I've been thinking a lot about what games I want to run next year.
Yes, next year.
This year I am already running three campaigns and playing in one. With real life getting in the way and the end of 2021 coming up before you know it, I've no time, desire, or need to start a new game right now.
Next year is kind of special. It will mark 45 years for me in the tabletop gaming hobby. Forty-Five Years. That's some serious mileage. To that end, I am juggling a number of different campaign concepts that I'd really like to pull off for the big Four Five.
It is important to note - at least I feel it's important for me to point out - that all the ideas below are ones I've been working on in my spare time. Can't believe I said 'spare time' with a straight face.
I want whichever one of these that I choose to do to be a big production. An Art Film and a Blockbuster all at once. I want it in-person and not online. I want a good number of players and a regular schedule. It's possible I won't be able to get everything just the way I like it but I am going to try.
Some of these concepts have been in the works for weeks or months. One has been under development for many years. All have been waiting for something; some outside requirement or idea to click into place before I can fully and properly execute them. A couple of these are still waiting for this but I now have a better idea about when the needed ingredient is coming.
Here's what I have...
I've been really interested - really, really interested - in running a full-on Ghostbusters campaign again.
I had an absolute blast running my last one and the two specials I ran over the Pandemic were both fantastic. Those who've played in these games seem to have enjoyed them immensely; I won't lie, that is the kind of thing I live for.
My particular approach to Ghostbusters is a little less humorous and a little more spooky/serious. Not that it lacks for comedy but the balance between humor and horror weighs a bit more to the latter than the original film.
The missing piece for this one is [of course] the new film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. I feel like I need to see it before I can run a new campaign.
Star Trek: Lower Decks
It's no surprise to any reader familiar with myself or this blog that I am a huge fan of Star Trek and gaming in the Star Trek universe is my favorite thing to do. That said, aside from my ongoing, bi-weekly TOS Era campaign (now in its 6th year of real time), I've been unable to come up with a different approach that has the same sustainability.
Part of the reason for this is that I've run a lot of Star Trek at this point and even for a fan like me, keeping it fresh can be tricky. This hasn't been helped by modern Trek, which hasn't added a lot of interesting material nor generated [in me] feelings of excitement or inspiration.
That has changed with Star Trek: Lower Decks...
I have totally fallen in love with this series and with the Season 2 Finale I am more jazzed than ever to run a Lower Decks inspired game. The thing is, I already ran such a campaign, although it didn't quite hit the notes I'd intended. Instead, it was just a very good Star Trek game. It wasn't specifically 'Lower Decks'.
Now that I've seen all of the second season, I feel I might have a better grip on how to pull off what I have in mind.
Obviously completing the second season was the missing piece.
Star Wars: Visions
Like Star Trek, I am pretty much always in the mood to run Star Wars. That doesn't mean I always have a good idea for a campaign.
Following multiple views of the episodes in this series, I find myself very much intrigued to run something in a Star Wars universe we only think we know. A game with all the tropes and trimmings of that familiar galaxy Long Ago and Far, Far Away but one in which there is a high degree of unknown elements and unusual takes on classic concepts.
Exactly how I want to go about this is something I am honestly still working on. I was writing posts in this regard (see this one in particular) but stopped because I am unsure of where to take the idea next.
It is possible that the missing piece for this is still missing.
The Dark Crystal
For almost 40 years I've wanted to run a Dark Crystal themed and inspired RPG campaign. Periodically throughout that time I made notes on the subject and generated possible plot and adventure ideas.
With the release of The Dark Crystal young adult novels and especially the (Absolutely Amazing) Age of Resistance Netflix series, the desire to run a Dark Crystal game became stronger than ever. Previous concepts and narratives I'd considered became clearer (one could say they 'crystalized'. Heh.), while a number of newer ones came forth.
What I needed -what I'd always needed - was the right system. Over the 40 year span I have played with various rules but nothing clicked perfectly. A number of years back I got very close as I was asked to be part of a design team working on a proposed official RPG. Unfortunately that project fell through. It did inspire thoughts on hope to continue with my own homebrew, one which is very close to completion.
The possible missing piece here (aside from a hope of more Dark Crystal series or film content) is River Horse's official The Dark Crystal Adventure Game, due out in the first quarter of 2022. If the system for that game is better than my homebrew I will use it to run my campaign. If not I will either use my homebrewed system or see if the two and be incorporated into each other in some way.
Finally there is one last concept I have that I am not yet willing to completely reveal...
The Mystery Game
A Medieval Fantasy campaign inspired by Anime and Manga that I've been considering for a little while now, this game idea is one that is waiting for a missing piece in the form of a Japanese TRPG that is due to be released sometime early next year.
More information will be posted as thoughts on it develop.
That's it for now my friends. If any of these ideas are interesting to you please share your thoughts on them down below in the comments. Which of these would you want to play in?