Category Archives: Random musings

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Fuzion–Of unrealized Potential and being ahead of its Time

Back in 1998 I stumbled upon Fuzion, an universal roleplaying game which was available for free on the internet. This was – at least for me – something new and unexpected. Back in the day, roleplaying games were mostly available in print and not in digital formats. And giving away games for free wasn’t that common back in the day. In a way, Fuzion was ahead of its time in more than one aspect.

Fuzion was created in collaboration between R. Talsorian Games and Hero Games. It combined elements of the Interlock System and the Hero system, but many people claim that it combined the worst elements of both. I have to admit, I am no expert in either system and I liked a lot what Fuzion had to offer.

Fuzion had support for various genres and power levels. Like in games like GURPS the number of character points used to build character’s stats determined the power level of the campaign. The system was also build in a modular way, so you could easily add rules for vehicles, magic etc. using plugins. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s a lot of people all over the internet wrote plugins or variant rules for Fuzion and shared them freely. I actually expected Fuzion to become the next big thing, but that never happened.

I am not sure if the OGL for D&D in 2000 was to blame, or if it was because of the rather lackluster support of the game system. R. Talsorian Games released a couple of games using the system (mainly licensed anime RPGs), but aside from that the support was pretty limited. But I also think that Fuzion was ahead of its time. The core rules were mainly distributed online in a time when most people haven’t even heard of the internet. In addition to that universal systems always have a hard time.

By the way, if you are interested in checking out what Fuzion has to offer, there’s an illustrated version available for $3 at DriveThruRPG. Free material can be found on Christian Conkle’s Tranzfuzion site.

What are your thoughts on the Fuzion system? Was it ahead of its time? Or did it deserve to die a quick death? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Life and Times of a German Blogger Part 2

Reports of my unfortunate demise are highly exaggerated. Aside from being pretty tired all the time I am actually quite fine. On Monday I returned to the office after being signed off work for about half a year. For the first two weeks I’ll work only 4 hours a day, but it’s still pretty tiring. I am not used to getting up early anymore and even those four hours feel like an eternity. Getting back into work is definitely more taxing than I anticipated. Luckily  my coworkers have and even my superiors are pretty supportive, so hopefully I’ll get back into the routine in no time.

After work I join my mother when she walks her dogs. My physician actually recommended I should start nordic walking or a similar sports, but for the moment going for extended walks is a good start. For a while I was actually thinking about getting a dog for myself, but I guess my cat would not really like the idea. I have to admit that my endurance is pretty bad at the moment, that’s why I feel pretty exhausted and tired in the evenings. This is also the reason why I haven’t been writing much recently. I also noticed that the university I’m working for is offering archery courses for students and employees. If they still offer these next semester, I might actually sign up.

Last weekend I finished running “The Beale of Boregal” for my Numenera group. Alas I hadn’t prepared any further adventures since I didn’t expect the group to finish the adventure that fast. But we used the remaining evening to talk about gaming in general and Numenera in particular. I think I will try to slowly turn the campaign into a sandbox game. I feel that Numenera should support this style pretty well. I am still glad I decided to give this game a try. The setting is just awesome – you can basically do whatever comes to mind – and the rules are extremely easy to learn and use. I even overcame my hesitance to use GM intrusions.

By the way, Verena and I went to the movies recently. We went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” which a local cinema showed  in its original (non-dubbed) version. I have to admit I haven’t read any Guardians comics before but from the teasers and trailers I was pretty sure we would enjoy the movie. And indeed, we both had a blast. The movie was exciting, funny, and the 3D effects were pretty decent. If you haven’t watched it yet, you definitely should do so.

I think this will be the last update on my personal life for a while. Next time we’ll get back to our regular program. Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Life and Times of a German blogger

Since I have been pretty quiet over the last few days I wanted to give you guys a short update on what’s new with your favorite blogger. Zwinkerndes Smiley My fight with depression is going pretty well at the moment. The new medication my physician prescribed me a while ago is helping a lot and I am already feeling much better. I have not returned to work yet, but I plan to slowly return to a normal life soon. I also took some steps to get rid of the tachycardia I have had for years now. My blood pressure is not perfect but still acceptable,  but my heart rate is way too high. Hopefully the beta blockers will help fix that. My physician also highly recommended me to do some sports, so I guess I’ll have to get my ass into gear.

Gaming-wise everything is quite brilliant at the moment. I currently play in several games including D&D 5E, Traveller (using Savage Worlds) and Shadowrun 3E. I guess you already read about the Numenera game I’m running at the moment. I have to admit I am very excited about our next session and this time I’m not even remotely nervous. Tonight I’ll join a friend’s Barbarians of Lemuria online game, and we’ve also scheduled the next two D&D sessions. So it looks as if I’ll have about two gaming sessions per week in the foreseeable future, which is awesome.

Let me muse about D&D 5E a bit. We are playing the adventure included in the Starter Set using the pregenerated characters. The DM decided to run us through some kind of prologue first, since we are only two players at the moment. This not only gave us a lot of cool roleplaying opportunities early on, but we also had time to ease into the rules – which are pretty cool by the way. I’m surprised that they managed to keep things simple with this new edition of D&D. It reminds me of a very streamlined version of D&D 3.0 with some elements from both older and newer editions. Combat is pretty fast and the advantage/disadvantage mechanic works pretty well. I also love that they are releasing the basic rules as a free PDF which could really be a viable alternative especially if you’re not sure if the new edition is the right game for you. It’s possible to start playing with the free rules only and later add stuff from the PHB.

Even though I am currently more focussed on Numenera and The Strange, I’ll definitely give D&D 5E a chance. The new PHB is already ordered and I am looking forward the rest of the core books. I have to admit I was pretty skeptical about 5E but the Starter Set just looked like too sweet a deal to pass up. And now that I have played a couple of sessions I have to say that I enjoy it a lot. We haven’t explored everything the rules offer yet, but what I’ve seen so far is pretty sweet. I might still prefer Lamentations of the Flame Princess for D&D-ish games with a more modern and horror-ish vibe, but for traditional fantasy I might use D&D 5E in the future.

I’ve also thought about game design a lot in the last weeks, but for some reason everything I come up with looks like a bad copy of Monte Cook’s Cypher System with the serial numbers filed off. It seems these mechanics had a much greater impact on me than I first anticipated. I guess that’s also the reason why I picked up The Strange. The things I love about the Cypher System are the pools, the Edge/effort mechanics, and the fact that each creature can usually be described by its level alone (plus some tweaks). This in combination with the fact that the GM never rolls makes the system easy to run and play. Perhaps I’ll someday manage to incorporate a few of these concepts into my games without totally ripping of Monte. On the other hand, isn’t copying someone the highest form of flattery? Smiley mit geöffnetem Mund