Friday, April 4, 2014

The Nothing But Positive Random Friday News

Well we have combat managers for Pathfinder, 4E, and Hero, and if any other game ever needed one, well, Rolemaster finally has one too.

The Iron Gods Adventure Path is taking shape. The Technology Guide was announced this week. I am looking forward to this one - I don't know why mixing lasers and robots into a swords and chainmail game is so much fun but it is. It's been a favorite of mine since Gamma World and Barrier Peaks and it's a big reason I put up with Rifts as much as I did. I'm sure The Mummy's Mask is going to be a fine set of adventures, but it has the misfortune to be sandwiched between the epic demon-cleansing war of Wrath of the Righteous and the robots vs. magic craziness of Iron Gods.

There are some really nice deals on DTRPG right now for "International Tabletop Day". Oh look, another made-up gaming holiday! Oh well, the deals are good regardless - DCC RPG for $5, 13th Age for $10, Numenera for $10 - if you're on the edge they're making it easier.

Computer Game Stuff:

  • Star Trek Online's Season 9 later this month will be all about Species 8472
  • The Elder Scrolls Online launched today if you like Online Skyrim
  • The expansion for Diablo III came out a week ago if you like beating gold out of monsters

40K Update: Yes I still play, no I haven't done much with it lately. The Dark Angels are still coming along though it's been very slow as other distractions take over. Adepticon is going on this weekend, and we're about to get the new Imperial Guard book with the silly name.

ICONS and Supers:

  • This Vigilance Press podcast has some good information about the new edition of ICONS and more.
  • BAMF has more on this as well

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Super Options

Feeling super-creative (HA!) this week ... besides the Trek thing coming together I've also been digging through some superhero stuff.

ICONS: Working up a "trilogy" of single-session adventures we could play to get back in that groove prior to the new edition coming out. Team-Up's "universe" play has me thinking about using it, regardless of rule system.

M&M: Looking back through my Freedom City notes and my Atomic City notes and considering how to start one of those up again. 

Champions: I've talked about it an awful lot for not running it this decade. One of the Apprentices is looking over the 4th Ed Book this week and I'm looking at an adventure and at my old "Miami 2000" notes and thinking about "Miami 2020" as a new campaign option.

Marvel Super Heroes: There's a trilogy of old MSH adventures involving time travel that I'd like to run, and I'd rather run them in the original system than spend time translating them. It's probably lower on the priority list than some of these but when we start talking you never know how things will go. Plus I suspect Apprentice Who will be a lot more interested in this than in learning Champions right now.

Marvel Heroic: The Apprentices have asked a couple of times about finishing our "Modern Marvel" campaign from last year. I have notes. I should really do something with this.

DC Heroes: I don't have any specific adventure idea, I'd just like to let the kids try it out so they see how it works and can decide for themselves whether it's any fun. Looking at the list above though, it's probably not going to happen soon. They'd probably like running heroes they know the best, so I may need to cook something up for that to ever happen.

We're supposed to play Pathfinder this weekend, and trying to work in a Trek game AND a Supers game alongside that in 2+ days and still do anything else (like getting outside) is a tall order. We're having tons of fun and actually gaining levels at a nice clip in that game so I'm not changing that up. I feel like I could run any of these games and run the occasional ICONS adventure too. It's mainly a matter of trying them out, shaking off some rust, and picking one to run for a while. Ah well, it's a good problem to have.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Trek - Something Old, Something ... Less Old

I picked up a few things to support the upcoming Trek game:

I somehow managed to never pick up the larger deck plans when I was heavily playing this. They never seemed to be all that common in our local stores, and I thought they were kind of pricy, but they were really, really, cool.

There was a time when I would have hung these on my bedroom wall. I'm probably not going to do that now.

They are pretty large - that's about one quarter of one sheet up there, and there are quite a few sheets, all double-sided. They are are, effectibely, larger versions of the sheets that came in the FASA boxed set gridded for 15mm scale and the counters from that same FASA Trek fit them perfectly. I picked up the D-7 sheets years ago and now I have both! I'm sure I will find a reason to use them in the near future.

I also picked up the screen for LUG Trek Next Generation. It's the old-style screen, vertical, and flimsy. I know, they all used to be that way (call it a product of its time) but the newer style landscape & hardcover screens are just better. Content-wise it seems decent enough but I've found it's hard to judge screens until you actually sit down and use them in play. I don;t know that I'll even use it as a screen, I mainly just wanted all of the charts in one place - think of it as a "reference card."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trek Options

So with our recent Trek deluge I have two boys interested in trying out a Trek RPG. This means I am back on the horns of the age-old dilemma:

  • What era? Original Action Flavor? Next Gen? Maybe go off-map and go pre-TOS or use Star Trek Online's background and go post-next-generation?
  • What system? The big 3 are FASA Trek, LUG Trek, and Decipher Trek, but there are other options too - GURPS and Savage Worlds come to mind, Traveller might work with some tweaks, and the microlite version, and maybe even Hero.
  • How big? Do a couple of one-shots and see how they like it, possibly trying a couple of different systems, or go full-campaign and create a new one or dust off the old notebook and go from there?
I'm a big fan of not overdoing it and writing up a bunch of stuff that's just going to sit on a shelf for years - I'd rather just leave it in my head at that point. 

I am also developing a "trilogy" approach to a new game: come up with 3 adventures - your own, some published ones, or a mix - that may or may not share a theme but at least plant some hooks that could be used for future adventures. Trek is pretty easy to run in an episodic format anyway so that makes it easier. Run all 3 and then see how the players feel about the whole thing.

Now some made-up questions from the audience:

"But that would mean I would have to pick up several different sets of rules" you might say. Look, if I only had one set of Trek rules, that's what I would be running. I have all of them (well, not that first thing from Heritage back in the 70's but everything since) so it's a different kind of problem. I can see good things about all of them. 

"Ask Them" you might say - they're teenage boys with no prior experience with Trek RPG's. Since all three of the major Trek games use their own special rules systems, there are no mechanical preferences in place. So no, this is my call.

Thoughts at the moment:
  • I think WNMHGB is a little too Meta, too "inside baseball" to be fun for them. I think they need to play a straight-up Trek game before we go that satirical.
  • I don't really want to build it from scratch so Hero & GURPS are less likely
  • For TOS Trek I think it has to be FASA and I have a ton of stuff for it. Savage Worlds could work but I'd rather tap into the resources I already have.
  • For TNG I lean more towards LUG Trek, likely because that was the first book they did and it's stuck me as a system that fits with the Next Gen style. Plus I feel like I need to give that system a second chance.
  • If I went with the post next-gen STO timeline idea I might try Decipher's CODA Trek a spin. It does cover all the time periods and has a definite "leveling up" type advancement system so it would feel fairly familiar.
I haven't decided anything yet and I am leaning towards running more than one just to give us all a sampling of what they can do. More to come.

Monday, March 31, 2014

What I'm not doing in April

Well I'm not doing the A to Z challenge this year. I just don't have a theme or a topic that has me excited about straining to make those alphabetical connections to keep the thing going. I thought about Trek, I thought about Supers, and I thought about various angles on D&D but nothing is giving me that "A-HA!" flash of insight/excite. That said it's a cool thing and you should check it out if you haven't already done so.

I did it in 2011, skipped 2012, and did it again in 2013, so I am keeping my own tradition alive of only doing the odd months.

I also just did a fairly heavy single-topic-every-day post series in February and I'm not quite ready to do that again. I'm happy with a little less structure for now.

Motivational Monday