Year End Nonsense
I think we can all agree that 2022 was a year. It came, hung around for some time, and will shortly depart as we move on to 2023. I sat down a while back and looked forward to the new year, writing some RPG goals. Like most of the content I write for this blog, it remains trapped in my drafts folder. Maybe I will pull it out and polish it up, but for now, I am going to take a look backwards.
The Things I Ran
Mausritter - I had already taken a shine to the many derivatives of Into the Odd, so it should come as no surprise that I fell in love with Mausritter. It is simple to run and simple to play and my group seems to have a lot of fun with it. I feel like playing it has helped us to unlearn some bad habits that we picked up playing games like 5e.
Alien - Speaking of things stuck in my drafts folder, I have a write up of my experience with this game that I ought to share sometime. Long story short: it was a massive disappointment. Fortunate rolls can really destroy the terror and tension that is needed if running this as a horror game.
Liminal Horror - Ran with Luka Rejec’s Let Us In, using the conversion guide. I wrote about this earlier this year when I gushed about doom clocks. It was a damn good time. With a game jam happening and content releases left and right, it sure seems like this little system is taking off.
Kids on Bikes - Technically. I have a friend who comes up with weird stuff for me to figure out how to run. For her birthday, she wanted a Disney murder mystery. It was barely Kids on Bikes and there were probably better systems to use for this, but it went down pretty well for something I cobbled together.
The Things I Played
Weird Frontiers - I jumped into this with no DCC experience and zero familiarity with the rules, so this could have been a better experience. No shade the person running it or to my fellow players, of course. They did great! My performance was decidedly stilted, as I was not comfortable enough with the system or the character to fully devote myself to the roleplay or the gameplay. Would play again, especially now that I own a copy and have read the rules.
Kult: Divinity Lost - Another game that I had zero experience with. This was a trend in the latter part of the year. I had a really good time with though, despite the lack of experience. Kult’s an interesting system and it has this art-free Bible version of the rules that I fell in love with and had to have.
Brindlewood Bay - You ever get angry with yourself for not backing a Kickstarter? Yeah, that’s me with Brindlewood Bay. I tend to not back things because I figure my players won’t be into it and I really need to stop that. Brindlewood Bay was a fantastic experience and so much fun from beginning to end.
Bloodheist - Humans and vamps getting by in a world conquered by Dracula. I got roped into playing a social character somehow, despite this being painful for socially awkward me. Still, the folks I played with were a hilarious bunch and I had a lot of fun bumbling our way through trying to pull off the heist.
D&D 5e, Descent into Avernus - My group had started playing this before the pandemic hit and locked us down. The DM tried to get it started again toward the middle of the year, but the experience of trying to run 5e again drove him to sell all of his books and focus on other games.
Fallout - I am a fan of the Bethesda games, even if Fallout 4 and 76 failed to live up to my expectations, so I wasn’t surprised to discover that I enjoyed the hell out of the tabletop version. I haven’t spent enough time with it, but the aforementioned DM wants to run more of it and I am looking forward to that.
I don’t play in or run enough games, so most of my experience with games is through reading them. Here are some of the cool things I encountered.
I feel like everyone should come away from the year having learned something about themselves or the things they are interested in. Here’s what I took away from this year:
Purging your shelves is okay. Get rid of the shit that you aren’t going to play, read, or steal from.
Online play isn’t as bad as my anxiety would lead me to believe. It is also a great way to introduce yourself to new systems.
I have enough OSR systems. Seriously, I think I am covered now.
I prefer smaller books. 8.5x11 seems to be the standard size, but it doesn’t lend to a comfortable reading experience. Having to find a space to read these books is so off-putting that I often just stop reading them entirely.
I was biased against PBTA. I don’t know when or why this developed since my experience with PBTA consists entirely of a handful of pages of Dungeon World, but I’m rectifying the situation.
Try to create shit. Even if it sucks, at least you tried.