Thursday, February 7, 2013

These are the continuing adventures ....

I've been continuing to do research into games for the group this year and its coming down to crunch time.

"I actually MEANT to lose that finger"!
As pick up games, I love John Wick's stuff. Shotgun Diaries for some great survivor horror mayhem. I think it would also be a great basis for an "Aliens" the movie, rpg hack. This game is amazing for doing everything Outbreak Undead and All Flesh Must Be Eaten do but quicker easier and in a fraction of the page count. Both those games are really great Zombie rpg's so that puts this one in great company. If you wanted to do long term campaign play those games are possibly (very likely) a better choice.

Invading Xenomechs
The Aegis Project on the other hand is awesome for a good pick up game of guns and gundams with a great transhuman twist. Think Terminator, Aliens, Bladerunner, Avatar, Tansformers. PacRim, mash-up done really well. The Aegis Project will surprise you in the same way as the Transformers live action film did, by being really good and a hell of a lot of fun.

These games are traditional enough in their play style so as to not cause trouble at the play table by radically changing our conception of what a role playing game should be. They have lots of Indie DNA both of them but they don't totally turn the tables on a group of traditional role players which is good.  

I'm still flipping though books with the challenge of finding the main attraction. My research... can it be called research when  its so much fun? I'm not so sure. I'm enjoying it so, but you do get the feeling that there is just so much you could do but only so much you can.

I have broken it down by genre: Sci-fi, Modern, Supers and Fantasy.   

As always I'm highly intrigued by a sci fi game. I'm really struggling to find the right platform for such a game.

Go buy Ian's art. Its simply awesome!!!
2300AD is the one which is probably most closely aligned to my internal sense of what makes for a good setting and certainly its got good support.  

Orbital also for Traveller is a stand out too and for many of the same reasons. I could use them together as a sort of tool kit for a near space and colonization type game (which is what I have in mind - essentially espionage around the discovery of FTL and Hard AI and the changes it ushers in)
There is always the Mongoose Traveler "Secret of the Ancients" campaign. It is still one I want to run at some time. 

As an aside (which I will tackle in greater depth in future entries), I'm less enamored by skill systems these days, since returning to the OSR. I think skill systems were an early attempt to provide player agency and take story control out of the hands of just the G/DM. While I see the sharing of story agency as a very good move, I don't think big skill lists are the best way to do it.

Then there is Rogue Trader, [WTF! surprised me too] the grim-dark normally doesn't get my interest however both Deathwatch and Rogue Trader have really been well done. The idea of Ventures and the taming of a savage frontier is a great draw card for play. It looks truly epic and the idea of the players playing the two or three most important people in the game and really having a lot of power is interesting. 

Star Wars: The Edge of Empire is cool with added "geek-dice" to boot. Gritty Star Wars - Cool. Its possibly the closest any game has come to modeling my internal take on Star Wars. WEG's version was too "trite" for me. It didn't seem to hold the Empire up as a true evil menace. Cardboard "Cut-out"storm troopers was not what I remembered most from the movies (all respect to Designer X). The SAGA and other WotC versions didn't seem to get it right either.

Sure its not as hard as I like my sci-fi. However Star Wars is a modern take on pulp - my favorite genre - more or less Flash, Buck and John, which is super awesome as I love pulp. So I'd just work my pulp magic in this setting with a gloss of science.    

My own mash up of SWN is still in there with a look in too.

The fantasy front runner is positively The One Ring (with close competition). I'm a fan of middle earth for high fantasy. I like that it places a lot of emphasis on the technology level (or lack of one) and makes journeying in middle earth a central part of the game. Its got a lot of interesting ideas but its very much its own thing. I like what I've read and its beautifully presented.  

Pendragon has always been a favorite. Despite suggesting and offering it a few times it has garnered little interest. It is a landmark game, so the lack of interest is something of a shame. I have a deep love for this gem of a game. Luckly I've played good doses of it in the past so from that perspective something new is good.

That "something new" is A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones Edition. Perhaps it has broader appeal, thanks in good part to HBO. From my perspective, playing in the world of the books would be marvelous fun. The sandbox nature of house management would define the game.

The very beautiful 4th edition of Legends of the Five Rings holds similar appeal. I having been a huge fan of the card game and first edition rpg. It also comes with the sterling recommendation of a fellow OSR'er  Lowell Francis

Then there is the the fantasy grimness of WHFRPG. I just like the idea of using all the bits and experimenting with the game. The original campaign cycle (Enemy Within etc) and 2nd end would be fine too but there is something about 3rd ed I really like.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the gonzo goodness of the Iron Kingdoms rpg - I'd revisit the Witchfire campaign using the new rules set and just have steam-mecha-punk fun.What more can you ask for?

Finally I'm looking at Marvel Heroic Role-playing as a solid option too. I really fell in love with Leverage and Cortex+ and that continues with MHRP too. What a fun game. 

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