So it’s been four months since I shared some gaming resolutions I intended to keep in this current year. After a completely unintended hiatus in posting, as one busy week at work turned into six and my free time disappeared like scotch at a Cabin Trip, I took some time this week to take stock of the progress I’ve made on these resolutions thus far.
Just to save you the trouble of having to link to that post at the bottom of this page, let me review them for you right here:
- Try New Systems
- Explore New Themes
- Draw More
Try New Systems
Right out of the gate, I’m getting a “C” on my resolution report card. I have been trying new systems; Spirit of the Century, Marvel Heroic Role Playing, and Traveller by name. The group consensus on the Marvel game especially has been overwhelmingly positive- just in time for the publisher to announce they’re done supporting the system (see below). And the Traveller character creation system, which you’re certain to hear more about next week, is almost like a game in and of itself. After completing the process collectively last night, we almost decided to just launch into another round of PC generation rather than play the heroes we’d just created. It was a blast!
The average grade assigned above, however, is due to my failure to try the new systems I resolved back in January to try: A Song of Ice & Fire RPG, Dogs in the Vineyard, and Malifaux/Into the Breach. If I’m being honest, I don’t even own the books for any of these systems. I do have a goodly number of models, beautifully built and half painted, that will form Malifaux crews this summer. As yet, however, I have little to no knowledge of the rules set that governs them. At least, between Matt and I, we’ll have some awesome scenery to set our models up on, even if none of us know what they can do once they’re there!
Explore New Themes
I think this resolution is going to get a “B-” right now. Our recent Savage Worlds Deluxe campaign was pretty successful, and saw the first time our group has explored a horror-themed setting. The dark mood and darker threats resulted in multiple deaths, mostly of PC’s family members, and two party members suffering heart attacks. (That would be the characters, not the players.)
Another theme I’ve explored personally in several of our latest endeavors is playing different types of female characters. I’ve written in the past about our group’s past efforts at this cross-casting, and I’ve made an effort this year to delve into some other female character archetypes. Previous PCs have played the seductive temptress and the nurturing protector; this winter I added a “mama bear” character, followed by an independent career-minded mutant. Exploring this particular theme has made these games fresh and new for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to tell some stories that I might never have found otherwise.
The “minus” on the “B-” above is (once again) from a failure on my part to explore the specific themes I detailed in my original resolution post: a winter-themed game, and an evil character. I was hoping that the winter months might lend themselves to the first, we ended up in a distant jungle setting and a wooded autumn world instead. And while I got to run a doozie of a wicked NPC for our Savage Worlds campaign, complete with fell powers and deep-rooted betrayal, it was only a taste of what playing an evil PC would be like.
I don’t even get a grade here, just a big fat “Incomplete.” I sketched the head of one character during a company meeting, and started to design a starship for our Traveller campaign but only ended up with a vague outline. In short, I’m really sucking it up.
What I have done for at least one character, who’ll be getting a feature article of her own next week, is customize a character miniature for use in game play. The inspiration for this model was equal parts conveniently possessing an appropriate miniature, the knowledge that she’d be appearing in the mechanically heavy D&D 4E system, and the fact that I was already knee-deep in building, sculpting, and painting Malifaux miniatures, so everything was right at hand. I think she turned out pretty well, even if I didn’t resolve to build more character minis this year. Hmmm… Maybe it’s not too late to change this one up.