Oh No! It's My Annual RPGs I'd Like to Play Post!

It's that time of year again when I muse about what game I might run for the summer. Last year turned out to be a bust, and it was completely my fault. We wound up choosing Savage Worlds/Slipstream and one player even made a character, and then I withdrew from society for personal reasons (exhaustion, really). Other players didn't really push me, so it was probably a general feeling. So this year, we have to make up for it! Of course now I've got different things to worry about. One of these is a larger pool of players, not all of which I trust to attend regular role-playing sessions. I want to be there for everyone who's asked to play (including those I've promised to initiate into the mysteries), but anything above 5 players around the table isn't practical. I used to run the perfect game for ins and outs - Dream Park - but ran it for so long that I just want to do something different now, preferably something that doesn't involve multi-genring which I've done to death. Another factor is tone, because I have players who definitely prefer comedy over drama. Any hopes of seriously running something like Call of Cthulhu goes out the window.

Now, I've done these kinds of posts before, mostly notably in 2011 and 2007, and there are some good ideas in there I could be convinced to run (if I haven't already). Taking a look at my collection, what do I have ideas for?

Hong Kong Action Theater! Most of my group is into Hong Kong cinema and watches an Asian film with me once a week, on Kung Fu Friday. HKAT plays on that, has reasonably light rules, I have copies of both the core rules (mostly for modern day gun play) and Blue Dragon, White Tiger (the historical and wuxia stuff). I might run this Dream Park style, with continuing characters in a "franchise" that sometimes skip movie tracks to tell stories in other eras (like the famous Venoms). That might be a way to "Dream Park" it and involve different players from session to session, even newbies. I've got to go to bed with the rules tonight because on paper, it's the front runner.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. With all the work I'm doing on Doctor Who reviews and Doctor Who RPG elements, you KNEW this game was going to make an appearance. Maybe it could be a little side-game, 70s-style with only a Time Lord and a companion, with occasional guest stars. Might allow me to get my feet wet without necessarily taking the plunge (and dragging many people in the pool with me). Or will that be too much Doctor Who for one summer?

Savage Worlds: Slipstream. It was all ready to go last summer and then petered out. The materials are there. One character's already made. And it's nice to have a finite campaign you know can drive the schedule all for an entire season and end just when vacations are over and it's time to crank work up to 11 again (which for me is September). Slipstream is one option among several Savage World campaigns, of course, but since my group singled it out last year, still a contender.

Trekjammer. Someone in my group recently said he'd be up for some Star Trek RPG. I am too, but then again I'm not. Trek's given me problems in the past because there are too many deus ex machinae built in, from large crews under players' command to the various technologies available. What I'd be inspired to do, though, is take AD&D 2nd's Spelljammer and turn it into Trek. Make it all sword & sorcery, but give it the political set-up of the show. The good races are the Federation, the Romulans are dark elves, the Klingons are orcs or something. And the ships have magical equivalents of transporters, holodecks, et al. I think this would be a hoot, and replacing the Spelljammer setting, which was never that interesting beyond the premise, will actually make it more familiar. At least, to Trekkies.

Top Secret. I still have never run an espionage game of any length above the one-shot, and I'd like to give it a go. On my shelf, I've got the original Top Secret, James Bond 007, GURPS Espionage, and Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes. Pretty old school, so I'm willing to grab another system, so long as I get to run some cool impossible missions. This would me the biggest challenge, because it's a genre I've barely dabbled with, but the mission set-up creates an easy motivation for players to get in the game, and M:I in particular is friendly to guest players.

Ultimately, not all of these will be everyone's cup of tea. I've just got to make my peace with the fact that whatever choice I make, it make lock a few players out for the summer.


Michael May said...

Oh, man. Such fond memories of Top Secret. Wish I lived closer, 'cause I'd be all over that campaign.

Siskoid said...

And I'd be glad for the experience running it! It does look like it's HKAT that's getting a lot of attention from my players though...


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