Year in review

Yes, I know it’s not the end of the year yet, but since the holidays typical kill my gaming, I’m simply looking at the last 12 months, to take a look at what kind of face to face gaming I got done.
November, 2006
– A year ago, today, I ran the first/last game for the guys out in NYC. It was the “freebooters” scenario for Shadow of Yesterday.
– I also started up a play-by-post Mountain Witch game that sadly died of asphyxiation during the holiday doldrums. More sadly, in cleaning spam out of that forum last week, I accidentally deleted all the gaming-related posts. 🙁
December, 2006
– Nothing
January, 2007
– Got together with the locals and made up characters for a clockpunk Shadow of Yesterday game.
February, 2007
– Nothing.
March, 2007
– Nothing again — I didn’t even post weeks in review for these two months. Sheesh.
April, 2007
– After two months of a big fat nothing, I am *rabid* to play, and fly to Chicago for Forgecon Midwest. There, I get to play Heroquest, run a game of Shadow of Yesterday and the Mountain Witch, and playtest Galactic with Matt. After I get home…
– I start up the Primetime Adventures “Weird War Two” game, and had the pilot session.
– I run the second (and apparently last) session of the clockpunk game.
May, 2007
– Nothing. Scheduling people for games continues to be a nightmarish endeavor.
June, 2007
– Stealing from the very best, I pick up on the NYC crew’s gaming plan, which is basically “have a huge group of players, and run a regular game for the first five who say they can attend.” I start a Spirit of the Century game and sign up 13 other people. Only one has not played to this point — most everyone has played at least two or three sessions, and EVEN I GOT TO PLAY ONCE! Success!
– I also start the Nine Princes in Pulp game this month.
– I get in the second episode of Primetime Adventures: Strange Allies — “Djinn” — it goes swimmingly awesome.
– Dave starts his Ill Met by Gaslight PTA game.
July, 2007
– Not one but TWO different FULL EPISODES of Spirit of the Century
– Another session of Nine Princes in Pulp — unfortunately, pretty much the last one, as we’ve yet to get back to that.
– Dave runs PTA again.
August, 2007
– Spirit of the Century and the ever-rotating player pool wins again.
September, 2007
– Nothing in here. How odd.
October, 2007
– More Spirit of the Century: Two new episodes, both on Friday nights. How unusual. And lots of fun.
– A session of Dead of Night: “Zombies At(e) my Homecoming Dance” Still need one more session on that.
November, 2007
– Flying in the face of history (and sanity) I’m trying to start, play, and FINISH a short Galactic game during the months of November and December. Chargen is this Sunday. No other gaming is on the docket yet, because Galactic is going to take scheduling priority, but I do intend to get in some more Spirit of the Century and finish the Dead of Night game.
Analysis, after the cut…

First, some self-directed bitching.
1. When I look back at my play schedule, I’m a bit shocked at how little gaming I’m actually getting in. Fifteen actual game session in a whole year? And over half of them are Spirit of the Century games, which started halfway through the year — if that had been the only gaming i did after June, it still would have tripled my gaming for the year. That’s pretty damned pathetic.
2. How sad is it that I can get a regular game going with 13 players, half of which I’ve never played with before, but…
a. I haven’t run even one session of “Dave and Margie’s” Mortal Coil game.
b. I have only run two games of the PTA game for Dave, Margie, and Randy.
c. I haven’t run Dogs in the Vineyard in over a damn YEAR
d. I’ve played all of three and a half sessions of play with Lee and De in the last twelve months.
e. I’ve run two (lackluster) games involving Kate in that time, and played in three other games with her in that time… one of which resulted in her character’s death. 😛
… in short, that i can’t get a regular game happening with my closest friends and gamers.
I mean…
Damn, I need to dust of the Settlers of Catan boxes — at least when we were playing that, we were seeing each other more than once a month.

Okay, on to analysis.
1. Large player base + whoever shows, plays + regular game times = WIN.
If you can’t get your 5 regulars players to show up regularly, get 13 who are semi-regular, and mix and match. Is there any surprise here that I started playing Halflife2 this year, in addition to WoW and LotRO? Halflife2 is always there, ready to play, and with the MMOs, there’s always someone around to play WITH, even if you’re just chatting with them on the OOC channel while hunting dragonkin half a continent away.
2. I like the Spirit of the Century rules a whole lot. I have things i would like to do with them, like…
a. Low-power heroic fantasy, a la Tolkien
b. Survival horror
… but for now, I’m just happy that I have ONE regular game that’s actually… you know… regular.
3. For more regular, reliable games, it seems wise to get a broad player base and then just play with whoever shows up. This is fine for Spirit of the Century or Heroquest (and maybe Mortal Coil), because of the way the game mechanics work, but it’s unworkable for Primetime Adventures, Galactic, Dogs, the Mountain Witch, and a number of other games I would really love to run (and PLAY!) — everyone involved NEEDS to show up for those games, every time, or you might as well pull out your Bang! deck or set up for a Settlers game.
4. I want to run those games that need the reliable, small group, but… well… it just doesn’t seem doable… historically.
5. I’m maybe going to join an online Skype-based game of Inspectres — if that seems remotely doable with a virtual tabletop for dice rolling, I’ll definitely be looking at something like that to run games in the future, just to pull in an even broader group of potential players.
Barring that… well, the SotC game is working, at least. (Not to self: introduce the “Blocking” mechanics next game. 🙂


  1. Well, thank you for writing *my* “Year in Review” session, too. Hrm.
    a. I haven’t run even one session of “Dave and Margie’s” Mortal Coil game. Yeah! Though I’ve been keeping Donne & Donne “alive” in my 100 Words writing. Not the same thing, though.
    b. I have only run two games of the PTA game for Dave, Margie, and Randy.
    Three. (Pilot, ending in the church; Egypt; the French village — though, did we we finish that one?)
    c. I haven’t run Dogs in the Vineyard in over a damn YEAR Yeah!
    And we’ve gotten — 3? — sessions of Gaslight in, too.
    Not quite sure what’s been happening this year, overall. Is it that a regular schedule has been flaking out? Things might stabilize a bit when Kate’s out here, as far as your travel goes. We’ve also been hit by last-minute illness or other intervening events more than once.
    Looking backwards, what was different when we had the alternating games every other Friday (and often a Saturday game, too)? Are our collective schedules that that much less stable than they used to be?
    Are we suffering from too many systems? Or too many (as you note) systems that don’t handle missing people well? The old D20 campaigns were forgiving of a couple of missing players.
    I also note, parenthetically, that of all that you describe above, almost all of it is stuff that *you* organized, as opposed to stuff GMed by others. So it’s not necessarily any (or solely a) failing on your part or something like that.
    And … all that rambling aside … feeling excited about Galactic, and about 2/3 of the way through the rule book (with character about 80% designed). So there.

  2. You make an excellent point — for a very long time, my free weekends has been taken up by travel — either to NYC, or Kate coming here (and the both of us being loathe to spend much time gaming).
    Thank you — remembering that, for instance, I didn’t get any gaming in during February and March because I was in NYC (or Kate was here) a TON really does help, actually.
    And things should improve somewhat in a few months, in that regard.
    (And should improve in a myriad other ways as well! *happy*)

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