I had a few interesting comments on the last post. Fantastic! Glad to see that there is interest in the way we are going to change up the games. The one that caught my eye mentioned how we should play out the first play session and then once they are done play the games month by month as unfolding chapters to each! That has started the wheels turning in my head, but that is backburner material. I need to get through the character generation first and then the four sessions that will follow it. I also have a new player excited to give the Dungeon Crawl Classics a play so it looks as though they may be joining in a little bit of the adventure.
Four Game Systems in my Head
To have all of the system’s rules in my head at the start of this is going to be a feat. Sure, I have played Earthdawn, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) and Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) a fair bit. The Earthdawn system is updated though and some of that plays out in character generation. Cypher System from memory was an easy character generation system BUT I have to know not just the run of the mill but the finessed stuff too. Not to mention that the Gods of the Fall is the version we will be playing with and that adds stuff. Beyond the character generation, I still need to know the rules extensively so I can explain them to the players at the time they are making their characters. I am beginning to think that this generation session will probably be among the hardest that I do in this experiment.
It has to be Engaging
I have no real preference which we move on with these four games. But I need to give each game the best shot it has. At the end of the four games, I have to be sure that the one that I choose is the best for the group and myself. Maybe in the long term, I will decide that they are equally good and play a chapter of each in succession but I can’t be sure that is what will happen. After all, Cypher System is new – what if I run it and just do not like it. I ran a game of Numenera once online and liked it? But an online game is different from an in-person game and that fun for me may not translate.
The truth is that I know that I am well across three of these four game systems. I am spending most of my spare time catching up on the fourth and looking at the setting material too. It is the nervous jumble of trying something like this that is causing me to second guess myself. As long as the games are strong and in the right zone to highlight them then we will have a great time. Plus, it is going to be fun. Here are the games that I want to play right now and in a month I will have played them all once! I am looking forward to seeing this all come together and see what direction we take. From my current perspective let me explain each game system to you briefly.
Now in its Fourth Edition, this game is a horror fantasy styled game with a rich background. It is actually set on Earth in the middle eastern area, but it is unrecognisable to today. Magic has recently reached its peak and while it was there Horrors from Astral Space came to the world and ravaged it. The survivors of this time largely hid in underground fortresses in the hopes of not being found. All of the characters have emerged to see if the threat is low enough to survive on the outside. The characters are called adepts and utilise the power of magic to perform wonderful tasks. The character may be a spellcaster, a thief, a weaponsmith, a master of the sword or many more but all of them use magic to become Legends.
A fantasy game that is rooted in the old school renaissance (OSR) style. The game generally speaks to me of weird and brilliant stories. Characters are all randomly created and then run through a funnel. Many of the characters will die and only those that survive can be chosen to move into a true adventuring career. High magic and unpredictable results in many tasks make this game one of the most fun to play. I love the way it challenges players to step beyond their comfort zone and gives the power to the games master (GM) to be super creative.
OK, DCC is in the OSR, AD&D is the OSR. The second edition of the game that started it all. AD&D is one of the games that I started playing very early in my gaming career. It does not really have a setting apart from the one that you make. The setting has taken me a long time but it can now be played! AD&D is a functional, extensive and crunchy system that most players know. There will be a small learning curve but the strength here is that we can get right to the role-playing with little rules interruptions. Solid, good and iconic. I hope my setting stands up.
Cypher System – Gods of the Fall
A very new style of role-playing game (RPG). I have gone with the Cypher System as a Universal styled RPG with Gods of the Fall for flavour. Having the players’ play gods is brilliant and I hope this game does it justice. Cypher System is the best game for the GM in a lot of ways. The main mechanic for them to use is to give things a difficulty between 1 and 10. Need a creature – a dark writhing mass of fur and claws erupts from the underbrush to attack you (Difficulty 3 but anything it does acrobatically is difficulty 5). See how easy that was? The game is so easy the GM does not even need a screen because they don’t need to roll dice. The course of the players’ stories is truly in their hands with this game.
Four games are about to be played and I am excited! Cramming those four games into my head for character generation is a fun challenge. I really hope that I have the space to do it! Next post will tell you how the generation went! Keep rolling.