Monday, January 9, 2012

Game for 2012

In thinking about the game for this year here is a list of things I've gone over and considered for a predominantly Tans-humanist game - i.e. a game where humans memory can be digitized and humans are now neigh immortal and to some degree super human.  

Games that are out with a tans-humanist slant.
  • Eclipse phase is good. Its quite system and background heavy. However its essentially Altered Carbon, Newtons Wake and Singularity Sky the rpg. With just a dash of Blindsight. For now its a good choice for a tanshuman game perhaps the best. Personally I'd like a bit less background with rules by Cortex+ [sort of like leverage]. Well I can dream cant I!!!
  • Interface Zero is a bit gonzo/anime for my taste, plus they are idiots as they don't know the difference between Australia and New Zealand. If I was 15 I'd probably love it. But then I'd probably also like Twilight.
  • GURPS Tanshuman Space is not a good as Eclipse Phase, IMHO its GURPS so you know rules aplenty which can be both good and bad.
  • Mindjammer is a pretty good FATE driven Transhuman rpg setting if you want FATE.
  • Shadowrun is also now verging on fairly decent tanshumanist themes and has heaps of support [you could even recon the Elves, Trolls and Dwarves as a product of either a nanoplague or gene-hacks if you wanted less Elf in your sci-fi soup. Magic could be all Psionic or some other pseudo science <<hand wave/hand wave/hand wave>>]
  • The latest version of Stars Without Number has a section on AI with that and Polycrome you could pull off a transhuman game although its only toolkit like support.
  • goose'Traveler with the cybernetics book gives you a toolkit also
  • In Flames - Its transhuman "of the bat" but is really improved with the addition of Uplifts and Chimera. Its in serious consideration for our game.
  • Aegis Project - This is a very narrative game, yet also very capable in combat. Its lite on setting and has just enough system. Its actually very good. We had a play test of this and it was surprisingly good in play. As such also on our list as game engine possibility.
  • Remnants - more mecha really then translit but its shares many of the themes and is also a great game
Two games I'm waiting on which were meant to get out by Christmas releases, but are now releasing some time this year;
  • 2300AD - Based on the work Collin Dunn did for his 2320AD this should also capture a strong trans-lit flavor [2320 had uplifts and genehacks so there is a fair chance this will also share some of these ideas]
  • River of Heaven- this is by John Ossoway of Cthulhu Rising - Horror Roleplaying in a Dark Future fame. That was a great effort (as you can see). This is his tans-lit inspired work using BRP well "open quest" really, an open version of the BRP rules, as its platform and I'm sure it will be a good solid offering also. There is a blog talking about the game milieu. 
Right now Eclipse Phase and Aegis Project are pulling ahead of the rest of the pack. In Flames has fallen off a touch as I may as well go with Eclipse Phase as go with In Flames and Eclipse phase gives me the wider canvas too, which is something I was looking for.  

Perhaps strangely, I'm also considering straight Traveler and the Secrets of the Ancients series intertwined with the Classic Traveler adventure material. Why? The new Secrets of the Ancients material has transcendent/singularity themes and avoids some of the future shock for the players by having them as "regular-folks". So in that way it works quite well for starting non-trans-lit players off in the story and getting into play quickly.

As a aside we play tested Ashen Stars and found it was not what we were looking for. First Gumshoe. If you do this game and you want your PC to do well make your signature skills 10+ including the Health Skill. Second Combat. Its not geared for action adventure - its an investigation framework so your not going to be emulating Serenity anytime soon.

Anyway I have to hot the books and make a call for what to run as a play test or otherwise, by Friday.    
Funny thing is if I turned up with D&D stuff ready to go there would be no complaints. Wish I could just come to terms with Fantasy but I'd prefer historical + Occult over straight High Fantasy. I'm some type of gaming rebel I think? Everyone else seems to love Fantasy rpg's. 

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