thread: 2005-04-27 : The Open House 4: Handshaking

On 2005-04-28, Kai wrote:

Hi, I'm Poh Tun Kai, and I represent the entire Malaysian market for DitV and kpfs at the moment. :)

Been roleplaying since 1987, more or less, and I've found myself taking on the role of GM because nobody else seems to want to, and because folks tend to like my GMing. I ran D&D from Red Box Basic Set all the way on up to Companion for about three years, three parallel campaigns with the same bunch of players, during high school.

Later, I went to study Computer Science at the Ohio State University and picked up Feng Shui, which led me to throw out combat maps and jettison a lot of unnecessary pre-game preparation, like statting up every damn NPC in the world. That game probably influenced my GMing style more than anything else.

I did some writing for the Blue Planet RPG (including the short story "Easter" in the Archipelago sourcebook) before coming back to Malaysia and joining a computer game developer (one of those infernal Chinese-language MMORPGs, actually) for about three and a half years. I'm currently editor at a local computer magazine, although I plan to move on soon.

I still game semi-regularly with a rotating cast of about nine people, four of whom I consider to be my core group. I GM almost all the time. Folks seem to like my Dark Age Vampire (bloody politics) and Delta Green (horror and paranoia) campaigns most, although in the past I've done some fun Blue Planet and Feng Shui shoot-em-up games.

My most successful single session in the past couple of years was a Call of Cthulhu 1930s game (using Unknown Armies rules) where the PCs joined a broadway musical production to investigate occult murders at a music hall, and my players to our delight spent half the game just having fun with all the tropes of Jazz Era musicals.

I discovered Indie RPGs and the associated theory mainly because of Paka's DitV review on (where I go by the handle PTiKachu). I grok some of the theory Vincent talks about, but a lot less of the stuff on Forge, which I skim occasionally. I'm trying to incorporate what new ideas I can into my much more traditionalist Vampire and L5R games, but I fear I've spoiled my players with my GM-is-God style in the past.

Most of my players are very staunch traditionalists, with a mix of "I want to get into my character's head" Simulationist and "Step On Up" Gamist interests. Some find it hard to find the appeal in games like Primetime Adventures, but I have run DitV for them successfully a couple of times. Half of my players would like to try PTA, but the traditionalists (who are also among the most fun guys, actually) aren't interested.

I also plan to get DitV going in a local game store dominated by D20 and mini/card gamers in the near future. It seems to be much more accessible to traditional gamers and might be a stealth way to introduce more modern game design concepts to them.

I should mention that the gaming scene in the Klang valley consists mainly of a few small groups of Malaysians who have studied abroad (and thus learned about RPGs) and their circles, and there are only four functional game stores, all relying heavily on minis and cardgaming for income, only three of which stock RPGs, and then only D20 stuff.

One of my ambitions is to come up with an RPG based on the Infernal Affairs films, wherein players each play a PAIR of double agents on BOTH sides of a police/Triad war.

And I think I've taken up too much bandwidth, so it's back to lurking. :)


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