Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Campaigns - Update

The main Friday game is back on track. However, as I noted earlier, the Apprentice games continue to be up in the air and even the usually reliable summer schedule has proven tricky with kids shooting off in all kinds of directions at inconvenient intervals for sustaining a good solid campaign of anything and they've lost interest in the whole Mythology thing for whatever reason. Kids and short attention spans today grumble grumble...

Note: Star Wars is still something they are very much interested in so that is still going to get played. A smarter man with less gaming ADD would probably say that one solid game is enough so let's just focus on playing that. I can't do that however. I'd like to have two in the rotation.

They have shown a lot of interest in starting up and running their own games with their friends though, which is refreshing. So much so that I may break down and buy that stupid neo-Red Box thing that came out with Essentials last year so that they have a one-stop game in a box to start up with their friends. They're pretty cheap on Amazon so I may grab two and see where they go with it. I'd really like them to have their own games with their own crews so if that's what it takes then I will do it.

That still leaves me with the question of what to do with them when we do get time to play. In no particular order:

  • D&D-wise there is a book coming out in August (one of the few this year) that is a setting book based around a ruined city in the northern Forgotten Realms that's for Heroic Tier characters levels 1-10 ... hmmmm .... that's a little familiar but it could be fun. This is probably what I'm going to do - just put 4E on hold for now and start the new campaign up in August using that book.
  • Do something I've been contemplating for months now and convert Hommlett, Verbobonc, and the Temple of Elemental Evil to 4th Edition as a new Heroic Tier campaign. It's a pretty big undertaking but by doing it in chunks it would be manageable and something that would be very satisfying to me. The 4E encounter structure could cut down on the grindiness of the temple quite a bit, and having things like skill challenges to throw in around some of the NPC factions, deity interplay, and puzzles within the dungeon could be a lot of fun too. The looming shadow with this one though is that it _must_ be set in Greyhawk and that means settng the baseline for 4E Greyhawk, which will take some thinking outside of the adventure itself. Then of course the obvious followup would be converting the G series and then the D series for Paragon. Fun fun fun and perhaps worthy of being the _main_ campaign and not the side campaign. Plus now that I think about it some more setting it in the Realms (heresy! I know, I know) means it doesn't step on some of my old Greyhawk continuity. Hmmmm.
  • Gamma World! Chuck the D&D thing altogether and go for blasters and mutants! Probably not as our main thing but I do like the idea. for a more episodic approach to the game that might be a better fit.
  • They like the Marvel Universe and there was at least one request to play Supers in Texas so they "know where things are" so: Run a full-on Marvel Super Heroes retro-game as the "Gulf Coast Avengers" and tap into my pile of MSH material - it's all new to them! Plus I have a fairly good idea for a campaign arc that I think they would like.
  • DC Adventures/M&M 3 campaign potentially using the same idea as above but being "Justice League Dallas" or something similar instead of the adventures. I don't know the DC universe as well but that might make the game better anyway. I really like the system and handing them all a shiny new book would probably energize them too.
  • Something similar to the last two using ICONS and keeping it Marvel/DC free. I think the kids could get into that system.
  • Finally, Savage Worlds: they were fired up about Pirates but I am pretty sure the novelty won't last as there's no magic or psi or other special element in the Pirates universe. Deadlands might be worth a shot and may get a one-shot tryout using an old starter adventure. I do like that system though. Maybe a series of one-shots unconnected by anything but the player characters who appear in them, an episodic thing as they drift around the weird west.
So there's my thought list, from epic conversion to vague plans to wing-it. I'm leaning towards making July a tryout period and running some one-shot games in some of the systems they don't already know, from Savage Worlds to Icons to Gamma World 2nd edition and seeing what sticks. As these concepts develop I will post them on the blog for comments etc.


Martin R. Thomas said...

What a coincidence - one of the guys I game with is also interested in starting up a Savage Worlds Pirates game. Not sure exactly where his inspiration came from, but I'm curious to see if it could work. I'm digging the Savage Worlds system for a solo campaign I'm playing in right now.

Blacksteel said...

With the Apprentices it was Pirates of the Caribbean - we watched the first three over the course of a week then went to see the fourth one the weekend it came out.

Savage is a great system for a lighter, faster game. It always felt like we got a lot done in each session. I hope to run it some more and it's very easy on the DM too.