For a while now, I've joined in a Tunnels and Trolls game run by Jon Hastings, mostly with members of his longstanding friend group. One of them, George, wanted to have a conversation with Jon about how to follow up on what interested him in his RPG experiences. I nosily asked if they would be willing to have me join in and record it, and they said "sure".
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Sean, Jon and I have, for a few months now, been playing Heavy Gear — a science fiction role-playing game set on a futuristic planet where a cold war is turning hot, with a high emphasis on armed combat between the titular “heavy gears” — human-shaped fighting machines inspired by Japanese comics and cartoons (Appleseed and Armored Trooper VOTOMS are a couple of obvious inspirations).
I rarely get the chance to dig right into one of my most favored and preferred role-playing mechanics, the dice pool. Notwithstanding that I have yet to discover a reasonable description of what any such thing is, meaning, in a defining sense, applicable to various versions.
Science fiction is a vast squishy thing spread throughout all sorts of media and culture/subculture. Got it. I wanted to examine its content in two pretty-specialized media: mainstream television series and table-top role-playing. You’ll see three dialogues: first with Ángel, then Ivan, and finally Moreno. I’m first to admit, the result is a mess: not much more than dialogue, spitballing, trying to stay on track, with a couple of difficult variables in play.