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!
This is obviously a huge thing right now, so I thought I’ll join the fun.
Three most recently played RPGs:
D&D 5th Edition
Three favorite (current) RPGs:
Barbarians of Lemuria
Three games I’d like to play:
Ok, now let me explain some of the choices I’ve made. I just love Monte Cook’s Numenera and the Cypher System it uses. It just had to be included among my favorite games.
I am currently playing in an awesome Traveller game which uses Savage Worlds rules. Since I enjoy the Traveller universe much more than the Savage Worlds rules, I included Traveller and not SW in the favorite RPGs list. I actually would prefer if we’d use Mongoose Traveller instead.
Barbarians of Lemuria is another great game which I’ve played a couple of times only, but I already fell in love with it. The rules are extremely simple, but work great and support the sword & sorcery setting perfectly.
In 2015 Monte Cook Games will release a Cypher System rulebook which will allow us to run games set in basically any genre using Numenera’s mechanics. I already have a lot of ideas what I want to run using those rules. I am so excited!
I have to admit I haven’t followed the development of 6d6 Core that closely, but recently I picked up the rulebook and it looks pretty intriguing. It’s definitely a game I’d love to try out.
As I mentioned before, I love Traveller and I really like the Mongoose Traveller rules. They are pretty close to Classic Traveller, but are more streamlined. I actually planned to run a Traveller campaign myself, but my players convinced me to run D&D 5th Edition for them. But I wouldn’t hesitate if someone offered to run MgT for me!
During this year’s NaGaDeMon I worked on two projects: rewriting Galaxy Core (I worked on it during another NaGaDeMon) into a d20-based system and on a simplified and dice-less (!) version of Warrior, Rogue & Mage which I dubbed WR&M Pocket Edition.
Alas I didn’t have enough time to get either project done, but I am determined to at least finish the latter one eventually. I never had worked on a diceless game, so that’s a new experience for me, and my current draft actually looks pretty sweet. I even managed to come up with a freeform magic system which could easily be used with WR&M itself.
So, what are my future plans? At first I want to get the rules done so that I can do some playtesting. Then I want to focus on an original setting. Instead of just recycling the work I have done for WR&M, I want something exciting and new for the Pocket Edition (which may actually get a proper name). At the moment I love the idea of a magitech setting which skyships roaming the skies of a world where islands float in an almost endless sky.
You’ll probably still be able to just ignore the setting and use the rules as a basis for basically everything you want, but a proper game needs an exciting setting. Certain design decisions are also much easier if you have a background to rely on.
One question remains: when will it be done? Honestly I can’t answer that question right now. I might be able to put the upcoming winter holiday to good use and get things done, or it may take much longer. I just don’t know at this moment. I need to be in the right state of mind to be creative and with my mental health issues still looming and some stress at work, things aren’t looking too bright. But I’ll definitely keep you informed.
By the way, if you have any questions, ideas, advice, etc. you want to share, feel free to post them in the comments below!