GM thoughts on future games

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Alea Iacta Est

Just some thoughts of where I would like to take my tabletop games in the nearest future. Sometimes it’s good with a vacation break from gaming to enable some clear thinking…

I love the OSR and D&D style gaming but at this point I’m feeling a bit “burnt out” on them. Regardless of which version of D&D or OSR game you play, the play experience turn out quite similar for both GM and players.

Most OSR/D&D games tend to be location-based and targeted at “kill monsters and steal their stuff”. This is built into the rules system and promoted by the “gain experience – level up” system. And the players also sit down with a preconceived set of notions of how a game of D&D should be played and act thereafter.

I’ve tried to incorporate more investigation and mystery. I’ve implemented dangerous spell casting and fear/horror rules to promote a more cautious player approach but they still tend to take the easy way out. I have also made alterations to the xp system, allowing xp for non-combat things and for moving the “story” forward. Better, but still pretty much the same. As the GM I also feel restricted at times. Not so much by the rules per se, but also by preconceived notions of “how D&D should be played”. I think my biggest beef with D&D is the experience and leveling systems. Of course, I can keep hacking the system, but I honestly don’t see the point when there are games out there that already cater for things I want.

As a result of this I have decided to take a break from my current game, i.e. finish “Season 1” of my Blood & Treasure game set in Frog God’s Lost Lands. Coming back after our vacations in August I will start up a new Call of Cthulhu game with Masks of Nyarlahotep for a change in rules system as well as setting. CoC is also a favourite of both me and the players (except one who won’t play anything but certain editions of D&D).

Another favourite of mine is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay which I never got to play back in the day. I tried out a few sessions with a very crappy GM who turned me off WFRP for many years. However, I rediscovered the rich and vibrant Old World a few years ago while researching for ideas for my own OSR dark fantasy games and I realized that this was the game that I severely missed.

My plan for fall is to run Chapter 1 of Masks of Nyarlahotep and then take a break for some WFRP gaming. As we are all n00bs in the WFRP department I will go for some shorter introductory adventures before jumping on a bigger campaign, like The Thousand Thrones or The Enemy Within. I will then alternate between these campaigns, one chapter at a time. Hopefully, this will keep my players (as well as me) happy!

I have also thought well and hard on what game systems to use for what. Here’s what I’m planning for the future and what systems to use for what:

  • Horror gaming – Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green (the original CoC variant)
  • Ravenloft – 5e D&D
  • Old World – Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e
  • Terra Innominata (my own dark fantasy setting) – Zweihänder RPG and Blood & Treasure
  • Old modules/OSR style games/general fantasy – Castles & Crusades and Blood & Treasure
  • d100 fantasy – OpenQuest 2

With our current session rate of one game every three to four weeks I’d say that we have gaming to do for years ahead, especially since I have now been offered a new position at work. One that will keep me even more busy I suspect…


If you’re so inclined, you can follow these new games on my dedicated blogs:

Sanity Zer∅ – Call of Cthulhu blog

Grit & Filth – WFRP/Zweihänder blog

 

 

D&D out. Call of Cthulhu and Warhammer in.

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Warriors of the Old World on the march…

The last 5 years I have mainly GM:ed and played D&D style games – old school, new school and clones. I’ve felt an increasing urge to move over to other RPGs for a while, but for some reason we have always come back to D&D. At this point in time I feel a tad burned out on D&D-style gaming – it’s like eating pizza every day. And the same type of pizza as well.

Time for GM preparation and play is scarce these days and coming back to a simple and well known system is of course tempting. The other main reason is player demand. Or so I thought.

The last month I have reached out to the other players and discussed what to play next and it turns out that they long for some good old Call of Cthulhu, so I’ve decided to start up a Masks of Nyarlahotep campaign – an adventure that I have wanted to run since the 1990s!

And after the first chapter of Call of Cthulhu I aim to run another favourite of mine – Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I’m a bit worried about this since I haven’t ever GM:ed WFRP and I have very little play experience – basically a handful of sessions of WFRP 1e with a very weird (and lousy) GM back in the day. A few years ago I got hold of the WFRP 2e book and a bunch of supplements and immediately felt that it was right up my alley. I have since collected more of the 2e books from here and there, so now I have a serious source of materials to read up on!

Looking forward very much to the adventures of the coming fall!


I’m not dumping D&D forever, but at the moment I’ve had my fill of that particular style of gaming. I will continue to write on my ongoing D&D-style adventures though…:)