Last summer, I gave up on D&D. True story. I could probably write pages upon pages about what went wrong, but it doesn’t really matter. D&D is a great game. I especially love 4E. But sadly, me and D&D just weren’t meant to be.
Which is OK. Life happens sometimes, we all move on. And, uhm, move on I have…
See, I find myself on a bit of a gaming glut. Binge gaming, if you will. After years of monogamy to D&D, I now want to try every game that gets even the least little bit of positive word-of-mouth. I have suppliers, dealers, connections, and best of all, other people to aid and abet my gaming spree by playing with me. If you can imagine myself, clad only in the soft whisper of nerdy t-shirts and blue jeans, rolling around atop a pile of fresh, new-to-me games, well…
Boy. That’s some mental picture. I think I need a moment.
AHEM. At any rate, my resolution for this year was to acquire more experiences and fewer things, and to that end I have managed to turn gaming into my personal crusade to get my grabby little hands on every cool experience to be had out there. We are barely into April and already I can declare my mission a rousing success. And there’s so very much more gaming to come!
After a too-long hiatus from gaming (and life in general), I began my new adventures with a system I had flirted with in the past, albeit somewhat unsuccesfully. Still, I had players who were interested, and willing to try again because we saw the promise of greatness within the system, something fairly simple that seemed to build into any infinitely complex sets of gaming experiences, and we were intrigued. The system? FATE, and most specifically, the Bulldogs! variant that would allow me to carry out my dream of doing all this IN SPAAAAAAAAACE.
1. I love it. Character creation was involved (expect it to take a couple sessions, at least, especially if you’re unfamiliar with FATE in general, as we were) but dynamic. Aiding that was something I have SHAMELESSLY stolen from DM Samuel of RPG Musings infamy, which was basically a sort of interactive questionnaire to easily and flawlessly build character history between PCs. In the end, we came up with a ragtag band of white hat smugglers, tooling around the galaxies in a stolen ship (with all kinds of hidden surprises).
2. Transitioning from D&D to FATE has had its hiccups. We’re still trying to get the hang of the narrative devices, and admittedly our first session was more a series of skill rolls than story telling. Still, in their first adventure, they managed to stop their ship from a slow crash into a planet, invade the holy temple of a cult of hive-minded bee people (or BEEPLE…or actually, toward the end as it turns out they were kind of mindless on their own, ZOMBEEPLE), murder a baby space cthulhu and blind the momma space cthulhu long enough to escape with their lives…and a wee bit of loot, so despite still adjusting to a different way of thinking about in-game narrative we seem to be doing all right.
3. We have a guest gamer for the next game day, so I wrote up a throwaway PC just for her, and I’m downright giddy about how awesome the character is. Not her stats, or her gear, or her special moves, but the fact that character creation created a cohesive NPC with a personality and a past and while I cannot and will not have control of the NPC while she is being played by our guest, I can tell you that I based her off this character, and for once making a character wasn’t a series of trying to squish weird powers into a character concept and reflavoring everything and hoping it blends. Nope, I sat down with the book and a sheet of paper and flawlessly built her. I cannot tell you how giddy I will be to see her in play!
4. I’d definitely give it a hearty RECOMMEND.
Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Author and artist for the Vanity Games webcomic (www.vanitygames.com), a retro-futuristic post-apocalytpic romp through a land of broken science and corrputed magic. A lover of all games, tabletop, board, video, or otherwise, and an avid consumer of nerd / pop culture.