Wednesday, August 7, 2019

RPGaDay Challenge 2019 - FAMILIAR

I have a love/hate relationship with the Familiar.

We're definitely frenemies. Good frenemies though. Maybe more than just frenemies. Frenelovers? It's complicated.

I tend to prefer running games based on well known IPs, franchises Familiar to many gamers, a number of which have (or have had) licensed RPGs based on said franchises. Star Trek, Star Wars, DC and Marvel Comics, Ghostbusters, and now the upcoming Alien RPG have all been developed into published RPGs, and that's just to name a few. 

Part of the reason for this, beyond my love of these respective franchises, is the Familiarity; it's easy for all of the participants of a favorite IP game to understand what is expected of them and imagine the universe they're in.

If a group of players and a GM love Star Wars and decide to play a Star Wars campaign, no one is stopping the game to look up Lightsabers, X-Wings, or Wookiees in the rulebook. If they know Star Wars they know what those things are. 

On the flip side, I also love the unFamiliar. Not only do I really enjoy trying out new systems and playing in genres or settings I may not have tackled in the past, but I also love adding new and unFamiliar elements to the otherwise Familiar aforementioned licensed games. 

The fun of playing in a universe or setting you are Familiar with is getting to use well known equipment, species, vehicles, or whathaveyou, and then pitting them against foes and situation both old and new. It is your chance to add your own content to an established milieu and that's pretty awesome. Short of getting a job with the company that owns your favorite franchise, this is your opportunity to make your mark on it. 

I feel lucky to be Familiar with a great many pop culture franchises, as well as many comic book characters, TV shows, movies, games, and Anime/Manga series. I have a lot to draw on, though I sometimes find it difficult these day to make full use of my repertoire of knowledge. A good number of the people I game with are sadly less Familiar with some of my favorite subjects, narrowing my capacity to run the multitude of setting I know I could run.

It seems we are not all Familiar with the same things. 

Granted, some of my favorite things are...

Barking Alien

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