Zak put out a questionnaire for DMs. My answers follow in italic.
1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be? In AFG players decide how their PC will gain the next level. No XPs, just action. Sham did really important previous work tho, and I’d never managed without him.
2. When was the last time you GMed? My last evening in Italy before coming back to Britain, December 17.
3. When was the last time you played? I can’t remember. Sometime in spring. A FATE fantasy game.
4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven’t run but would like to. Keep that trade route open!
5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things? I listen and take notes.
6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play? Crisps or chocolates, as I rarely run games at mine. I know, it’s terrible for my health, but they’re TASTY.
7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting? Yes. But I can go on for a while.
8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing? My halfling thief, Pappo il Grande, was attacked by 6 or 7 oozes in a session. And survived them all. I’m really proud of Pappo.
9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither? Both! 😀
10. What do you do with goblins? Pathfinder really opened my mind about goblins. Jeff with Cinder broke a gaping hole in what was left of the walls. Plus a lot of them roll on the “goblin mutation table” I wrote for Xmas Santicore 2011. Semi-nasty comedy value is FUN!
11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)? The first volume of Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights, Osprey. I’m throwing together an historical AFG supplement.
12. What’s the funniest table moment you can remember right now? In Cinder, “what are the goblin up to?” came up with “they’re preparing for a bunny eating contest”. Hilarity ensues. Some of the bunnies ended up as pets, other ended up being sacrificed to K’Z’K (Thanks Jeff!).
13. What was the last game book you looked at–aside from things you referenced in a game–why were you looking at it? I was looking at D20 Past. D20 Modern has a structured way of presenting its mini-settings and i was trying to understand it better.
14. Who’s your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator? Da Vinci, Dali, Beardsley and Clarke are both dead and never have illustrated any RPG. I’ll settle for DiTerlizzi.
15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid? I’m not sure. Surely they were concerned about their PCs. I gave one nightmares tho. Really funny nightmares.
16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn’t write? (If ever) Rod of the Seven Parts. The last three sessions put the word end to a d20 campaign lasted 9 years. Big, big closure. It’s also been my only campaign that ended successfully, despite a funcional TPK happening. After the Rod hit Miska everybody died except the mage. I thought “Chaos wins!”, but the MU snapped his Staff of Power, vaporizing himself and Miska. There goes Miska and the last standing party member. Somehow a priest left for dead in the back was merely stunned from Miska’s Power Word, so after a while just he woke up, put the corpses in a portable hole and planeshifted himself everybody’s remains home. The End.
17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in? Long table, DM sitting alone on a long side, players on the other side. Yep, like exams.
18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be? something to properly trade goods and a single volume book containing all the OSR tables. ALL OF THEM.
19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be? Being exposed to a lot of medieval art and architecture traveling as a kid and left-wing anarcho-communist politics.
20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table? Active players, I want them to do stuff with my sandbox.
21. What’s a real life experience you’ve translated into game terms? Being disempowered by authority acting without its powers. Mostly being translated to town watch being nasty as fuck in my games.
22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn’t? Vornheim Hinterland & Beyond.
23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn’t play? How do those conversations go? My flatmate used to play, and my lover used to play LARP, and I end up stopping because I perceive they don’t care, while understanding that, hey, not everybody does, and it’s fine. There’s this disconnection I can’t always bridge. It kinda annoys me that they don’t have the same passion as I do for games, but through exposure they’re getting slowly more involved. Very slowly.