Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Future Unknown

I have a lot of things to talk about but I haven't had a lot of time to think and write to the level required, so please bare with me as I jump around a bit with the next few posts. 

I have my new mid-week RPG campaign Pokemon: Rise and Fall which I could not be more jazzed about. So looking forward to this one. Rules are largely finished, Character Concepts have been discussed, and I've been working on plots, subplots, NPCs, locations, and much more. Expanded rules on Inventory and of course the Runar Synch Moves are on the way.

I've also come up with my new Sunday campaign idea which I will discuss in more detail in an upcoming post very soon. After a discussion with some of my Sunday night players I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do and it's kind of mid-way between 'haven't really done it before' and 'back to basics' for me. Not unlike what I'll be talking about in this post.

That brings me to an idea that has been repeatedly gnawing at me for some time...

The Orville has become my favorite Science Fiction franchise. It's everything I want out of a Space Adventure/Science Fiction universe where the future is bright and Humanity's better nature wins out not only because of hope but because we put in the effort to make it happen. The promise of the Star Trek of my youth has been realized and reimagined as The Orville. 

Marrying science fiction, high adventure, action, exploration, character studies, interpersonal relationships, and humor in a fashion akin to my favorite blend of coffee*, this series is at once a 'pick me up' that rarely fails to get me going with inspiration and excitement, while simultaneously feeling warm and comfortable, like having a hot cup of joe with an old friend. 

I would very much like to run an Orville universe RPG campaign. 

The funny thing is that one of my goals this year coming off of last year's fourth quarter burn out is to run things I've never run before. I want to flex my personal creative muscles and do the ever elusive 'something different' TM.

Pokemon is a great example. I've always wanted to run a Pokemon RPG campaign but could never figure out exactly how to do so. Some element was always missing until now. My other campaign in the works is similarly something I've only done once or twice, a very long time ago, and never with the system I'll be using. 

The Orville would be quite the opposite of that in a way. It would be returning to do what I arguably do best and quite often - a Star Trek style Sci-Fi Space Opera campaign with a little more 'Slice of Life' atmosphere thrown in. It would be relatively easy, familiar, and not especially 'groundbreaking' or anything of that sort. Yet, at the same time, it would be a challenge to nail the right feel while also doing something that, like the show, evolves into more than just a Star Trek pastiche. 

I definitely want - no, NEED - to run some passion projects like Pokemon, whereas The Orville is more like a tried and true Blockbuster...or is it? I suppose it could be considered a passion project in its own right even if it isn't necessarily breaking new ground. It is just a thing a love and I love running the things I love. Makes sense doesn't it?

As for system, my brain is saying Modiphius' Star Trek Adventures is the smart way to go, though Last Unicorn's Icon System is definitely pulling at my heartstrings. I loved the game and I know it well enough to make the conversion from Star Trek to The Orville fairly easily. I even have the original playtest rules that feature some differences from the final release that I honestly really like. I also enjoy the irony of using a game by a company called Last Unicorn for a show that featured America's 'That's All I've Got To Say', a song associated with the animated classic based on Peter S. Beagle's Fantasy novel. 

Right now the major obstacle is finding a group for it. I would much prefer a large-ish group for The Orville, more like my classic campaigns, and I don't exactly have the players for it at this time I'm interested in. There aren't enough players in any of my current groups by themselves and scheduling prevents me from combining them in any way. Really, the best group for this project would be my amazing High School of Art & Design gang (Ghostbusters: The Home Office, Champions: Age of Chaos, Star Trek: Renown).

Not only are they an incredible band of brothers I've known for over 35 years but they are some of the most creative, pro-active, improvisational gamers I've ever had the fortune and pleasure of sitting down to play with. They get the balance between action and banter, serious and funny, sci-fi and slice of life that a lot of other gamers don't quite understand. 

We have discussed gaming together more...maybe this post can be my pitch.

Of course, we've had three amazing seasons but no confirmation on a fourth at this time, which is both frustrating and dumbfounding. Disney+ and Hulu don't realize the franchise IP potential they've got. Hopefully they will wake up to it soon and give us more Ed, Kelly, Bortus, Isaac, Claire, Talla, John, and the rest of the gang. 

On to the next post - Engage Quantum Drive!

Barking Alien

PS: Wishing a Happy Birthday and Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 


  1. I would definitely call The Orville a passion project for you, and it's amazing to think you're "this close" to running a campaign.

    Good luck with that and, also, it's great to read such a positive, upbeat post from you about your broader projects and plans.

    I really hope you get to realise your gaming dreams this year... and then share them with us.


  2. I am definitely feeling more energized these days Tim. Thanks for checking in and supporting the blog and myself through the quiet period.

    Sometimes people just need a breather, even me.