Friday, October 20, 2006

More Itching and a possible salve; and Pendragon musing


The Itch to write a roleplaying game is still there, annoyingly so. What didn't help was me stumbling across a massive rpg-related podcast archive and stumbling across a 30-diatribe by the guy that designed Sorceror on the print-on-demand style of publishing. Everything he said fits in perfectly to my imagined 'business plan' on this type of stuff. Furthermore, I already know my artist and his rates. I know my layout man and his rates (nowt, it's me!). I know at least a couple of alpha and beta tester groups with very different styles. And I have a large wodge of inheritance cash coming my way soon. Even a small introduction of capital could make something like this come off and well.... well, theres a bit of an ancient pact between me and my wife to fulfil. If it isn't publishing something, it's running a comic shop and the former is waaay cheaper!!

It seems rather fanciful doesn't it? A 'normal person' writing and shockingly publishing an rpg? But surely everyone that starts off in any sort of small press endeavour is just an ordinary person with a bit of self belief? Someone who is willing to go beyond the gaming table and step up, make the gut check and do something bigger? Designers aren't some race of demigods - they're just gamers. My time working with Comic Images has proved to me that given enough confidence, hard work bloody mindedness, your gaming hobby can take you anywhere you want to - even Wrestlemania!

Nothing is impossible.

Of course, there is one small fly in the ointment. Actually, it's more of a large rotten grey whale in the ointment.


Where do you start?

What do you want to do - a new game? a new mechanic? something that meets a need that isn't being reached at our gaming table? A genre product? A pastiche of a licenced product? What about? What area of the world do I feel confident enough about to be able to write confidently about it - an area that isn't smothered already....

And then the doubts start - does the world need another rpg?

Then again, if that was the case, surely everyone would be playing GURPS.

Even as an intellectual exercise - IGNORE the stuff about publishing - this feels like something I should work through. Something that allows me to take everything that has changed in my gaming over the last six years and focus it. Coming up with a gaming mechanic that matches my love for character crunch and my predeliction towards minimal rules interference when the game actually starts. Something I would be happy playing -and- refereeing.

I think this one is going to rumble on here for a while


And now, more on Pendragon!

Sunday should be a full group game again, which is awesome. I'm really pleased that Nigel has managed to bring a game to the table that appears to have solved our one Achilles heel in gaming - inconsistency of group appearance. The year-by-year nature of the campaign and the vast array of alternate activities that characters can be undertaking make accommodating a player no-show very easy. The campaign really doesn't stand a chance of being derailed unless there is a major - and that means more than 2 of 4 players - no-show.

After the mini-session that introduced Andrews new character, I feel that I am finally finding a true 'voice' for Sir Brion. I envisaged him initially as a bit of an oaf, but once again I find it extremely difficult playing 'slow' or 'socially inept' characters. I like to make speeches and engage in verbal sparring etc. Brion has settled into his role as 'enforcer knight' quite well and I'm looking forward to Sunday as I want to present my squire in a very positive light, I want to run an Imbolc festival and I want to give Sir Fancy Pants Swordsman a piece of my (hopefully Proud) mind.

Good gaming makes for a happy gamer. I can tell I am a happy gamer because I am beginning to think around the character rather than just through the adventures. Very happy indeed.


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