Thursday, January 20, 2011

The game I play the most

Its funny - given I'm a real rpg'er at heart but the game I've played the most in the last six months is
Yep. We call it D&D 4th ed in a box. Does a lot of what 4th ed does only in a much more streamlined manner. The main reason for this the elegant rules and dungeon crawling focus of the game. But the funny thing is when we used to - back in the 80's - play D&D like this it was called "bad" roll vs role playing and I still totally agree. I'm ashamed/embarrassed to see the D&D label on 4th edition. Dont get me wrong I think 4th edition is a solid and good board game with a nice veneer of role playing. There really is a place for this type of game and it too is a part of the hobby. It must be said clearly that this game is on the very furthest end of "gamest" point of the triangle of gamest-roleplay-simulation personally LARP is to far over the roleplay end of the spectrum for me so I guess it is horses for courses. YMMV.  

I think at least for me the microlite 75 rules sum it up best when they give this comparison;
What is “old school play”? There are two major styles of roleplaying games. The first (and older) style says “Here is the situation. Pretend you are there as your character, what do you want to do?” This style has been superseded over the years with a style that says “Here is the situation. Based on your character's stats, abilities, skills, etc. as listed on his character sheet and your knowledge of the rules of the game, what is the best course of action to solve the situation?” Old school play strongly favors the first style and frowns on too much of the second.

I want to get away from playing Descent: Journeys in the Dark and back to playing more rpg's. If you have been following my posts you will know we rounded up a two year pulp game using Hollow Earth Expedition, a truly functional and elegant game system. Then went on to do Traveller and the Traveller adventure (GM'ed it twice before what could go wrong?). Which ultimately didn't work out - my fault entirety. Not policing the character generation enough and in not stating up front that it was a My Traveller Universe game as opposed to a Official Traveller Universe game lead to the game turning into something I didnt want to run. [Warring: Mongoose Official Traveller books contain material I personally deem unsuitable for Imperium Traveller games. YMMV].  

After that we experimented with FATE 3.0 and it didnt really work out for my group. Essentially it boiled down to not wanting to have to manage the fate-point min-games in the system [you get most of what FATE does in Hollow Earth Expedition - but with out all the FATE jargon which makes things easier and my players were like "uh - meh" lets play something else]. Finally we have had a few games of Shadowrun and its really not floating my boat.

So In my journey to settle on what to run I have identified thanks to Descent and the other games that I need to have enough "done" and ready at hand that I can host a nights entertainment in the same why I can open a box of Descent.

Thus the appeal in a sandpit as verse an adventure path style adventure. "What?" I hear you say. Well with a packaged or storyline adventure if one of the players is a no show (a common occurrence at my table we are all family people i.e kids, jobs, SWMBO's etc)  the night can grind to a halt. However with a Sandbox this is somewhat less likely to happen. If say Neil cant come we can still do stuff and have him doing something in the game.

So I've narrowed down to what I think will be a good fun options

My main interested in building a Sci-fi sandbox and I'll probably do just that as installments in this blog and in my note books. 

I'm also interested in a Planetary Romance game - With Revelations of Mars coming at some point from Exile game studios for Hollow Earth I think this will ROCK. So until I get Revelations of Mars I will keep thinking about what I could do with this. If I get anxious I could always just use the existing HEX stuff or even Savage worlds.

Finally I'd like to have a horror go to game which I can do if there is a need. Dead of Night springs to mind as Does Trail of Cthulhu or for that matter ConspiracyX. but this is low on my priorities to be honest. 


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