2013 Gaming Plans
This year, our group is in flux. In fact, we do not technically have a group at all yet. We need to work on recruiting a stable group as well as establishing which games we will play and when. This page is where I lay out my ideas for this year.
Since we do not have a current group, we have been doing one shots, as listed on the Current events page. The goal with these one shots is to work in new people as we recruit them, and hopefully eventually get a real group together.
My hope is that we can get a regular group together relatively soon, and start running 2 concurrent campaigns on a rotating schedule, something like 2 or 3 week blocks. It is open who will GM these games, and also what the games themselves will be. I will put forth any ideas I have here following.
In the past I have driven myself nuts over my perceptions and gaming requests. Part of the reason I am doing this page is to make sure everything is clearly elucidated and to hopefully prevent this from occurring in the past.
I will not be GMing any games unless we have a committed group. I will potentially participate in other games in the absence of such commitment, but I cannot guarantee my own commitment in that case. Basically, I cannot agree to be committed myself (like I have been in the past) unless there is express commitment from others as well.
What do I mean by commitment?
Game attendance is a priority. This means that there are not frequent cancellations. We all understand when there is an emergency, or long term plans, but these should be limited to a couple of times per year*. You know what day we have planned, there are 6 other days each week to make plans. This might sound kind of ridiculous to some, but I am ok with that. If this is not acceptable to you, that is ok, it just means that you are not committed by my definition. I commit myself to these standards.
The second piece is communication. I would like people to participate in out of game discussions, be they via email or the wiki. This does not mean constant posting or emailing, but regular or frequent response is requested. In the past when we got the most traffic on the wiki, when players discussed plans or ideas during the week, I found that the games themselves were significantly enhanced. The GM was better able to plan and react to players because he had a real understanding of what they wanted to do.
The final request is that when we sit down to the table we keep the screwing around to a minimum. I am a real screw-around junkie. I have little resistance for it once it starts. We would all benefit, and especially the game would benefit, if we would try and keep our focus on the game itself and not some collection of outside jokes or memes or games of TTA. We should probably limit our usage of laptops to when it is appropriate.
- Consider a group of 4 players and a GM. If everyone came 90% of the time, that is 5 absences per person per year. This means in a standard calendar year, we might only be able to play 27 weeks (52%). This is why 90% is not committed.
I would like to see more in-character talk and role-play. I also enjoy subplots and atmosphere building. These things are not requirements, for one thing, not everyone enjoys them and for another I know not everyone is comfortable doing them all the time. When we discussed this around Star Trek, some people indicated they were more interested in keeping the plot moving forward than in doing role-play that did not directly involve the current situation. My preference would be to encourage any and all roleplay, and the plot will take care of itself, but if that is not what others want, that is fine by me.
A related point: Combat in Games
Another niggling peeve I have had is 'whatever is fine'. That is unhelpful. When we try and discuss a new game, lets have an opinion on something, even if it is a meta request like which system or power level. Not every suggestion or request can be honored, but they all contribute to the discussion.
Also, I think it might be good for us to have movie and/or book recommendations for a new game. I would not think we would be required to do them, but if we are playing a Post Apocalypse game, the GM might say watch The Road Warrior, A Boy and His Dog and Damnation Alley to get an idea for the tone and setting. This can help us all be on the same page. I would hope that these requests would be undertaken in the weeks directly before the game, and not just "I have already seen those".
I can potentially GM one of the slots in our rotation. I will not be willing to GM a game unless we have at least 3 committed players. If we have that, there may be room for an uncommitted player or two on a case by case basis. If I am running a game, I will not create subplots or storylines for players who are uncommitted, but they would be free to create their own and I would certainly develop them with them during the game. Basically, I would not make them an integral part of the world or plot, since it is not guaranteed they would attend week to week. To that end, the game would not go on in any week where any of the committed players are not available, but we can continue without uncommited players. Other than that, there would be no distinction.
I am wondering if they should be denoted by character, like major and supporting characters. The issue with that is it might trivialize some players, which is not the intent.
My 2013 Game Ideas
Obviously there are games left in my queue from previous years that never got explored, such as XCom Seattle. Those failed to get too much support back then, but who knows. Things change. Or do they...
One other thing is I really enjoy the collaborative process. I like hearing ideas or desires from players. What settings or scenarios or systems intrigue you? These motivate me to do new things and think in new ways. I am going to list some ideas I have, but if you have a suggestion for something you would like to see or for a tweak to an idea, suggest it. You never know, I might laugh in your face and disparage you on the internet. Or integrate the idea, one of the two.
And so, without further ado...
I am kind of reluctant to propose this, not because I couldnt or wouldnt want to do it-I love Warhammer and the new system-but because I am already running it (the game) on and off. I want to do The Enemy Within. In fact, I would like to run both versions of TEW with the same players (this would probably mean two sets of characters as well). The new TEW is supposedly approximately 30 sessions, but given how we normally blow through things I would be surprised if it exceeded 20 sessions.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, TEW is a remake of an old campaign, but it is not a rehash. It is similarly themed, but the plot is not the same, nor does it take place in the same part of the empire or share any NPCs.
I have at least 3 different Space Opera ideas. Some have been attempted in the past, but could be resurrected with new players and characters while still preserving the spirit. Lets not preserve The Spirit. That was a terrible movie.
I would have a lot of flexibility on what kind of game could be run if players had suggestions or ideas. I will provide some links here to older games for reference. The only thing I am less flexible on is setting.
World of Darkness
I have a lot of flexibility here. For one thing, WW recently re-released the original World of Darkness line and system for the 20th anniversary. I could conceivably be interested in running either system version (though I need to see how/what they cleaned up in the release) and definitely could do either setting version.
And on the subject of setting, I am kind of torn on this. I would not mind revisiting Seattle By Night, but that is not mandatory. I also have the New Orleans sourcebook which is a possibility.
My goal in a WW setting is that the game would be predominantly a Vampire game, but would allow up to one player to be a Mage and would allow any number of players to be mortals, be they servants of the immortal (such as ghouls or retainers) or some other individual, with or without powers. Whatever kind of characters people make, there should be a lot of interaction between them during character generation so we can ensure that there will be ample time to work together. In a game heavily dependent on intrigue and maneuvering, it would not be good if the players were always working to thwart one another (though sometimes working against one another would be acceptible, maybe even good). The characters should all have compatible goals.
In a game like this, we could probably easily come up with at least two other uncommitted players from Peter, Amir and Madison. This game would be heavily driven by the players. We might even be able to get by with fewer committed players, and just have a signup for each week, say max 4 or 5 players, and whoever gets their name on the list first is in that week. And since the players are driving plots, whoever is there pushes their agendas, and those who dont can attempt to do things 'by post'.
One final thought, because of the amount of intrigue there would potentially be a lot of Player-GM alone time. This can sometimes make it hard to keep game focus, especially if the other characters are not in a location where they could realistically be interacting with one another. Maybe this means we can get the joking out of the way then, but more realistically it might just be more of a challenge to stay on task.
Sandbox Level 4
Action Level 2
A Dark Horse (Wolf?)
White Wolf also made two other products in the line that interest me, they are Requiem for Rome and Fall of the Camarilla. Both of those games are set in the long, long time agos and are Vampire-centric, but could probably integrate some other stuff. I have not begun reading either of those, but I would like to play them or GM them someday. I suggest checking out those links at the very least.
The Unknown West
We really got a lot of mileage out of Deadlands, and I think the players who remember that have a soft spot in their hearts for it. This game would not necessarily be like that, but would have setting familiarity. I would want to at least test Aces & Eights, but in the end Deadlands might still win out as system of choice. In either case the setting would be the historical old west, at least from the casual glance.
There would be something more than just a standard old west game, but some familiarity with the setting through movies like Unforgiven, Silverado, The Outlaw Josey Wales and the like would be helpful. I am not certain if I should share with the players some inkling of what that 'extra' would be, or let them discover it during play. I think there are good arguments for both sides, so it is probably best to let the players decide.
Rest assured it will not be Cowboys & Aliens.
Sandbox Level 3
Action Level 3
Grass is green, water is wet and Dieter hates Superhero games, I get it. But still I want to put this down because I am thinking about them. These games are much bigger on action, and allow for a lot more zaniness as well as system creativity. If nothing else, maybe we can do a one shot of supers, since it is a good teaching tool for Hero.
Sandbox Level 2
Action Level 4+