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