Old Games – New Life

I have spent a good deal of the past 12 months playing games.  You may have noticed that fact due to this blog.  I have played Pathfinder consistently throughout the year and am pleased that I have.  It is a good game that I am glad I found.  But it was not Pathfinder that gave me the highs over the last year.  In fact it was two old games that I have revived that have made me smile the most.

My CT map that we are playing

The first of these was Classic Traveller.  It has a simple, dry rule set with little injected personality.  It courts rules that require mathematical formulae to run and it offers players the ability to criticise the GM’s science as they play (Yes +James Austin, I am still talking about it).  It is a game that I never had an intention of running (I used to play MegaTraveller) but up popped a message on a community looking for a GM at a time where I was eager to sink my teeth into some sci-fi.  I talked myself into the GM role within three days and then purchased everything officially printed for Classic Traveller for around $40 and set out to learn the rules.

I was amazed at the response that I got when I asked if anyone wanted a game!  Nostalgia rules apparently as peopled literally leapt at the opportunity.  Each week we would play the ship would have a different crew but that was OK.  It was like an episodic T.V. show that focussed on different characters at different times.  This rag tag crew of players, some Australian and occasionally the exceptionally keen American who would wake up at 4 in the morning to play would join in and they tripped about the Spinward Marches leaping from misadventure to misadventure.

There is no one game I can put my finger on where I had the most fun, but overall I can remember laughter, humorous anecdotes and just a great time had with new found friends.  I can see why people like Traveller.  It is a game that everyone loves to play because anything can happen.  But most of all, it seems to bring together like minded people like no other game I have ever played.

My favourite supers RPG

The other game that stands out as a highlight for me was when I decided to revisit the first RPG that I ever owned.  Super Squadron, the Australian made supers game that I first held in my hand as a boxed set as an excited 12 year old after a courier van dropped it off to me.  I believed it to be the best supers game that I had ever played (I have only played that, Heroes, Champions, DC and TMNT) and so a couple of years ago the books were up on eBay, brand new and signed by the author!  Turns out it was the author selling them and I grabbed them for a bargain price.

Flicking through the pages showed me that it was still the game I remembered, just that it actually had a couple of expansions I never knew about.  I decided that one day when the time is right I would play it again.  Last year, I did exactly that.  I generated some pre-gens and put an event on G+.  I had actually looked for players the week before and it fell flat so I did not expect much.  Next day I woke up and found that I had probably 4 more players than I needed and shut the requests down.  It was on and I planned the game.

Again, it was not exactly the game itself that stood out.  There were snippets of humour (a hero with heaps of ray powers that could not shoot accurately, a starting hero with some major powers but too little juice to power them) but it was the feeling this game created!  We had an awesome night and I really felt at home with these players.  It must have had an effect too as I know at least two of the players that night now have a copy of the game because they felt that fun as well.

What do I think?

Neither of these games are brilliant mechanically compared to some newer systems but their systems do hold their own.  I may have dumbed down Super Squadron a little on the night but it does still hold up, as does Traveller.  Only one of these two games was a sentimental favourite for me but they both have really impressed me this past year.

So why am I writing this?  Because I want you all to realise that all the new and shiny games can be fantastic but so can the old and out of print.  Thanks to the magic of the internet the oldies can mostly be picked up again.  Super Squadron (just as an aside) can’t be unless you know the name of the Australian store that still have copies.  If you are nice and ask me I may just share though!

The other reason I am writing this is I am doing this year a specialised Traveller game that I have built up to.  Six games only this year.  One has gone by and the other five are to come.  I am doing what I want to in other words with the game but I am not with Super Squadron… yet.

So, what do I want to do with Super Squadron I hear you ask?  If you didn’t I’m going to tell you anyway…  I want to play it as it was intended, heroes starting out in the world and finding their feet.  I want to do that with a few players, solo for a bit but bringing it together as the game goes on.  So keep an eye out if you are interested.  Lets create some new comic book heroes!  Keep rolling!

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