Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Old Game Bag

I try to cover the Big Topics here on the blog - I've talked about dice, I've talked about notebooks, I'e talked about binders - clearly all very important topics. Today I thought I'd bid a fond farewell to an old friend that I have not mentioned on the blog before - the gaming bag.

The picture above is what's left of my old reliable bag that I have used since the late 80's. From sometime in high school, through college, through the first real job, and on through singlehood, married-hood, and fatherhood it's been the Main Bag. When it was time for a game, I loaded up the bag and headed out.

It's seen a lot of miles, a lot of houses, apartments, and dorms - mostly on the floor.

It's been stepped on by people many times. Animals too - dogs, cats, gerbils, ferrets, a hedgehog, and at least one falcon.

It's transported many books, notebooks, character sheets, dice, snacks, drinks, pens, sheet protectors, markers, miniatures, and probably some other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

It's been overstuffed, probably more often than not.

It's been transported in at least 10 different cars over the years, mine and others - possibly a bus too.

It's had a long and very useful life but the last few years have not been kind to it. In the last move it was pressed into service as an emergency transport for last minute stuff and it's spent the last couple of years in semi-retirement in the garage and in the closet. Age has finally caught up to it and it's coming apart. Something leaked inside it, staining it. The inner layer is falling apart, and the previously nigh-invulnerable exterior has ripped in several places, the zipper on the external pocket has come apart, and it's clear that it is no longer up to the role of Main Bag or even really Reserve Bag.

It's time for one last ride - to the trash can.

So thank you Great Grey Bag of Gaming! I don't know what brand you were nor do I remember exactly what birthday or graduation marked your arrival, but I deeply appreciate your long and reliable service.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grab-Bag - Recent Arrivals

I've had an interesting mix of old stuff (below) and new stuff (mostly Pathfinder and D&D 5E) arriving lately. They've been stacking up though so I'm going to have to pause and spend some time reading them. This round looks like I've subscribed to the Barking Alien Collection for some reason.

First up: More Star Trek!

Now I have written about LUG Trek before and the short version is that I wanted to like it but the mechanics just didn't do it for me then, being a die-hard fan of FASA Trek. The last few years though I have become a lot more interested in simpler mechanics and I've come back around on this game. In light of that I am rebuilding my collection of these books.

  • I owned the Original Trek by the end of the week it came out back about 15 years ago and it suffered even more in comparison to FASA because it was covering the same ground. I sold it too somewhere along the way, but now I have it again and I am reading it with a different attitude than I had then. So far so good, but I think I could run a better game with it using a lot of the material from the FASA system - setting, species, ships, etc. It's on the one-of-these-days list.
  • I never owned the DS9 game but as the third incarnation of the rules I figured I ought to get it, plus it adds some new material for a Next Generation era campaign. I've only flipped through it at the moment but I'll be hitting it eventually. I can;t see running a specific DS9 campaign, but as an extension of a TNG campaign using a new ship and crew I think it should be useful.
  • The Players Guide is another one I have not read previously but I like what I see in side it. More of everything is good, right? It's another resource for the GM when a player wants to play something unusual.

Mekton!I actually owned a pretty solid set of Mekton II and Mekton Zeta books about 10-15 years ago but just never could get anyone interested in playing and so I eventually got rid of them (it happens occasionally). With the Apprentices I might have some interest in a giant robot game so why not grab a copy? I had Roadstriker and Empire as well so those may find their way back onto the shelf sometime soon too. I have a rough idea for a campaign here but it needs some refining before I would try to do anything. I'd probably run something short or a one-shot to see if there's any interest first.  

Ars Magica - Never owned it, read it, played it, or saw it being played, but I've been hearing good things about it from people whose opinions I respect for years. I decided I should pick up a copy and see it for myself. There seem to be about a half-dozen editions and a pretty good pile of supplements for each one. I have no idea what the optimal set of those would look like so I picked a fairly inexpensive copy of the core book for 4th edition as my entry point. 

In a way, all of these are more about filling in the bookshelf with things that interest me than any immediate plans for a campaign, but that's part of the fun. Sometimes it takes time for things to percolate and develop into something that says "run me!" at the right time. It's good to have options. One of these days someone may offer to run one of them online and now I am prepared!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spirit of 77 - Game & Kickstarter

I had a post last week about some other RPG Kickstarters but for this one I wanted to showcase it solo.

Kickstarter is here.

I really like this one. The overall approach from the style of writing to the look of the game to the kickstarter video - take a look at it - is just really well done. The Atari cover on the extra book just kills me. They mention everything from the Dukes of Hazard to the Six Million Dollar Man to Smokey and the Bandit and Columbo as influences. It looks like a lot of fun.

I downloaded the sample adventure which has quite a bit of rules material as well, enough to run a game, and it's pretty interesting. It's more in the FATE/Marvel Heroic school of design than Hero or Pathfinder, but there are still dice to be rolled, fights to be had, and things to be jumped over in cars. I don't know how quickly we will be trying it out. It's set on a cruise ship where interesting things start to happen. Among the sample characters is the "captain of the Texas Tornados cheerleaders" and I have to say I cannot recall the last time I saw something like that presented as a viable character choice in an RPG. They also note that down the road they will be doing conversion rules for FATE and Savage Worlds too if that floats your boat.

Anyway, I think it's cool and there are still a few days left to jump in if you're interested too.

Motivational Monday

Heck of an animal companion.