankind's fall to reassert dominance.

...aaand it's KILLING me to not share the groin-kicking twists that will make each of these stories unique.

KILLING ME!!!
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Joel Carlson
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Westford
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Hi Chris,

Congrats on the RPGGOTW honor! We haven't had the opportunity to game together in the past, but I've always gotten an enormous kick out of your particular brand of humor on the Geek.

I've been poring over your impressive array of RPG ratings and impressions... awesome stuff. I started gaming via RPGs but definitely haven't put as much time into them as you.

I'll keep my question light, as usual. Hypothetical for you:

You've stumbled into a convention room at 11PM, slightly tired, groggy, and just checked into your room after a long flight. You don't have any plans at this point, and you're just checking out the con-floor.

You stumble across a table of exasperated players... 5 people who are sitting with AD&D 3.5 characters in hand, fists full of dice... but no DM. The dude running their game is gone, splitsville, gonzo. They look to you with hopeful eyes. Little do they know what they are about to unleash on their, before now, totally pale RPG landscape.

You get a glint in your eyes, with nothing prepared and no sleep. TIME TO WING IT!!!!

Poring over your vast DM'ng/Playing vault, what framework do you haul out? An old adventure? A favorite nemesis? Lets assume the characters are in the 5-7 level range.

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Chris Tannhauser
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panzer-attack wrote:
Have you got a favourite RPG?

Hands-down, Traveller.

Quote:
What is it about that game that makes it your favourite?

The mortal danger of the hard sf setting: death by acceleration, vacuum, radiation, taking a bullet to the head. Beats the pants off of "Star-Warsy" space opera -- and then strangles it with its own underwear -- any day of the week.

Also, the simplicity of beating eight on 2d6.

Quote:
As I said above, I think your Talismangler session report was brilliant. Which of your contributions to the Geek are you most proud of?

Thanks for the kind words! They're the only thing between us writers and an untimely grave...



Right now I'd say the one I'm most proud of is The Many Deaths of Father Pedo, Lady Luck His Concubine. Though it's for a board game, it embodies the RPG aesthetic I drag into pretty much every game I play.

Thanks again for the honor, Jim!
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Chris Tannhauser
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Hida Mann wrote:
Congratulations, Chris!

Thanks, Jaime!

Quote:
My questions:

Imagine you were desigining the ULTIMATE RPG.

1) What dice/randomiser would it use?

Without question, 2d6. The bell curve is easily grasped and manipulated, it feels like gambling, and, most importantly, every possible die combo reads like a rune. When you roll dem bones and

43

comes up you don't add four plus three. You just instantly grok seven.

Quote:
2) What genre would its setting be?

Science fiction, star-faring far-future stuff.

Quote:
3) What other mechanics would you like to tinker with?

A single character-creation rule: build the character you want. No point-buy, no die rolls, no charts. Think about who you want to be, create a backstory, fill in some stats that make sense to you, then flesh it out with whatever skills you want.

Balance? That's the GM's job, provided on the fly.

devil

Quote:
(For the benefit of regular readers, I've retired the mega-question. On request, new GOTWs are more than welcome to answer it )

Oh, no you don't -- I'm not going out like that. I will fight all these mini-bosses and at the very end, broken, battered, half-naked and fully crazed I will face your mega-question. For within me burns a --

soft, creamy filling

Stop that!

That will poot out of every hole when the mega-question treads upon your crackling bones.

Nooo!

CROM! HEAR MY PRAYER!
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Chris Tannhauser
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mr_lunch wrote:
Congratulations, Chris!

Much appreciated!

Quote:
d10-0 What is your beverage of choice and would you drink it at the game table?

Well, beer is God's own blood filtered through finings made from the milk of supermodels, but getting dope-sleepy at the gaming table is not good. It's gotta be hard stim all the way -- steaming mugs of coffee!

Quote:
d10-1 Do you go for thematic/background music for your games and if so, what's your favourite style?

I very much prefer music while we play. We usually try to match it with what we're doing, so Lord of the Rings, Conan the Barbarian and Master & Commander movie soundtracks for D&D; techno/industrial for Traveller; period jazz for Cthulhu. I love the way the music can accidentally background the action -- everyone pauses for a split second, thinking holy crap this is perfect!

Quote:
d10-2 Assuming that you have spare time outside of The Geek and gaming, what other hobbies do you get involved with?

- Physical culture (hiking/backpacking, cycling, functional weight-lifting)

- Movies (it's not uncommon to watch a movie every night)

- Reading (science fiction, history, science)

Quote:
d10-3 What is the farthest place away from your home town that you have played a game?

Mannheim, Germany. Played RPGs there at a con in the early '80s.

Quote:
d10-4 Chit Chat is a) Home; b) Full of weirdos c) Meh; d) Not as good as The Tavern; e) Too time consuming? Please pick any that apply and let us know what you think about the social side of The Geek.

It's my water cooler -- when I'm writing I work at home and when I'm teaching I'm usually traveling. So I don't have a workplace with a social group to shoot the shit -- Chit Chat fills that void for me.

The social side of the 'Geek is what to do after you've rated, reviewed, and reported on all the games in your collection. It's what's left if you're not going to be buying a game a week or delivering constant commentary on what you've already contributed.

It's friendly and comfortable because no matter what the topic or where we all go with it we're all game-players at heart, love our toys, and so have a big chunk of headspace in common.

Quote:
d10-5 Do you have any game ideas inside of you, screaming to get out?

Just one. Been stuck in there for many, many years:

A one-shot RPG where the players are all major persons aboard Air Force One during events that could trigger WWIII. So they play the roles of the President of the United States, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense, etc., etc.

Information on the crisis comes in as it develops -- there is public information that they all hear, and private information that comes to them through their own staff. Whether/how they share it with the others is up to each player.

They can also send information out through their staff (notes to the GM) that can alter the development of the crisis outside.

Obviously, they are trying to avert WWIII...

...but then they each recieve an envelope from the GM...

...it turns out some of them are not human. One is an extraterrestrial with inscrutable motives -- really an observer. One is an agent of the Antichrist, bent on the destruction of humankind. One is a divine guardian sworn to protect the Earth. They all have the power to influence the minds of NPCs. Of course, grabbing the most Secret Service agents to your side becomes expedient.

I envision a tense, Mexican stand-off as people try to subtly influence events below while not tipping their hand above; then outright gunfights and psychic battles aboard the plane as the world teeters on the brink.

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d10-6 In your opinion, what is the most beautiful part of your country?

No contest: Yosemite and surrounding environs.

I just spent a week wandering around in the backcounty out that way and I'm still not completely back...

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d10-7 What is printed on your favourite RPG themed T-shirt?

Well, there's the one I made for George with a blown-up photocopy of Cthulhu's MONK/BARD: Nil line from Deities & Demigods.

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d10-8 Are you still sporting that +10 beard of manlyness?

I was born with it and my shambling corpse will help retake the Rainbow Bridge in it!
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wavemotion wrote:
Congratulations Chris! Well deserved!

Thanks!

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- If you could snap your fingers and make one change (in the way the site works, database handling, user interface, etc) here at RPG Geek, what would it be?

Okay, prolly not what you're looking for, but I'd say

COMMENT YOUR RATINGS, PEOPLE

Seriously, nothing's worse than seeing a game or supplement or whatever with 38 owners, 15 ratings and 0 comments. Just throw a line in there to give a little flavor to the rating. If you like it, what tickles you about it? If you hate it, what's the thing you can't get past?

Your opinion matters -- anyone can throw out a number, but only you can spice it up with your own special sauce. That's what I'm hungry for, a funny moment, a savored memory, or a craw-sticking, nit-picking flaw.

Share it!

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- If you had to pick one RPG to spend your time with on a desert island (and you would have 3-5 friends there, of course), what would it be and why?

Straight-up answer: Li'l Black Book Traveller. If we got tired of space-shenanigans I'd just crash-land the players on a low tech backwater and make them slog it out anywhere between the modern era and ancient times... and if they pined for magic I'd have some horrible robots extract their brains and wire them into a massive biological supercomputer that solves for enormous primes -- which they would experience as playing D&D. So, really, it's all possible RPGs in one!

The Kobayashi Maru answer: Don't need one -- we'll just make shit up as we go. The essential essense of RPGing!

Quote:
- Do you train your dice? If so, how?

Nice try, but I must not say anything about being a player in Traveller, dice, or getting laid until the end of the week...

ninja

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Enjoy your week!

Thanks and will do!

PS. Had a TON OF FUN with that whole Tiamat's Treasure thing, btw! It was worth the effort and all I can say is MOAR PLZ.
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Hi Chris,

congrats on being GOTW. Just reading your replies is obvious that you've been overlooked for GOTW until now. Sounds like you have great fun and great role-playing.

Anyway;

Bucket of dice or minimal dice?

Is there a role-playing story that laways makes you laugh?

You say you play Paranoia. So what is one of the most amusing characters deaths in one of your games (your PC or another from your group)?

What Warhammer 40K armies do you have? (I'm a newish player, playing Orks, and I see that you like the game too)

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aramis wrote:
Congrats!

Thanks, man!

Quote:
d10-1 What's the worst system, ignoring the GM, you've enjoyed?

Wow, that's a tough one. I've played a lot of awful systems, and your question actually made me have to think...

Okay -- it's gotta be Champions (2nd Edition). It was so convoluted I pretty much gave up on learning it, but I had a lot of fun with the group that was playing it, back in high school.

I seem to remember making a character -- Captain Napalm -- who had every single disadvantage possible: a bunch of ex-wives, a platoon of sick aunts, bastard children everywhere, an irrational fear of toilet paper, and an allergy to sunlight, etc. I channeled all the points into a single power blast. One shot would nuke entire city blocks.

The group was unhappy the first time I used it (on a run-of-the-mill bank robber, no less) -- since we were supposed to be the good guys -- they forbade me to use that character and made me roll up another one, this time without taking 27 disadvantages, or whatever.

That guy had just one superpower: he was invulnerable. The players were very cautious -- can he fly? No. Super strength? No. Power blast? Nuh-uh. Okay... is he a weapons expert? Nope, just this average guy who's impervious to harm.

That, and he had a car, a station wagon:


Which everyone thought was cool seeing as how some of the team could fly, but everyone else had to take the bus, which can make even the most super hero feel kind of lame. So I had the Team Justice Mobile or whatever.

Of course, when I picked them up the back windows were all boarded up and there was a crude partition in the back seat so they all had to squeeze in and sit on laps and stuff.

When we arrived at the scene of whatever chaos was befalling Center City that afternoon I detonated the car bomb and took care of everything in one go. Half our team died in the blast but hey, these things happen.

The remaining team members encased me in concrete and dropped me in the ocean.

So, yeah -- good times.

Quote:
d10-2 What's the worst system you've played more than one session of?

It hurts me to say it, but Savage Worlds. I really, really wanted to like it -- I was planning on using it for FUBAR, the real-world heist game I want to run. I don't know where the FAST part comes from in their tagline. It was clunky, ungainly, and I loved the references to rules that were nowhere to be found in the book.

Quote:
d10-3 If there was one mechanic you could banish from the universe forever, which and why?

Leveling up. Players who look forward to leveling up get pissed at character death, and dead characters in a level-up game present problems for party cohesion. What do we do if everyone else is at 7th level? Start over with a 1st level character or build a 7th level character? Either choice is lame.

I like character death, and so, hate leveling.

In fact, my favorite time in D&D is at 1st level -- no backup, no slop, a single arrow to the neck can scrub you from the Prime Material. Character death is not only not a problem, it's expected.

First level characters are the bravest motherfuckers in the Multiverse.

Quote:
d10-4 Have you done PBM, PBEM, Play-by-Post, play by phone, play by chat (voice and/or text)? If so, how do you feel about it?

Not really. We've had remote people as talking heads on a laptop in some of our games, but it was a lot of "What?" and "Why is everybody laughing?" followed by "What?"

I certainly wouldn't go looking for it again.

Quote:
d10-5 Have you played T&T or derivatives?

I played some solo adventures in junior high.

Quote:
d10-6 Generic systems - Good or bad?

Terrible. Every game has a "feel" that arises from the interplay of milieu & mechanics. The idea of playing, say, D&D, Traveller and Call of Cthulhu using the same character generation, action resolution and combat systems would be awful.

Purpose-built games are tighter.

Quote:
d10-7 How long should copyrights last? (Not how long they do, but how long should they...)

As a creator of IP, I will say until the death of the creator. My kids can get a job, dammit!

Quote:
d10-8 Open Licenses - Please opine.

Well, in theory I like the idea, but in practice (with my limited exposure to the d20 stuff) it just seemed like an effort to create a monopoly. For a while there in the last decade it seemed like d20 was trying to insert itself as the default system for RPGing, like you'd never want or need anything else.

It only worked for D&D, and so the market was clogged with a lot of shit games that were too samey for my tastes.

Quote:
d10-9 Have you ever been in a vehicle assaulted by a large Herbivore?

No, but I was up in your neck of the woods last summer and I must say, I'll be back. It's gorgeous up there. Got to see a Grizzly from the kayak, about 60 feet way, and it occurred to me that the only thing between me and him was his indifference...

Quote:
Favorite Traveller Ruleset?

The single-page mash-up of old-skool li'l black book Traveller, Striker, and homebrew rules. Been using it so long I don't even remember how the real thing's supposed to go...

Quote:
Favorite Traveller Millieux?

Again, gonna have to go with the homebrew:

The Imperium of Man, governed by the always-feuding Houses of Adam, control exerted through the Eklesia, a pseudo-religious network that oversees The Loop (the augmented-reality overlay/information system that everyone is wired into -- like cyberspace painted over the top of everything). It's a completely transparent dystopia -- you can see it top to bottom but there's nothing you can do about it...

There was a schism between man and machine that led to wars, strife, and a final separation into their own volume of space -- though the machines are not monolithic in thought and are variously friendly, patronizing, and lethally hostile. Regardless, they tend to view humanity as an animal that must be "taken care of" one way or another.

Humanity and Machines are, as far as they know, alone in the universe. (So, no first contact yet, and no playable aliens.)

We've had years of fun noodling around in there.

Quote:
Favorite Traveller Product?

I'm stuck between Book 4: Mercenary andBook 5: High Guard. They both opened up the game tremendously back in the day. Though I probably get more utility out of things like Supplement 01: 1001 Characters and Supplement 02: Animal Encounters, I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Books 4 & 5.
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Toggy wrote:
Sweet! Congrats. Didn't know you played over here.

Thanks! It could be said that I live over here and only play over there -- I started hobby gaming with RPGs and only became a board gamer after the fact. And while I end up playing board games here and there, my weekly gaming group is specifically set up for role-playing!

Quote:
Who.
What
Where
When
Why
How
You Sure
Really
How come
How much
Inconceivable?

Radd Hardd exited the lock and initiated a haphazard burn to kick himself away from the ship. He knew he wouldn't be safe until he was over the horizon, behind the limb of the small moon below. If the pirates hacked the turret lock-outs before then, well, to be honest, he wouldn't know what hit him.

He cut the manual burn to prevent a stupid, unrecoverable vector and activated the suit's helper AI.

"Hey, there!" chirped the suit, "I see we're falling away from the ship. Was this intentional, or are you in any distress?"

Radd clenched his teeth where his cigar butt should be. "Yes. And yes."

The suit paused. "I... see. Orders?"

"Get me back around the moon to the ship. Kill the pirates."

"That will take fourteen hours seventeen minutes and--"

"I only have six hours of air."

"Yes," confirmed the suit.

Radd wanted to deck the damned machine, but realized he'd just be hitting himself like those retards he used to pick on in grade school. He took a deep breath, suddenly regretted it. "Then we have to do it in less than six hours," he breathed.

The suit paused. "I can get us there in twenty-three minutes, seven seconds."

Radd's eyes bugged and he shrugged hugely for comic effect. All it did was set him spinning. "Then DO it!"

"But--"

"DO IT!" he screamed.

"But--"

"BUT WHAT?!"

"The minimal trip time is only possible with human considerations disabled."

"The howzawhuh?"

"The flight plan calls for a sixteen gee turn. You'll black out. It might even kill you."

Now that was more like it. "Let's do this."

"You have to authorize--"

"Let's go!"

The suit was silent. With a start Radd realized the air recirc had spun down. Jets pulsed from the backpack, halting his spin and hanging him head down toward the dark side of the moon below.

"Hello?"

SHUT THE FUCK UP strobed across the inside of his faceplate.

The burn kicked him in the ass and cracked his neck against the back of his helmet. He tried to tense up and squeeze the blood back into his head but blacked out instead.

When he came to, he could see the ship growing in his faceplate. He felt like crap, but then that always was the best mood for killing. The air was thick, wet, hot and painful to breathe.

"Hey," he said. The ship continued to swell. "Hey! I think we're coming in too hot! Initiate braking burn!"

HUMAN CONSIDERATIONS DISABLED strobed across the rapidly growing ship.

"Well turn them back on, dammit, turn them back on!"

His faceplate blanked and some nice music piped up just before he punched through the bridge and hulled the ship as a smeared geyser of crap.
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Barad_the_dwarf wrote:
Congratulations Chris

Thanks!

Quote:
1 What's you're favorite monster?

The Neo-Otyugh, because standard Otyughs are just broke-down, weak-ass offal herders.


Quote:
2 What's you're favorite beer?

Yes.

Quote:
3 Wich boardgames do you prefer?

Mostly Ameritrash games that have obvious narrative hooks, games that invite the players to fill in the blanks between actions with small stories. Talisman is the obvious go-to for this.

Quote:
4 What's you're favorite meal?

Yes.

Okay, that's not helping. Right now? Phở!


Quote:
5 Will you congratulate you're BGG counterpart and ask him/her some questions?

Already took care of it! Lenny's a fellow Chit Chatter, so for this week week, anyway, Absurd is the New Black.

Quote:
6 What was the most strange character you've ever created?

Glint, the psionic Gnome:


Quote: "Would you tell the same story with a broken arm?"

He never wore pants and just hovered around in the lotus position with his junk hanging down, Mind Blasting the crap out of everything in range. He teabagged the Temple of Elemental Evil... with his mind!
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brumcg wrote:
Congrats Chris!

Thank you!

Quote:
1 Is there anything new in 2010 that's on your acquisition list? Any specific plans for it?

The hardbacks for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (3rd Edition). So I can play the game with my two boys (15 & 16) without all those cards and cardboard nib-nobs. I would have taken it camping with us this summer, but D&D's just easier since it's just three books and done.

I have definite plans... witches, burlap sacks and ignorance.

Quote:
2 Just curious... given your Avatar, I expected to see some love for WFRP 1E or 2E, but I don't even see them rated in your collection. I do see WFRP 3E there. Oh, I guess I need to phrase this in the form of a question. Did you really manage to avoid 1E and 2E? What attracted you to 3E?

Honestly, I don't see how I missed it -- after getting 3E and reading through it I absolutely love the world and can't wait to make players suffer horribly. And that's really how you're supposed to play it!

In my defense I'd say I was busy playing Warhammer 40,000 instead of this.

What caught my eye was all the brouhaha around FFG's reprint -- I knew that if nothing else, it was going to be pretty. But now that I'm in, I'm in all the way. And once those hardcovers come out with the non-nib-nob play it'll be like a Renaissance Fair colliding with a meth-addicted trailer park with brother-sister father-mothers and conjoined grandparents and all that jazz.

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Enjoy your week!

Thanks, man!
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yohanleafheart wrote:
Oh Hive God! Congratulation!

Thanks, Sol!

Quote:
1. DO you use your eyes against the perverts of RPG nudity?

Oh, hell yes! Nudity is DISGUSTING. In fact, I used myself to censor myself in the Glint picture, above. His junk was hanging down all nasty and hairy, like nasty, hairy fist-sized plums in meat-socks. To see such things would be like getting slapped all about the face with them, and we just plain can't have that.

Quote:
2. Is there any kind of adventure you wouldn't run? Why so?

A straight-up adventure. Meaning, as advertised, as expected, the picture-on-the-cover and the blurb-on-the-back. Can't do it. I have plot-twist Tourette's.

Something's gotta go horribly wrong, and everybody knows it. It's a Tannhauser thang.
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