Thursday, September 3, 2015

Inspiring Game Images - Gamma World

This topic from the 2015 RPGaDay event at first seemed kind of shallow to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that images do carry a lot of weight for me when it comes to RPGs. In fact, I liked it enough that I think it's a subject worth coming back to on a weekly basis at least. First up: Gamma World

Gamma World - 1st Edition

My thinking is that the cover of a role-playing game should demonstrate what the game is about. This cover does that in a very strong way. Plus I'm a sucker for the ruined modern city, so it gets bonus points for that.I'm sure my thing for tech-ruins was driven by everything from the Planet of the Apes movies to Logan's Run to some episodes of Star Trek, so the visuals play a strong role here. Quite a bit of the focus of Gamma World is on scrounging through ruined cities and buildings looking for high tech gear. I know it's not a particularly modern-looking picture, but when this game was new (circa 1978) it looked pretty good and made a strong impression on me when I first saw it.

Now the interior illustrations are not as evocative as the cover but that is a very strong cover in my opinion and it sold me on the game before I cracked open the box. The picture of the Hoops above does seem to have struck a cord with some people and it does capture some of the feel of Gamma World beyond the "ruined cities and lasers" vibe of the cover.

I've talked about the actual game in other posts (here and here) so I won't repeat all of that but we had a lot of fun with it over a long period of time. I spent a lot more time playing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition but my interest started with 1st edition and that wonderful cover picture.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Starting the New Month off with a Look to the Future

I am still shocked by this whenever I think about it. Rifts is coming to Savage Worlds. A setting I've liked for 25 years is being converted to  a system I've liked for 114 or so -  ever since they first started discussing it in the wind-down of the original Deadlands. I can't think of a system that will make it more playable. SW is is lightning-quick compared to the massive-hit-point-beat-down of the original system. It's something I thought we would never see - an official, licensed, and approved conversion to another game. Palladium has been notably aggressive in preventing even fan conversions of Rifts to other game systems - now they're going to do it themselves. It's a tremendous about-face.

I'm not terribly interested in speculating on the "why" because in the end it doesn't really matter. It really appears to be happening, and there are good people involved all the way around.

I have to say that when the day comes that we can roll a wild die for our Juicers, Crazys, Dog Boys, Dragon Hatchlings, and yes, even the Glitter Boys, I will be picking that book up and trying to put together a session the very next chance I get.

Monday, August 31, 2015

RPGaDay - Day 31 - Favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPG-ing


I mean, the whole thing is a group activity. You have to have other people to have a game. Hopefully people you like. They may start off as "game friends" but over time at least a few of them are bound to turn into just "friends". Fighting monsters, looting treasures, and saving the planet can be an amazing shared experience. Share it with people you like.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

RPGaDay - Day 30 - Favorite RPG Playing Celebrity

Oh please - the slow rise of D-list celebrity gaming is probably my least favorite development of the last few years. I don't care when an otherwise famous person mentions that they have played RPG's. There's nothing wrong with that. I just don't care much for the "celebrity gamer" thing. I like Wil Wheaton's Tabletop show, but I don't care about buying an RPG with his name on it just because his name is on it! I don't care about watching a video of an RPG session because of who is in it. I don't care about the latest OSR kerfluffle about who said what about who. None of it matters to me as a guy who runs and plays games.

If the #1 aspect of something RPG-related is who's name is on it then it's a problem.

If people get all excited because somebody famous "came out" as an RPG player, well ...

I'm sure it stems from D&D and the whole 80's nerd/devil cultist thing that blew up back then. I grew up with it and I don't feel some desperate need to force-legitimize the thing by trying to tie it to some famous person.

It doesn't matter.

Go play your game and enjoy yourself.