The Prompter Hawk is a giant magical bird which, according to legend, cannot see those who answer its probing questions, so that is the safest way to avoid being devoured. The Prompter Hawk will present discussions here on Mastodon each day of August. This post shows the first ten, there will be daily posts for each one. Reply to individual posts or use the prompt-specific hashtag. (Feel free to re-use any images, and it’s OK to miss days, jump ahead, catch up later, etc.).

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1. Describe yourself with a word that’s actually a backronym made up of TTRPGs you’ve played or games you want to play. Like:

I’m a CoMMaNDo
Cold City
Mouse Guard
Marvel Heroic RPG
Night’s Black Agents
Dogs in the Vineyard


I want to be S.T.A.T.I.C.
Apocalypse World
Cortex Prime

2. Due to some multiverse shenanigans, the real you and one of your RPG characters switch places. Which character, and how would that go for each of you?

3. Have you ever had an RPG session where the characters experienced a natural disaster like a flood, earthquake, or hurricane? If so, how did it go? If not, what’s the closest equivalent you have experienced?

4. If a genie offered to magically put you in charge of creating a new edition of D&D would you want the job? Why or why not? Is there a different game you’d ask to be in charge of instead?

5. Of RPG characters that you’ve played, which one was the wealthiest relative to a typical resident of their setting? How much power and influence did they have?

6. If you needed to dream up a new RPG system in which one of the traditional set of gaming dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20) took pride of place, which die would it be?

7. What is the biggest difference you’ve experienced between what you thought a game was like from just hearing about it to what you know a game is like from reading/playing it?

8. How do you feel about the amount of gaming you’re doing these days? Are there obstacles to doing the amount of gaming you want?

9. If there was a bizarro-world version of you, what would their favorite RPG be?

10. Without giving it away, choose an RPG and describe how the core essence of it would appear if it manifested as an entity in a dream.

@DanMaruschak I'm a ReCORD:

REalms of Peril
Cortex Prime
Old-School Essentials

This prompt-a-day event is off to a great start! Thought-provoking and fun to poke.

My list is 5 RPGs I've never played before, all of which I'm eager to try out. Funnily enough, my backronym precisely reverses my order of interest: Dune is the game I most want to run. I'm all-in on that line, have seen the 2021 movie 5 times, and am currently rereading the 1965 novel.



Kobolds Ate my baby
Dark Ages (white wolf)
It was a mutual decision
CALl of cthulhu


I do go on sometimes. I JABBER.

Banda's Grove
Beyond! The Hypertrench
Raccoon Sky Pirates

2. Due to some multiverse shenanigans, the real you and one of your RPG characters switch places. Which character, and how would that go for each of you?

So the first character that sprang to mind was Perenell Kiwu, my castrato magnet school boarding student from a Burning Wheel game. He's a flamboyant narcissist who is all about making a scene and showing off his talent and wit. One time he had the Belief of "Violence is exhilarating! I shall start a fight."

If I were in his place, all of a sudden, I think I'd be able to hack some of the musical performance and composition parts of his schooling, but I definitely couldn't sing with his range. People might also wonder why he'd suddenly chilled out so much lmao. I think I'd probably handle the zombie infestation part of the game with similar recklessness; he beat up a zombie with a sack of horse feed and that's probably what I'd have tried to do in that situation as well.

Of course, if he were in my place... I think he'd be much worse about following COVID protocols lmao. He'd be out looking for winsome wealthy strangers to fight and/or seduce. I think he'd get very bored living in this house in a small city, and try to catch a trip to some big exciting city. I don't think my current friends/family would like him very much.

@DanMaruschak Rakaash the 8.5 ft tall troll warrior struggles with acts of fine dexterity, so he's now stuck replacing motherboards and tiny screws inside of computers while I'm stuck in the world of Talisman:Adventures I had to leave his 10ft. two-handed flail because I couldn't even lift it and I'm running for my life from some temple priests pursuing me, so pardon if I cut this a bit short!
*fireball flies overhead*

only boosting my own post here since Rakaash might show up in the next episode of Deef's Briefs, or at least his story so far, and I would like to include this since it's a hilarious idea.

@DanMaruschak It would probably be fine, I think... my main character at the moment is a DM PC (although not in the tiresome 'character who does everything' sense) from Shadowrun.

I couldn't do her job, and she couldn't do my job, but I think our respective groups of friends would look after us.


Closest I've had was the dam burst at the start of Deep Carbon Observatory. It's quite the landscape of flooded horror with barely minutes on decide on who you can help.

For those looking for disaster ideas, here's 5

@cyancqueak @DanMaruschak Yeah, same. If I remember correctly, the party split up to try and help every single person, and there were enough characters there to do it, and after a resolving a bunch of them I felt that going through the rest of these "tough decisions" wasn't too interesting so I hand-waved the rest.

@kensanata @DanMaruschak I was playing a solo play by post game, so the choices were very real as my character very much could not save everyone.


we had a Traveller adventure where, at one point, the characters were on a giant lashed-together raft of barges that comprised a city floating in the middle of an ocean on a water world, and it was struck by a hurricane .

@DanMaruschak I would not want the job. I created my own rules and created nice enough PDFs for them, but they reflect the game I want to play and I wouldn’t want to impose that visions on others. I would not mind people using the rules and enjoying them, of course – but that is a different joy. As this is a general argument, I also wouldn’t want to be responsible for any other game except for the games I run and play with my friends.


Oh fuck no lmao. I don't want to be in charge of anything with a fanbase that large. I don't want to have to manage a team.

Honestly I can't think of an existing property that I'd want to be in charge of.

@DanMaruschak d6 – they are ubiquitous and all the other dice are gimmicks. I used to love weird dice but them I played Traveller and discovered that they were not necessary at all.

@DanMaruschak D12, but the proprietary dice would be rhombic dodecahedrons

@DanMaruschak I remember reading session reports by Judd about his Burning Wheel game on some forum or other (hateful orcs?) and when I got them back in 2007, I was shocked by the page count of the combat rules.

@DanMaruschak I play little as a non-GM/non-host of a game, since at least 12 months. Sometimes some GMless session might take place, but I yearn for being Player Character User.

@DanMaruschak Discord has allowed me to ramp up my gaming and I feel very good about that. Right now I'd like to run more games and play more games, but with a lot of people here being on summer holidays, it's a bit of a lull.

@DanMaruschak Shock: Social Science Fiction. It was much more structured than I expected going in and it really drove story.

@linnaeus I was actually thinking of my experience with Shock: Social Science Fiction when I wrote this question. Before reading it I had thought it was meant for taking a contemporary social issue and pulling it apart and building a science fiction story around it to explore it (like the episode of Star Trek TOS with the half-white/half-black aliens). It's actually sort of the opposite of that.

@DanMaruschak I don't think I could take the abuse from the D&D fanbase 😅.
I'd much rather work on a new edition of In Nomine. #EditionWishing


For sure! I used to start all my D&D campaigns with a natural disaster lmao. Usually brought about by a Lich or a cult or a fed-up druid or some shit like that.

My favorite was the one that started with an unseasonable blizzard. I just found it a really useful method of bringing the PCs together and giving them a common goal.

Whoaaaa your previous life is destroyed and it's only you and the people who took shelter in this building who survived in the area, what do you do?

@DanMaruschak The volcanic eruption was unexpectedly not that dangerous compared to the demigods fighting nearby.
Closest I experienced IRL was a volcanic rock landing on the road while visiting the Piton de la Fournaise. #Natural1

@DanMaruschak I would perform surprisingly well as a LAPD investogator on this particular techno-supernatural case because I'm genre-savvy and the plot's inspirations are everything but subtle.
My real life friends and colleagues would, on the other hand, not have the best of times dealing with my character's pathos.

@DanMaruschak #backronymGaming

I have a celeb chest

Cypher system
East Texas University
Enea (Dragons)

City of Mist
Hawkmoon Résistance
Savage Worlds
Tokyo Otherscape

@DanMaruschak I must admit I love DICKS. 🍆
Dragon de Poche²
Into the Odd
Chthonic Codex
Shadow of the Demon Lord

@Whidou @DanMaruschak into the odd is my favorite, but also the only one I have read and run 😊
And written for...

@DanMaruschak I'm a big SWIMMER FUCKER
Star wars d6
Mutant year zero

Fading suns
Castle Falkenstein
Khaos 1795

Ups, I forgot the I, which was supposed to be Ixalan (the mtg world, which i've played in using macchiatto monsters)


I can answer question 3 -- I had a Mage the Ascension game where the players were trying to escape the Technocracy while their city was being flooded due to non-magical extreme rain.

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