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Subject: Geek of the Month #427 - Chris (bobcatt) Abbott rss

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Chris Abbott
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jasri wrote:
Thanks for the detailed replies, Chris! Great way to learn more about you!

Thanks for asking such detailed questions, Jonas.

It’s easier to discover the flaws in your own thinking when you try to explain your thoughts/opinions to someone else.
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Quaid Slauson wrote:
Congratulations, Chris!

These are awesome:
Poll
Two truths and a lie:
I stalked William Shatner for 5 hours at a high risk of serious disciplinary action.
I missed the chance to visit my family's ancestral castle because of Eccles cakes.
I shovelled a couple of tonnes of coal into a steam locomotive that was pulling Santa Claus.
      24 answers
Poll created by irishman

I had a hard time choosing.

Believe me, Quaid, I had a hard time coming up with plausible statements without seeming mundane.
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Congrats Chris! Well deserved! GotW honors way overdue.

A couple of questions:

Looking back on you game store days, what was you best memory working at the game store? What was the worst incident?


Now for something fun:

If you could have any four celebrities join you for an RPG session, who would you invite and why? What game would you play and who would be the GM?
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Chris Abbott
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pdzoch wrote:
Congrats Chris! Well deserved! GotW honors way overdue.

A couple of questions:

Looking back on you game store days, what was you best memory working at the game store? What was the worst incident?


Now for something fun:

If you could have any four celebrities join you for an RPG session, who would you invite and why? What game would you play and who would be the GM?

Thank you, Patrick!

I’ll answer your second question first, and then have a long think about the “fun” scenario.

The worst incident happened in an empty store. It was halfway through a boring, midweek shift featuring little interaction with humanity (I often worked solo on weekdays). Suddenly, without warning, an entire shelf holding hundreds of little glass bottles of Testor’s enamel paints in their display racks broke free of its fittings and crashed down 36” onto the carpeted floor of the shop. Once my wits had returned, I began excavating and sorting the bottles by colour. The display rack was slightly twisted and need to be straightened. Two or three of the bottles had cracked and spilled out onto the carpet. I soaked up the garish liquid, collected the broken glass and began assessing the failure. One of the metal clips that installed in the vertical shelf stanchions appeared to have simply folded in on itself, dropping the front corner of the shelf, allowing the weight of the paint+glass to flip the shelf forward and disgorge its contents. I hunted around the tiny stock room for spare parts, reassembled the shelf and set up the racking again. The store had been open for more than 6 months with no changes to the shelving and a typical amount of stock rotation. Everything seemed solid; no shake or tipping. I re-loaded the display with the paint bottles, wrote up a report for the boss, noted that the paint stain was limited in area to one carpet tile (of which we had spares), cashed out the till, turned off the lights, and closed up the store.

I made it about three steps before I heard the same crashing sound again.
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Jonas (he/him)
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bobcatt wrote:
I made it about three steps before I heard the same crashing sound again.


Did you turn around to fix it as best as you could, or walk home pretending you hadn't heard?
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Chris Abbott
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jasri wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
I made it about three steps before I heard the same crashing sound again.


Did you turn around to fix it as best as you could, or walk home pretending you hadn't heard?

Knowing that I’d be the one having to deal with it first thing in the morning, I bit the bullet, went back in, and cleaned it up immediately. This time, several more bottles had broken but only stained one adjacent carpet tile. Oddly, all the metal shelf clips were still their correct shape but a small corner of the (wood byproduct) shelf itself had broken away. The remaining stock of bottles and the display rack stayed on the sales counter overnight.
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Chris Abbott
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pdzoch wrote:
Congrats Chris! Well deserved! GotW honors way overdue.

A couple of questions:

Looking back on you game store days, what was you best memory working at the game store?

My best memory would be of the four bridge-playing ladies who walked out with a copy of the red box, Basic D&D game which I recounted in this QOTD thread...
https://rpggeek.com/article/31678167#31678167
Chalk up another victory for reasoned discussion.
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Chris Abbott
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pdzoch wrote:
Now for something fun:

If you could have any four celebrities join you for an RPG session, who would you invite and why? What game would you play and who would be the GM?

I think you've injured my brain, Patrick. I could mull over this question endlessly, but I'll put the brakes on and offer my gut feelings. I will presume that this thought experiment allows me to choose any celebrity from any time period, at the height of their careers.

Sidney Poitier - one of the finest actors to ever set foot in front of a camera
Carol Burnett - one of the funniest people I've ever seen, yet can handle a much broader range of roles
Christopher Lee - for the voice, the eyes, the physical presence, and the decades-spanning, multi-genre experience
Michelle Yeoh - possesses the perfect combination of grace, elegance, and a$$ kicking

I've chosen four (relatively) contemporary motion-picture personalities because seeing them perform many times has left lasting impressions on me. I would expect them to immediately comprehend their characters and invest themselves fully in the roles provided, bringing all of their amazing talents, wit, and sense of timing to bear on an adventure.

I would have to be the GM. Being a player in amongst any three of them would be too much pressure for me. However, the level of effort I'd feel obligated to put into the game prep would dwarf everything I've done before. My thought would be to develop a gritty, double-cross caper lightly peppered with opportunities for surgically precise violence and a darkly humorous vein coursing through it. As yet I can't think of which system I'd need to use, though.
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bobcatt wrote:


Sidney Poitier - one of the finest actors to ever set foot in front of a camera
Carol Burnett - one of the funniest people I've ever seen, yet can handle a much broader range of roles
Christopher Lee - for the voice, the eyes, the physical presence, and the decades-spanning, multi-genre experience
Michelle Yeoh - possesses the perfect combination of grace, elegance, and a$$ kicking



What an awesome game group!
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Chris Abbott
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pdzoch wrote:
bobcatt wrote:


Sidney Poitier - one of the finest actors to ever set foot in front of a camera
Carol Burnett - one of the funniest people I've ever seen, yet can handle a much broader range of roles
Christopher Lee - for the voice, the eyes, the physical presence, and the decades-spanning, multi-genre experience
Michelle Yeoh - possesses the perfect combination of grace, elegance, and a$$ kicking



What an awesome game group!

I had iterations that started off with Lee Van Cleef and Mel Blanc...
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Hans Messersmith
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With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
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bobcatt wrote:
My fondest memory of a PC would be that of my 1st ed AD&D Dwarven fighter, Roltar.
He worked his way up to 7th level in a tough but fair campaign run by
Brian Misiaszek
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Hey, I know Brian!

Congratulations, Chris! My question is the same one I asked in a different thread, how close do you live to Hamilton Ontario? Close enough we could game?
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Chris Abbott
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skalchemist wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
My fondest memory of a PC would be that of my 1st ed AD&D Dwarven fighter, Roltar.
He worked his way up to 7th level in a tough but fair campaign run by
Brian Misiaszek
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Hey, I know Brian!

Congratulations, Chris! My question is the same one I asked in a different thread, how close do you live to Hamilton Ontario? Close enough we could game?

Thank you, Hans! I must’ve missed that question/thread. :facepalm: I feel so stupid. We could’ve used you on Saturday evening when we were short a player for Brian’s enjoyable Pulp Cthulhu one-shot. I am about an hour away from The Hammer; I’ll PM you.
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Hans Messersmith
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bobcatt wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
My fondest memory of a PC would be that of my 1st ed AD&D Dwarven fighter, Roltar.
He worked his way up to 7th level in a tough but fair campaign run by
Brian Misiaszek
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waaaaaay back in the early 1980s.
Hey, I know Brian!

Congratulations, Chris! My question is the same one I asked in a different thread, how close do you live to Hamilton Ontario? Close enough we could game?

Thank you, Hans! I must’ve missed that question/thread. :facepalm: I feel so stupid. We could’ve used you on Saturday evening when we were short a player for Brian’s enjoyable Pulp Cthulhu one-shot. I am about an hour away from The Hammer; I’ll PM you.
In general, I would rather watch paint dry than play in a Cthulhu game, regardless of how awesome the players and GM will be, but I certainly always appreciate being invited!

Yeah, send me a geek mail and we can connect.
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Chris Abbott
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skalchemist wrote:
In general, I would rather watch paint dry than play in a Cthulhu game, regardless of how awesome the players and GM will be, but I certainly always appreciate being invited!

Yeah, send me a geek mail and we can connect.

I've made no secret of my general dislike for the Cthulhu subject matter and its typical presentation in a game, but I've played in several of Brian's one-shot adventures since returning to RPGs and they have been enjoyable. He was the top GM of my original group when we all started.

Saturday's game had myself and two newbies as players. They caught on to the role-play idea right away and it was a tense but fun frolic in the frozen wastes.
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bobcatt wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
In general, I would rather watch paint dry than play in a Cthulhu game, regardless of how awesome the players and GM will be, but I certainly always appreciate being invited!

Yeah, send me a geek mail and we can connect.

I've made no secret of my general dislike for the Cthulhu subject matter and its typical presentation in a game, but I've played in several of Brian's one-shot adventures since returning to RPGs and they have been enjoyable. He was the top GM of my original group when we all started.

Saturday's game had myself and two newbies as players. They caught on to the role-play idea right away and it was a tense but fun frolic in the frozen wastes.


I'm with you on that, Chris. Cthulhu RPGs just leave me cold - as you know, among the many issues I have with it is I can't stand the lack of player agency that results from losing one's sanity. But Brian's one-shots more than make up for that - they're always good fun.

Saturday's games were most enjoyable: D6 Star Wars in the afternoon, and teenaged superheroes in FATE in the evening!

Cheers!
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Chris Abbott
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tpm1ca wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
I've made no secret of my general dislike for the Cthulhu subject matter and its typical presentation in a game, but I've played in several of Brian's one-shot adventures since returning to RPGs and they have been enjoyable. He was the top GM of my original group when we all started.

I'm with you on that, Chris. Cthulhu RPGs just leave me cold - as you know, among the many issues I have with it is I can't stand the lack of player agency that results from losing one's sanity. But Brian's one-shots more than make up for that - they're always good fun.

Saturday's games were most enjoyable: D6 Star Wars in the afternoon, and teenaged superheroes in FATE in the evening!

I'm still ticked off about missing Tales From The Loop in the afternoon, but it shouldn't happen again (due to the same excuse) for 10+ more years.

The Pulp Cthulhu rules certainly give a different feel to the game than the other "Something of Cthulhu" versions I've played, and the new Conan 2d20 system gave only the merest hint of Mythos inclusion, while allowing for some truly cinematic character actions.
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Hi Chris - Question Time:

What older (out of print) RPG would you like to see updated and re-released, and why? What did you like about the older game - what didn't you like - and what would you want to see updated in it?

- Trevor
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Chris Abbott
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tpm1ca wrote:
What older (out of print) RPG would you like to see updated and re-released, and why? What did you like about the older game - what didn't you like - and what would you want to see updated in it?

Every game that I played more than one session of 'back in the day' has already seen one or more updates (for better or worse). Let's see if I can stick to the spirit of your question, though. I've got two candidates for this Hail Mary exercise.

Top Secret/S.I. - The recent New World Order version of the franchise really missed the mark for me. I eagerly jumped on the KickStarter bandwagon when this project was announced in the mistaken (totally my fault) belief that they were going to revise the mid-80s setting to the 21st century. What was delivered was, in fact, a totally different game system.

In TS/S.I., I like the rapid HTH combat resolution, Luck points, the WEB vs ORION conflict, the setting books, well... practically everything, frankly. What I didn't like were a few typos/omissions in the core rules (a minor quibble hardly worth mentioning). What needs to be updated is all of the technology-related details (weapons, computers, vehicles, communications) plus any material relevant to the primary governmental and in-game 'secret' organisations. This could be accomplished through new editions of the "G4 File" and "Covert Operations" source books, but who will write new expansions for a system that's been out of print for 3 decades?

Skyrealms of Jorune - (previously noted as a game I have not yet played) I am completely enamoured of the concept behind this game but, having read through the rules multiple times, I don't get the impression that it could be played enjoyably as written.

The trippy artwork, extensive backstory, and physical setting tick the most important 'like' boxes for me. Actually using the magic system, however, makes little sense so far. There is also the confusing disconnect between focusing on societal advancement and the inclusion of a fiddly, crunchy combat system. I remain confident that a full immersion in all of the fan-created supplemental material would advance my understanding, BUT, the fact that 'unofficial' BRP and Savage Worlds versions of the system have already been created leads me to believe that others also found the rules-as-written unusable. I'd like to see a thoroughly playtested version of improved mechanics for the game released for use with the existing source material rather than an complete rewrite/re-release.



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Congratulations, Chris!
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Which one is NOT true?:
Poll
Two truths and a lie:
I stalked William Shatner for 5 hours at a high risk of serious disciplinary action.
I missed the chance to visit my family's ancestral castle because of Eccles cakes.
I shovelled a couple of tonnes of coal into a steam locomotive that was pulling Santa Claus.
      24 answers
Poll created by irishman

To those who guessed that I missed visiting my family's ancestral castle because of Eccles cakes was the lie, you are correct! I missed out because I took the wrong exit on a roundabout, got lost, and had to be rescued by two British Telecom workers whose breakfast I interrupted in a lay-by.

I had to stalk Mr. Shatner directly under the noses of my Director, the two Vice Presidents, and the President of the company while they gave him an extensive tour of our facility. It was worth it to snag one of only two autographs given that day.

The coal shovelling was done at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Portland, on a 1918 Vulcan locomotive during one of their "Santa Fest" fundraising events. The loco's cab was so small my tail end was hanging out the side door for most of the trips back and forth along their short line.
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