#RPGTheoryJuly – 10th – Ephemera

This is an odd topic for RPG theory as almost everything in game is ephemeral. The way I tend to play the only physical objects are either my phone or my laptop. I have my solo engine as an app, my dice are an app, my rules are a PDF and my character tends to be in excel.

Right now I am sat in a hospital reception waiting for the mini bus to take me to the airport and back to the island. If I wasn’t writing this post I would probably be playing Ghost Ops (the FUDGE version not 5e). The starting point would be a terrorist raid to snatch their wounded leader from intensive care where he is under armed guard. I would start the game from the point where concussion grenades start going off and my fellow guards are decimated.

My journal would be a list also in excel as would any lists of NPCs or scenes.

I have two hours to kill and at the end of that time absolutely nothing permanent would exist to say the game ever happened.

When I play a group game I have the rules on tablet but I still end up with paper. We have character sheets. I have my adventure notes and we spawn paper for maps, sketches and at least a few secret notes. We use physical dice, one player says he doesn’t trust dice apps to be fair which is ironic as he is the most likely to misread his roll and revise it upwards. (Don’t worry, I have a habit of misreading tables and revising them downwards.)

Even with all this physical stuff I still think I am pretty paper light. On the tables is everything from a 5 year campaign.

I think that is pretty paper light but it is still significantly more than I could whip out in a hospital waiting room.

So I think solo play has greater potential to be entirely ephemeral,.if you want it. If you love books and dice then that is also an option.

In group play shedding the paper and books is much, much harder.

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