GAME OVER! And New Year’s melancholy
Posted by docryder
So, last night I completed my D&D4e “Invasions!” campaign. The PCs were “Big Damned Heroes,” saving reality from Tharzidun (AKA Tharizdun, the Chained God) by doing what the gods before them couldn’t, by laying a smack down on the Mad God. This was followed up by a montage/slide show in which I described the fates of all the PCs, past and present, as well as NPCs and the future of the world for the next few hundred years. I then handed out to each player a personalized version of the certificate above, as I have never before completed a campaign. We followed that up with some discussion on our characters for the next campaign, which will be run by the player of Brand, a D&D4e game set in the Moonshae Isles of the Forgotten Realms.
That before now I had never completed a campaign sticks out in my mind. I have run a number of campaigns, but I’ve never brought one to it’s natural conclusion. My D&D 1e and 2e games, Champions and Villains & Vigilantes games of the past were never completed, usually because they were connected with college or something like that, friends moved, etc. Even my recent “chronicles” in Vampire the Masquerade, Mage the Ascension and D&D 3.5 simply faded away from players moving, children coming into players’ lives and other issues. I did one short campaign when a friend moved back into town from Missouri, but it was only intended to run a few weeks while he was visiting, so it had a built in (but ultimately unnecessary) deadline. (That game had elements that are being resurrected in the StarSea, by the way.) This was the first one that I planned an ending to from Game One, and which came to the conclusion it was planned to have.
A kind of melancholy struck me this morning, as I started archiving my game notes. I had 11 GB of stuff on my laptop’s hard drive, most of which I didn’t use much. The moving and sorting out which things I wanted to keep in easy access (mostly image files, but a few others as well) brought back memories of the start of the campaign, and how I was in a better place in my life when I started the game, even though it was shortly after my father died. I could take you all to quite the pity-party on this, but I think I’ll spare you all. Suffice it to say that I’ve seen better days, and 2014 isn’t getting off to a good start, emotionally or financially.
On the other hand, again, the Kindle has been a boon. I’ve been reading the FATE Core and FAE books on the Kindle while riding around at work, as well as having picked up the Toolkit book and a FATE Worlds book, which I read at night before bed. I’ve been getting ideas on how I might make the StarSea work in FATE, so it’s well in the running for being the rules I’ll choose.
Something I’m noting on a very metagaming level is that FATE could very well operate on a metagame level, being a system GMs and players use to create worlds and define characters, and then a different system could be used for actual play, although I’m not sure why someone would. This version of the game is a vast improvement on the old version I read some years ago (before 4e came out, as I was discussing it with an old friend well before he left town). Examples of how the system works are much better than in previous editions I’ve read (I haven’t read Spirit of the Century or the Dresden Files RPG), however sometimes I do find myself confused by some of the terminology, as the idea of aspects can be rather broad.
One of the other things I’m liking about FATE is that it very much is geared towards fitting the game to your idea, rather than the other way around. I’ve so often tried to force ideas I’ve had into a game mechanic and had it frustrate me so that I end up loosing interest. I don’t think that’s possible with FATE. For all that, it’s still no guarantee I’ll use it, in the long run.
I caught a video review of the Radiance RPG, which I’ve mentioned before. It seems to be a streamlined version of d20 with some 4e ideas (the reviewer thought many of the 4e ideas in the game were novel and unique, so he’s obviously never really read 4e, even though he’s a bit of a grognard) with a fantasy steampunk setting. It’s on my list as well, so it’s a system that will definitely get some discussion here.
Also, this week I’ll finally get back to my Living Forgotten Realms game. Between illness and holidays, it’s been a month since I’ve played (or nearly so). It will be good to see that group again. They are mostly much younger than me, but that’s a positive in my book. I’m still coughing a bit, but I haven’t had a coughing fit that’s stopped me in my tracks for a week or so, and that’s progress.
Sorry to be abrupt, but that’s all I can think of to discuss for now, so I’m signing off. Later.