Monday, 30 September 2013

I'm overwhelmed and undertimed.

I have several rpg's I really like the look of, but really I don't have the time to play them all, let alone read them all. Lately it seems like I am buy/downloading/printing new games faster than I can read them.

Someone helped things along in G+ by posting their 100 indie games list, of which I had only seen about 15, so off I go looking at whole new game systems that might be interesting - Technoir and Donjon so far.

Currently I have a pile of books sitting around my bed that consists of the following:

Savage Suzerain: a multi-genre system of savage words that loads up the top end of the system (100+ xp) with new ways to continue playing - as demi-gods who can move between genres and times and worlds and realities.  With the base book I have the Dogs of Hades expansion and the Millensium Knights.  I will be getting the Noir expansion shortly.

Gumshoe: those bastids at humble bundle had a sale, so now I have Ashen Stars and Mutant City to read, and Ashen Stars is a big book.  I like the Gumshow system in theory, just not sure I am completely gestalting it.  I'm playing a Nights Black Agents game and its possible the GM for that may not be totally getting the point either, plus the game seems inherently frustrating as the vampires are so very powerful.

Fate (Core):  the Freeport Companion and the Ragnarok are out and I must say I really like the look of the Freeport adaption, other than the fact that they kept actual spell lists and didnt just do magic as an on the fly 'lets do magic' style.  As a conversion of D&D it stays a little too close to the structural limits of that game, which I dont want if I am playing Fate.  But the inspired idea of using the 6 traits as skills is awesome!

Streets of Bedlam Savage Worlds: wow~! This is an inspired rule set and use of the SW system.  I've quickly read it once but need to go back in and read it again.

Interface Zero and some Shadowrun books: I have started an IZ game, we have had our first session and it went pretty good. We are ironing out some house rules at present that I have thrown into the package. But we all liked the SR world better, so I decided to stay with that and convert it. The advantage of that is I can use the MASSIVE pile of SR books I have - including the two Renraku Arcology scenarios.  Why IZ? Because their Hacking rules work at the same time frame as the real world - problem solved.  Plus removing the mind bending illogicness (?) of the magic system and the astral plane frees my brain up a bit more.

Weird War Rome Savage Worlds: actually as little dissappointed with this book, I thought it would be more comprehensive, more of a Deadlands style book. However it has inspired me and my love of history to start work on an epic campaign using the Vesuvius explosion in 79AD as a starting point.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

SR5 vs IZ2, Rules v Backgrounds.

I recently decided to try to re-start my roleplaying night, so I thought about what game would attract people. Shadowrun5 had just come out and I know one of my people adores that, so off went the offers. I posted to about a dozen people and got 4.5 bites, which is a pretty good result. So a date has been set and we are off.

In the next coupla weeks I picked up another player but lost the 0.5. At the same time I got back a 0.5 as a wife of one of the players has a little interest, but probably not everytime.

Then I actually thought about, and started reading the new ST5 rules... err thats a lot of reading and there's no way my people are going to read all that. So what normally happens is that I spend 2-3 sessions just explaining all the rules to sufficient level that we can play. Nahhh! Some of us are getting just a little too old, some of us have new kids, some of us can't be bothered.  The more I thought about it the more discouraged I became.

But, as fate (not Fate), would have it, Interface Zero 2.0 KSer came along using the Savage World rules, which all my players know. So because I had already used SR as a lure I compromised and announce that we will use the IZ2.0 rules (due out soon), but I would run it in Seattle using as much of the SR world as possible.  Everyone seemed ok with that, and a couple even said it was a great idea.

We won't be using Magic, we will use the psionics/zeeks rules instead and cut out all the complicated astral/spirit stuff. But where-ever possible we will retain the look and feel of the SR world, which is a really good background.

So what we will end up with is a "FFF" rule set that everyone knows (Savage) and a world background that everyone knows.  It actually sort of suggests to designers that it might be a good idea to break your background out of your game system as much as possible. Good backgrounds appeal to me regardless of the rule set they come with.