Friday, 28 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: The Chocolate and Peanut Butter Files?

27. Favourite idea for merging two games into one?

I'm actually going to talk about this at greater length next week, but I'll give you the thumbnail here. I recently grabbed a copy of Ed Greenwood's new book, The Iron Assassin, from my local library. It's a steampunk kind of thing in an alternate England with scheming nobles and Holmes-ian heroes doing their best to save King and Country, with airships and wind-up zombie killers. I'm not loving it so much, but it's got enough of what I like in Victoriana and steampunk to get my brain cells working. What it really made me want was to take the things I liked in it and plug them into a game that told a better story. And the thing that immediately leapt to mind was taking EBERRON, that old D&D setting that emphasized pulpy action and clanky fantasy robots, and giving it an injection of Gaslight-era goodness a la THE KERBEROS CLUB.

This has actually proved to be a pretty interesting rabbit hole, for me at least, so again - I'll talk more about it later. It may be an interesting exercise in showing how ideas percolate and ultimately mutate into something different.

28. Favourite game you no longer play?

There are a lot of games that come and go, if you're the kind of person who plays as many games as I try to. I got a lot of mileage out of MUTANTS & MASTERMINDS 1st Edition, and Cinematic Unisystem was my go-to game for a few years. I still love the Victorian-era supplement for that, GHOSTS OF ALBION, and may come back to it at some point. CU seems to still have some mileage, I think, except it needs a few rough edges sanded off.

I'd probably have to go back to my old sweetheart, VILLAINS & VIGILANTES, though, if we're talking favourites. I played this game for almost twenty years, although at the end we were working with cludged-together fixes for the old rules that didn't quite get the job done. M&M came along and improved on the system in almost every way, but V&V still got a lot of gaming mileage out of a multitude of players and groups for me. These days, it seems clunky, but back in the day I could make it sing. I don't much care about the ability of a rules set to model physics any more, but I was constantly amazed at the things V&V could manage to model all in a very compact package.

I actually tried to make my own V&V "update" a few years ago that showed promise, but I felt like there were some bumps that would take a lot of work to iron out, and my solutions all felt like other games on my shelf already. Still, it was pretty neat, and kept an awful lot of the things that I loved about the original game. Maybe worth another look some day?

Another rabbit hole. Maybe I should confine myself to working on polishing up LOST PINES and giving it to the world. Just in case you hadn't heard, I finally finished a complete first draft of that game recently, and I'm just working on getting it into shape so that I can get people outside my immediate circle to try it. To be contined.

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