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.
Over the years I’ve bought lots of gaming accessories to try out, be they; dice trays, dice, dice towers, dice cups and all sorts of dice to boot.
I remember the first accessory I wanted to get hold of was in the pages of Dragon magazine; Dragonbone Electronic Dice . To have something like this in your hand and be able to roll as many dice as you needed without having to lose them seemed like a marvel of the electronic age. The problem was that by the time I got the issue of Dragon some five years had passed and I wasn’t sure if the company was still in business so I gave it a miss.
The second item I lusted after was an all purpose GM screen, something where I could determine what charts and tables were facing me and something I could use for a variety of games that lacked an official screen.
I did manage to get two or three that fulfilled the criteria for a universal screen. The first one I bought was made by the now defunct Citizen Games, it was a quad panel affair and really did the trick, the downside was that it was a portrait orientation which means you have to stare up and over it to look at the players. The next one I bought was the Savage Worlds screen which is only three panels but is in my preferred landscape orientation but only has three panels. The number of panels may be seen as irrelevant but having an extra sheet of useful charts does stop me from reaching for a book to reference. There is one more screen to consider though and that is the self proclaimed The World’s Greatest Screen from Hammerdog Games, a four panel screen in either portrait or landscape orientation.
Now this is what I like to see, a familiar game but with different scenarios for it. Why be bound by the 1920s Chicago when you can adventure in 1920s Cuba instead?
I was impressed by the last Kickstarter they did and so that’s the reason I’m backing this one.
I backed the Psi-Punk Kickstarter a while ago and I was very pleased with it and the backer tiers are very reasonable.
There aren’t many games trying to get back into the Cyberpunk genre; even less that still use the Fudge system and just for these reasons alone I think it’s worth a punt.
Triple Ace Games are going to follow up the release of the Leagues of Gothic Horror Kickstarter they are releasing the Globetrotters’ Guide to London.
I have been impressed with the other three in the series so it is nice to see the fourth one in the series is up for funding.
I don’t really get much of a chance to listen to podcasts but when I do I listen to the Tome Show.
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.
As the month has progressed I’m finding it harder and harder to answer these questions which is a good thing. I find there is no challenge to be had writing about something if it is easy when you can write about something that makes you think.
I am tempted to name one of my friends here but I believe that is cheating and so I won’t stoop so low. There is one writer who really got me interested in the whole conspiracy genre and he was a prolific writer so I have many of his books; I say late because he died in 1995 aged 35. I am referring to Nigel D Findley.
I wish Nigel was still here beavering away at his keyboard writing some new project or game supplement. I only regret not buying the Shadowrun supplement Universal Brotherhood as that was one hell of a sourcebook and it is a shame that I don’t have it as I never got around to finish reading it.
Gurps Illuminati really opened my eyes to the whole conspiracy genre which had me seek out Conspiracy X and eventually do some freelancing work for Eden Studios on one of their unreleased supplements for Conspiracy X.
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……….