Now on Deck…

With the exception of one Nobilis session… two weekends ago (egads)… there really hasn’t been much gaming going on this month. This is unusual, since in my experience our gaming group has been blessed with (a) participants and (b) lots of stuff going on. The lull is kind of weird, but very typical for August of any given year. Couple that with the fact that I’m trying to wrap up the only two games I’m currently running (Nobilis and D20) and already finished up Sorcerer last month, and you’ve got some REAL quietude.
So, lacking actual play stuff, let’s talk about what I’d like to do:
X-Com, the RPG: Between soldiers, pilots, scientists, diplomats, spies and secret agents, every player in the game should have about six characters in their ‘stable’, and would likely have access to at least four or five NPCs as well in some sessions. Combat, intrigue, espionage, covert ops, wet work, weird science, psi powers, love, betrayal, mutations, genetic experiments… zombies… there’s just no bad there.
Also, with all the failed or uncompleted spin-offs, I’ve got material for literally years of storylines.
The only question is what I’d use to run it. BESM would work for the gear, but might fall flat in other areas. FATE would do the characters beautifully without a huge amount of time investment, which is handy when I need a dozen NPC grunts and six Grey Soldiers in two minutes, but the downside there is that I really want to capture the tactical battles of the original Microprose game, and for that I need some more rules. Savage Worlds is supposed to have a really light and fast (which is key) squad-level system with an RPG wrapped around it — that could work. Hmm.
Dogs in the Vineyard (see the lumpley link in the sidebar) — Already on order. I have high hopes for this with the right group, though I’m not entirely sure what the right group would be.
Lots of Sorcerer stuff (again, see link). I want me some Sword and Sorcery… I want some rust and blood. Or Kindergoth stuff… either way.
Heroquest: at the bare minimum, I want to make this the replacement ruleset for the d20 group. Taken a step further, I want to run a supers game with it — I think it would rock, especially with some fun trope shifts.
And writing… there’s also writing I should be doing. :/


  1. X-Com: if your characters are dying as fast as you say, and there are so many of them, then I think I’d have a hell of a time, ah, bonding with them. Or keeping them straight game to game.
    DitV: You play, what, fundmentalist demon hunters? All the grunge of the frontier, none of the glitter, and grim fanaticism on top of it?
    Sorcerer: Good stuff.
    Heroquest: Probably good stuff.

  2. X-com, there are elements of it that I’m not interested in exploring. Massive PC death is one of them. OTOH, some PC death, coupled with ‘foreshadowing’ missions with you run a group of NPCs that go into someplace and get annihilated and then your PCs get the call to go to the same places… that’s all good. 🙂
    It’s a tough game to run — on the one hand, you gotta love movies like Aliens or games like X-Com and Spacehulk. On the other, that level of PC death rate doesn’t work in an RPG, but without the attrition, it doesn’t really feel like the same thing as what you’re trying to capture.
    DitV: If is please yah, go here. Read. Eden’s Prophet. Also, check out the link to the rest of the Actual Play report on RPGnet.
    But, as I said, I don’t envision it for everyone.
    1) It would rock with the right group.
    2) I don’t know if we have the components of that group.
    It’s a similar (possible) problem I’ve considered with My Life with Master, etc.
    Side note: what “glitter?” 🙂

  3. Hard to do moderate PC death in a combat oriented game. Two words: bad rolls. Dead again, again, again, again, fuck this noise. Relieved only by GM cheating.
    My Life With Master isn’t a campaign. It’s a one-shot. A series of X-Com one-shots connected by plot with occasional repeat PCs looks more feasible to me.
    “Glitter”: Saloons (for fun, not for preaching), gambling, hanging out with Amerinds, etc. The things that pass for fun in a wild west setting. Colors other than brown, black and off-white. Other than hick-hicky-hickety-hick-hick backwoods Calvinist Hell.
    Or is this a cinematic, spaghetti- Western, Pale Rider kind of world? As far removed from the reality as a normal fantasy campaign background is from the real Middle Ages.

  4. I share the reluctance about Massive PC Death in X-Com, though I could see it in some doses (and managing a stable of characters could be fun, and right up my alley). And the tactical crunchy-scale combat would be cool, too (being a wargamer from way back).
    Dogs in the Vinyard sounds *very* fun.
    And, of course, there’s always room for supers. Though I’ve been thinking FATE could be a nice way to finesse power balance issues.

  5. I might be interested in trying an X-com experiment (or the DitV) depending upon when you were running them. My Saturdays are pretty shot already and I only have alternate Sundays open. Playing in one Amber game, one RM2 game and running another RMSS game takes up a lot of time.

  6. X-com would probably be that — kind of an experiment. I really want to find some RPG rules that can do the tactical fun without becoming ‘what we did’ for three hours. Hmm. More research.
    Dogs in the Vineyard is one of those games like My Life with Master or Dead Again (or Vince’s previously published game, Kill Puppies for Saton) — you never know exactly who will and who won’t find even the concept interesting, let alone actually enjoy it.
    To address John’s issues, I’m actually looking at something for the alternating Fridays where DnD isn’t playing (the slot where Sorcerer just wrapped up), until we wrap on Nobilis and other options become available.

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