Not much roleplaying during the summer months as you might have noticed. With all the vacation trips and country house visits we simply didn't have time for it. However as autumn draws ever closer the long dark Swedish nights just calls out for some roleplaying!
We have our ongoing WFRP3 campaign of course, but since my friend Anders have stepped up to take the GM position in that (at least for a couple of sessions) I've been looking at other games. I'm really dying to try something different and I think a few one-session or at least short scenarios might be in order. Naturally my first instinct is to go for Diaspora as we have still only managed the cluster creation part of our budding game. However, there are so many other alluring RPGs out there.
3:16 - Carnage Among the Stars - I think this is what we might try next as it is such an easy game to setup and run on the fly. However it is fairly limited in scope and I don't see it developing to a long running campaign for us. When talking a bit about it with a few in my group they seemed intrigued by the Strength/Weakness mechanic as well as the subject matter. Perhaps I will bring it instead of a board game for our next general gaming night.
Mouse Guard - I started reading The Burning Wheel last year and was fascinated by it but also felt that it was a bit too radical for our current gaming group. I did try to incorporate parts of the mechanics in our WFRP gaming (Beliefs and Instincts to be precise) but it never really took off. Now, Mouse Guard uses a streamlined version of the Burning Wheel system that I think would be more accessible to our group. At first I simply thought to use the system in a different setting, perhaps the Olde World again, but the more I read the more interested I became in the actual Mouse Guard setting. I even ordered the first two Mouse Guard volumes by David Petersen to get the full backstory. I think using the pre-generated characters and simply running the sample mission and see how everyone reacts is the way to go. Just like with FATE I think people might be a bit confused by the non-traditional aspects of the system but hopefully it will provide an enhanced experience in the end.
Rogue Trader - Here I backtrack a bit rules-wise but the scope of Rogue Trader is so different that I think it fits in this article anyway. Commanding a kilometres long starship with a crew numbering in the tenths of thousands is certainly a step away from the dishevelled adventurers that has been around since the dawn of roleplaying time. Being able afford anything, go anywhere and decide the fate of entire planets I think will provide a play experience that we simply have never even approached before. Rogue Trader, with its Endeavour mechanic, also seems much more open to less structured, more player-driven adventures than its sister games Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader and this is also one of the main draws for me. Using more of a sandbox approach to gaming where the players create just as much of the adventures as I would. One thing that makes this approach harder though is the fairly clunky rules system that I think might interfere with creating stuff on the fly.
The One Ring - Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild - Quite a mouthfull isn't it?! I just started reading this the other day and it is what made me sit down and write this article. It seems to me (from what I've read so far) that it combines elements from both newer and older games and it brilliantly evokes the setting of Middle-Earth! I thought Decipher's stab at a Lord of the Rings RPG was pretty good (although a right mess in many ways) but the feeling you get from The One Ring is definitely superior. Leading up to its launch I remember reading a lot of critical voices from people who didn't like the time period (five years after the Battle of Five Armies), didn't like what they had heard of the mechanics (too much indie RPG) or didn't like the fact that the creators were some unknown Italians! For me it was the complete opposite though, it seems logical to me to use that period as it's reasonably free of large "canon" events, I like "indie" mechanics and most important of all Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitelli are the creators of the absolutely excellent War of the Ring board game. War of the Ring is not only a great game from a mechanics standpoint it's also impressive how much of the setting it evokes, indeed far more so than FFG's later release Middle-Eart Quest even though that is meant to be more of a thematic adventure experience. Anyway, the simple fact that it was the same authors put my mind to rest - these guys get Middle-Earth. This is another game I'd like to run a session or two just to see how our group would take to it.
Diaspora - I'll just put it here for a sense of completeness. I've talked a lot about Diaspora in the past and it always hovers in the background, waiting to get played. I've also thought about introducing FATE in other games and we've started experimenting with Aspects in our WFRP campaign. It's going well, but I'd like to play some pure FATE just so that people really can get a hang of it. The idea of intertwined character creation is also something I think I'll start using pretty much anywhere from now on. It's simply such a good way to create a dynamic group. Rogue Trader touches upon it slightly with it's Origin Paths, but it's really only a bleak shadow next to the original FATE version. For more about integrating FATE into other roleplaying games have a look at this excellent article by Tourq Stevens over at Stuffer Shack.
Project W - I would like to try something different with this and how it's introduced to the players so won't go into details, but again it's meant for a couple of sessions and I have a feeling that our group would love it as it's a bit of a callback to our gaming roots.
Naturally there are other RPG's that I want to play (Dragon Age being high on the list) but I think these are the more non-traditional games making most noise in my mind at the moment. If you have played any of these and have any hints or advice, or perhaps some other interesting game to recommend (been looking at Fiasco recently) let me know in the comments!