Continuing with RPGaDay, this week is all about game and dice mechanics. You can catch my other RPGaDay posts over at Renaissance Gamer.
Day 27: Share a Great Stream/Actual Play
I actually had an article in the works on this topic, because TTRPG streaming and actual play is such a new and exciting aspect of our hobby. So it’s a happy accident that RPGaDay should hit me with the question. I’m going to save that article, though, and instead take this moment to focus in on my current favourite streaming game master.
I became a fan of Eric Campbell and his shifting cast of players on Geek & Sundry/Alpha’s Eric’s TBD RPG actual play. The series mostly focused on playing in the Doctor Who RPG universe, with occasional one-shots into Middle Earth and Goblin Quest. As a Doctor Who fanboy (Fourth for original series, Nine for new series, in case you wondered) a chance to watch some role-playing in that universe was the initial draw for me. It didn’t take long, though, for me to be impressed and then inspired by Eric’s game mastering. His ability to improvise around the clever and rambunctious players at his table each week was something I drank in, as it was a skill I always felt I lacked as a GM. Along with a core group of players and a delightful rotating cast of guest players, Eric wove a tight, intricate, exciting story, worthy of the best of Doctor Who television. No word of a lie, while I am excited to see what Jodie Whittaker does with the role, I will always consider Amy Dallen as the first female Doctor.
So with all that love, I’d like to say I jumped on his next G&S/Alpha show, Shield of Tomorrow, as soon as it came out, but life and junk, you know? In truth I was about half a season behind when I finally climbed on board. And I got to experience the ultimate joy of binging that half a season in a matter of days. Then I experienced the exquisite pain, along with the rest of the Aux Crew (the name of the passionate fanbase of the show), of having to wait week to week for the next installment of the story. But the wait was worth it every week. Not only did Eric and the cast weave the same excellent story I came to expect from TBD RPG, but it took place in one of my favourite RPG universes I never got to play in, Star Trek. I’ve talked about how much I love the Star Trek Adventures RPG in other articles; at least some of that love comes from the example set for me by Eric and the crew of the USS Sally Ride. Beyond excellent role-playing, though, the series is worth celebrating for its inclusivity, featuring a wide range of characters and supporting characters across the LGBTQ2S and gender spectrum.
So when it was announced Shield of Tomorrow was ending (weeping! gnashing of teeth!), and that a new series with the same players and built on the Cypher System by Monte Cook Games was coming, I made sure not to miss the launch. In a setting co-created by Eric and regular (and extraordinary) player Sam de Leve, Callisto 6 is shaping up to be an exciting dystopian superhero story, and I can’t wait to see where the story and these characters go. I’m already falling in love with future LA and the cast of fledgling super heroes.
So in short, find you any of the shows that Eric Campbell has or is game mastering, and settle in to be entertained. He is a generous, engaging game master and story teller, and he is what I strive to be when I run games. And while this will only be a relevant complement to the portion of you who are also huge Forgotten Realms fans, he is the closest we may get to a Harper in the real world.
What streaming/actual-play shows do you watch? Comment below with your favourites.