26 Jan

Life, games, loss and new gamers

{{Potd/2005-05-16 (en)}}

Image via Wikipedia

I am in Newcastle for 2 days of lecturing, which frankly seems to take up far more time and energy than it is worth, but I agreed to do it so I had better. On the way to the Uni I popped into Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet and picked up the “Battlestar Galactica” rpg quick start rules, the “Coyote Trail” Western rpg and another copy of the “Pirates Guide to Freeport” all for a song. The latter one I shall pop on to Amazon Marketplace to make a few quid from, the rest I shall enjoy. Interestingly the Western rpg is from Precis Intermedia and is one of ther simple “genre driversion” games. I have just finished reading “A Dirty World” a Noir rpg from Greg Stolze, using the One Roll Engine. It’s a fascinating game system, interstingly implemented to bring out the themes of the genre. However before Xmas I ran “Mean Streets”, a genre diversion Noir game, a very simple old skool rpg. Having read both I have this feeling that if I ran a Noir game with ADW we’d spend all our time being dazzled by the system, it’s cleverness and ‘modern riffs on themes’ and we’d forget to play a good roleplaying game set in the genre.. Now I could be wrong, but a lot of new games put the system right up front and I have started to wonder if that actually might impede the roleplaying, rather than enhance it..

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
13 Jan

Blogging Online

I have always blogged offline when I could, using a client and editing and uploading or in the case of my work blogger accounts (http://freightandlogisticsnews.blogspot.com/) using email to directly feed multiple blogs and sites for dissemination.

Recently I have become far more aware of how ephemeral my computers are. Even with stable operating systems and software that I enjoy using, my tendency to tinker means that my home PCs are an ever evolving and changing series of platforms. Eventually I screw up, and when that happens life is so much safer when data is either on my new Buffalo NAS fileserver or, in the case of less important data such as bookmarks or blogs, online. Thus this.. my dalliance with online blogging using Firefox add-ons to try and support and improve the richness of my blogs.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
12 Jan

Gaming Plans 2009

I have managed to review my gaming in 2008, which was quite successful given how often I travel and how ill I was in the early half of the year. Planning for 2009 is quite difficult.

Part of the problem is that we have had regular monthly TomCons at ours once a month and my friends and I have sampled a wide range of roleplaying games and a smaller set of boardgames. We had the first TomCon of 2009 this weekend past and had a great game of Britannia followed by a fun game of Serenity rpg, spoiled only by my being in rather a silly mood. The weekends are great, they fulfill all the key needs, meeting good friends, eating, some drinking, playing games you’ve never tried and running some of the rpgs we all have on our shelves and which we look at with guilt everytime we walk past them..

I am very happy with TomCons.

But I also need to run something over a slightly longer period of time. Now I am not unaware that my work life (40% away from home) means that I am very unreliable for ongoing weekly games, but it has been possible before to start a series of games (usually with my son and his friends or my mate Martin) and stagger through 5-6 sessions without too many interruptions. Indeed I ran D&D like that for over 2 years when I first moved back to Sheffield. About 50% of Tuesdays I am at Martin’s and we are currently playing our way through a Pathfinder/D&D game. Only problem is that we never seem to get more than 2 players and ref on Tuesdays and that’s almost too close to zero sometimes. My son and his friends are too busy playing World of Warcraft to play trad rpgs these days, altho’ maybe I could drag them together for a one-off sometime.

There are cons. Due to my issues with Gwenthia, or possibly a broader rush of anxiety, I haven’t run any scenarios at cons for some years. I got in a real tizzy about it all, which is very odd and quite embarassing. I have some confidence that I may have faced that bugbear and won, providing I use published material and stay away from commitments with or to others, but simply turn up, post up and play. We’ll see.. I shall certainly do 2 cons this year, probably Conpulsion (but watch how work stacks up), Furnace (better turn up to that one) and maybe 1-2 others. That means that quietly and without too much fuss I could run 2-4 games at cons.

I could play/run at our local hobby shop: Patriot Games on Monday nights. Now this is a seemingly sensible idea. There is a shop, it is full of roleplayers, the games are often over subscribed. But oddly getting players is difficult. I sat with 2 players running Savage Worlds 50fathoms for some weeks next to a d20 game that was massively overfull, and yet despite a nice poster and making it clear (I think) that we’d happily take onboard 2 more players, we never got another one. Perhaps a game of something mainstream might attract more players, or perhaps I need to ask the owner to use his pull and drag in some players to make a full group? I’d be happy with a five week run if I could pull it off.

So, where does that leave me?

Well. It says that I have about 5-6 one-offs that I can run this year. That’s good fine gaming as long as I have cured the con jinx, but even if not I can probably do 3. It says that as long as I am ok with 2 players I can run maybe 8 sessions on a Tuesday in a spread over 4 months.. and that can be almost any kind of gaming, as long as it’s not Middle Earth (unless they play uruk-hai hunting hobbits). It says that if I get my local shop owner to help I could do a 5-6 week run on Mondays at the shop.

You know, that’s not at all bad. I think I can move forward and plan.. 3-6 one-offs and 2 5-6 week story arcs..