Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Have All I Need

Following our Wednesday night Google Hangouts superhero game this past week, many of us hang around post game to discuss the game, gaming in general, and what our favorite games are.

It was during this conversation that my friend +Keith Jacobson  gestured to the bookshelves behind him, and said some incredibly profound words (which I will paraphrase here as close to a quote as I can muster):

"I have been collecting superhero RPGs for a while now, but outside of supporting a creator, or company I like, I think I am done buying any new superhero games. I don't really need them. I have this big collection, but Kapow! (our current game) scratches my Superhero itch. I don't need anything else."

I've owned a lot of RPGs over the years, and played probably five times as many. I've always enjoyed checking out new games, and I still do. Yet there is a great truth in what Keith is saying here. 

I like new games. I don't NEED new games. 

If I were to consider running a new campaign, and I was limited to those RPGs that I count among my favorites, I would be very happy to do so without much of a second thought. Furthermore, if no new version, edition, or thematically identical game every came out I would still enjoy the heck out of the games I already have.

Case in point...Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment.

Here's a game I have been chomping at the bit to check out. I have the playtest rules, and I am reading through them now. I am having a little difficulty wrapping my mind around some of the mechanics, but I am curious to test them in play to see how they really function.

Now, let's say they don't. Hypothetically here, let's say the game either doesn't work right, or simply doesn't work for me. I'd be bummed, but it's not like I can't run Star Trek now. 

I've been running Star Trek campaigns since 1982 with the FASA game. I was a playtester, and writer for my favorite incarnation of Star Trek in table top form, the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games. Both of these still work. LUG's works especially good for me personally. It fits my preferred style, and approach, has very smooth, workable mechanics, and it's easy to develop your own ideas with it. 

If I want to run Star Trek, I have a game.

While I've wrestled with what superhero RPG I would want to use if I got the chase to run Supers again, I feel like...did I really? Why was it such a hard decision? You know you want to run, you're just afraid others won't take to it as you did, and do. The answer is Champions 4th Edition. I talking to myself?

If I want to run Star Wars, I have West End Games D6 RPG. Yes, I could use something else. Yes, I made a Star Wars adaption for Traveller as an experiment. That's not what I need though. All I need is WEG Star Wars. 

If I want Giant Robot Anime there is Mekton, or maybe my modified Extended Mission game. 

If I want Medieval Fantasy...ROTFL! seriously, I could want that! Anyway, I would go with Ars Magica. 

The point is, I'm all for innovation, but I have what I came for. I have a collection of games that work especially well for me. They're all on my shelves, right here, right now.

I seem to periodically go on these soul searching dream quests for the perfect game when truthfully, I have everything I need. 

Barking Alien


  1. I'm totally with you here. My list is different, but while it's fun to read new games, the reality is that new games come out faster than I can even buy them let alone read them let alone play a one shot in them.

    I'll stick to OD&D, Traveller, RuneQuest, and Burning Wheel as my primary games. I also have Chivalry and Sorcery, Champions I, II, and III, Empire of the Petal Throne, D&D 3.5 and Arcana Evolved, and probably 20 or more additional games. Oh, let's not leave out Bunnies & Burrows...

  2. I was thinking something similar a week or two back when I was rearranging things in prep for the big post-Thanksgiving game. When everything was a book it was tricky enough but now that the PDF-only game is a real force it can turn into a real rat-race if you feel the need to get them all. How much do they add though, really? So many of them are re-works of prior games that there's not nearly as much "new" as it appears. Supers, Trek, Star Wars, D&D Fantasy - I have at least 3 different systems for each of those. Do I need a 4th? A 10th? Not unless it really does something really different or "new".

    1. Well that's funny because for me I know that I love to try new games, but always default back to the ones I repeatedly mention - Star Wars (WEG D6), Star Trek (LUG), Champions (4th Ed), Mekton (Original and II), Ars Magica (3rd Ed), and a handful of others.

      If something new comes out for Star Trek - even though it's for a new system - I get incredibly excited. It's new stuff to add to my Star Trek games! Do I need a new system? No, not really. Am I going to incorporate some of their adventures, original aliens, ships, and the like. Oh definitely.

      I don't need new games, but I am always happy to check out new material.

  3. I'm coming more and more to this same realization: "I seem to periodically go on these soul searching dream quests for the perfect game when truthfully, I have everything I need."

  4. my purchasing of new games has shrunk significantly the last couple of years as I moved from being a collector to focusing on what I would actually play.

  5. Like the concept of more ideas but not necessarily to run just to read about. It means that I could vastly cut down on my own collection as I have everything I need to run games I like but do not need everything I have collected. I am still trying new systems occasionally but usually can find a small play through to try something out with instead of buying into the whole books.