So... I ran 11 different games in 2016, got to play in 4, but what are my plans for 2017?
I'll start with the quick hits, the continuity, as mentioned previously I plan on continuing to
- Run my Apocalypse World 2nd Edition game set around Parcher's hardhold.
- Run A Red and Pleasant Land using Planarch Codex for the Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast.
- Play in Thomas' 2nd Edition al-Qadim roll20 game.
Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone
- I've had this one at the back of my mind since reading about it a few years ago. The article talks about the Fate Core version, but they also produced a Powered by the Apocalypse version, which is what I'll be running for my Wednesday group.
- The game has gotten some mixed reviews and compared to other PbtA games, the game master sections are fairly lacking but I think I've got enough PbtA GM experience to handle the lack of that material and the pitch was just too good... Dwarven Mechs battling Berserkers controlling the bones of dead giants? But what really sold me is that before making characters the players collaborate to make a holdfast where their PCs are based and I'm hoping that helps set up a strong and interesting party, maybe even a Voltron style party...
- The other thing I really want to play with is the saga building embedded in the game through the concept of Ferð which is used to heal wounds and expended for journeys, but to regain ferð you need to return to the holdfast or use the Recite your Saga move...
- When you tell your story to a new audience, recite a section of your saga and refresh one Ferð.
- So my goal will be to make sure that all the PCs have enough excitement and adventure each session that they can add a line or two to their saga each time.
- I'm waiting to see how my players define the holdfast tonight, but I've got some schemes thought up to toss in from sources as diverse as
- Voltron (natch)
- The Saga of Erik the Red
- Pacific Rim
- Blade Runner
- Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Eyes of the Stone Thief - 13th Age
- The 13th Age Megadungeon, which I was on the fence about running for a while, thinking I'd offer it as a choice to my group but not force them to play, but then running Corpse Chewer pushed me over the edge, rekindling my love of 13th Age. The book treats the Stone Thief, a living dungeon that burrows through the earth, as a Moby Dick like figure that will hunt the PCs as they hunt it, which I'm really looking forward to running. Here's the pitch...
- Can you kill the dungeon before it kills you?
- In 13th Age, living dungeons slither up through the underworld and invade the surface lands. The Stone Thief is the most ancient and cunning of its kind; a vast monster that preys on the cities and structures you love, swallows them, and remakes them into more deathtrap-filled levels inside itself. Now, it’s hunting YOU.
- Embark on a saga of madness, revenge and giant monsters
- Aid or thwart the schemes of the Icons as they battle for control of the dungeon
- Slay, loot and survive deep in the bowels of the earth
- Destroy this age-old threat forever
- This is going to be my Sunday game, and I plan on pitching it to the group as a play the quintessential fantasy RPG character you dream of/enjoy most and then come up with a reason why you'd want revenge on the Stone Thief or something or someplace precious that your character loves for the Stone Thief to devour early in the campaign so that you have a reason to swear everlasting vengeance upon it. Since all the PCs will want to gain revenge on the Stone Thief it will let me have an epic campaign without the fuzzy motivations and goals that have plagued some of my other long-term games.
- I've been been reading and re-reading this book a bunch since October and it definitely looks much easier to run than Out of the Abyss.
- Get the Job
- The Legwork Phase
- The Action Phase
- Getting Paid
- Lie low or fight back?
2017 Gaming Resolutions
- Take better GM notes
- This is one I always struggle with, but I think I've got a decent strategy now of having a small cahier style notebook for a game and keep all my notes in that. Plus, having better notes will make my play reports that I hope to write more of.
- Draw more maps
- Last fall I discovered I could get broad tipped wet erase markers, which I intend to put to good use.
- Encourage Players to take more notes and draw more maps
- What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Plus I hope that it might keep them from zoning out on their phones. I do want to encourage them to have some out-of-character roles more defined though, like who is responsible for the group inventory and stuff like that.
- Blog more
- This blog goes through long droughts and I'm hoping that I can do better in 2017. I did at least one post each of the last seven months of 2016, but I'd like to aim for more like 3 blogs a month at minimum.
- But sometimes putting up these posts does feel a bit like screaming into the empty night. I get the occasional comment from Thomas or the Ginger Giant, but honestly, whenever I talk to either of those guys, there's a good chance that I'm talking games. So if you're a reader and you want to see more of something I did before (like gussying up 5e D&D monsters, something that I probably won't return to without prodding) or want me to talk about how I handle x issue or such, let me know. If you don't want to comment you can also email antagonist.relations(at)gmail(dot)com.
- Right now my only thought is to try and do a weekly table, but they might start as pretty specific to my various games until I get a crazy idea and/or requests from readers.
- Play more
- This is probably the hardest for me to accomplish... Aside from al-Qadim church I just really don't have a ton of opportunities. The Ginger Giant offered to run some actual play podcasts, which was generous of him, but I also want to get A Red and Pleasant Land back onto a stable schedule before I start skipping it to have a different actual play. The AD&D/OSRIC game I played in a few years back never really clicked for me, where I didn't feel like I clicked with the group and the pace plus the two-three hours on a Friday evening meant giving up a full evening with my wife for a two-three hour game.
- Once the year settles down, in February or March, I might have to see about finding a Roll20 game online that I can play. There is a part of me that wants to get out of my bubble and see what it's like to play with a new GM. I've been playing in Thomas' games for over 20 years now and playing in Ben's games since 2011. And for the other games I played in 2015, some Shadowrun and Dungeon World, both the GMs for those games were players in my group for at least 5 years, as is Dave, who ran the D&D game I played in last year.