Sunday, February 13, 2005

Gaming Stuff...

Well, Winter War is over and done with. The con was good. It also seemed really mellow, which is surprising considering we had a turnout of almost 500 people.

The games I ran were well received, though I feel they were a touch below my normal standards. I’m semi-scheduled to run the next installments of HeadHunters and Inbetween Days at the next convention, but I’m not certain I’ll be there. Due to the hotel sales staff being new and moronic, the con lost its usual weekend. That means the convention has been moved up a week to Feb 10th-12th. With the 12th being my wife’s birthday, I’m pretty certain I won’t be there. This isn’t a set-in-stone type of thing, but very much the way that I’m leaning. I’m a firm believer in not crapping where I sleep, so my wife and her happiness take precedence over a game convention, even one that I’ve attended the bulk of my life.

Game-wise, I’ve been in a bit of a swirl. During the convention, different people mentioned different home-brew systems that I’ve run before and how they’d like to see them come back. RPM, Casino, and Dicebag all got votes of support. Combine this with the two or three other sets of game mechanics I have on the hard drive that I feel are just as good as those systems, if not better, and it leaves me with a creative dilemma. After speaking with my chief sounding board (i.e., my wife) I came up with some conclusions about how I view myself creatively.

I am a storyteller. I like to tinker with game mechanics, but I truly enjoy creating settings more. I like constructing big sandboxes and then letting other people play in them. Up until now, I’ve never really done that. Perhaps this is the direction I should go. Build a framework for a sandbox and invite y’all to play around in it. If I want to do this right, I should explore the whole open license/GNU thing. No, not D20. Although I’ve softened my stance on D20 being the evil of game systems (D20 Modern and Mutants & Masterminds are responsible for that), I feel that D20 really isn’t my type of game. No, I’m talking about building a set of mechanics based on a set of principles, writing up a no-nonsense version and letting it loose for people to play around with. Everyone can add a brick or two to the foundation. Eventually, we’ll have a house. A bizarre, weirdly-shaped house, but a house nonetheless.

Any comments?

peace… RHM


Jeff Rients said...

I can't hardly discourage you from going this route. You have a much better grasp of game mechanics than I lot of people I game with, myself included. At the very least if you come up with the mechanics I can contribute some stuff like "Hey kids! Here's stats for six different robots and a special bonus giant atomic monster!"

the Red-Haired Maniac said...

Yeah, I do like to tinker, and seem to have an almost instinctual ability to tell if something (game-mechanic-wise)is going to work well or not.

My big trap is to avoid being too much like my system du jour of the momment. Right now, game-wise, I am really looking for something that falls squarely inbetween Savage Worlds and HERO System in terms of crunch, but is still relatively fast in play.

And, as far as working titles go, "Sandbox" works as well as anything. (Although I am toying with "Blox" based on a concept that percolating in my head).

peace... Dave