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

 

 

Aside

Life getting in the way of game writing

This.

Since we came home from our family vacation in Thailand about a month ago, I’ve been struggling with time for my RPG writing projects.

My work load has been high and on top of that there has been evening activities almost all weekdays (both kid activities and work related). And on the personal plane, there’s a lot of other things happening in my life as well.

In my line of work (where I write a lot) I’ve noticed that I perform best under a certain time press. But on the game writing side the stress just seem to effectively put a lid on creativity, thus killing the inspiration.

This has been frustrating, as I was aiming to release a new adventure module around Christmas. I guess that won’t happen…

So, is it only me, or do you guys have these issues as well?

 

Taking a break from online activity

Art by pervandr (deviantart)

Just a short message to my little circle of readers, who might have noticed that very little is going on here at the moment.

I have decided to take a break from online activities and focus on my new work assignments and on my family. I have long felt that online activities take up far too much valuable time, so now I have deactivated my Twitter and Facebook accounts and try to spend less time on G+ also.

The little time I have for gaming, I try to use for creating adventures for my at-the-table gaming group(s) and I’m also continuing work on some free PDFs to be released as they are finished. I now try to enjoy the writing process as opposed to while back when I sometimes felt stressed to “produce” content for the online community. (That was probably some of my work standards spilling over to my hobby).

Anyway, I will keep up this blog, but not post that often. And hopefully, with more actual gaming content when I have something cool to share.