Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Pace of Change

I actually have quite a bit to write about but time is limited as my work schedule has changed slightly. I will get around to more recapping (as we've played at least two sessions since my last recap I think) soon but first, an interesting situation has come up that has me pretty jazzed.

Without further ado...

Humans, by and large, do not enjoy or handle change well when it's first presented to them. Gamers and those in related arenas of geekery even more so. I am guilty of this myself in the field of comic books, though I like to think it's because I hold a higher standard of quality for the Superhero genre in my mind that many modern comics simply don't live up to. I'm sure we all think that way about our choosen field of interest though. So, sadly, my original observation still stands.

I have learned that in order to get my current players to accept change or try something different, I must introduce it slowly and carefully. I've been wanted to get back to Science Fiction/Space Opera gaming for some time now and I think this group will really enjoy if they can just get past the fact that, for some of them at least, it's not what they are used to.


A couple of weeks back I first made comments, in a joking fashion, that some of the guys were driving me a little crazy with their in-game antics and, "Maybe we should switch to something else until you calm down."

A week later I mentioned that I am actually giving some thought to ending the Champions campaign, at least temporarily, in August to coincide with my 35th Anniversary in the hobby. I don't intend to end it in a planet destroying, we-can-never-revisit-this-campaign-world fashion (though this is Supers...that could happen) but rather in a last-issue-of-the-maxi-series kind of way.

Discussions came up of what we would follow Champions with and Sci-Fi came up among other things.

This week, after a pretty awesome session of Champions on Saturday, which I must say renewed my faith in the campaign and the group, we taked about getting together to game on Memorial Day/Monday. Originally only one of the players was free.

By Sunday night, I had two players. Early Monday afternoon, as we sat ready to play I one shot I was thinking about, a third player showed up, having gotten off of work early.

What did we end up playing?

Yep. Old School Science Fiction Role Playing at its, well, I won't say 'best' or 'finest' but it definitely laid the ground work for getting the group interested in long term SF campaigning.

During the game, other Science Fiction games were mentioned (most notably Star Trek and Traveller) by both myself and a couple of the other players. One of my players, prior to playing Champions and Mutants & Mastminds with me, has only ever played D&D.

Poor guy.

Anyway, now that the groundwork is laid, I think more dicussions on the subject of Science Fiction gaming are bound to reveal what the group likes and doesn't like about it and what kind of Sci-Fi is right for them. I am hoping it is Star Trek but I have a feeling this is more of a free wheeling Traveller group.

The pace of change may be slow but I'm feeling like it's worth the wait...

Barking Alien


  1. Well that's a little bit of a surprise. I didn't think that one was on your radar. Were you playing at your place, or do you just carry around your Big Bag of Sci Fi in case someone suddenly expresses a desire to play some obscure old game.

    Note: this is not criticism as it's my justification for half of the stuff in my garage, from, "What if someone wants to play Heroes of Olympus someday?" to "but if I ever need an extra wiper motor for the bug I won't have to go buy one"

    I have a pretty fond view of Star Frontiers myself - the races! The weapons! All those maps and counters! The vehicle rules in Dragon magazine!

    I bet I know one game thats not in the bag though...

  2. Oh really? That sounds like a challenge!

    As to why Star Frontiers...

    As noted above, we've been talking about starting something new in general and Sci-Fi specifically for few weeks now. My long term goal is to get the group to (hopefully) give Star Trek or Traveller a shot. In order to ease them into it, I decided to start with a simpler system and setting.

    I went to our usual meeting place prepared to run one of two games...Either Star Frontiers or a Men In Black homebrew using InSpectres. The players voted and we went with Star Frontiers.

    I modified the aliens a bit, based on this AWESOME depiction by Niklas Jansson:


    I also upped the technology level and descriptions a tad for my cutting-edge-of-visual-graphics-or-we-think-it's-for-kids players. Less 70's-80's TV Sci-Fi and more Halo and Mass Effect.

    Ah the vehicle rules. Damn but those were cool back in the day. May have to pull those out if we ever get to play a follow-up session.

  3. Oh and the not-in-the-bag game is Shatterzone. Somebody left a comment on my old review recently that sounded like your previous comment on it hurt his feelings. I'm pretty sure you don't carry that one around looking for a chance to play.

  4. Ah, you would be correct. Shatterzone is definitely one of the games on my no-thank-you list. There aren't many on there but the ones that are will not be run even if you ask me nicely or offer me money.

    Unless it's a lot of money. Then...maybe.