I don’t know about you, but figuring out RPG programming this year has been nuts. How do you handle virtual games? Do you use Zoom and take the chance of getting Zoom bombed? Should you require people to create an account for Roll20 or D&D Beyond? How does your IT staff want you to handle sessions to keep things secure and simple for your members? So many questions, and no easy answers. It is almost enough to make you want to drop it until you can get back to in person gaming.
The most important thing right now is to keep your own momentum going. I’ve been finding enthusiasm in a bit of short supply. We figured out our tech logistics, but registration has been low. I really want to run something fun for my members, but getting the word out is tricky at best. Reading books is great, but then you have all these ideas and no where to put them. That is why I decided that this December I am participating in the 31 Day Challenge.
The #31daychallenge is a challenge to create a character a day all December. These can be from any system you want, and for any use you want. I ran into this idea while I was perusing the posts of John Wick, the creator of the 7th Sea RPG. He talked about wanting to create characters that would inspire him and remind him why he enjoyed so many game systems. You should see his stack of games he has prepared.
I really need this kind of inspiration right now. With fewer people in our programs, this will lift my spirits and remind me why I love this hobby so much. Many of these characters will end up NPCs in future games, and some will just be to learn how characters are done in a new system. The ones I will really enjoy are the ones I want to play. I will get to build a fantasy persona who can go out and save the world while I’m staying safe at home. Maybe I will be a Pegasus and fly around Equestria, saving fellow ponies from Discord. What about a T’skrang Illusionist working to bring the world of Barsaive back into the light and saving their countrymen from the
Horrors? A spy working on cases that never make it into the press could be fun. Some swashbuckling fun while hunting for the 7th Sea will surely bring adventure back into my life.
This is a tough time for us all, but we need to share our inspiration with others. This is what will keep us going, keep us hoping. Using our minds to dream of worlds where we can do something about their wrongs can help us cope with the ones we have limited control over here. Find a way to keep your joy and inspiration flowing. Now, I need to get my Tails of Equestria PDF warmed up for my first character.
Christine Martin-Resotko is a Library Assistant with the Mason Branch of the
Capital Area District Libraries in Michigan. She has been a lifelong nerd, starting
when she saw Star Wars at the age of 5. She started playing RPGs when she was
in college, and within 4 years was invited by a gaming company to run their game
at GenCon, the biggest gaming convention in the country. She has run games in
over a dozen systems, and personally owns more than 30 game systems at this
time. Christine created the CADL Adventurers Club for her library system, which
encompasses a teen chapter at her branch which she runs and adult and kids
chapters at another branch that she assists with. Christine has a B.S. in
Anthropology from Michigan State University. She lives with her husband, son,
and their crazy cat.
Now that I have completed the #31daychallenge￼, here is what I learned. The most fun to create a random character in: Star Trek Adventures. Easiest to create a character in: Tails of Equestria, Star Wars (Westend Games), and Star Trek Adventures. Games I would be curious to play after making a character: Colonial Gothic and Familiars of Terra. Game you couldn’t get me to ever make a character in again, even under torture: Hackmaster. Other things learned: Mutants and Masterminds is superior superhero system, Feast of Legends is hysterical, I really love the structure of the AGE systems, and I am looking forward to running a 7th Sea game.
Thanks for the article. I may have to give the challenge a try. I have found Roll20 and Discord (for text and audio) to work well together to play Pathfinder online. I have played games with people in my state (some of whom I have previously gamed with in person, some not), around the U.S., and in Europe. There seems to be plenty of interested players, but sometimes a shortage of GMs. Initially I was hesitant about RPGing online, but it was the best option during the pandemic and its definitely grown on me as I’ve gotten used to it.