A Blog Resumption, Pt. II: Gaming

Sunday March 1, 2009 at 11:29pm gaming, comics, long freakin post Comments (11) »

My gaming hobby has made a rather sharp resurgence of late - though not in the way it normally does.

As some of you know, whenever i start talking about my hobbies, i ramble. This is likely to be exceptionally long-winded. I'm not sorry, but i *am* sorry that i'm not sorry.

It all started when formal planning for RuchtCon '09 began. For any who might not know, RuchtCon was conceived by a friend of ours (Rucht) who wanted to have a miniature gaming convention for his birthday. This is to be held on the third weekend of this month, whereon we will spend ridiculous hours playing rpgs as well as board and video games. It's a *fantastic* idea and i wish i'd thought of it. When planning began, Rucht asked for volunteers for people to run games for his mini-con. Of course i volunteered immediately.

My plan was to (finally) introduce the fantasy version of the Roman Colosseum i've been devising for some time now. It was to be a massive-scale, morphing encounter with multiple goals that would require wits as well as strength and also an ability to please onlookers - which could grant you boons or hindrances in the arena.

However, my game was but one of perhaps a dozen rpg's mentioned for potential playing. When i saw the survey Rucht sent out, i was sure there was just too much gaming goodness to fit into a single weekend. I decided to check a bunch of stuff i'd never played before, but that looked really cool - to sort of sample the field, as it were.

When i noticed several of the new games didn't have a designated GM, i was quick to offer to fill in such a gap if necessary, assuming i could get a sourcebook - because really, i'm a GM at heart. I love to play these kinds of games, but I enjoy running them even more. Coming up with my own stories and getting to have my friends bring them to life is my favorite part of the roleplaying hobby.

Exhibit A
I also mentioned in my reply that one of the games on the list marked as GM-less seemed particularly interesting to me: it was a game called Little Fears.

Basically, Little Fears is a kind of horror/fairy-tale kind of game where all of the characters are children, and all of the things kids are afraid of (things that go 'bump' in the night, the monsters in the closet and under the bed, the bogeyman, etc) are all very, very real. The concept just fascinates me.

Apparently, most of those attending RuchtCon shared a similar mindset to mine - wanting to try new things. It seems that my plain 'ol D&D game didn't really generate much interest in the face of so much new potential awesomeness. While part of me still wants to run that game at some point, I'm much more excited about what we're going to be playing now...

Since my original offering didn't get much interest and i had offered to run something - and specifically mentioned Little Fears - Rucht asked if I would pick it up and run it for them. I was completely thrilled to accept the challenge and picked up the book from him the next day (saturday morning). In the less-than-36-hours since then, i've read the rulebook cover-to-cover, reviewed several sections and have the broad outline of a scenario to present in my head. I'm looking forward to continuing work on it. The game seems really cool. Lots of potential.

There were several other games on the list that seemed potentially awesome as well - games that i think i could really get into. All this kinda got me to thinking: basically, we only play D&D. I guess it's because it's a system we all know, and fantasy roleplaying comes pretty easy to most of us. Still, seeing all the other games and reading their descriptions got me thinking - maybe it's time to branch out. *GASP*. I know.

Don't get me wrong, i still love D&D (well, version 3.5 anyway. in fact, we had a *great* session last night) and i'll always be willing to have a game of it running... ...i'd just like to pick up some new stuff as well. Kind of the 'keep old friends, but make new ones too' idea...

Anyway, we happened to go to a few different bookstores on friday (strangely enough), so i made a point to go peruse the adventure gaming sections therein (...as if that wasn't what i'd have been doing anyway...) to see what i could see.

Exhibit B
At Mr. K's I ran into Rem (who i hadn't seen in a while) and had a nice chat with him about some random games. He mentioned one to me that sounded interesting and I later found and leafed through it at Barnes & Noble: White Wolf's new edition of Hunter - this time called 'The Vigil'. (most of their games are titled 'Something: The Something Else'. Heh.).

Hunter: The Vigil is basically about people who have somehow discovered the demons and monsters that lurk in the shadows of our everyday lives and are driven to combat them and otherwise rid the world of them. It's like a pretty cool game - and the new edition looks particularly good. If i was going to do a modern game, it would probably be something like this. I decided i might be interested in picking it up at some point.

Exhibit C
At Books-a-Million though, i ran into something that was truly awesome. Probably the coolest thing i've seen all year. In their (rather pathetic excuse for an) adventure game section, i saw a lone rulebook for an rpg called Mouse Guard. The cover of the book shows a large array of mice in various fantasy-esque costumes. I picked it up and stared at it in disbelief for a full minute. Mouse. Guard. It's mice. Fantasy mice. Mice struggling valiantly to survive against owls and weasels and all manner of other predators. It was like LOTR meets the Mouse and the Motorcycle. Actually, it reminded me a lot of Redwall. And Reepicheep.

I started flipping through the book. The whole thing was beautifully illustrated and the game seemed really cool and relatively simple (I like simple). I made up my mind then and there that I will have this game, and I will run it.

Still, like most rp books, it was a tad expensive - about $35. I figured i'd look it up on amazon.com, since it would certainly be cheaper there. Amazon did indeed have it for about $23, but more importantly, amazon led me to discover something else about it: it's based on a comic series of the same name.

Now, I don't read comic books (or "graphic novels") - it's just not something i'm into... ...but the game just looked so awesome i decided this was something i needed to check out - just to see what it's all about.

Saturday morning (while sheri was at choir practice) I went into John's (Mt. Empire Comics on Road St.), since llama told me he had some of the Mouse Guard stuff. No one else was there, so i started talking to John when i came in and asked him about it. He showed me where it was & said it looked pretty cool. I told him I was gonna leaf through a couple, just to check 'em out.

At this point, i had pretty much decided i just wanted to get a feel for the world and the characters to know what it was intended to be... ...but if it wasn't the sort of thing i envisioned after looking through the rp book, i was already preparing in my mind to reinvent it for the purposes of the game i was determined to buy and run. To my surprise, however, the world and characters were exactly the kind of thing I'd envisioned - and i loved it. I actually bought 4 issues. So i guess i've been sucked into a comic now...

(I found out later, however, that the issues i bought were kind of in the middle of a story (even though they were at the beginning of a series)... ...so i need to go pick up the 6 that precede them before i'll *really* know what's going on beyond simple context deduction. Luckily, there are only a total of 11 issues in existence right now (12 is due in april, i think), so i should be able to pick up all of them from the beginning without spending too much)

Now i'm even more excited about the game, and i had John order the roleplaying book for me. (I had previously planned to get it for cheaper off amazon, but John's a good guy and his store is a nice place. I'll pay a bit more to support him, you know?)

Exhibit D
Finally, I'm starting to pick up some of my homebrew stuff again. It all has a *long* way to go, but i've started kicking around ideas again and trying to come up with the worlds' foundations. If and when they get significantly further along, i'm sure i'll have more posted on them (as i've said before)... ...but these tend to be picked up and put down a lot (for some reason)....so they're likely to be a long time in coming.

Also, i'm still waiting on Robb to pick up his Exalted game again... ...i have shiny new dice for it and everything... ;)


...so many games, so little time...


~PS

hippie says...

Exalted.... yes you have shiney new dice, and yes it will resurface. But you must understand that Ruchtcon also convinced ME to buy new gaming books, so the winds of change have blown towards Changeling and Werewolf for the time being. Be patient my friend. I don't want to resume a game with half-a-heart.

Penguinsushi says...

Heh. It was a good-natured jab, my friend. Actually, i'm not sure my brain can handle taking in another game right now anyway. Take your time. :) ~PS

The Valiant Turtle says...

You know, anytime you need another player there's always Skype...

hippie says...

When the phoenix rises from the ashes, you will be the first person I call. Of course I'd have to call you "Raldor"...

Penguinsushi says...

Yeah, i wasn't sure to whom/what your comment was directed, Raldor... ~PS

The Valiant Turtle says...

It's was pretty much directed at anyone I know (or don't know) who is running a game in need of players.

Penguinsushi says...

No luck finding a group up in Columbus? ~PS

Jese Shoemaker says...

hey Jared, don't know much about gaming but i really just wanted to write you on your site! loveyou bro!

Llama says...

Ironically, I often came within a mouse's whisker of picking up Mouse Guard on a couple of occassions. Glad you like it. Look forward to playing.

hippie says...

This has no relevance to the issues being raised in this blog... but I have often wished I could cut and paste a 'word bubble' above your pic on the 'Sushi-cam' that said braaaaains...

Penguinsushi says...

Hahahaha. I could probably (someday) write a script that could let you type in text that would be superimposed on the image... ...but it would just be overwritten in 5 minutes when the picture was changed... ~PS

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