I’d be lying if I said general ennui and frustration with roleplaying games is some new thing. I’ve been dissatisfied with a lot of roleplaying games for probably the last decade, but occasionally it spikes up and I want to rant and foam a bit. I almost had a new post written when I bought the newest edition of Fading Suns. It had changed a few things, but left in a lot of the bits I thought were ill conceived. Now Shadowrun 5th Edition is coming out and I feel similarly frustrated. I want to grab someone and yell, “You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones!!”
On the flip side, a lot of Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts have made gaming a whole different level of fun. And it’s gotten me to dust off a lot of game ideas that I’d otherwise given up on.
I’ve really loved running the Shadowrun campaign I’ve been doing. I’ve had a stellar group of roleplayers who have really made the game come alive. I’ve also learned a whole lot.
Had my character creation for my Shadowrun game, “The Motley Institute,” a few weeks ago. Feeling pretty jazzed about it. You can check out the wiki to get a sense of the characters we have going. The quick version is:
- Gay ork who used to be an Urban Brawl star.
- Free sprite. Not spirit. Sprite.
- Former IRA spy who is hiding in Seattle after getting into trouble in Tir na n&Oaccute;g.
- Fire-oriented mage of Arabic descent who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
- A former mercenary who is trying to find a life outside of killing. (He has worked up to taking care of plants.)
- A pixie professor of parazoology who does this on the side in order to do field research for the book he’s writing.
I am so full of squee about this it hurts.
Been a while since I did a state of the gaming or anything, so I thought I’d do a quick update with a few gamer related comments. I have other stuff I want to write about here, but just haven’t had time in light of my aggressive fiction writing schedule. But here’s a few random thoughts on gaming. First, a rant about White Wolf. Then a general update about the state of my gaming.
I’ve got another One Hit Wonder post I need to get up, but I figure I’ll wait a little before posting it. Not too long, though, since I’m theoretically running another one this upcoming Sunday.
But I figured I’d let people know that I’m going to be doing Shadowrun and I’m going to play around with a first wave of fixes that I want to try. When the girlfriend starts finding pictures of her character and asking me info about mechanics and setting, I figure I’ve been put on notice that I’ll be doing a command performance for Her Grace, the Duchess of Yarn-Craft.
Taking a bit of a break from other writing to poke around on here.
Because I’m an addict, I’ve been mulling around what I’m going to run next. I have, at any given time, three or four ideas that I’m poking around. This usually results in me pulling down game books and poking through them, leaving them scattered around the apartment and frustrating my girlfriend with the mess I’ve made. I also bounce these ideas off my girlfriend to get some feedback.
The other day the girlfriend said, “I know what I want you to run next: A Shadowrun game that doesn’t suck.”
A couple days ago I picked up Running Wild, the critter sourcebook for Shadowrun 4e. It’s a pretty cool looking book with some fun concepts. Overall, though, I’m left with the feeling that this would have been even cooler to have this book come out four or five years ago when the game was still relatively new and I was still playing it.
This is becoming a recurring pet peeve for me. I had a similar, and perhaps stronger, frustration when the Runners Companion and Unwired came out. They both represented core books that really would have been nice to have when they released all the other core books.
Hey, only took me a couple months.
April 16th-19th, I flew out with the special lady friend for four days of roleplaying at the 20th anniversary AmberCon US in beautiful, scenic Livonia, MI. For those who haven’t attended one, these cons are relatively small (ACNW and ACUS have 80-100 attendees each year) and lack some of the features you see in larger cons. Like a sprawling dealer room and such. Instead, it’s just solid gaming from Thursday night through Sunday night. And by gaming, I mostly mean “roleplaying.” Like serious, immersionist, actor-stance, honest-to-Buddha roleplaying. There’s a bit of indy gaming that goes on. Fringe weirdos like Amber players tends to have some overlap with the indy game crowd. But there’s also some people who staunchly hate indy games. Especially the story game, roll-for-narrative control sorts of games.
The con definitely has a different feel from ACNW, which is the con I spend most of my time at. It was started by Erick Wujcik himself and has about seven years on ACNW. The median age often feels older. It seems like there are more ongoing campaigns than there are at ACNW, some of which may very well have started in the early years of the con. This is, and has been, the major stomping ground of many of the people I got to know through the old Amber Mailing List. When I think “Amber Community,” I think of this place.
This last weekend I picked up a couple of game books. My intro got long, so I’m putting the whole damn thing behind a cut. What’s behind the cut? A couple mini reviews and some commentary on baggage with roleplaying games.