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Friday, November 29, 2013

I wish I could play in a campaign of (....)

Friday the RPG discussion day of the week.
Are there any games that you have wanted to play a campaign in but have never had the chance?
There are so many games out there! The pool  of games to select from is broad and deep, with the RPG industry 30 plus years old (depending on what yard stick you wield.) Add to that long history the current small press renaissance that we are in the middle of it seems there are more great games popping out every time a guy turns around. Each of us must have at least a few games that make us say, “Damn! I wish I could get a game of that rolling.”

I put the question to the group I game with and one of the guys gave back, “GURPS discworld.”
Unsurprisingly I have never read any of the Discworld books. And with all respect to Mr. Pratchett, I don’t plan on starting in on it right away, simply because all told I think there are like 40+ novels to chew through.  As an RPG however the discworld RPG powered by GURPS light and written as a standalone by Phil Masters and the series author Terry Pratchett, looks fun as all get out. I think my lack of setting knowledge would relegate me to “bungling player” status, but any game with a cover image of the grim reaper, standing on a mountain top, jamming out on a flying V, has a tiny bit of my heart already.

What was striking to me was yet another friend also answered emphatically GURPS as a game he had never played in a campaign and would love to try.
GURPS again.
Damn.
GURPS.
I have mixed feelings about GURPS and here is what it stems from, NOTHING. My opinion is based only on internet reading and hear-say.  I have been lead to believe that GURPS is very, very crunchy and difficult to get into, but a good system once every one gets the hang of it. Roll under skill on 3d6 modified by the GM does not seem “super Crunchy” to me (I know there is a ton more to it.) Considering the game came out in 1986 and is still around, It has held up really well. (Better than the Palladium’s RIFTS? From 1990, yeah I think so.) Still, system crunch is not normally something popular with our group, so to see GURPS come up twice from two separate guys was kind of surprising.
 I think I should revisit GURPS and just see what is being offered lately and look in on the system. I have no qualms in saying that Steve Jackson as an individual and Steve Jackson Games as a company have been one of the most influential entities in the gaming industry over the past 30 years. I also know for a fact that SJ games were a HUGE part of my early gaming life. (Car-wars old school style baby) This makes me have even less of a clue about how I could have missed out on SJ games flagship RPG for all this time.

Another game or games I guess that came up were the Apocalypse / Dungeon World systems.
I have a great deal of respect for the designers of Apocalypse world, and the writers of Dungeon World. So much so I dedicated a blog post to how influential the text of Dungeon world has been in how I am approaching Shards of Thimbral.http://dustpangames.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-not-steal-from-your-friends-gm.html
I agree these games look like they would be great fun to run campaigns in. I am not sure how well the system handles long running story arcs, (considering the GM is not supposed to bring those kinds of plans to the table.) I do know that the fiction created while moving the story along would be awesome, and that’s always for me anyway, the point.
I think along the same system lines and yet another Apacolypse world powered effort, I would love to try an arc of Nanoworld (a game of clones) by Fine mess games. It just looks fun and interesting.
Also, one of my friends mentioned Savage worlds Deadlands.
Deadlands is pretty awesome, those blokes over at Pinnacle Entertainment Group have won something like eight origins awards for this sucker and managed to port the setting in to several game systems (GURPS, D20, . The mix of Horror, western, steam, and a bit of pulpy adventure make Deadlands pretty much jump off the page when you read it. To put it mildly, the setting is tough to beat. Team that up with a tweaked Savage Worlds system where in combat is a bit harsher and deadlier, I think I would also like to get in on a few games of this. Let you in on a secret (shhhhh!) I really like westerns, so I have a bit of a soft spot or the Weird West setting.
Related to the above, keep an eye out for Deadlands Noir. It looks pretty awesome as well.

OK so that covers what My friends said now it’s my turn and I’m going to get a bit out of type for this answer.
I would love to play a campaign using the HERO game system. Yeah I know that’s more crunch than GURPS which I just complained about a few seconds ago. I know, but there is something about the system I enjoy. It might be that 5th edition character creation is slammed into a HUGE book all its own, or that it has been around since 1989 and I have just never gotten to play it. Something about that system has a draw for me as a player. I am honestly not sure I would want to run the darn thing, that’s just me being honest. There is a lot to HERO; I think a GM experienced with the Hero system is a must.  As a player though, having this over grown RPG sandbox / toolkit at my disposal is just so appealing.  I can ignore the math and the huge books and all the other HERO strangeness, just to say I built my own lightning bolt attack from the ground up. Add to this the options of like a billion splat books ofver the years and yeah the HERO system is  an old , clunky mess of a system with completely limitless possibilities.
Also a player does not have to go the crazy huge stack of $60 books approach. I have the PDF’s for champions complete and Fantasy Hero, they are both relatively compact, Champions is I think 240 pages or there about, and are fully playable, good stuff.
Let me also say that as a quick aside, my second choice is DUNGEON CRAWL CLASICS (or DCC.) I love everything about this game and would love to play it in a long campaign. However, when it came time for me to start running an old school fantasy game, even though I own DCC and think it is AWESOME, we ended up playing AD&D2ed. This came to pass both out of nostalgia and also because everyone in the group (pretty much) already knew the game, and owned some books. (I was the only one with a copy of DCC.) In a perfect world however, I think I would be playing in a DCC game at the table with friends and my wizard would be slowly creeping toward a depraved end consumed by mutation, power, and madness.

So that’s my “I wish I could play in a campaign using this game,” Game.  HERO system is very much an out of character choice for me, game for me true enough, but one that has been dancing around the edges of my  gaming experience for as long as I can remember. I think I even have an old copy of champions floating around my addict, that I never talked anyone into playing…HMMMMM….?!


So what are yours?
Question, Comments and Shenanigans welcome.
As always thank you for reading.