Friday, December 14, 2007

Gaming Resolutions

I am not, in any way, a keeper of New Year Resolutions. I am, however, a firm believer in self-review and critique. Because of the strange work balance of my job the Christmas period in my world take up the same standing as the summer in many others. Loads of extended work followed by a longer break. Today I start my first real break for some 24 weeks. Its a time for me to relax, recharge and reflect on what is happening now and what will happen in the future.

As a part of that I like to review my core hobbies and see where they are going and what I want to do with them. So without further ado, and in a High Fidelity style, here are my Top Five Gaming Resolutions.

1. No More Games

A strange one to start with, I know, but at the moment I think I have reached gaming saturation. I am still playing in The Great Pendragon Campaign, I'm playing Cold City and I am playtesting Duty and Honour. Oh, and we have our boardgaming night as well. Thats a whole lot of gaming for someone who was used to playing once a month! I think that anymore will begin to fray the edge of Mrs Gows tolerances and indeed my ability to concentrate on other things. So enough of a great thing. Quality over increased quantity.

2. Go to more conventions

I really enjoyed the two conventions I went to this year - GenCon and Furnace. That said, the two couldn't be more different if they tried! I want to go back to GenCon again and this time be well enough and experienced enough to actually participate in and enjoy the goings on than I was this year. I don't view this years trip as a disappointment or a failure - just the fog of illness dulled me so much that I under-performed! Furnace was far more how I expect a con to be and I really enjoyed myself. Five great games, loads of great chat and networking. This year I want to get to more of these events. Conpulsion in Edinburgh is a must-attend for me and I am positive I will squeeze in a few more. Sadly everyone seems obsessed with putting the bloody things on in Dorset or some other French principality....grrrr! ( and NO, before some bright spark suggests it I am NOT organising a Newcastle convention!)

3. Finish Duty & Honour

I suppose this should be higher up the agenda really! With no set date I want to get D&H finished this year in at least an ashcan state. I'm not putting pressure on myself or my stalwart team of playtesters but I need to harness the energy and momentum that I have at the moment and push on through. The game has improved immensely since I first presented it and it still has a way to go. Put it this way, if I cannot sit down and play D&H by Furnace 2008 I will be gutted!

4. Resume by position as the Iron DM

OK, maybe not 'Iron' but 'Reasonably Sturdy Metal' DM would suffice. I cannot believe it has been two years since I last ran anything that looked like a substantial campaign. After four years in the hot seat some time off was needed but this long? Good grief! Sometime during this year I want to GM something structured, ongoing and substantial. Not a playtest or a one-shot. Something that people can get their teeth into. I'm feeling the urge again, gnawing at my imagination. I keep picking up 'Full Light, Full Steam' and other books and wondering what to do with them. I even glanced at Mutants and Masterminds!

5. Start gaming with the kids again

My starkest failure of the last year has also been my greatest success. My games of 'A Faeries Tale' with the girls were amazing and they have lit a fire under them that still smoulders. My Actual Play posts have even had some international plaudits on the Sons of Kryos podcast much to the girls amusement. However the pressures of work and other pursuits have meant that I simply haven't had time to get myself into the headspace needed to play 'faeries' with the kids in a meaningful fashion. I really want to start that off again and soon. I know Lara in particular was exceptionally excited that there was a Dr Who rpg coming up and who knows - by the time it comes out she will be 11 going-on 12 ... she might even be able to join in with the big boys!

So there you are - five things I want to achieve next year in my gaming. What are yours?



Anonymous said...

Mutants and Masterminds..something I've been spending too much time looking at lately as well.

Seems to be my secret vice.


Anonymous said...

Oh..and I should answer the question.

Get Thrilling Tales moving with some overall sense of direction to bring the various (and really cool) flags to some sense of a conclusion over time.

I did think of not doing that and just keep it as the game I run every so often (and never really finish it, just change aspects) but I think I've decided against that.

I also want to move on to something else - not sure what that will be. All I know is:

I feel the need to give M&M a shot - either contemporary or fantasy superheroes - the fantasy one is more further on my 'head space'.

Run something fantasy (I know it's a bit at odds with the above), but depending on what the new D&D is like I kind of like the idea of doing the 1-30 level thing using the heroic, paragon and epic level brackets to run three different campaigns.

Depends what the game is like, and it doesn't come out till June or so anyway.

That's about it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, 5 things to achieve...

1. Attend Gencon US at all costs, remortgaging the house if necessary.

2. Play more games, in particular during Gencon. Less poker, more rp which means signing up earlier and registering sooner. In particular indulge in my secret gaming vice of competative D&D, probably 4e.

3. Run something more substantial. One offs and short run games are fine but I feel the need to produce something more in depth. Possibly with a 4e ruleset and lots of indie experience and game philosophy. That or steal the Fate fantasy conversion.

4. Attend more cons, in particular make sure that I pester Neil into setting up Cottagecon II in February.

5. Play Burning Wheel, we keep talking about it but never do it. I need to scratch that itch even if I do think I will ultimately find it over crunchy and therefore unsatisfying.

Finally, so MR Iron DM, climbing back into the chair eh, running what if I may ask?

Is this the ill fated Buffy Season 3 or the D&H Cadiz campaign?


Anonymous said...

While Buffy Season 3 or Pulsars and Privateers would work for me I have a distinct feeling I'd be getting my hopes up :)

It'lls be something knew I guess.

Vodkashok said...

Andrew - well, you want to run something more substantial and you want to see Burning Wheel at the table? I think your answer is there, staring you in the face!

As to what I would run? I honestly have no idea. I feel the need to put one of these mythic campaigns to bed once and for all but I'm aware of, as Ian said, raising expectations. Its something I'm pondering though.

As for Cottagecon - lets get Christmas out of the way first!