By way of an update, I’ve completed a 10 episode season of Special Investigations Night Shift. Yup, I’ve got 3 episodes written up, but I’ve run 7 more past that. Moreover, I’ve also run a few sessions of an Apocalypse World palette cleanser game. I’d tell you more, but setting I used for it is part of a project I’m not ready to talk about. I can say it was a fun thing to work up, and to find art for. I’ll also say that Apocalypse World’s almost-no-planning-for-the-MC game system is very interesting, and a lot of fun to run. I’ve only run two sessions, and only one “Front,” but it was very enjoyable for everyone involved. The way webs of interactions and relationships between PCs an NPCs form dynamically is something even my players were commenting on. They also accused me of pre-planing things to work out in complex ways that really were just emergent. Good fun, and very interesting design wise. I’d played Apocalypse World before, but this was my first time running it, and although it seemed complex it turned out to be very easy to run. Most shocking to me was that Master of Ceremonies in Apocalypse World never roll dice, and I admit I didn’t miss them at all. I hadn’t noticed that the MC in past games didn’t roll anything, and neither did my players in this game until I pointed it out to them.
As far as the real distractions go: I’ve been digging through the new Shadowrun 5th Edition rules rather a lot lately. I like to play Hackers and Riggers, so there are a lot of complex rules sub-systems to come to grips with, and 5th edition changed a lot of those. I’m involved in a few Shadowrun related forums, and so I have of course been sucked into a few details conversations about how the new rules are supposed to work. I haven’t always been right, but I’ve been learning a lot. For the most part I like the new rules, but that statement comes with a lot of caveats. I’ve also been smitten with the idea of playing a T-Bird Pilot. Most of my Shadowrun experience is 4th edition, where aircraft were not within the reach of starting characters. 5th edition puts a few aircraft within reach of starting Riggers, including one nifty but nuyen intensive VTOL craft. It’s an expensive build, but I think it might be a lot of fun to play. Right now my Cascade Ork T-Bird Rigger/Smuggler build is a bit limited, but I suspect future splat books will make the concept a lot more viable thanks to edges covering restricted gear and extending the karma-to-cash rules. At least I hope the 4th edition “Filthy Rich” and “Restricted Gear” get a reasonable update in 5th edition.
I’ve also been playing the Shadowrun Returns PC game. My current character is a maxed charisma elf conjurer/mage… which is to say a Face who summons elementals and throws manabolts. I love playing social characters in computer RPGs because I like being able to get at all the story bits. This new Shadowrun game does alright at this, but Planescape: Torment and Fallout may have left me with an unreasonably high bar.
And then there are the PDFs of games I’ve been getting through past Kickstarters I’ve backed. I’ve got copies of Numenera, HillFolk, and tremulus that I’m digging through off and on. Lastly, a friend of mine is running a home-brew post apocalypse game in Seattle and was nice enough to show me his rules.
Lots of games, a day job, a sick cat, and wedding to plan. Life moves pretty fast sometimes.