Thursday, June 25, 2009

In which I switch gears from High Adventure to Story Teller

Well, hello there. It's been a while, I know. Thing is, I've been busy. Real life busy, yes, but also busy with game-related stuff. That's the kind of busy I like, very much so. And as a bit of a bonus, it's been game-related stuff of rather unexpected nature, to the point where I feel myself sliding (on the Mischler scale) from High Adventure over to Story Teller and dipping perilously close to Rein·Hagenism. I blame my 90s roots for this (more on that in a future post, I'm sure). But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So what's been going on, you ask? Let's take a look:
  • First off, my grand plans for a world-building project have had to go on the back burner. Couple reasons for this. First, I'm just too busy with other projects, gaming or otherwise, to take on what's essentially a vanity project right now. Perhaps more importantly, I discovered the copy of The World Builder's Guidebook that I got off eBay a couple years ago to replace my lost copy is missing about 30-40 pages! It seems to be a genuine factory defect where one of the book's sections didn't get stapled in, but unfortunately it excises some rather crucial parts of the book. Gee, if only I could still purchase the WBD as a PDF, Wizards would have my money for sure. Ah well.
  • With the Ruins and Ronin project on the back burner, I find myself thinking of taking up my Dragon Warriors/Lone Wolf project. It's a bit more low-impact than a full-blown world creation project, and it's certainly much more of a long time coming (considering I first took a crack at adapting Magnamund to an RPG setting back when I were a lad with cheek of tan). We'll see. Top priority now has to go to...
  • The two campaigns I've suddenly found myself running:
  • First up, Des and I have finally, at long last, sat down to play some Castle Falkenstein. This campaign's been a long time coming. Initially I was going to run it with GURPS, and Des created her character with that system, but after my disenchantment I decided to run things with the original system. I bought CF back when it came out in 1994 and loved it, but the ur-indie game mechanics kind of intimidated me at the time and I never got around to doing anything with it. So here we are, 15(!) years later. (Incidentally, it's been kind of a bummer, looking for CF resources online. Most websites dedicated to the game haven't been updated in the last decade, and even their links to non-gaming websites are dead. The Internet really is an ephemeral thing, isn't it?) We're doing it pretty much "by the book"--Des is keeping a character diary, I'm doing a campaign diary (or Novel, if you will); I'm using the alternate task resolution system from Comme Il Faut (Des laughed when I told her this--"Of course you are!" she said) to streamline the mechanics even more. It's all very free-form, narrative-driven, role-play focused. A nice change, although my brain felt like it was on fire after a couple hours from all the NPCs and scene descriptions. Maybe I shouldn't have kicked things off with a gala ball at the White House? (That said, I'm finding it really easy to interface with the setting. I guess I'm way more familiar with 1870s America than I might have even suspected. And yes, the campaign is set in America, not Europa. I'll probably write a bit more about the setting and Des's character in my next post.)
  • I know this is going to make noisms cop a plotz, but the other campaign I'm working on is a Blue Rose game. This is going to be a group game with Des, an old work friend, and her partner. I went with Blue Rose because one of the players expressed an interest in playing an animal, and I remembered that psychic animals were part of the Blue Rose setting. I picked up the core rulebook during our trip, and I've been rather liking it. There are some setting elements that I'll definitely be changing, and I didn't care for the "baseline" campaign set-up (we're going to do a pirate campaign instead; and you better believe that means I'm bringing firearms into the setting too), but as the old sage said, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both and there you have..." Uh, I forget how the rest goes, but the point is that there's a lot to like about the setting. I like the fairie-tale feel of it--I'll definitely be dipping into my copy of The Book of Weird for additional setting inspiration--and the Art Nouveau feel of the art and lots of other stuff too. Plus the True 20 system seems rather intriguing, so I'll be interested to see how it plays at the table. First game session is set for a week from today. From there, who knows?
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