REVERB GAMERS 2012, #28: Do you have any house rules when you game? What are they, and why do you use them? If not, why not?
I can see answering this two ways. First, table rules. If a die does not land flat on the table or a character sheet, re-roll. That’s about it. But house rules can also encompass alterations that you’ve made to published games to better suit your group or style. As previously mentioned, I’m working on some mods for Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes. The game is fine as-is, but the mechanics are rather dated. My main problem with the game is that it is incredibly lethal, which may be realistic, but it’s not heroic. I want characters to be able to survive a firefight and not fall to the first goon with a .38 snub in his pocket when the real bad guy is waiting around the corner. Also, the skills list is very dated as the game was released around ’83, so I’ve made some changes and changed some skill IQ requirements, I also merged some groups of skills together. So this constitutes a form of house rules, and all of my players will have a copy of my changes and we’ll discuss them before we play.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #29: What does the word “gamer” mean to you? Is that different than what other people seem to think it means?
Simply put, a gamer is a person who plays games. Card games, board games, role-playing games, LARPs, miniatures, computer games, first-person shooters, console games, dominoes, etc.: we’re all gamers and usually we play more than one type of game. People who go to Vegas and gamble are playing games. A game usually has a randomizer of some sort and hopefully allows the players to use skill to influence their fate. There may be a ‘geek/nerd’ aspect to it as lots of gamers are not in to mainstream culture. So what. We’re all different as people, even if we are gamers.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #30: What lessons have you taken from gaming that you can apply to your real life?
Hmmm. I’m very fast at counting Champions damage dice, does that count? One thing that I do enjoy applying concepts in gaming to real life is dice analysis. I’ve built spreadsheets looking at the curves of 2d6, 3d6, Fudge dice, etc., and I find that interesting. Statistical analysis applied to gaming is kind of cool. I’ve learned a lot about spreadsheets creating Champions templates and plugging all of my characters in there. So I’ve developed some useful skills, but I wouldn’t say they’re terribly applicable outside of gaming.
Gaming can teach some good life lessons: winning and losing gracefully, patience, etc. But it’s after midnight when I’m writing some of this and I really don’t have the brain power to dig in to it too deeply right now.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #31: How would your life be different if you’d never gotten into gaming?
I’m not a big fan of ‘what if’ questions. What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly? Every decision is a branch, and some splits rejoin later. For example, if I had gone straight to university from high school, I would not be where I am right now, but there’s no telling where I would be and whether I would be as content in that reality as I am right now.
Before I learned about role-playing games, I was heavily in to science fiction and fantasy literature before high school, I think it would have been inevitable for me to get in to gaming. If I had not worked at Flying Buffalo, my gaming life would be different and my friends base would be different, but there’s no way to accurately project a ‘what if’.