I was recently conversing, via e-mail, with a friend and former player in my games, and I found myself writing a big list of the games I wish I was playing. I figured instead of a giant e-mail it might make a decent blog post.
Atomic Robo RPG
I’d be happy to game master or play in this game.
It’s a game based on the graphic novel series of the same name, and using the Fate core rules. It’s essentially a game about being Action Scientists in a crazy mad scientist pulpy version of our world. The particular configuration of Fate here is well fitted to the game and style, and the real gem of the system is a Brainstorm mechanic that does a lovely job of simulating the rapid crazy hypothesis & techno-babble part frequently seen in sci-fi films. Once things start getting weird in a particular scenario, the player characters, most of whom are at least somewhat versed in science, but in no way required to be so, start spit-balling what they they think is going on, eventually forming a new Aspect that becomes true. The best part of this is that it’s all in the player’s hands, giving them the opportunity to change the adventure by defining new facts about it, and hopefully “find” a weakness to bring down the dangerous science enhanced threat. It’s a wonderful mechanic and one that really nails the sci-fi genre.
Shadowrun 5th Edition
I’d really like to play in, but not so much run, this game.
As I’ve mentioned in past posts, most of my knowledge of Shadowrun comes from 4th edition, but I own a copy of 5th edition and I’ve got an interesting idea for a Cascade Ork T-Bird pilot character I’d love to play. If you aren’t familiar with the game, Shadowrun is a mash-up setting of fantasy and cyberpunk. It’s a world where dragons own massive multinational corporations, and humans, trolls, orcs, and others sometime find themselves “in the shadows” working as deniable assets in the hidden conflicts between various corps and others. It’s a long lived and very cool setting blending some of the best story concepts of D&D and Gibson’s Sprawl series.
Now having read through 5th edition, I have to say there are a lot of things about it I like, and maybe more I don’t like, but I’m still interested to give it a go. It’s a great setting even if the rules, and especially the editing, aren’t where I’d like them to be.
I’d really like to play in this game.
Not a surprise if you’ve read a few of my past blog posts. This is the second Cypher System game, after Numenera, and one I find especially interesting for it’s setting(s). It’s a game where some ancient alien experiment generated a dark energy network spanning all of the universe, and this fractal filled network is home to recursions, little pocket worlds where the laws of reality are not necessarily like our own. The players get to travel between these recursions, with the alien dark networking modifying them so they “fit in” with the recursion, allowing players to become dragonslaying elf-analogs in a D&D like world, or biotech war machines in a mad-science world, or vampires in a horror themed world. The game setting has a lot of little worlds, many of them “fictional leakage” from human society, plus the weirdness of the network itself, with it’s planet eating entities.
I’m actively planning to run this game, and I have a character I’d like to play in it too, should I get the chance.
Another less than surprising entry if you have been paying attention. I really loved Feng Shui, despite it’s now dated rules, so I jumped at the chance to kickstart it, especially because doing so got me some play test rules, which look to have fixed a number of issues, if being a bit odd in its lack of customization.
So what is the game actually like? Feng Shui is basically Big Trouble In Little China the RPG, but with time travel to justify all the crazy locations and enemies you get to defeat in over the top action combat. The game mechanics are actually designed to mimic action films, Hong Kong action films in particular, instead of reality… so the Maverick Cop gets bonus damage for taking the time to say a snappy comment while shooting someone, the little old man is an epic wire-fu master, and you can probably fire your revolver seven times in a fight as long as it’s the start of the battle.
Planescape (via 5th Edition D&D)
I’m interested in running this game, but less interested in playing in it.
This is a bit of a cheat. I’m basically saying I’d like to play 5th edition D&D, but I want to do so because I still love the 2nd edition Planescape setting. It’s only a bit of a cheat because one of the stated design goals of 5th edition was to make it accessible to players of all past editions. At first blush, 5th edition does look like an easier rule set to convert a 2nd edition campaign then 3rd and especially 4th editions were, and for all my love of the 2nd edition setting, I really don’t want to run actual 2nd edition D&D. THAC0 can stay dead, thank you very much.
That said, I’ve had the same opinion every time a new version of D&D comes out: Ooh maybe I can run Planescape! The thing is, for all the things 4th edition got wrong, some of it’s cosmology changes were really good. If I do end up running Planescape, it will be with some extra bits from 4th edition worked in… to a 5th edition game… based on 2nd edition campaign…
…Ok, I admit I’m a bit nuts.
I’m interested in playing in this game, and possibly even running it.
This is a (pay what you’d like PDF) Fate Core urban fantasy setting, with the twist being that the players are common house cats instead of humans. I admit it seemed a little silly when I first heard it, but when I started to look into it I became a believer. Disclaimer: Although I was raised a dog person, I’m currently the thumb-slave to a pair of wonderful cats. That means I’ve been around felines long enough to notice some of the odd behaviors and personalities they exhibit… and so clearly has Richard Bellingham, the author of this game. For example, why do cats leave a dead rat on your floor? In this game it’s a warding to protect you from dark spirits and requires the sacrifice of a small living thing… the rat. The game is full of such smart little takes on cat activities that work wonderfully in game. My favorite is that every cat has an aspect to represent the special person or people they have claimed. Cats call these people their Burdens. Maybe you have to be a cat lover to see the charm in this product, but I happen to find it very interesting.