Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Choosing a Game System and You, or More Accurately, My One Sided Conversation with Myself to Try and Figure Out What to Run

Like I mentioned last time I will hopefully be running a game gain sometime in the near future, and that while I'd like run GURPS running something we all know the basics of pretty well might be a better idea. This leaves either World of Darkness or some variation on D&D as games either everyone already basically knows or I know well enough that I can teach them without breaking a sweat. I settled on some variation of D&D, mostly because I could then perhaps get my players to do a switch over to GURPS at a later date with the same characters but rebuilt for the different system.

The next step was the figure out which variant of D&D to use. The game has spawned countless revisions, hacks, clones, and imitators and I own more then a few, not to mention all the ones available online for free or right next to it. After talking to a couple of the potential players (one of them a gaming gear head like me) I decided against going for d20/3rd/Pathfinder for this. There's just too much material out there for it and despite being able to run the game from heart after it being the go-to system for almost a decade of my gaming I decided that something a little more self contained was the order of the day. I also decided I wanted to run something I owned a dead tree edition of since generally I dislike electronics at the gaming table if it can be avoided so something I can only get as a pdf where the legality of printing the dang thing out is iffy tends to get sidelined in my mind. So now I get to pick between the newest edition of D&D (which I'm pretty sure is officially 5th edition but honestly I'm not sure since the ocean adjacent magi had talked about getting rid of edition numbering for...reasons) and the estimable Adventurer, Conqueror, King System (here after known as ACKS) from Autarch.

When I'd originally thought about this I was leaning heavily to ACKS since I really like the system and it's low level lethality, and the fact that most of the classes (especially the racial ones) map up nicely to the kinds of things that exist in my homebrew world Myganos. However after going over both I think I'm leaning more towards using 5e. Sure the racial classes don't exist and I might have a minor rebellion on my hands when I say there are race/class restrictions but honestly stuff I was afraid of (mostly starting power level and equipment) doesn't seem to be as big a deal as I'd feared. Especially with the wealth of homebrew material out there, not to mention the Unearthed Arcana articles, it seems like I'll be able to tweak the game to suit my desires. It might not be the "core"
game I was thinking of when I headed down this path, or even when I started writing this blog post) but the fact that the books are being sold in out FLGS and I think at least one of the potential players already owns at least the PHB, 5e might be the way to go.

So there we go, assuming this game gets off the ground I'll be running 5th edition Dungeon & Dragons in my homebrew setting of Myganos. Next up is gathering resources to tweak the system as needed, and trying to keep my desire to tinker to a minimum. Also writing a bit of fluff for the races and classes to give the players ideas about how they fit in and function in the world.

Monday, May 15, 2017

And we're back?

Since it looks like I might be running a game again sometime in the near future I'm going to try and restart this blog as a public place to noodle on my world building, game designs and planning, and possibly start reviewing products I've got? We'll see about that last one, if it happens it'll be ridiculously infrequent or possibly just me babbling about mostly out of print games that I've collected over the years. I'll probably start posting about my LARPing as well since that looks like my wife and I are going to start that up again and this seems like as good a place as any to talk about it.

I know I failed hard at the "D&D Thirty Day Challenge". January was a rough patch that I won't go in to unless someone asks but suffice to say real life ate me and has only recently released me enough for me to have the extra mental and emotional bandwidth to even think I might be able to keep this up. I did end up with a new-to-me car out of the ordeal which is nice, and I'll probably start the Challenge again but I'm not sure when. Anyway, back to business-

Like I was saying, one of the couples is moving into a bigger place with a guy from the FLGS and they'll have a spare room so we will hopefully (fingers crossed) be starting up a new game again! *cue the triumphant music*

First some logistics to help me organize things in my head. The current plan is the do a month or two of weekly gaming on Saturday nights or possibly Friday nights. After that we're going to switch to aiming for two games a month since we've proven time and again that we can't keep a weekly game together for very long. Ideally this'll happen once a fortnight but there will be some flexibility built in so when the inevitable conflicts arise we'll be able to shift things and hopefully still get two games in that month.

That leaves what we're going to be playing. I honestly would like to just jump into a GURPS game because that's a system I've wanted to run for literal years and have never managed to get father than getting everyone's characters made. One of my potential players brought up the fact that none of us have gamed in the last year so it'd probably make more sense to run something we all know relatively well already though, ie some flavor of D&D or something World of Darkness. After some thought I think I'm going to go with D&D because I've been wanting to do some fairly straight forward fantasy gaming and my World of Darkness stuff always ends up being a slightly surrealistic horror show with ghosts, demons, Mythos inspired insanity, dream-prophecy, and kinda oddly placed bits of mundanity for the "simple to get us back in the swing of things" game we were talking about. [Also if I play my cards right I can "encourage" a conversion to GURPS at a later point....]

Tune in next time for me arguing with myself about if I should run Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition or Adventurer, Conqueror, King System; the pros and cons of both for what I want to do with the game, and the thrilling conclusion of my perhaps too open display of my particular brand of insanity!