John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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RPG Thoughts on 2013, and Looking Forward

Well, I feel somewhat better this afternoon, so we'll see what happens.

Still, on the subject of gaming, as most folks who read this LiveJournal know, one of my primary hobbies is roleplaying games. So I thought I'd devote an entry to my personal thoughts on the roleplaying that I did in 2013, and that I want to do in 2014.

I think that, when push comes to shove, I didn't really accomplish the goals that I set for myself with roleplaying games for 2013. I had planned to run a minimum of games for the year, and I sort of managed that, with just six (6) rpgs being run during the year, though I looked at and bought a few more games than that than I probably should have. It definitely wasn't a perfect year in terms of health issues interfering with the gaming, as I lost the second half of February, all of March, most of April, and bits of June to disease that laid me low and prevented my from gaming. Most of November resulted in pretty much the same thing with parts of December suffering from illness or inclement weather preventing gaming. On the actual gaming front, I had planned to run Desolation, Primeval, and Heirs to the Lost World as the primary three games, with some one-shots such as Hellcats and Hockeysticks thrown in for good measure.

Things didn't work out quite that way... While I ran a good amount of the Primeval RPG during the course of the year, the gaming of the alternate world fantasy historical rpg, Heirs to the Lost World, was a complete bust, as both gaming groups didn't like the style and feel of the game, and the mechanics got the short stick from them as well. I didn't pick up Desolation during the course of the year, as both groups wanted to play some "proper" fantasy although both groups looked eagerly forward to the Atlantis: The Second Age RPG that was being re-born under the Khepera Publishing banner. I did some of that with both gaming groups, but they decided finally to wait until the final version of the game came out, the Friday groups especially not impressed with the most previous version of the game. I also ran the a/state rpg for a little bit as well, primarily to get ready for the scenario that I was supposedly going to run at CanGames 2013, but that got abandoned during one of the periods of illness where it just seemed the cards weren't there for that game. I also did some preliminary work with the Rocket Age game system, again since I was running the game at CanGames, but I decided not to run it in campaign using the playtest manuscript as there were so many holes in the material that made it impossible. I did run the Cubicle 7 produced Yggdrasill RPG of the time of the Norsemen, and this game has proven to be somewhat popular with both the Friday and Sunday gaming groups. And finally, I never did get to run the Hellcats and Hockeysticks game at all this past year. I did manage some playing this year, notably a short "take over the character in the game" at CanGames, and both Nick and spross running Primeval, one successfully and one not, in the Friday and Sunday gaming groups, respectively. Honestly, I'm just glad that I did get in some playing this year. Thus, the year wasn't a loss gaming wise, but things just didn't go according to plan, as is the want with most things in real life.

Insofar as the gaming groups are concerned, there weren't any real changes among the folks playing in the Friday night group. The group is stable, and they're having fun with the games we've played this past year, though they weren't impressed with several of the game systems I ran. The Sunday afternoon gaming group is another matter. First off, I'm down to two players in that group, which makes it rough at times to begin with. However, when one of the players isn't social and doesn't interact with the other player in the group all that much, and when his indecisiveness and passive play is taken into account, well... let's just say the Sunday gaming group is a bit more stressful to play with. That said, I really do need to make a more concerted effort to find some new players to bring in to the Sunday gaming group, so we'll see how that works out later as 2014 moves along.

On the gaming convention front, I managed to go to two gaming conventions this past year, though I hadn't planned to go to the second one at all. The first of these was CanGames, the local Ottawa gaming convention that is held in May. I ran three sessions (and three different adventures) of the Primeval rpg at the convention, as well as a home-made scenario based on a different system adventure for the Rocket Age rpg. Things went pretty well in all the games. However, I'm not going to post links back to the convention reports, but you can read the events of the con from my point of view starting with the entries on May 21st. Suffice it to say, I had a good time at the convention and the games were a lot of fun for me (and hopefully the players). The second convention I went to was HammerCon V in Hamilton, Ontario. I hadn't planned on going to Hamilton for the most part, but as the year progressed, I came to realise that I wanted to go to the convention and could actually manage it. Of course, I didn't plan on a medical problem developing (my left ankle), but I still went. I enjoyed myself to some extent, and managed the convention with spross's help. I ran two sessions of the Primeval rpg and one session of the Yggdrasill game that had mixed success all around. While I guess I had a good time at the convention for the most part, it was somewhat stressful for various reasons, cost a bit more than I should have spent in 2013 (given some of the other expenditures for the year I dealt with), and I ended up with a case of con crud that was really bad.

So what does 2014 hold for me in terms of roleplaying games? Beats me. :)

One of the things that I plan to do in 2014 is to run a minimal number of different game systems. I admit that most of this stems from my age and the fact that I'm starting to have memory issues and really can't keep multiple numbers of rulesets in my head as I'd like to these days (getting old, I guess), but primarily I want to run a lower number of games as that lends itself more to campaign play where player characters actually develop and long-term game plots and sub-plots evolve somewhat. Yes, I know I said that last year, but... This time I'm really going to try to keep to this plan. I'm going to try and run three, maybe four, game systems this year, possibly with a diversion into a couple of one-shots here or there, depending on various factors. Given the choice, I plan to run Atlantis: The Second Age (Khepera Publishing, Primeval RPG, Yggdrasill, and Rocket Age, though for the science fiction rpg, I may go old school. I don't know yet on this last. I also want to do some one-shots or more, depending on how the players like the game, of the forthcoming Rosemont Bay gothic soap opera game. Well, that and Hellcats and Hockeysticks! Again, this remains to be seen. Needless to say, I hope that I get to play some stuff this year as well, though I know that Nick will run something for the month of July as my birthday present, and I'm hoping spross or one of the new players (if I can recruit some folks) runs a game of some sort as well.

On the Play By e-Mail (PBeM) front, I've pretty much decided to table these altogether for now. I might decide to run an Atlantis: The Second Age one, once the book comes out and I see the current incarnation of the system, but for now. Nope.

As for conventions for 2014, well, I'll be going to CanGames this year in May again, and I'll be running two or three games, the plans for which are starting to gell even as we speak. I don't plan on Origins or GenCon at all this year, having decided to spend the money on an actual vacation and something of a holiday. I've come to realise that I really need one this year. Other than that, I'll likely run a demo or five this year at some local Ottawa stores and comic book shoppes, but other than that, conventions for this year don't seem to be high on my agenda due to a variety of factors.

I'll hopefully be doing some writing and editing for several roleplaying game companies this year, but am not holding my breath on this matter. Nothing firm as yet.

How all my roleplaying plans for 2014 will work out is anyone's guess. You can always ask me in about a year, of course. :)

Whew! That took a lot of energy out of me, and I'm somewhat headachy again. Time for a nap, methinks.
Tags: atlantis rpg, cangames, convention, gaming hut, hammercon, hellcats and hockeysticks, personal, primeval rpg, retrospective, rocket age rpg, rosemont bay rpg, rpg chat, rpg hut, thoughts, yggdrasill rpg

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