Monday, October 3, 2016

Bringing Balance To The Force

I have been in a strange state lately.

I feel The Force, or at least my place in it, is out of balance.

As I get closer, and closer to 2017 and my forty year anniversary in the gaming hobby, I feel I am enjoying my gaming less, and less

I should specify that I am referring to my time as a GM. I am having fun as a player more than ever before, but my preferred position of Gamemaster has been wearing on my nerves.

I have been 'off my game' for sometime now. Possibly as long as three years, or more, if truth be told.

Part of it is a feeling of incompatibility with my current gaming comrades.

Not a clash of personalities, as I love all these dudes, and dudettes dearly. These are solid folks; good people, no question about it.

Somehow though, our play styles and gaming philosophies don't exactly gel one hundred percent. It feels glitchy, and jury-rigged. I feel like a PC running Windows 10 - most everything works a good deal of the time, except when it randomly crashes without warning.

It occurred to me that I really need do something about this. I need to stop complaining about it, stop musing over the cards dealt, and take some real action. Much like my experience with trying to upgrade to Windows 10, what I need to do to move forward is go backward - a system restore to my default settings if you will. I need to reboot (but ya'know, in a good way).

Hopefully my solution will bring me peace of mind...and balance to The Force.

Let's hope it goes better than this.
Poor Ahsoka...

I went and made contact with a few of my friends from my old (and oft mentioned) New Jersey and New York groups.

We're talking about people I've known for over 20-30 years, but haven't seen more than a handful of times in the past five-to-ten. In addition, I added one new person who I met a few years back through one of my ol' Jersey crew.

The end result is a group of three, or four players (so far), and a plan to run a campaign with them one session a month, no set day due to the nature of schedules. Just a mutual promise of meeting for a session once a month.

The game? Star Wars, The Role Playing Game by West End Games.

I considered, and suggested a number of different game choices to the group, but we all got wrapped up in the nostalgia and symmetry of 2017 being 40 Years of Gaming and 40 Years of Star Wars. 

A date for the first session hasn't been set, though we are examining some possibilities at this time.

I'll be taking the time to work on some story ideas, NPCs, planets, and the like. 

I'm excited about this. Really excited. Recharged.

Not only am I looking forward to a campaign of one of my favorite games, with some of my favorite people, in my preferred play style, but I am also looking forward to feeling like...I am still good at this. I'm looking forward to feeling like my games rock again. 

If this works, maybe all my games will rock.

Maybe the balance of The Force will be restored.

We shall see,

Barking Alien


  1. It's so weird that you would say this at this time, because I have also been feeling like I haven't been at my best, GM-wise, for the past 2-3 years. ANd I have also been thinking about changing things up and running a game that I have fond memories of...West End Games Star Wars. Who'd have thunk it? Good luck.

    1. Thank you Tom!

      It is funny how that game, Star Wars D6, has a purity to it. There is something in its nature that, similar to Star Wars itself, just speaks to some of us on an internal, intrinsic level.

      When all else fails, there is Star Wars D6. ;)

  2. It's always been a great system. Heck I am running it right now too so it feels like there's some kind of mini-revival going on here.

  3. I've gotta chime in here...I'm in the process of returning to Star Wars D6, myself. I feel a great convergence in the Force.

    1. a billion voices cried out in awesome, and were suddenly encouraged.

  4. Oh, and Ahsoka: You knew that wasn't going to end well. "Anakin's Apprentice" - oh yeah that's going to be full of sunshine! I admit when they brought her in that I thought she would be a part of the reason he went to the darkside, some kind of failure and possibly revenge for her. I thought they went in a more interesting direction and I'm pretty happy with it as a character's story. Plus it makes Vader's whole "hunting down the Jedi" story that much more powerful.

    1. Agreed. I remember I didn't really like her all that much when I first saw her, and now - well I all but shouted a poorly edited "NOOOooo" at the screen during the Season 2 finale.


      The feels.

  5. @ AD:

    Sorry to hear you've been feeling...what? ennui?..lately. Hopefully the Star Wars game will jumpstart your juices. I heartily recommend the animated Star Wars Rebels animation as an example of a well-done WEG campaign. Heck, there's even a blog that runs through the episodes as an analysis of the series from an RPG perspective:

    Hopefully Rogue One will provide additional inspiration as well.
    ; )

    1. Thanks for the link JB! I'm reading through the posts, and they are really interesting. I like what this guy did.

      Ennui? Yes, perhaps. Luckily, I am already starting to feel rejuvenated as my old player act like, well, my old players. It's awesome to feel connected to my group this way once more.