I had an interesting insight into the care and feeding of a game a couple weeks ago. This insight chiefly revolved around the importance of communication and how one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.
Most recently we played a session of White Wolf’s game of pulp era heroes, the first in their trilogy of “Trinity” games.
Our most recent installment of our one-shot-o-rama had me in the hot seat with the swashbuckling fantasy game from the mid-90s, 7th Sea. This game was a cornerstone of my one-time mancrush on John Wick. Elements from this system tie into my usual house rules for my games.
The last time I tried running this, I co-ran it with my then-wife. We blended in some elements of Kushiel’s Dart, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Holy Blood, Holy Grail. She and half of the players were pretty rules averse, so after the first session we mostly ran it diceless. I was left with the feeling of, “I didn’t get a feel for the rules” and “I hate teaching rules to people.”
This is another game that was inspirational in me wanting to do One Hit Wonders. One of the first steampunk games that came out, it seemed like it had a flash of cult popularity (enough to get a GURPS adaptation), and then fade from view. I dimly recall that it’s been re-released, which makes me feel better about the world.
I’m a little torn regarding where to place this game in the grand scheme of things. It was originally run as a Call of Cthulhu one-shot at some big con Not Near Here. GenCon? Origins? Something like that. The GM wanted to playtest it before hand, but we couldn’t get a firm enough RSVP going for it to be viable. So this was a repeat of the game she ended up running at the convention.
We barely interacted with the rules, so it was more playing through the scenario than playing with the game itself.
The last couple installments of OHW have sort of been a little more atypical for the setup. I’ll cover them a bit more briefly than I do others.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this game for a while, which I’ll touch on a bit farther on. I’ve been wanting to toss this onto the heap for a while to see how it goes. Plus, I’m wanting to use an abbreviated version of these rules for my half of Grindhouse at ACNW this year, but didn’t want to fly in blind.
Dream Pod 9 had a long wrong of hybrid games that featured a mix of roleplaying game and miniature war gaming. Heavy Gear was their flagship, but they also had games like Jovian Chronicles and the game we played, Gear Krieg. Then paradoxically they had a post-apocalyptic fantasy/horror game called Tribe 8, which featured no mecha at all.
Gear Krieg would not have been my first choice of game to try out the Silhouette system with. (Woo! Cute system name!) While mechas in WW2 are patently awesome, and was a core reason behind me buying the game several years ago, some of their other settings stir my cockles a bit more. But I was delighted to play this regardless.
Blue Planet was sort of a poster child for why I wanted to start doing the One Hit Wonders. It is the pinnacle of “games bought because it sounded neat but no one ever actually wants to play.” And we played it, oh yes.
Many game lines will put out the “adventures with water” sourcebook. Shadowrun had Cyberpirates, oWoD had Blood-Dimmed Tides and Changing Breeds: Rokea. There were a few different things that came out over the years for D&D, I think.
Invariably they seem like a weird marketing choice, because they seem to be loathed by many people I talk to. And they are a little useless, because you really have to want to run an all-aquatic game. And not many people are really jazzed by an all aquatic game. Otherwise you can’t really make a character based off that sourcebook in many games. Being a cyberpirate in the Redmond Barrens is as useless as a fish on a bicycle.
It takes a special sort of dork to really want to play with these weird little settings. And I am that special sort of dork, my friends. I buy these books, put them next to my copy of Shadowbeat and practice my contrived slang from Shadowrun. (“Hoi! What the frag is up with all this hoopy drek, chummer?”)
I’ve wanted to play this for… over a decade at least. I also learned a fun fact when I went to run it. Paranoia “5th” Edition, which is the only version I own, is apparently reviled by die-hard Paranoia fans. One of the players brought it up at the session, and Wikipedia confirms it. And if it’s on Wikipedia, you know it’s true. SRSLY. It seems that the absurdist, slapstick “kill each other because everyone is secretly a traitor” is not the original setup for the game. It was meant to be more of a dark humor game with complex satire.
I find this extra amusing because I have always loved the 5th Edition rules and it was what made me want to play Paranoia in the first place. Huh.
For reference, there was never a 3rd or 4th edition. I guess it was a joke. Ha. Ha.