Category Archives: Random musings

Kickstarter and Support for Multiple Systems

I’ve seen a disturbing trend in RPG-related Kickstarters for a while. A lot of stretch goals include support for multiple systems. There are quite a few games with support for various D&D editions, 13th Age, Fate Core, Pathfinder, etc.

While I understand that this might make sense in certain cases, it’s not something I am particularly happy about. One of the reasons why I withdrew my support of the Shotguns & Sorcery Kickstarter was because of this. It was advertised as a game powered by Monte Cook’s Cypher System. I love the system and was very excited about the KS at first.

But as soon as they announced support for Pathfinder as one of the stretch goals I was not that amused. I haven’t followed the KS after that anymore and I withdrew my backing. I might still pick the game up after release but I am not willing to support them upfront anymore. It’s just a risk I am not willing to take. I am not comfortable with the idea that a part of the money I contributed is going into system support for a game system I am not interested in at all.

Support for multiple systems also often means that each system gets less attention during development. Sure, they might collect more money by adding support for another system, but I doubt there will be enough money to give each system the attention it needs. In the case mentioned above I find it especially odd that someone decides to use Cypher and then adds Pathfinder support. These are two system which are very different from each other. A Pathfinder version will undoubtedly play very much different.

While I have no general issue with settings being supported by various RPG systems – Green Ronin did a great job with their Freeport setting – but especially when it comes to Kickstarters I fear that developers may either put too much on their plate, or the support for the various systems may end up too lackluster.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you agree with me, or is multiple system support something you are looking forward to? Please share your thoughts below.

Hero Quest anyone?

In my Happy New Year post I’ve mentioned Hero Quest 2nd Edition by Robin Laws. It’s one of the games I’ve bought ages ago, but which I never read thoroughly nor played it. Recently I was bored and picked up a random book from my collection to leafe through it, and this book was the Hero Quest 2nd Edition rulebook. The rules are pretty light, the focus is definitely on a narrative gameplay, but it seems to be much more accessible than Fate Core, which still causes me headaches from time to time. I have always been a fan of Laws’ work and HQ is no exception.

Alas there are not many resources for this game out there. If you look for Hero Quest on Google you mostly find sites about the now out-of-print boardgame of the same name or Glorantha-related material for Hero Quest 2nd Edition or its predecessors. The only non-Gloranthan supplement I could find was Nameless Streets by Alephtar Games, which is a mixture of urban fantasy with the noir genre.

Does anyone of my readers know of other non-Gloranthan material for HQ? Or do you have some tips on how to convert stuff created for other games to HQ? From what I’ve read so far the process should be pretty straightfoward, but you never know. Please share your advice below!

Happy New Year!

I wish all my friends and followers a happy new year 2015! From a personal standpoint 2014 was a pretty bad year for me. My depressions have been worse than ever. But luckily I am feeling much better now and I am pretty excited for the new year. The new year will undoubtedly bring new chances and new opportunities.

A couple of roleplaying games I supported on Kickstarter should finally be released in 2015 including Gareth Skarka’s Far West. He had a lot of bad luck during the last couple of years and he was very sick and even got hospitalized for a while last year. And if those hardships weren’t enough he also had to fight against constant personal attacks. I really hope he stays strong and Far West will finally be released in 2015. I definitely wish Gareth all the best!

Apropos personal attacks, the roleplaying scene has been in a state of turmoil for quite some time. I’ve already written about my thoughts on #gamergate and similar subjects in the past and I’d really like if things got a bit quieter and more peaceful in 2015. I want to read more about exciting new roleplaying ideas, new games, new adventures and less about hate, misogyny, or racism. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that these are real problems, but at this point I think the discussions in the roleplaying scene have reached a point where all sides are just throwing shit at each other. I’d rather read about how people successfully brought new people into the hobby and how we can make roleplaying games more inclusive.

By the way, you guys might remember that I traditionally run a one-shot horror game each New Year’s Eve. This time I came up with a rather weird story set in a small town in Washington state. People disappeared, satanic rituals suddenly worked, people mysteriously lost their eyes, and it all seemed to be connected to a weird cave in the mountains. Initially I planned to use White Wolf’s World of Darkness rules, but then I decided to give Jonathan Hicks’ SKETCH system a try. That actually turned out to be a great idea. Character creation took 5 minutes at most and the rules never got in the way of the action. We all had a lot of fun and I am pretty sure I’ll use the SKETCH system more often in the future.

I haven’t made any big plans for 2015 yet. But there are a few small things I want to get done this year. Last week I ordered “The God-Machine Chronicle” in print and PDF. The book is a very exciting read and the changes made to the World of Darkness rules system look very good – at least on paper. I hope I can try it out in 2015. I doubt I’ll be able to run a full campaign, but at least a couple adventures would be cool.

And last but not least I decided to give Hero Quest a closer look. It’s a storytelling RPG written by Robin D. Laws which uses some very interesting concepts. For example: difficulties are not tied to the capabilities of the adversaries but the needs of the story. This sounds very weird at first, but the longer I am thinking about it, the more sense it makes. What I like the most about the game is that there are a lot of examples and countless tips on how to run things. But I guess that’s necessary in a game that deviates that much from what we would call traditional gaming.

So what are your thoughts on 2014 and what are your gaming-related plans for 2015? Please share your comments below!