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RPG» Forums » Site Related » RPGGeek News

Subject: RPG Geek of the Week #52: Jasper (jaspermeer) rss

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Why should I fret in microcosmic bonds / That chafe the spirit, and the mind repress / When through the clouds gleam beckoning beyonds / Whose shining vistas mock man's littleness?
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After a fun, but also quite eventful week, it's now time for me to pass the place in the spotlight to another fellow Geek, who is deserving some more attention in my eyes.

So please welcome Jasper, and give him a warm applause!

Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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He always struck me as being a gentle and kind person, and our conversations were quite interesting. But since his profile did not reveal that much (so far), I thought this was the right time to give him the possibility to introduce him properly to you.

Without much further ado:

I present the first RPG Geek of the Week in 2011!

jaspermeer wrote:
Many thanks to Daniel, who caught me flat-footed in kind as a choice of successor. Daniel expressed friendly curiosity about my geekdom, so I’ll plug through this in hopes of creating more connections within our community on the ‘Geek. Geekery is so much better when it’s shared!

For babies of the 1970s, the D&D red box introduced many of us to RPGs. The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series baited me into purchasing the basic set in 1984. After its brief solo adventure, I was firmly hooked. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea, and Andrew Lang’s fairy tale collections could be crystallized within a game and played! For a nine year old, this was stepping off the edge of the map to explore a brave new world.

I mostly gamed with two childhood friends, one of whom would later give me the The Basic Writings of Nietzsche edited by Walter Kaufmann. Number 137 from Mixed Opinions and Maxims captured our approach to play best, when Nietzsche claims "The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole." Everything we read or saw was raw material for the RPGs* we played throughout elementary school and middle school. In high school, we’d refocus into academic pursuits. By mid-junior year, time for gaming had evaporated, but like Nietzsche’s plundering soldiers, we marched onward to loot information for games. Games had gone by the wayside, but gaming itself had given us a framework for the world both analytically (abstracting experiences into game mechanics) and in formulating narratives (tying together diverse material relationally and rationally.)

In the last year of university, I returned to games through a girlfriend met in an advanced ecology course. She was into LARPs and tabletop RPGs**. LARPing was deadly dull; stepping away from a tabletop game for impromptu theatrics is fun, but this LARPing was just cosplay and rock/paper/scissors/badhygiene/powertripping. Tabletop gaming was good, but it went south along with the relationship.

Three years later, a friend introduced me to Eurogames through a vicious game of St. Petersburg. This began a long period of buying board games and organizing game nights that’s yet to end. A new interest in board games lead to lurking on BGG for a few years before registering in 2005. An Ameritrash gem, Arkham Horror, rekindled interest in RPGs, thus I discovered My Life with Master, The Shab al Hiri Roach, and Lacuna Part 1 when stumbling across the Indie RPG Awards site.

Wow! RPGs had changed! I’d relegated RPGs as the precursors to video games, and thought of video games as constantly improved iterations of the RPGs and video games that had preceded. Narrative games with novel, light mechanics really excel where slotted video games and MMORPGs fail. In particular, there’s group collaboration in world building and more creative play. The Forge, Story Games, and, of course, RPGgeek have pulled me back into RPGs. Y’all are amazing folks concocting wonderful stories! Reading about how you play, discussing gaming, and spontaneous silliness are all great joys. The ‘geek is a meta-gaming site where play abounds. I love it.

*Dungeons and Dragons, Advanced D&D 2e, Battletech, Aerotech, Mechwarrior, Psi World, Paranoia, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenagers from Outerspace, Toon, Mechanoids, Top Secret, Ninjas and Superspies, Cyberpunk, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Warhammer Fantasty Role Play... lots and lots of Cyberpunk and WFRP.

** If the game was set in White Wolf’s World of Darkness, then it was in the mix.


Edit: the poll works!

Poll
Jasper's Truths & Lie:
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
1. While working for our local Tree Keeper Organization, two volunteers I was leading unearthed a marble. I explained to them marbles were common toys back in the day, but marbles weren't the weirdest thing we'd dug up... They asked, so I told them: a human skull. And something rattled inside it, then rattled out of it: a Civil War musket ball.
15.4% 2
2. As a boy, I caught four trout with my bare hands in the High Unitas of Utah. My father, who'd packed in a fishing pole, caught nothing.
46.2% 6
3 School was partially paid for through a combination of nude modeling for art students, working at ranger stations in National Parks, sitting at a desk at the university herbarium, and drawing donor blood as a phlebotomist.
38.5% 5
Voters 13
This poll is now closed.   13 answers
Poll created by Engoduun
Closes: Sun Jan 9, 2011 6:00 am
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Sarge in charge!
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Why should I fret in microcosmic bonds / That chafe the spirit, and the mind repress / When through the clouds gleam beckoning beyonds / Whose shining vistas mock man's littleness?
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And, to get things started, some questions to you:

ninja Since you seem to be an avid reader, which books were the most fascinating for you? And which of these did you actually turn into a workable RPG in some form?

ninja Which published RPG did you like best so far, and why? And which one was a dud in your opinion?

ninja Speaking of "...lots and lots of Cyberpunk" - do you still like this setting, or has it outlived our real world, where it's partly set in? Or do you find there are many ways to resparkle this dingy world of mega-corps and street punks and hackers?


Have a wonderful week, my friend!
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T'Leynti
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Congrats Jasper!

For being the most common answer and so the least interesting story I'll pick #2 as the lie laugh
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Jan
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...come and join me in the tavern I buy you a mug of beer.
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Congratulations Jasper!

Here are my usual questions.

1What's you're favorite monster?
2What's you're favorite beer or other drink?
3Wich boardgames do you prefer?
4What's you're favorite meal?
5Will you congratulate you're BGG counterpart and ask him/her some questions?
6What was the most strange character you've ever created?

d10-7Who is going to win the second round?
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Thom Denholm
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All hail Jasper, and congrats!

1db I can't see all the characters in your name (durn character encoding!) - what do they mean?
1 I looked through all your RPG items, and it didn't take as long as your predecessor. Have you played Hot War yet? If so, what do you think?
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Bruce McGeorge
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Congrats Jasper!

d10-1 What was your best purchase in 2010? Why?

2 Is there something coming out in 2011 that you are eager to pick up? Any specific plans for it?

Enjoy your week?

The lie is obviously:

Quote:
2. As a boy, I caught four trout with my bare hands in the High Unitas of Utah. My father, who'd packed in a fishing pole, caught nothing.


Three is believable... four is pure madness.
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Congrats Jasper !




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paz AKA Matt Lewis
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Finished GMing the Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder Adventure Path at Chester Games Club!
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Congratulations! Here are my questions:

1 When was your last RPG session, what did you play, and who were you gaming with?
2 What's the furthest you've ever travelled specifically for role-playing?
3 Which published RPG (that you've never played before) do you most want to play?
4 How did you celebrate the new year; were any RPGs/board games/other games involved?
5 Do you have any gaming/RPGGeek-related new year's resolutions?
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Congratulations Jasper!

Just one question for now... will you beta test the next RPG Geek adventure?!
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Woot! Congrats!
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Jeff G
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These are not the droids you're looking for. You can go about your business.
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Move along.
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Congrats! I'll help pick you up off of the floor of the Tavern and carry you through the door so you can wave to all of your RPGotW fans.
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OK, junior, you're in the big leagues now... I'm going with #1 as the lie, you big archaeological fibber!

First, the standard questions:

Imagine you are designing the ULTIMATE RPG:

ninjaWhat dice/randomiser would it use?
ninjaWould it be more narrative or tabular in design?
ninjaWhat genre would its setting be?
ninjaWhat movies/films/TV would people liken it to?
ninjaGive us the names of 3 vital NPCs in the game's backstory.
ninjaWhat other mechanics would you like to tinker with?
ninjaWhat features would you try to put into combat?
ninjaWho would be the target audience for the game?
ninjaWho would you like to publish it?

Now, the specific stuff:

ninjaSenior Ecology course? I did a few of those - you're not really one of my Evolutionary Biologist Brothers, are you? (I loved doing my science degree, but it was strangely less useful than my arts degree...)
ninjaTell us about your gaming ambitions for 2011
ninjaIs it just me, or do you keep some odd hours on the 'Geek?
ninjaWhat's the best superpower a guy can have?
ninjaHow many more questions do I have to ask you?
ninjaAs a man of learning and distinction, do you prefer Lime or Passionfruit?
ninjaWhat's your favourite Steampunk meme?
ninjaYou meet Sir David Attenborough in a Train Station in Munich; what drink do you offer to buy him?
ninjaWho is the hottest Scientist in all human history?

More to come if I think you're getting bored!
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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These are not easy questions. Oof. I'm actually gonna have to earn the microbadge...

Engoduun wrote:
And, to get things started, some questions to you: ninja Since you seem to be an avid reader, which books were the most fascinating for you? And which of these did you actually turn into a workable RPG in some form?

Read concurrently, Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and Kevin Lynch's The Image of the City provide good ideas about cities as dynamic characters, rather than just static settings. Calvino evokes succinct senses of wonder and fantasy in his titular Invisible Cities; Lynch provides insights into how we encounter urban space and how it's mapped in our minds. Both the fiction and non-fiction are brilliant keys to Lacuna Part I. The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City (Second Attempt). In the RPG, Sorensen sketches Blue City in really broad strokes, but these two books can breathe so much life into it.

As for writing my own RPG, I've plans for adapting a Borges short story into a simple one-shot based around a common South American dice game. It's only gestating since I'm holding out for the next 24-Hour RPG competition!

Quote:
ninja Which published RPG did you like best so far, and why? And which one was a dud in your opinion?

Most RPGs have potential to be good based on who's at the table with you (with a few F.A.T.A.L. exceptions!) Players make games work or flop; I love games, but there's not going to be a lot of magic without good players.

I've had good luck with Trail of Cthulhu. It hits a sweet spot between narrative play and light, guiding game mechanics.

Given his success with Fiasco, it's entirely possible Jason Morningstar walks on water. I can pull non-rpg players into playing Fiasco with no sweat. Aside from being an amazingly good game, it's an amazingly accessible game. The production quality is top notch. Frak, I even bought the tee shirt and asked my girlfriend to model it:


I was probably too harsh on LARP games in the introduction, but my experience with them was pretty negative. There's probably a group of gamer thespians out there who can prove how wrong I am.

Quote:
ninja Speaking of "...lots and lots of Cyberpunk" - do you still like this setting, or has it outlived our real world, where it's partly set in? Or do you find there are many ways to resparkle this dingy world of mega-corps and street punks and hackers?

Remember Tomorrow is on top of it. William Gibson's observation that cyberpunk fiction is just a few minutes behind the moment it was published is spot on. In a way, the best cyberpunk fiction must be born out of RPG play: it's the most contemporary fiction in production. Keeping hard science in the science fiction is the best way to play out cyberpunk RPGs. Sites like Science Daily and io9 are rich with cyberpunk fodder. There are so many seeds for near future innovations and the drama they'll spawn.
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Thanks, Jan!


Barad_the_dwarf wrote:
1What's you're favorite monster?

Owlbears, dammit! Olive might be a little abusive, but I love her!
Quote:
2What's your favorite beer or drink?
I began drinking fairly late at 31 years, so I'm not much of a drinker. I don't really care for beer or wine, mostly fru-fru girly drinks or Scotch. I do, however, love Kreik Lambics! Soooo delicious. And Tiki drinks are really tasty! I'm usually only good for one drink before giving up. Alcohol makes me feel bloated and full...

Quote:
3Which boardgames do you prefer?
I've been a Dixit evangelist of late. Given the nature of the board game nights I organize, I'm always seeking games to hook new gamers. I've made scores of converts to boardgaming through game nights. These folks go from owning no board games, to bringing games I've never played. Spiel des Jahres gewinner Brettspielen are usually good gateway games...

Quote:
4What's you're favorite meal?
Gack! I've no idea. There's so much wonderful food in the world. Any Cantonese food is good. Ethiopian food is amazing and really similar to American Southeastern cuisine, which owes much to African cooking traditions.

Quote:
5Will you congratulate you're BGG counterpart and ask him/her some questions?
If you say so, Jan, then I will. I hadn't thought to do it, but it's a great and thoughtful idea.

Quote:
6What was the most strange character you've ever created?
There have been many, but the most recent was Blockhead. He was a social worker running a halfway house by day and the patron saint of San Francisco club kids by night. Supernatural entities suffered physical pain in his presence and powers went null against him. Blockhead was an NPC in an aborted Dresden Files game. He radiated this effusive, creepy lust for life. The concept was ripped off from this video:


Quote:
d10-7Who is going to win the second round?
I don't know, but I'm rooting for Olive!
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Hail Thom! Many days, I miss living in the Northwest. Seattle is awesome! The Fremont Bridge Troll made a lifelong impression on me.

thomcat wrote:
All hail Jasper, and congrats!1db I can't see all the characters in your name (durn character encoding!) - what do they mean?
They're just nautical stars, so there's little meaning in the bling.

Quote:
1 I looked through all your RPG items, and it didn't take as long as your predecessor. Have you played Hot War yet? If so, what do you think?
Hot war was good for one night of set up and one night of play. The backstabbing and intra-group competition lead to a bloodbath. We felt like it degenerated into a game of Paranoia. The concept is brilliant, but we might not have entered into the game in the right spirit...
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Thanks Bruce!

brumcg wrote:
d10-1 What was your best purchase in 2010? Why?

The Society of Dreamers is the perfect game for Søren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience.

Quote:
2 Is there something coming out in 2011 that you are eager to pick up? Any specific plans for it?
I'm not that plugged into gaming development, but there are RPG designer's whose productions I'll buy compulsively (e.g. Jason Morningstar, Paul Czege, Kenneth Hite, and John Tynes to name a few.)


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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Thank you kindly, Mr. Lewis!

parrais wrote:
1 When was your last RPG session, what did you play, and who were you gaming with?
The weekend before Christmas, I played the Fiasco Luck Strike playset with a couple of Emory University Womens' Studies and Religious Studies graduate students. (*Long, low whistle*) "That's some catch, that Catch-22..."

Quote:
2 What's the furthest you've ever travelled specifically for role-playing?
When I went to school at the University of Idaho and Washington State Uni (long story about how I wound up out there...,) my LARPer girlfriend once drove us to Vancouver, B.C. for VCON. It was a bit awkward; her LARPing group organized a kissing auction for an AIDS charity and I drew a significant sum greater than she did. Canadian women are amazingly hot. Truly. I love Canada.

Quote:
3 Which published RPG (that you've never played before) do you most want to play?
Easy: The Burning Wheel (Revised Edition).

Quote:
4 How did you celebrate the new year; were any RPGs/board games/other games involved?
New Year's Day, I taught and played Fjords with two young ladies. They enjoyed it immensely... ("Can we burn down our neighbor's farms?")

Quote:
5 Do you have any gaming/RPGGeek-related new year's resolutions?
Yes. Please add your own here: Suggest a 'Geek New Year's Resolution!.
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Congrats to you in kind, Dave! Your game is quite the success!

wavemotion wrote:
Just one question for now... will you beta test the next RPG Geek adventure?!
By all means! And I'm a bit uncertain why y'all have made some hay over the bug at the end of Beta 1? I kinda assumed it was just a minor glitch. Did it require a significant edit? You were whipping out the improved Beta versions (like six?) with all alacrity!
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
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Hida Mann wrote:
Imagine you are designing the ULTIMATE RPG:
ninjaWhat dice/randomiser would it use?
A comment on the probabilities:
Steffan O'Sullivan
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developed a really simple and elegant median distribution mechanic for his 24-hour RPG contest entry.

Quote:
ninjaWould it be more narrative or tabular in design?

Narrative. Storytelling is the thing. Tactical considerations should drive narrative.

Quote:
ninjaWhat genre would its setting be?
Low-fantasy/magical realism in Mexico City or Tokyo in the 1970s. Haruki Murakami and Gabriel García Márquez get to have their moment in the sun!

Quote:
ninjaWhat movies/films/TV would people liken it to?

Movies: The Serpent and The Rainbow, Bubba Ho-Tep, Rough Magic
Films: Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, Brazil, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand
TV: Slings and Arrows, Millennium, Twin Peaks

Quote:
ninjaGive us the names of 3 vital NPCs in the game's backstory.
Miss Savage Violet, Felix Soto, and The Man with Two Right Hands

Quote:
ninjaWhat other mechanics would you like to tinker with?
I've mentioned it elsewhere on RPGgeek, but a game that can take a dozen popular board games and offer ways of re-wrapping those games' themes to tie into the RPG would be fantastic. Conversion rules would guide moving characters across multiple games within the RPG.

Quote:
ninjaWhat features would you try to put into combat?

1. Swift
2. Deadly
The Remember Tomorrow The Windmilling Victim Injury Table puts on a pair of brass knuckles to knock the b.s. out of h.p. based combat:
Quote:
People get shot or otherwise injured... Roll three d10s and check.
Location: 1 Head, 2 Left Arm, 3-4 Upper Body, 5 Right Arm, 6 Abdomen, 7-8 Left Leg, 9-10 Right Leg.
Mess: 1 A Little through 10 A Lot.
Volume: 1 Silent through 3 Whimpering to 5-6 Screaming and 7-8 Shrieking to 10 Howling.


Quote:
ninjaWho would be the target audience for the game?
You're over-educated enough to make a fine target audience.

Quote:
ninjaWho would you like to publish it?
Bully Pulpit or Pelgrane Press?

Quote:
ninjaSenior Ecology course? I did a few of those - you're not really one of my Evolutionary Biologist Brothers, are you? (I loved doing my science degree, but it was strangely less useful than my arts degree...)
Yes, but probably more plant-centric: Philosophy (environmental ethics), Chemistry, and Botany. The Philosophy program was an add on and had lower course hour requirements. Naturally, I've fallen into urban forestry and land use policy as a career... ha!

Quote:
ninja Tell us about your gaming ambitions for 2011.
Throwing together more regular RPG play! It's a bit slapdash and catch-as-catch-can right now!

Quote:
ninjaIs it just me, or do you keep some odd hours on the 'Geek?

I wake up at 0500hrs(UTC offset −0500) whether I want to or not. I'm a morning bird. My iPhone makes snapping off replies during slivers of free time in the work day easy.

Quote:
ninjaWhat's the best superpower a guy can have?

The ability to inspire kindness, charity, and peace within others.

Quote:
ninjaHow many more questions do I have to ask you?

None or more as you please.

Quote:
ninja As a man of learning and distinction, do you prefer Lime or Passionfruit?
When I was in Brazil for a month, passion fruit was cheap and amazing in juices... Cashew fruit was good too and had a distinct smell that still punches my brain in recalling it.

Quote:
ninjaWhat's your favourite Steampunk meme?
A local steampunk act of fellow cyclists. Buy their CD, folks: The Extraordinary Contraptions.

Quote:
ninjaYou meet Sir David Attenborough in a Train Station in Munich; what drink do you offer to buy him?
Something strong. Perhaps double single malt Scotch from Speyside. These are rough times for conservationists.

Quote:
ninjaWho is the hottest Scientist in all human history?

ALL OF THE HERETICS ROASTING IN HELL, SIRRAH!
No, really, I've always felt Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev never got enough cred. He was very, very smart.

Quote:
More to come if I think you're getting bored!

Not bored, rather engaged. Cheers!
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Eric Dodd
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So you're a Corvette Captain? Where you headin'? What's the mission?

Because fish guggling is a well-known art, I also think number 2 is the LIE from being too probable.

Have a great week!
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Kyle
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I'm not a fan of the GotW idea...

But I'll give you a 'shout out' nonetheless.

NONETHELESS!

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My armor is contempt. My shield is disgust. My sword is hatred. In the Emperor's name, let none survive.
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Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed. Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.
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Congrats Jasper!

What is your favorite system? And is there anything you've changed / house ruled?

bag What is your favorite setting? And if it doesn't share your favorite system, how would you combine both to make your favorite game?

bacon There has to be a Dutch connection with a name like that, what gives?
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Sarge in charge!
Germany
Bremen
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Ash nazg durbatulûk
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Why should I fret in microcosmic bonds / That chafe the spirit, and the mind repress / When through the clouds gleam beckoning beyonds / Whose shining vistas mock man's littleness?
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Just a quick update: the poll works now.
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Thanks, Eric! And there have been a couple of known fibs (or three) told about catchin' fish, to be sure!

Red Wine Pie wrote:
So you're a Corvette Captain? Where you headin'? What's the mission?
Ja, Ich bin Korvettenkapitän dem Argo! Sind Sie mein Argonaut? We sail to wherever we can keep Olive the Owlbear flush with tasty Tiki drinks (she needs them for the vitamin C, so she can "Keep off the bleedy beaked scurvy!") The mission is to fleece the locals and avoid angry Thracian witch ex-girlfriends...
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Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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nyjastul69 wrote:
I'm not a fan of the GotW idea...But I'll give you a 'shout out' nonetheless.
NONETHELESS!


Dave Bernazzani (@rpggeek)
United States
Plainville
Massachusetts
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I wish to provide legendary service to the RPG community to help grow our hobby and enrich the lives of gamers everywhere.
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and YOURSELF WILL PLAY LOW, THIEVING BASTARDS OF A BURNING CITY AT THE MARGINS OF A FORGOTTEN, DYING EMPIRE! NONETHELESS!
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