RPGaDay2021

Now in its eighth year, RPGaDay is an initiative encouraging people to join the online conversation about roleplaying games by sharing something every day in August. Check out the Facebook page and read a variety of posts.

Last year I managed to keep up with it, and posted every day, starting with RPGaDay2020 Day 1: Beginning – how beginning a new campaign phase led to Developing Akorros. As you can read in RPGaDay2020 Day 31: Experience – reflections on RPGaDay this year I had mixed feelings.

On the plus side, it encouraged me to investigate some topics I might not otherwise have done, in particular RPGaDay2020 Day 10: Want – I want to be normal, and I enjoyed being part of a shared worldwide experience.

On the down side, I found the relentless pressure of writing a post every day, and the 1-2 hours per night that entailed, quite binding and costly, and I also felt the quality of my posts suffered. I would rather write fewer better fleshed out and researched posts. I also struggled for inspiration for some of the prompts and ended up writing some rather strange posts like RPGaDay2020 Day 21: Push – a popular sport in Akorros.

And so I decided not to try to participate fully this year. Which turned out to be quite fortunate since in another life I am chairman of Dunedin Dancers, a Scottish Country Dancing society, and we are working through all the protocols and procedures necessary to enable us to restart dancing in September after a Covid-enforced break…which is taking up quite a lot of my time at the moment…

Day 31: Thank

I wanted to participate, and when I read RuneSlinger’s Day 21 blog about Challenge I felt this was something I could identify with. So I will probably start responding to some of the prompts after the fact.

This year they are providing four prompts per day for most days, allowing people to choose which one they respond to, and for day 21 Challenge is the second prompt. The others are Simplicity, Fear and Motive. All of these relate to my experience with RPGaDay in some way, so I will write a post related to this.

However, today is the final day of RPGaDay 2021, and the prompt is simply Thank. So I would like to Thank the people who have participated this year, and highlight a few of my favourite posts.

Again Runeslinger spoke to me with his post today: Day 31 – Thank. In it, he talks about how important meaningful thanks are. As he says:

Being thanked feels good, especially when it comes as a surprise and its arrival lights up an area of our hearts and minds where the truth of our efforts were hiding away to protect ourselves from not being thanked. If we can’t see that effort, and how it should be recognized, watered, and fed to keep up its strength, then it cannot hurt us (much) when none of that happens.

He then talks about the enemy of the thanks, a many-headed hydra whose heads try to prevent us from meaningful thanks. I particularly identified with these two:

The enemy, like the hydra, has many heads and each bears a venom effective in its battle against expressing our thanks. One head is Waiting-for-the-right-moment, and its venom causes us to not recognize the moment until it has passed. Another head is Not-knowing-what-to-say, and its venom causes us to say nothing.

I also identified with these heads as a blogger, and so even though I have missed the whole of RPGaDay through Waiting-for-the-right-moment and Not-knowing-what-to-say I have decided I will at least join in for the final day.

For Day 31 Thank, IvanMike has a different take. Rather than talking about the importance of Thanks, he talks about some times where characters (not players) deliberately never thanking or acknowledging each other can say a lot about both the characters and their relationships and really add to the story.

Going backwards, for Day 30, Runeslinger has an interesting story about a salt trader who is in the right place at the right time to save an old man from a fox shaman

On Day 27, Eric Jacobson (Gaming with the Gnomies) talks about all the ideas he has yet to use in Fraction – I can relate to this!

On Day 20, IvanMike talks about tracing the lineages of different role-playing games

On Day 17, Craig Oxbrow talks about Traps, Eric Jacobson talked about mixing up traps to keep the players on their toes, and Leo Jenisek shared the following Haiku:

Dungeon full of traps‬‪
It makes me feel unwanted‬‪
Maybe take a hint ‬

On Day 16, IvanMike talked about how villains can become interesting long-running themes, where players enjoy the villain appearing even if their characters really don’t…

On Day 14, Craig Oxbrow talked about safety in role-playing games

On Day 13, IvanMike talked about Improvising, and what sort of planning helps your improvisation.

On Day 10, Anthony recorded a video about Conscience in gaming

On Day 7, IvanMike turned his back on small and talked about inspiration and how role-playing games inspire him.

On Day 6, IvanMike talked about the different flavours of different types of role-playing games, and how the change of menu can bring different ingredients which you can take back to your other games.

Finally, I take some comfort from IvanMike’s initial post, Scenario, where he says “Well once again a year has gone by and despite my best intentions I did not use the blog besides RPGaDAY.” I may not have posted much during RPGaDay, but I have at least managed to keep the blog going during the rest of the year this time. I do intend to average at least two posts per month, so do keep coming back. You can subscribe using the box on the top right and you will get notified of all new posts by email.

Finally

Do go to the RPGaDay page, track #RPGaDay on Twitter, and rummage through the posts to see what piques your fancy. And as always, thank you to David Chapman (Autokratik) and Anthony Boyd (Runeslinger) for pulling it together for an eighth year.

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