Monday, 6 September 2021

The Inescapable Green-ness of the Other Grass

Unrealistic RPG obsessions: I have these, i.e.  I would love to run a long campaign of.... (insert game I barely understand)  but I don’t have the time or inclination to learn what must be learned (Glorantha, I am looking at you). I’m currently on gaming hiatus for various reasons and my ASE and Dragon Warriors Yamato campaigns are temporarily suspended. The other group I play in is also halfway-ish through an Alien RPG scenario run by my good friend Alex although that is also on ice until I can return to it. However, in recent times managed to tick off a few games from my RPG bucket list. So on reflection maybe these obsessions aren’t so unrealistic.

I posted ages ago that I wanted to run WFRP, Talislanta and GURPS but probably never would. I have, in fact, run short campaigns of both WFRP 1e and Talislanta 4e since then; and played in a WFRP game as a player exploring Castle Drachenfels and getting beaten up by the furniture. GURPS however, remains on the unlikely-to-play pile for the next foreseeable lifetime. Probably a good thing. I dislike rules heavy systems these days.

WFRP is a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed GMing it.  Critical tables and careers doing the heavy lifting in conveying the setting here. I find it a little hard to prepare for though because IMO it requires a careful hand to keep the aesthetic straight without it becoming too predictable. There’s probably some Chaos cult at the root of these problems, whatever they are, and if there isn’t what are we doing playing WFRP instead of something else? That sort of thing. 

Talislanta was also fun in a free wheeling Sword and Sorcery type of way. The rules worked out different in play to how I imagined. Magic in particular was less effective than I thought it would be. Also the combat specialist character was disproportionately tough and effective  compared to his more generalist associates (we had an Ur Renegade, a Cymrillian Swordsmage and a Yitek Tomb Robber as a collection of archetypes.) It was however a good time as the PCs became embroiled as amateur agents of the Cymrillian secret service, carrying out operations abroad in Sindar. I’d revisit it for definite. 

I did think Dragon Warriors set in Yamato would never come to pass either but we’re about ten sessions into that with no sign of slowing down. It’s probably a more magical version than my usual depiction of Legend but hopefully not by too much. This is something that first captured my imagination when I first read about the possibility in Book 6 back in the eighties, so it’s nice to finally get to it nearly forty years later. 

I have plans to run Marvel Superheroes for the Saturday group, once we’re done with Alien and it’s my turn to GM once more. D6 Star Wars needs to feature at some point also but I think I can manage that once I return to some vestige of normal gaming. 

That leaves the White Whales: Tékumel (probably using Empire of the Petal Throne,) Runequest and The One Ring. They probably need their own post for discussion. Largely because they’re campaign games or I think they would work best in that format. I’m not really a one shot sort of GM either. Although I can manage it at a push, I prefer a longer form game. One where the setting and characters have time to grow. Those are the games that fascinate me the most. 

Then there’s my own Grim North setting which I continue to beaver away on now and again despite it not getting any play...

Essentially this is about time management. I could play anything really, I just need the time to prep and run it. At the moment (always?) that means dropping something else to find space in my schedule. Having too many cool games to run and play is one of those good problems anyway.

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