RPG A Day: Day 11

I know for a fact that today’s post is going to be a hard one because it is such a broad topic.  The person that wrote this up is probably thinking this is fairly straight forward but as an aspiring RPG writer myself this always opens up a little can of worms for me…

Child sitting in their own imagination
Harnessing the imagination is the key to an RPG. By Mehdinom (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Day 11: Favourite RPG Writer


Why is this such a conundrum for me?  Well, let me spell it out.  Writing has so many facets.  There is writing style, if their words keep me awake and wanting more.  There is what they write, that is if they write a game I know I am going to want it because they are great and forming games, perhaps not the writing.  Do they tell the story and sell me the concept through their involvement in the narrative.

So, to this I need to write a few honourable mentions that fit into certain categories.  I am actually going to go with a line of my Favourite RPG Writer being one that can engage me in the text and not give me a headache or make me want to go to sleep.  It is a bit embarrassing that I actually read a lot before I go to bed but I find about 4-5 pages in the text has lost me or I am ready to go to sleep.  The final winner in this category does not do that to me.  I could read it all night and not notice the time disappear.

But first I will mention some of the others that deserve an honourable mention.  The first of those is Kevin Crawford and he most certainly falls under the category of forming great games.  I am an unabashed Kevin Crawford fan boy since Silent Legions came out, and was very impressed after I read Stars Without Number prior to that.  The concepts of his sandbox building systems are brilliant and they work exceptionally well in play.  The problem with Kevin is I do not find his writing engaging enough.  There is not enough colour there to stop me from the 5-6 page sleepiness feeling, not to mention everything he has written that I have read will have one section that I just can not decipher as to how it is to be used in game.  I can see the rules and understand them but I just can’t make the leap of doing because there are just no examples.

Now, I also happen to be an Earthdawn fan and there is one writer whose name I have known since back in the original FASA days that I kept an eye out for.  It is actually a bit embarrassing admitting this because I have never revealed it to him and I have had more than a few interactions with him on Google+.  But you see, I always found that the books that included the name Andrew Ragland were amongst the better titles in my Earthdawn collection and so I was always able to read these books ravenously.  The only reason that Andrew gets edged out is because I never “accidentally” got caught rereading one of these books (unless it was for rules etc.).  I am currently looking forward to Andrew’s latest work for 1879 which is not out yet.  I think the miniatures game is but I am not much of a war-gamer.

So that brings me to the writer who has really grabbed my attention.  Firstly because he has created one of my all time favourite module/games I have run ever and secondly because of his involvement in a book that every time I pick up I find I get lost reading it.  The game that I can just read forever is FATE Core.  I do not have any idea why it is so appealing to me.  It is well written and a good game but I can literally pick it up and read it from cover to cover with a smile on my face.  Revealing the game does not reveal the author, so let us talk about the module/game that I loved.  It is of course Rite Publishing’s The Demolished Ones written by Brian Engard.  Brian has a way with words that sucks you in and after his treatment of The Demolished Ones, he is a person that I keep an eye out for at all times!


So there you have it, the overall winner is Brian Engard but there are three names you should keep an eye on.  Until next time, keep rolling!

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