My in-person group has been playing Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed of for quite some time now. It is a great game and has given us a good amount of fun sessions. But I have found some things in the game that have made me decide to switch to another system. The main reason for this is the way damage is handled in Conan. When playing the adventure damage accumulates and the players cannot permanently get rid of it until the end of the adventure when they hit downtime. Thus if you plan an adventure that lasts several sessions and they get badly wounded at the first portion of that adventure it is hard to continue without the death of characters. I like deadly games but that can be very wearing on players and hard for me to design for. So I have decided to shift and my group is doing it in an interesting way.
I love variety
As you can tell from this blog I love playing lots of different games. I like trying the new and the old and everything in between. So when I decided to change the question of what to switch to it was not an easy decision. At the moment there are four games that I would love to play. They are Earthdawn, Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC), Cypher System and second edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (2E AD&D). The problem is, there is no clear choice for me.
I was waiting for the Earthdawn Companion to come out before getting back into that and it has been released. DCC is my favourite style of fantasy game at the moment and so I could easily play that. I have recently gotten a bunch of Cypher System stuff and I love the system, I just never liked Numenera. Finally, I have been working on a 2e AD&D setting for a long time and it is about ready to be played. So how do I decide?
Ask the players
I took it to the players. The message told them the reason that I was shutting down Conan and gave them the options. I wanted their opinions, and not a vote because I advised them it would be my choice in the end. They gave me a lot of crossover in the chat about what they wanted to play and then one of them asked a question that I had not considered at all. I probably should have considered it as I would be happy to play each and every one of them.
I honestly want to at least try every option. Would it be possible to do a session of each and then we can make a decision?
Pure brilliance. This way, I get to run all the games and find my happy place as well. When we make a more permanent switch I can do it with a clear understanding of how each game feels.
The next month or so
I am lucky to have the group that I do. This is not a short-term investment in gaming. As we have four games on the table then we need four sessions. To have those four sessions we need characters for each game. The only one that I have been running on the side when enough people were not there for Conan was Earthdawn. So this coming week is going to be nothing but a mass character generation session. Those that don’t have an Earthdawn character will generate those and then we will generate a character for each player in the other three systems. Once a week we will then have a single session dedicated to each of the games. That is a five-week period with single games each of a different system. Only one game will be taken forward into a full-blown campaign. I am very happy to have players that are willing to take that journey with me.
Stay tuned to find out which game wins!
After each session, I will blog about how I felt about the game. I will cover what I thought the strengths and weaknesses were to the game we had. After it is all over I will reflect back on these posts and then make a decision as to where our group will go. I would love to hear your comments about the future of our game and get everyone involved! What do you do when you go to switch systems? Until next time, keep rolling!