Monday, January 2, 2012

Cleaning out the attic: random thoughts for 2012 gaming.

Everyone around the start of the new year has lists of resolutions that they break shortly after making them, lists of things they want to accomplish but never do, et cetera and so on. I'm just putting down some things pertaining to tabletop gaming that I've realized over time and would like to see through 2012.

1) While preparing for our annual New Years party we stumbled upon my skeleton notes for the Eberron campaign that I ran intermittently from 2005. I looked them over, smiled at my ideas and realized that I'll never get to run that setting ever again. And I'm quite alright with that. In fact its a learning moment and I'm proud that I realized it.

I remember how the heroes in the last game saved the day and was transported home. I left some clues that other things are awry in Khorvaire while they were away but it resolved on a happy note for the adventurers. And I'm going to keep it as that. Its done. I'm done telling stories there. I did it because nobody else would tell stories there for me to play. And when that happens I become the DM just so I can be in that world, even if I'm not a hero there. *I will also note that only one person offered to set a game in Eberron and due to the rules set chosen I said 'Hell No! Eberron is mine! Get off my lawn!'.*

Besides I 'beat the dead horse' before with my Forgotten Realms game that went into epic 3.0 play and it got tedious and, quite frankly, was just awful to run and was no fun either. While some of the players may disagree with me it just wasn't worth continuing for me. Without fun there is no point in playing, right? It is a game after all and that game (Realms) is in terminal limbo and I've *never* wanted to go back there. The lesson I learned with the Realms game is to know when to end the story. I got that now and I won't let Eberron, which I love dearly, end up like my Realms game. I applaud it's creator, Keith Baker, who created a toy box for my creativity to thrive in and I love my time there. I just don't want to run it anymore. Its time to be a hero instead.

2) I also realized I just want to become a player again. I'm going to finish both Rise of the Runelords and Carrion Crown AP's because I am having fun doing both and I owe it to the wonderful crews I have that play in them. After they are done I'm going to retire my DM screen for awhile again. I'd like to play some more and let someone else step up and tell their stories. Its not a permanent retirement but its going to be a needed extended one after years of running games. For those wondering its not the dreaded 'DM Burnout' as I don't want to throw out all my books and quit playing. I just feel its time to step back for awhile and let the creative juices replenish again.

A step in this direction is the Eclipse Phase game my wife and I will be trying out starting next sunday. I'm looking forward to this but I'm going in with trepidation as it appeared some minor in-fighting between people who will be playing (and know each other) began on the message board we belong to for this game was not needed. It also puts into doubt how this group will work together both out of game and within. I will give it the college try and see how it goes. I really like this setting. If I'm not having fun though I will depart from the group gracefully.

Ideally there are two people who I would love to run a game for me. Bruce, Charles, if you guys get an itch to tell a tale let me know. I'll be ready with dice in hand.

3) Eric at Gaming With The Gnomies has a great monthly article called 'The Apathy of New Releases' based off of what is being solicited in Game Trader for retail. My realization is that there really isn't alot of product I want to get my mitts on this year. I'm going to keep my Pathfinder AP subscription because I want the Skull & Shackles AP (PIRATES!) and The Shattered Star AP which is the sequel to Rise of the Runelords. After that I'm probably going to cancel it. I have enough AP's to keep me running and playing for the next ten years.

I will pick up the collected hardcover release of Frog God Games mega dungeon adventure, Rappan Athuk, because I love their work and they are quickly becoming my go to RPG supplement guys.

Paizo's big book releases, Bestiary 3 / Advanced Race Guide / Ultimate Equipment, don't really inspire me at all. I'll look through the Race Guide but I don't think its needed. Ultimate Equipment , the GenCon 2012 book, looks like alot of extra crap that will eventually clog up the game. If you can't find it in the core rule book, or better yet create what you need with the item creation rules, then you probably don't need it and  another book full of stuff that you might only use less than 1% of...ever. Bully I say!

I always will support Posthuman Studios and the Eclipse Phase brand and fortunately they don't release alot of books in a year but I haven't heard of anything new on the horizon yet. I bet we'll get a good hardcover out of them and their stuff is always worth the price.

Cthulhu Tech, another sci-fi game I liked, has all but disappeared and I've all but lost interest in it now. Scratch that off my list.

I want to check out Privateer Press's re-release for Iron Kingdoms. I missed the 3.0 D&D compatible books and now that they're out of print its nearly impossible to get them cheaply. But if looks like ass I will pass.

And if Pagan Publishing releases a new Delta Green hardcover this year its mine. I am the eternal fan of that setting. (Again....thanks Bob!)

I don't even consider WotC's D&D 4E for purchase. Its not my game of choice. And this is a teeny tiny list of stuff compared to what I've purchased in the past. Either I'm getting older or I'm just not as easily impressed anymore. Apathy indeed.

4) I'm going to play alot of Munchkin Axe Cop this year. There is no way around that. I can't wait.

So far this is all I have for gaming on my plate for 2012. Either this will be a bare bones year or it will pick up as the year goes on. Only time can tell.