Monday, September 12, 2016

Stranger Games

I know I've mentioned this before, but I do so love this analogy...

My friend Dave used to say, "Adam, you run two types of games, Blockbusters, and art films. What [most] players want to play are your blockbusters. What you really want to run, are your art films."

This is so true.

The urge to run something more than a little off the beaten path has been very powerful of late, but I'm not sure I have the audience for it. The players in both my current in-person groups have certain preconceived notions, and down right hang-ups that make running the ideas I am presently wrestling with a bit more problematic than I would like. 

Truth is, I don't want it to be problematic at all.

I can't help feeling that I have some awesome game ideas that may never get the chance to see the table. This is a phenomena I am not used to (well, I am getting more used to it). I don't like it. It irks me. That's right, irks. 

Maybe my online group? *

Did any of you see Stranger Things? It really inspired me. It reminded me of ideas I've shelved that were originally intended for my NJ group, or an older variant of my NY group that I no longer have access to...exactly. More on that in a bit.

Basically, I am in the mood for...

A variety of recent TV shows, books, and other things have me chomping at the bit to run some oddball games that I know, I Just Know, would be awesome for the right group. I might be able to pull some of them off in one of my current groups, or the other, but I don't really feel confident that they'd go over well. Running a game just to run it has never been my thing. If everyone isn't going to buy into it, and love it as much as I do, well really, what's the point?

Here are some of my thoughts...

I have several subjects over which I routinely obsess. Among the ones at the forefront of my thinking right now are UFOs and Aliens, Ghosts, and Faerie FolkloreI.

UFOs and Aliens:

I'm envisioning a game that merges elements of Attack the Block, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Men in Black, and Stranger Things.

The players play Middle School aged kids who uncover, and become mixed up in, some kind of mass UFO siting situation that somehow involves what appears to be a shadowy government organization. 

I have some interesting ideas on how to make use of 70s, and 80s Sci-Fi movie tropes, and also how to flip some of them

No title for this yet, although I was considering 'Watch The Skies'. The system who have to be something really simple, and flexible. Possibly Ghost/Echo, InSpectres, or Powered by the Apocalypse. Likely some kind of homebrew kitbash of these.


While I should probably wait until October (Halloween Season), I'm going to try and test drive my long labored upon Ghost Story RPG, Unfinished Business. I think I finally have a system that works. It's very simple, based on the free, indie RPG Doom & Cookies. 

The premise, as noted in past posts on the subject, is that you play a ghost. You're dead. The object/goal of the adventure is to move on to whatever comes next. The problem is, for some reason you're stuck here on the mortal plane, though barely able to effect is. 

Through role-playing and resource management, you attempt to accomplish something that will let you go to your just reward. Maybe you need the new homeowners to find your comic book collection, and note on where to donate it that hidden in the basement. Perhaps the want your daughter to know you approve of her choice of husband after all. Whatever is holding you here, whatever tragedy, disappointment, concern, etc., needs to be rectified so you can properly shuffle off this mortal coil.

In addition to wanting to create a game where you get to play a ghost haunting the living, the game was inspired by the concept that in most games you create a character, and try to keep them alive so you can keep playing them. Unfinished Business starts with you being dead. The purpose of play to reach a point where you can stop playing your character, and remove them from the game.

*As it turns out, the opportunity to run Unfinished Business is here quicker than I expected. I will be filling in for our Wednesday night online game GM for two sessions, and I've decided to run my ghost story game. Wish me luck!

Faerie Folklore:

I'm currently using Ars Magica 3rd Edition to run a game set in my D&D-But-Not universe of Aerth. It's fun, but I find myself drifting away from the Superheroic angle of it, and more towards Ars Magica proper.

Why? Recent things I've read, and watched, including Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on Netflix, a novel set in the world of Jim Henson's Dark Crystal, and other such flights of fancy (and fantasy) have me longing for magic, and myth the way I like it. That is to say, not like D&D.

More specifically I want to go back and revisit some of my sadly short lived ideas for campaigns I never quite got to work.  First, a heavily folklore influenced, Jim Henson's Storyteller inspired Ars Magica game. Next, a variation of what I once tried to do with Pendragon (probably not such a bright idea based on the last experience). Third, a tragically too short Faery's Tale Deluxe campaign I started, but never got to continue.

On a related note, I am going to write a post very soon about Magic in Fantasy that is going to hurt your head, and burn your eyes if you are of the Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder persuasion. Just a friendly warning. 

Do view it won't you. Heheheh.

Well, that's about that for now. I will probably be talking about some of these ideas again, and with any luck it will be because I am running on of them. 
Until next time,

Heh-heh. Got carried away,


Barking Alien

No comments:

Post a Comment