Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tell That To Kanjiklub

I need more time.

Tell that to Kanjiklub.

Look, I'm going as fast as I can.

I have been working my lekku off trying to complete as much of this project as possible before game day. Unfortunately, game day was supposed to be yesterday.

Originally we had planned on holding the first session, a 'Pilot Episode' that I hope will have my Barking Alien Gaming Group eager to make this our next long term campaign, this past Saturday! A serious blizzard, the likes of which New York City hasn't seen in some time, forced me to cancel.

A blessing in disguise? Perhaps.

I am hoping to have this all complete by month's end, so a lot of the confusion my players are experiencing (more on that in a bit) will be cleared up by having them look at a finished product (so to speak).

A bit of a rant coming...

The confusion they're experiencing isn't all the rules, and it isn't all me. This is my Barking Alien Gaming Group, so I get the usual Barking Alien Gaming Group issues.

Say you're running Star Wars, and you get:

No one wanting to be a Smuggler - You know, like Han Solo, the coolest guy in the Original Trilogy, with one of the most memorable spaceships in Space Adventure history. Finally convinced one guy, who came up with his own take. Fine.

One guy who wanted to be a tech savy Ewok. 'Cause, ya'know, that's the best part of Star Wars, right? Not even an Ewok-y Ewok. No, no. Too mundane I guess.

Practically no other interest in Aliens. Of course. Why would there be Alien heroes in Star Wars? T_T

No Droids. I mean, if no one is going to be an Alien then rest assured no one is going to be a Droid.

The group so far is completely devoid of non-Humans. This is something I have never had in a Star Wars RPG game ever, and I've been running Star Wars RPGs for over 35 years.

My players in this group definitely fall into that Special Little Snowflake Syndrome. They want to create unique, and special characters unlike any you've see before! That's cool, I can get behind that. Yet I often find this translates to 'nothing like the things that are part of what makes the setting both unique, and familiar'.

It's a bit like I've mentioned before regarding Star Trek. People has asked me if I could run a campaign set in the Star Trek universe that focuses on merchants, mercenaries, and the galactic equivalent of murder-hobos. Sure. I could. But why the $@^& would I want to?

You want that go play classic Traveller, or D&D. Can you be Starfleet in Traveller, or D&D, complete with Starfleet Vessels, Phasers, Transporters, and the Prime Directive? No. So that is what I am playing Star Trek for - the Star Trek elements.

I was hoping for Smugglers, Bounty Hunters, an Alien Resistance Commando/Soldier, an Astromech Droid with the Career of Technician, a Senator with the career of Administrator or Noble (or both), a Scoundrel, maybe a Space Pirate, and/or (the one thing I did get) a straight up Star Pilot. I also got a Doctor who fits because the player said, "Remember that character you see in The Force Awakens doing that thing? Well I'm just like her."

Once the Hyperdrive engages, once boots hit the ground on some distant planet in a galaxy far, far away, your character will differentiate itself. Trust me. I've seen it a thousand times in a thousand scenarios in as many RPGs as they've published, and then some.

Believe it or not, if you create a character who fits the setting as it's presented, it can be just as fun as the one that fits the version of the setting you've conjured up in your mind.

I'm about to turn to The Dark Side.

*Adam sits, and meditates. Feels The Force. Centers himself*

Sigh. OK, that's out of my system. I'm sure it will all work out in the end, and be awesome.

Screw you Kanjiklub.

Barking Alien


  1. Sometimes when I start a new campaign I will tell my players what character types I would really like to see. Sometimes they go with this, sometimes they don't, but at least they have an idea of the type of game I want to run.

    1. You are absolutely correct Tom, and that is a great suggestion. It's also one I didn't think was needed.

      I keep forgetting that things are different these days. Saying, "We'll be playing Star Wars inspired by the new film", does not guarantee you Star Wars PCs inspired by the new film.

  2. Special snowflakes who DON'T want to be aliens??!?

  3. I have one of those players (not very often, because he is usually the GM). The one who wants to play a jawa power-armored millionaire in Star Wars (not making this up) or an ork mercenary in Dark Heresy; the one who, since the game is set near Winterfell, wants to be a Dornish knight who wields an harpoon; and the one who creates great Mutant & Masterminds concepts... for villains.

    I confronted him with this and it seems to be slowly bearing fruits (he is a really great guy, after all).

    That say, sometimes it is better to do the opposite: ask the group what kind of characters/setting thay want to play, then think a campaign. You may discover that your takes about the setting are very different.

    1. I did this for my last two campaigns, both very different. the old one was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The new one was Mutants & Masterminds. I still ended up with a bunch of teenagers, when I wanted to run something more adult. (Should have taken my own advice.) Well...I am going to "adult" things up on them.

  4. I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing, um...
    Actually I'm laughing because I've had the exact same damn issue with Star Wars RPG's, namely having vastly conflicting PC concepts, not to mention ones out of whack with the campaign itself. The ewok thing sounds like a one-punchline joke that'll go stale after a couple of sessions. All humans and no droids--I could live with that. Usually my problem is not having any humans.
    Sounds like you have two options: tell the players what your expectations will be about the campaign narrative style, or adjust everything and run the weirdest Star Wars campaign of your life.

    1. I don't want to run the weirdest Star Wars campaign of my life. I want to run the best one. I want each one I do to be better than the last.

      Moreover, I want my Star Wars games to feel, look, and sound like Star Wars.

      I'd be ever so grateful if my Arthurian campaign featured Knights of Briton, my Superhero campaigns had brave, colorfully costumed heroes with cool, catchy names, and my over-the-top Anime Fantasy adventure saw over-the-top Anime Fantasy characters.

      Am I asking too much?