Thursday, April 14, 2016

Decisions, Decisions - What to do with a buffet of projects?

I find myself in an odd situation. I've got a lot of projects that need to be worked on, but I'm having trouble settling on what to work on. Not really writer's block as much as "writer's distraction".  The other issue is that this blog falls into that category; I should be writing meaningful posts to the blog, but sometimes I'm just not working on anything that is of interest (or in my mind isn't of interest) to anyone outside of my play group.  Or outside of my head, in some cases.

Maybe an exercise is needed to clear my plate; see what I've got on my mind and go from there.

Savage Rifts 

Supposedly, Kevin Siembedia finally unclenched enough to allow another company to take his Flagship setting and adapt it to their system (because the Palladium system is SO stable and fun to play). Pinnacle Entertainment Group, makers of Savage Worlds, will be kicking off their Kickstarter for "Savage Rifts" on the 26th.  I'm going to be watching this with guarded interest. I like the Rifts setting, or at least I think I do. I also liked X-Force at the time, so what do I know? I'll check it out, see if it's worth backing. The problem is that Palladium Books is still going to be part of it, and their last kickstarter hadn't completely gone well for those backers (Robotech Tactics). Maybe it'll fail, and maybe I'll have a non-FFG system game to bring to the next GamerNationCon. We'll see.

Star Wars: Relics 

My new Wednesday night game, via Roll20. Thoughts and feedback I can give about the Roll20 Edge of the Empire API; it's fun, but it's a little more involved on my side of the street. The embedded character sheets allow a player to go to a skill, or a weapon, and click a d20 emblem and have the program toss the dice for them. The difficulty can be set via the GM's "Dice Pool" window, with me adding or subtracting boost dice, setback dice, upgrades, downgrades, increases, decreases, you get the idea. I think the PCs can do that too on their side. The way I ran it last time; I set up all of the modifiers and difficulties and the PCs just hit "roll".  Next time I might try it by just calling out the modifiers, and leaving it to the PCs to set it up on the rollers on their end.  That could work.

Star Wars: Another Longshot

The game has been going on for a bit more than a year now.  PCs have earned (on average) about 300 XP. The plot has moved in directions and I feel like I've got a grasp on the interests of the party. I think it's high time I get the real plot going; it's been a lot of set-up and background work thus far. I need to hit both parties with what's really been going on in the Hagen Sector behind the scenes.  There's been a threat forming and it's time for them to come out of the shadows and drop the hammer on someone.

The game hasn't gone where I envisioned, nor where I wanted it to, but that's okay. It's sort of gone where I pessimistically expected it to, with neither team wanting much to do with the other. Could be a PC familiarity issue; some of the most objectionable voices to the other side are those who don't know the players personally.Then again, some of that is just attributable to how the plot developed, how the background universe is aligned, and how words and deeds have colored the views of the other group.

I still enjoy running each group, and I will continue to do so. I just don't know if very many crossover-games are in the cards going forward, either in this campaign or the next one.

Fallout 4

I'd be a little remiss if I didn't talk about the video game I'm most actively playing at the moment.

So Fallout has released the open beta for it's new Survival Mode; and it's pretty serious. No fast travel, reduced carry weight, the need to balance sleep, food, water, rads, and disease management. Bullets have weight now, and everything a lot more lethal.  So much so that when I tried to take on the Deathclaw in Concord, it killed me in one shot. While wearing power armor. Which forced me to reload to a save about an hour earlier, because you can only now save when you sleep. No saving just before you start something dangerous.

It's very lethal, and is sort of fun to play on a masochistic level, but it's not for me. I don't have the time such a run would take, having to travel everywhere in-play. There are methods of faster travel in the game, but they're deep into the storyline.  And I don't want to micro-manage my character to the point required to enjoy the game.  Hell, my toon got insomnia and nearly died of thirst because I was so busy crafting in Sanctuary! Not for me, I'll stick with playing on Normal Mode and leave survival Mode for folks who have the time.

The Next Campaign

I've been gathering ideas for a while now for "Phil's Next Game"; I've been jotting down "important facts" and "inspirational words" for a few months now.  For more than a year, I've been acquiring miniatures I'll want for certain characters, certain enemies. Certain elements. Things I've read about elsewhere that stuck a chord in my head as something I'd like to explore in a game. Here's a smattering:
  • Fortress Cities - Less Arcology like Chi-Town in Rifts, more "walled city" like Dominion's Vegas 
  • Laws of Magic - Like in the Dresden Files
  • Ruling Council of Wizards - Also like the Dresden Files
  • Illithids - Reaper Minis makes these awesome Chronoscope figures called Bathalians; pretty freaky alien/mindflayer/zerg things. I think I want to use them in the campaign as an invasion force of some sort.
  • Dragons - Inspired by Eberron, dragon alignments will not matter. Instead any "color" can be good or evil.
  • Giants - If In include these guys, I think I'd use them as "relative giants", as opposed to 20-50' tall humans. Make them 9-10' tall, they'd certainly be giants, relative to humans, but I don't have to invent reasons for Giant-sized buildings.
  • Power Armor - Because POWER ARMOR, dammit!
There are other points I've written down too, but they're more "plot revealing" that I'm willing to share here.  Quite likely I could get away with running this idea as a Rifts game (possibly even with Savage Rifts, above), but when I include what I want to do and why, it makes Rifts more and more of a poor fit.

Still shopping around for a system to run it in. I have just about everything I'd need to run it for Savage Worlds, but SW isn' interesting to me. I kinda want something that has hit points, and SW doesn't.  Not that it's a dealbreaker, just that it's something to factor in.  SW may actually let me do more of what I want as far as advancement and character options go; it really opens things up, with no "levels" or "caps".

Star Wars does that better, in my opinion, and I love the system, but it is definitely designed for a Star Wars setting.  Trying to convert the SW RPG to it is doable (as was evident down in Texas with Fallout), but I'd probably want to revamp the Magic/Force system. Plus I'd need to rewrite a few things.

FATE is right out. I like everything about the FATE system and concept except the actual die rolling.

I could do what Jay Little has done, run another system stock standard and just roll some Boost and Setback dice into the mix. Use them to create narrative elements. That's a possibility.

I dunno, like I said; still hunting.

LARPing Approaching

I've got the first session of Crossover starting in 2 weeks or so. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm running out of time to get my air-brush skills up to scratch, or even started really.  This weekend looks like a great weekend to get some painting done for the Nerf blasters I've got commissions for, and to finish up a couple enhancements to my own.

Should be fun. Hopefully I'll expound about it in a few weeks.

I think this helped a little, getting things out of my head.  Definitely needed it.

We'll see how the week goes.

May the dice be with you.

1 comment:

  1. So I have had a chance to look at the rules ... I have decided to run a mini campaign. Looking forward to the Rifts flavor with the great Savage Rifts ruleset.