Untrod Paths

It’s getting to that time of year when recapping is fairly popular. It’s only natural – there’s a break now, you change your calendar, and probably the biggest party of the year is presently being organized. New Years in some form feels like a new day, a new chance to start off as you really meant to carry on in 2009 (and before.)

I guess I’m no exception. I think the big achievement for me this year was writing my SDC entry cold – it’s a complete adventure straight from my brain to paper without having to blatantly steal the genius of play-testers. Huzzah.

Which is not exactly what I wanted to talk about. I recently had a discussion with Marcus which went along the lines of:

Al – I don’t understand why some people stick doggedly to a single system/setting
Marcus – I don’t understand why some people change all the time: they can’t really have exhausted the story potential completely
Al – Yeah, but I think a lot of what happens after the first couple of games is chasing that sense of exploration and new-cool
Marcus – Hmm… but until you get a certain familiarity with what’s going on, how can you develop any substance

These two strands combine into what I actually wanted to talk about, which was the vast number of gaming books I own, but have never used.

For the SDC I sat down in my library and semi-methodically worked my way around the room and for every game I wrote a couple of lines down about an adventure or story I could run for that game. It surprised me when doing this just how many games I haven’t run or played in the past 20 years that I still somehow managed to pony up the cash to buy.

I’m at work now, but off the top of my head… Mage: The Sorcerer’s Crusade, Werewolf in any form, the whole Dark Ages line from WW, Monte Cooke’s World of Darkness, Aberrant and Trinity, Wild Talents, Colonial Gothic, Rippers and Pirates of the Spanish Maine, MERP, Coyote Wild, Reign, Cold City, most CoC variants, Castle Falkenstein, A|State; not to mention failing to keep up with the latest editions of old stalwarts.

I imagine that this problem is only going to get worse as I get older.

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One Response to Untrod Paths

  1. Yeah, I know what you mean. Every year I have become more focussed on buying games that I intend to run/play only. Next year I hope to continue the trend. The crazy thing is that it resulted in me buying into only 3 or 4 RPGs last year.

    One other crazy thing I only realised recently is that despite all my experience, knowledge and discussion of D&D, I have never run a tabletop campaign of it. Ever*. Eberron will be my first. That staggered me.

    *For 1e I was too young to run anything seriously. I played a lot of 2e but never got excited enough about it to run it. 3e was a game I followed but found the mechanics a real issue (I did run a campaign of d20 Modern and Star Wars Saga). Finally the stars are right! 🙂 )

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