Loyal fans might remember that just a few weeks ago I ran a Savage Worlds campaign for my play group. Despite my inexperience with the system, despite my relative inexperience as a GM, despite my friends’ seeming apathy toward non-d20 systems, and despite the fact that we already have not one but two active Pathfinder campaigns, a call has been put out asking for Savage Worlds characters!
Not much is known yet—just that this game will run on the side as needed and will have a sort of pulpy occult bent—but I’m excited. I’m thinking I might try my hand at a Peter Venkman-ish occultist who’s really into the pseudoscience for all the interesting and eligible (widowed?) ladies it puts him in contact with.
The real question is this: do I make a character with no combat capabilities at all and just see how the dice treat me? Is that a totally insane and/or stupid idea?
Saturday marks my first time running Savage Worlds, and I find myself wondering if I’m spending my prep time wisely. In the past year or so, I’ve run:
- D&D 4e
- Don’t Rest Your Head
- Legend of the Five Rings
…and save the DRYH game, none of them went quite how I’d hoped or planned. I find myself all too easily trapped into either wasting time on far too much prep work for what is needed, or spending way too little time on prep work and finding myself winging it halfway through a session. Usually it falls between these two, though, where I’ve prepped enough but in all the wrong ways—the players derail the plot, avoid the planned encounters, and seek out ones I’d never considered. Or I realize as I arrive to the session that I forgot to bring all of the songs I’d selected to play as ambient music. Stuff like that.
I can only hope that others struggle as I struggle. I’m preparing for Savage Worlds with nothing but a game idea, a thorough reading of the rules, and the hope that I’m not going to bore the players or cause a TPK. Rules-light games are wonderful when it comes to the prep time required, but that flexibility also makes them a bit terrifying…
Anyway, enough whining. I need to get back to prep. In the meanwhile, let me leave you with some inspirational reading on the topic.
I was thinking today, while working, that Minecraft is becoming an increasingly compelling contestant in the realm of videogame RPGs. Most RPGs are static and attempt to tell a
good decent story while grinding you through levels and abilities. You start pathetically weak and inexperienced and end as a bubblegum-chewing, ass-kicking motherfucker. You go from total neophyte to legendary veteran in the span of anywhere from 10-40 hours of gameplay and story.
Minecraft isn’t like that. In fact, I’m imagining some of you are currently raising your eyebrows and wondering what in the world I’m on about. The world’s sandboxiest sandbox game, on par with games like Skyrim, Final Fantasy, or World of Warcraft? Believe it.
As you’ve no doubt surmised by now, Endday is a dead game for our group. I had grand designs on what I was going to do once we got past the content that Greywulf had posted online, but when my players lost interest after 3 sessions, I took that to mean two things:
1) I’m still a bit of a rookie GM and need to work on, well, a little bit of everything
2) Our group just doesn’t really care for D&D 4e
It’s amazing how much learning you can have to do about a system even after years of playing it. We first started playing 3.0 in high school (well over ten years ago), and we’re ostensibly still playing it in a sense through Pathfinder. And while our roleplaying skills have no doubt improved along with our understanding of the nuances of the system, it’s really amazing to me how we sometimes miss the broad strokes for the details.