Someone who shall remain nameless (but who deserves many virtual hugs for the obvious suggestion) told me a while back to start a 'rolling idea' thread for my One on Ones. This is the same one for the (rarer) group games that my evil little brain feels need discussing--feel free to discuss below. This initial post will occasionally be updated as things get kicked off or added.
Please do not debate the merit of various systems here: what I've listed for any given project is what I want to run (or play). Feel free to ask questions if something isn't clear, but there's a reason I don't offer some systems. (Synnibar? *shudder*)
New Suggestion! Uncharted Worlds
Space Opera Powered by the Apocalypse! I have a major jones for this baby, in no small part because anything PbtA appeals to my sense of shared creativity and narrative fun. (And yes, also because the MC never has to roll dice, which lets me escape accidental TPK syndrome when my usual poor luck with the polyhedrals flips...). The particular idea that hits my evil little bamboo-fueled brain? An all-cat-girl reskin of Firefly!PDQ# / Swashbuckling!
I'm a BIG fan of Chad Unterkoffler's excellent Prose Descriptive Quality Sharp
rules--crunchier than Wushu, more Narrativist than the OGL, and excellent for light-hearted, laid-back, free-flowing cinematic fun. Inevitably my tastes return to this one, no matter the season.Sword and Sorcery
I'm also a big fan of Ron Edwards's Sorcerer
, which is a great indie game geared toward narrativist play and emergent stories. Now, maybe it's the John Carter of Mars previews, and maybe it's just me, but a hoped-for back-burner project of mine is something along the lines of the early days of S&S. (Muse shares some of the blame and credit for this one, since we discussed it once upon a whim.)
Here's the springboard--the description of a setting from Sorcerer and Sword:
WELCOME TO XAR
Xar is the setting for fierce, exotic, erotic fantasy and adventure. Itís got a strong Arabian Nights and medieval China influence, with perhaps a fair amount of Tanith Lee ( Nightís Master and Cyrion) mixed in. There are teeming masses of people living by ancient traditions in stone cities; they interact with deadly politeness and hot-blooded recklessness. Magic is fun, wild, and colorful, with urbane, delightful, surrealistic demons. A land of feathered serpents, clashing castanets, and sultry, intelligent, gorgeous women.
Doesn't that sound like fun?
Some assembly, again, is required...I, for one, would like to try something with a stronger touch of India in it, as opposed to the usual Arabian/Persian thing.
idea...I just got to see the last half-hour or so of Fight Club. Just enough to get my mitts on the whole Tyler Durdan thing. Somewhere out there, there's a free playtest document for Sorcerer that uses the idea of one's dark reflection as a demon. Three guesses where I'm going with that thought! Doing It Old School
For Dungeon Crawls: Basic Fantasy
! Dungeon crawling for those of us who remember when Elf was a Class and there were only three Alignments. Streamlined with input from the OGL, it's good old fashioned nostalgia with pointy sticks and the invariable horde o' goblins thrown in. I have no clear plot or world concept for this, but I'd be willing to work on something. Also, the rules are available for free...
For alternate Dungeon Crawls: The same bright fellow who came up with Stars Without Number (see below) has published a fantasy sandbox game called Spears of the Dawn
. It's fantasy gaming with an African base instead of the usual pseduo-European stuff. Definitely very cool!
For Starfaring Sandboxes: Stars Without Number
! It's like the best features from Traveler and Basic D&D tossed in a blender and released into the wild for aggressive stress-testing. Looks playable. Also, there is a free version for download (with fewer bells and whistles than the re-release via Mongoose).
Post-Apoc Sandbox gaming is covered by Other Dust
. Much grittier than Gamma World 7e, no laugh track, but the Aftermath has a grim logic and internal consistency that is a welcome change from, say, the 'radiation is magic' approach we all know and love from GW.
Solo Sandbox! Sine Nomine just launched a kickstarter for something called Scarlet Heroes
, which is pretty much one-player and GM gaming. While it uses another of Mr. Crawford's worlds as a setting, there's nothing stopping a conversion to something more traditional (like, say, a generic D&D world) or even one of his other games. Plus now he's added rules for solo play in Stars Without Number. Woo hoo!Cultural Mash-up!
There is only one thing here: the soon-to-be-released Far West
. This is ALL Hairy Heretic's fault, since he introduced me to it. Either H2 or I, if not both of us, will be all over this one as soon as it's out (with some possible help from mi amigo
Lanzlo, who is a fellow Backer).
CURRENT STATUS: They've failed to meet every single deadline they've ever announced, but the first sixty-five pages are in my grubby ikkle pawses. It's nearly here, folks! Nearly here. But that last five percent seems to be taking forever--and a recent stay in the hospital by the person responsible for finishing it all off isn't helping. But we've been patient this long, so a bit longer won't hurt.Gamma World 7e
This is the newest version, and now that I've stopped chuckling over the calamari cheesecake on the box cover, I have to admit that this is post-apoc RPing with a sense of humor. (Long story short, I only got these rules recently but have been in a game on another forum in which I was playing a vaguely humanoid swarm of flaming rats.) It's a bit like D&D 4e, and not really all like the original 1978 version...or its successors. I also have the Famine in Far-Go expansion and Legion of Gold is on its way, and am pleased to note that the Gallus Gallus 5/13 are still very much in business. If anything, they're now much meaner. Not at all for serious play, but perfect for beer and pretzels RPing.
(Can't help laughing at the Neep Neeps, though, which strike me as a cross between Doctor Bunsen Honeydew and certain Doctor Who enemies.)Mortal Coil
Diceless, narrativist, and built around emergent stories (notice a trend here?), this one actually edges out Sorcerer as a massive wanna-play...reason being that Sorcerer hinges on demons and requires a particular mood, whereas MC is a bit more open ended on the build. I also took the liberty of picking up the campaign framework compilation, mostly for Old Gods (Scion-like) and Twisted 50's (Cast A Deadly Spell) and then found that I liked the Saint-Germaine Legacy, especially on the wilder settings! Has a few problems with play-by-forum format, but nothing that can't be worked around, granted a bit of trust. Warning--requires world-building!Tenra Bansho Zero!
Hyper-Asian fantasy. This is Ninja Scroll cranked up to eleven. Mystically powered mecha. Kickass supersoldiers who can take on armies singlehanded and win. Dark Jedi given a mindwipe, trapped in a magic mirror, and used to power killer androids. Ninja and onmiyoji and Buddhist Magic in a grim world of never-ending war. VERY Japanese. Very cool. Very different than we'd expect.Anima Prime
Two more very Asian little games. AP (not to be confused with Anima) is basically Final Fantasy, the pen-and-paper RPG. It's a pick-up-and-play sort of thing, with light and flexible rules. Monkey is based on Journey To The West, and is just plain cool...immortal, deifically empowered PCs working off their misdeeds in service to the Eastern Heaven. I particularly like the Ministry of Thunder idea contained therein, largely because it frees the PCs from having their very own monk-shaped not-a-damsel in distress in tow.ICONS
This falls under the heading of 'want to play'...I also like Truth & Justice, from Atomic Sock Monkey, but this has a FATE-like system that's more popular than PDQ.LORDS OF OLYMPUS
Short version--this is Scion, at least for the Greek Pantheon, redone as a variant of Amber Diceless RPG. I like the adjustments to the system--the attributes were renamed, Stuff is now Luck (which makes MUCH better sense anyway), the magic system is definitely improved, and that pesky high-end budget problem with the elders was resolved in a nicely elegant fashion that remains consistent with the rest of the mechanics. (And since they DO include hints about other pantheons, and released an open license for derivative works, there's room to introduce a few extra godlings now and again.)
This is very much a back-burner interest, at the moment, but it's on the radar.
More to come!