Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rules, Rules, Rules, or Postapalooza, Pt. 1.

This is a preview of coming attractions, so to speak.  The next edition of the Ptolus Campaign Log/after action review is in the offing.  In a similar vein, I've been thinking a bit about last night's game, how it went, what went well, what went wrong, etc., etc.  One of the problems with a Pathfinder campaign, is obvious: Pathfinder (D&D in general, actually) is that it is a complex rules-heavy system.  There are lots of details to keep track of, and rules and variations of rules for almost every conceivable situation. As a DM, my biggest weakness (aside from a seemingly inborn lack of organization) is my grasp of the rules.  Obviously, I know the very basics, but I get tripped up on the details--a lot.  And there are a few rules that, for whatever reason, I can just never seem to get through my head.  If I knew the rules better, the combats would move quicker, and the game would be smoother.  Thus, creating a better gaming experience for everyone.  So, with that in mind, I'm embarking on a project to improve my understanding of the rules.  Hopefully, this will lead to fewer pauses in the action to look stuff up, and really make our games more fun.

Here is how I plan to go about this.  I'm going to start blogging about the rules.  That is, I'm going to pick a rule (say, what provokes an attack of opportunity, for instance), and write a post about that rule, perhaps with an example of how it would play out in-game.  After all, reading is generally just the first step in really learning a concept.  For most of us, writing about it is what really seals the deal.  Also, I think this will be fun.

You guys also know that I've always had a certain level of flightiness when it comes to rules systems.  I'm always wanting to try new stuff out and have never been really able to settle on one system that I want to do most of my gaming in.  The problem with that is, of course, what I mentioned above: most roleplaying systems (not all) are pretty complex, take time to learn, and are much more fun once the DM and the players have achieved a certain level of mastery of the rules.  My new found fascination with Savage Worlds is no secret to anyone.  In any event, I think I have pretty much decided to commit myself to a limited number of systems.  I think you can guess which ones.  (With a caveat-- I really, really, really do want to try Nobilis at some point.  I have it on my Kindle). I'm planning on doing a Savage Worlds one-shot (or mini campaign) if we get tired of Ptolus at some point and need a break (yes, I know, we'll have to play more often for that to happen).  I don't know what genre I'll be using Savage Worlds for, but at some point I do want to run a campaign in the homebrew setting I've been thinking about for years.* Maybe in PFRPG, maybe in Savage Worlds, I don't know.

I'd love to know what other kinds of games you guys might be interested in.  I know that, as a group, we're pretty invested in high fantasy (me no less than anyone else).  In trying a new system, would you want to try the same kind of setting? Or would you be interested in doing, say, weird West (ala Deadlands), Sci-Fi, Pirates (or fantasy Pirates), Pulp, grittier fantasy, superpowers, historical fantasy (Weird Wars Rome, for example), etc.?  Please, don't let this discussion call into question my commitment to our current campaign.  The fact that I'm spending a lot of time thinking about RPGs is just evidence of how much fun I'm having in the campaign that we are playing.  So, looking forward to more frequent and better gaming in the future.

* I originally conceived of this as a 4e world.  Are any of us ever going to play 4e ever again?  (Wouldn't fit to my commitment to limit my systems, now would it?)  What am I going to do with all of these?

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