With me getting back to full health this means I’m starting to write again and also start to see what new gaming Kickstarter projects are coming up.
One thing I’ve started to love is the sandboxed environment which allows the players to drive the action. When I started gaming I was very much a play by the book sort of GM and in some ways I guess I still am; but what I’ve started to try to do is push outside my comfort zone and this is where such an environment comes into play.
Sine Nomine Publishing is one company that has published a number of games and supplements that have inspired me to delve deeper and give the players what they want.
It’s worth a look and is a fairly cheap project to back unless you want the limited edition hardcover where you’ll need some serious wonga to acquire it.
One of the eras that I’ve always liked is the Ancient world, especially the Greeks and their mythology; I could read the stories of the heroes for hours on end. It’s a pity that there aren’t many games to capitalise on this rich background.
The 6d6 team have launched their first Kickstarter set in this very era and it looks very interesting, especially since they are using their own 6d6 role-playing system which is multi-genre and flexible to boot.
There are very few games I’ve run across where the premise of the game is to play yourself in a role-playing game and this may be worth checking it out just for that unique hook; plus it features a new class from world-renowned chief barge burner James Wallis 🙂
Unlike some of the other Kickstarters I’ve backed this is refreshingly affordable and is easily worth the price of two or three cups of coffee from your favourite coffee shop.
I barely have time to rest and draw breath before I learn that Scott is already raising funds for The Folio #5, 1E/5E Format Adventure Module. I have no doubt that this one will fund like the previous four in the series and will also be as much fun to play or run.
I’ve mentioned the BASH Ultimate Edition super RPG during my Top Ten countdown and I have been impressed by the previous BASH Kickstarter that has been done for it. Now a new version of the fantasy game is on the way. I have a copy of the original BASH! Fantasy and like BASH UE it is a simple to play game.
In my twenty-five something years of gaming I’ve read, run and played in a fair few number of fantasy RPGs, so trying to decide my favourite is a bit tricky. In the end I think I can boil into down into two distinct types; favourite system and favourite background.
How many times have you cracked open a game to find that it is indeed just another western style D&D clone or Middle Earth facsimile? I think when it boils down to it, most of the times it’s someone’s house-rules masquerading as The Next Big Thing TM.
Legend of the Five Rings wins for me here, this game just oozes style and atmosphere especially since the whole background draws upon a number of Eastern mythologies to give you something that is very different to what you may be used to.
King Arthur Pendragon. A classic retelling of the Arthurian legend, where the players can partake in a campaign that spans three or so generations of play.
Dungeon Quest. I haven’t had a chance to play this yet but I love the whole idea of how it works, the simplified combat adds another dimension to it and the character bonds are a really good way of connecting the group together.
Runequest. Another one of those games I looked at when I was getting in to gaming, the Games Workshop editions were released as a set of hardbacks and owing to licensing rights Glorantha couldn’t be used so a fantasy Europe was used instead. I loved the percentile mechanics but not the really deadly combat, later on the system would be used in a modified form for King Arthur Pendragon.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I bet you didn’t see that coming 😛 . This for me was a real alternative to xD&D. You had career based progression, deadly combat, some really odd creatures to battle and a wonderfully dark humorously horrific background; in short is was everything that xD&D wasn’t at the time. Oh and it was completely British so it had some really oddities.
I have to tip my hat to the often forgotten Middle Earth Roleplaying Game. While the system was a bit overwhelming and there could have been more in the way of examples it did justice to Middle Earth and the background was very well presented.
In all my years of gaming I have only really participated in one long campaign; Games Workshop’s The Enemy Within for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
With the exception of the final chapter I was using the Hogshead reprints of the classic adventure and with the additions of the Doomstones campaign which also got inserted into the mix as well as The Dying of the Light, the campaign ran for three years of real-time play.
It was such an epic campaign that I think of it a lot and wonder what I could do to try to recreate the mammoth scale of adventuring; I did add in my own touches to the scenarios keep the players guessing as to what was coming next. From barge burning, to unexpected pied piper style shenanigans within the great city of Middenheim I had fun throwing encounters and random things to the players and they stood up to the challenge and rose above the adversity.
I think what I really liked was seeing the characters improve and grow from lowly street filth to movers and shakers with The Old World.
I still have the books, maps, notes and character sheets from the old game. I don’t think I could run it again with the same players as I don’t think I could do it justice again and it would tarnish the memory of the whole shared experience.
Perhaps I’ll dig my notes out and scan them for posterity.
I make no bones about the fact that I’m very much a second generation or so gamer; I got into the hobby in 1989 but had been showing an interest when the old AD&D cartoon was playing on the television. I even stayed up late to watch an episode of a show called “South of Watford” hosted by Ben Elton in which he played AD&D with Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston, this is what finally got me hooked.
Game books of that era were sparsely illustrated and mainly consisted of line art or in the case of the 1st edition AD&D books used cartoons to fill space. Is it a surprise then that I tend to prefer the B&W white art of that era as opposed to the full colour that can be found in today’s books?
My favourite illustration is the double page B&W white illustration of the runes that Ralph Horsley did for the Warhammer Fantasy Role-play source book Dwarfs. The way he made them look like they were carved into stone was spectacular and it truly is awesome to look at.
I have a soft spot for all of the Warhammer art, I find it visually appealing and an idea of roughly what something looks like as it tries to inflict critical wounds upon the characters.
Well this is probably going to be a very tricky question to answer as I’ve met a few of the UK publishers and know a couple of them as friends, I’ve also play-tested for Eden studios so this is going to be a tough question to answer. Now if this was favourite game designer I may be on shaky ground.
My favourite publisher is no longer in business which makes things somewhat easier as I can’t be accused of favouritism in any way shape or form.
So without further ado my all time favourite is the long lamented Hogshead Publishing. Partly because the reprints of The Enemy Within campaign gave me years of play and was a real joy to referee, I’m more enamoured with the New Style of games that they put out especially The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. A wonderful story game with subtle humour and a very light mechanic can give you an evening of raucous laughter as you try and out do each other.
Oh and just to be clear about one thing; James is one of the aforementioned friends I talked about in the opening paragraph.
Now did I ever tell about the time we decided to invade the hollow earth armed only with an egg whisk, spatula and the band of the Coldstream guards……….
One of the points I find while doing this challenge is trying to come up with some interesting answers to the questions.
I remember years ago seeing Mazes and Monsters the film loosely based upon the disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III. So while it is an appearance in the media the game system is entirely fictitious.
My answer to this question would have to be the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, I remember watching this when I got home and being enthralled by it.
I should also point out that while this park takes you to the land of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons none of the riders suffered any sort of injury or dismemberment; which is more than can be said about most modern parks 🙂