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Lucas
11-14-2010, 10:53 PM
I've been feeling kind off of about my gaming lately. I'm playing more games and more regularly than at any time in my life, but it's all just... getting old. Every damned thing I'm playing is D&D, every time I try to do a thing I throw a twenty-sided die. Maybe if that works, I roll a d6 or d8 for damage. I want something else. I want... I want to roll a d12 for once in my life. I want to try something with dice pools! Hell, I want percentile dice!

And long, aimless campaigns, run forever just because the group is complacent, because they're too attached to a given character to admit that their story is told and over? Nerts to that! I'm not saying that long campaigns are bad, per se, but the in the same way I no longer see "60+ hours of gameplay!" on a video game as an automatic selling point, I'm starting to appreciate a bit of, of brevity and direction and punchiness to my tabletop games.

I'm not saying I only want to play one-shots from now on, but short campaigns of maybe half a dozen sessions or so would be good. Six-shots. Revolvers. That's exactly it. I want a revolving game, playing a short campaign that wraps up after maybe two months of weekly sessions, then we play a different game. Some shadowrunning culminating in taking down the Johnson that set us up, followed by defending the Iron Kingdoms from the Legions of Everblight, then for a change we conquer Yavin 4, maybe go on an Ewok hunt.

The problem with this, of course, is what kind of gaming group can afford to play that many settings and systems? I have the basic books for almost a dozen d20 settings and styles, half a dozen non-d20 games, and a long list of other books I want to acquire eventually, but I'm definitely the outlier in my normal group. No one else has wanted to devote the time and money to developing their library that I has, and I can't blame them. But dang does it make for kinda homogeneous games.

Anyone else ever gone through this? What did you do about it?

Disclaimer: I'm not talking about any particular games here, especially not about any particular games where my GM is reading this. After all, anything in this post that applies to such a game goes double for the on-again, off-again BESM game I've been running for years now. Except the part about the d20s, I guess.

kaisel
11-14-2010, 11:04 PM
Starting to go through this a little bit, though my strategy has just been to buy books and wait for a chance to do something different. Luckily the weekly D&D game I'm in has been a little side tracked since the DM has been super busy, so we're trying to get some shorter campaigns in different systems started up, though I don't know if that'll happen.

The other thing to, is to try to see if you can game maybe twice a week with the same group, doing different systems. We did that for a while (4e and Star Wars Saga), but that tapered off because our other GM (for Star Wars Saga) got slammed at work.

Comb Stranger
11-15-2010, 12:27 AM
We just stopped roleplaying for a while altogether. It was much more fun when we started fresh.

pence
11-15-2010, 09:32 AM
Yeah, I'm in Comb Stranger's group and I had some RPG ennui earlier this year for a few months. I seem to have some ability where I can mention that I'd rather play other games, and everyone in the group will humor me until I suddenly catch some inspiration and want to start playing RPGs again. Of course now I'm running two games - a Pathfinder adventure path that I'm starting to mess around with more and more under the hood, and a 4E online game that a few tyrants are getting off the ground. When it rains, it pours.

Traumadore
11-15-2010, 09:48 AM
I'm having RPG withdrawal, unfortunately.

nunix
11-15-2010, 10:18 AM
So.. I don't understand. Do you just want different systems, but still essentially dungeon-crawling and dice-rolling play? Or do you want a substantially different gaming experience?

shivam
11-15-2010, 11:59 AM
I recommend Dresden Files or some similar FATE based game to help shake you of your discontent. Alternatively, shadowrun.

Lucas
11-15-2010, 12:33 PM
So.. I don't understand. Do you just want different systems, but still essentially dungeon-crawling and dice-rolling play? Or do you want a substantially different gaming experience?

It can't be both? Different systems and different paradigms in gaming would both be pretty neat right now, either individually or together.

Egarwaen
11-15-2010, 12:33 PM
I tend to have a definite end target of some kind in mind when I run tabletop games. Even if we wind up continuing the game past it, I find it gives much-needed focus and direction. My current Dresden Files game is going to be structured as a trilogy of three novels, each with a defined arc of its own. Making this clear beforehand is good for setting player expectations, and (as you guessed) does give you an excuse to try a different system.

nunix
11-15-2010, 12:45 PM
It can't be both? Different systems and different paradigms in gaming would both be pretty neat right now, either individually or together.

I honestly have no idea what's out there anymore in the indie scene, and don't know where I'd suggest you go to ask. RPG.net forums might have something for you, although those are kind of a terrible place sometimes. There used to be an IRC channel that could be useful, I'll dig around and see if it still exists. The Forge has been the bastion o' indie design for years, but it's apparently shutting down soon, and was never much about general game discussion in and of itself.. but you could skim around the Actual Play (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?board=14.0) subforum. Read anything with a [gametitle] tag starting the thread. RPG.net has a similar forum, I think. Avoid everything else; particularly avoid anything about play theory. It's not useful to you right now and generally just starts a clusterfuck discussion, because one side, the other side, or both have axes to grind.

InSpectres might be something to check out. The players manage a Ghostbusters-like franchise, dealing with the supernatural whilst balancing their books (and stress). Available as a PDF and can be played online just fine. Probably suitably different for you.

Burning Wheel, or Mouse Guard, could be interesting if you're big combat fighty-fighty sorts and want something different-but-still-tabletop-traditional.

Also, would this be for playing online, or offline?

Also also, how does the rest of your playgroup feel about the idea of game experimenting? It does no good to suggest to you something like My Life With Master, or Dogs in the Vineyard, if all your folk want to do is kill orcs and/or elfs and take their stuff (which I am not knocking; that's certainly all I feel like doing nowadays).

Also also also, if this is for an offline group, board games would be another suggestion (of which there are numerous dungeon-crawly sorts if that's what you wanted).

Lucas
11-15-2010, 02:17 PM
My main group is online (actually, all two of my groups are), which is admittedly a big part of the problem. They aren't opposed to experimenting with new systems per se, but the difficulties of getting four people to learn a new game are magnified by our distance. Saying "Here, check out this quick-start pdf and maybe we can get something going sometime soon when we've all got some free time simultaneously" is far different from passing around books at school and meeting at one guy's house on the weekend like we used to do. (Obviously, this is also a matter of growing up, something else I regret doing.)

Getting my players to try BESM was kind of a pain, but now it's generally our go-to system. Given that in practice I quickly get tired of it, I sometimes feel like I've created a monster. We tried the Maid RPG (http://maidrpg.com/) and had a hell of a lot fun with that, but we kind of ran it into the ground by trying to make ongoing campaigns of indefinite length out of it when it's really not built for that.

Another really big problem, now that I think about it, is getting someone to run a new game. It's difficult to find one of us with both the time and the will to be a gamemaster, and it rarely lasts very long. And yet we try to pretend it will last indefinitely, and try to set up epic stories, and we pretty much never get any payoff.

I dunno if I'm really going anywhere with this. I just needed to vent as much as anything, perhaps. I will be checking out those systems that have been mentioned, though.

Egarwaen
11-15-2010, 02:30 PM
I honestly have no idea what's out there anymore in the indie scene, and don't know where I'd suggest you go to ask.

Just browsing around recent/upcoming releases or hot sellers on IPR (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/home.php) is probably a good start.

Googleshng
11-15-2010, 04:03 PM
Honestly, for me it usually goes "Hey, let's get an RPG going! I'm willing to play literally anything that isn't D&D."
"Hey, did someone just say D&D? Let's start up a game of that?"
"... OK fine whatever."

The tricky part of course is that it's often a huge pain to get a game of anything else off the ground just from people not wanting to make the effort to learn what a new game is all about. A while ago I spent, literally, a good solid month laying the groundwork for a Deadlands game, then right before we actually start playing "Oh wait, this is a horror thing? Yeah I'm out!"

More recently I had a bit of a debacle with Fading Suns, partly because it's really hard to get a feel for the setting, but also because wow those rules are terrible.

You WOULD however be surprised how many people have access to the rules to any given game. Especially since a lot of publishers are savvy enough to toss out free Quick Start PDFs, often even including all the character creation rules.

nunix
11-15-2010, 07:17 PM
My main group is online (actually, all two of my groups are), which is admittedly a big part of the problem. They aren't opposed to experimenting with new systems per se, but the difficulties of getting four people to learn a new game are magnified by our distance.

This sounds like what you need is small, tight, streamlined games, games that don't have much to BE "learned"; indies would be a perfect fit here.

Another really big problem, now that I think about it, is getting someone to run a new game. It's difficult to find one of us with both the time and the will to be a gamemaster, and it rarely lasts very long. And yet we try to pretend it will last indefinitely, and try to set up epic stories, and we pretty much never get any payoff.

This sounds like you're right on re: revolvers.

I dunno if I'm really going anywhere with this. I just needed to vent as much as anything, perhaps. I will be checking out those systems that have been mentioned, though.

I haven't done any gaming in forever. If you find something niche and interesting-looking that you want to try, I'd be willing to play and/or run a session or two, so you could go back to one of your regular groups (or start a new one) with a little bit of experience with it. PDFs I have onhand are InSpectres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InSpectres), Dogs in the Vineyard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_the_vineyard), and Trollbabe (which.. I've never seen anyone use for group play, so I don't know about that). Also Donjon and Paladin 1e but neither of those are so great (Donjon's fun but hellish online).

Another classic indie group game, firmly in the "tell a story" versus "collect loot" camp: Primetime Adventures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_adventures).

Also: hey, IPR! I remember when that was just some random little imprint thing. Nice to see them chuggin' along.

Googleshng
11-16-2010, 12:20 AM
Hmm... I was trying to find a list of all the RPGs which have recently been released as full free'n'legal PDFs but... I forgot the vast majority of these are just Oldschool D&D clones, which hardly count. There's also Traveller which... cool char gen aside is... similarly slim let's say, and Ars Magica... which I haven't had a chance to really take a look at honestly.

Then there's a big wad of Forge-y games, but they trend towards overly simple resolution mechanics of one sort of another.

This odd little thing I did a while back (http://www.world-domination-llc.com/games/partyrpgs/glisteningchests.shtml) isn't QUITE free ($8), but every so often I run a freebie special on it, and it at least has unique stats, big-wads-of-d6s mechanics, and a coherent enough theme to get everyone on the same page (recreating Boris Vallejo style art). And come to think of it, it's not bad for the whole "six-shot" angle. Barbarians fighting through hordes of cannon fodder to kill evil wizards with pet giant snakes will eventually overstay its welcome, but isn't inherently one-shot-y.

If you really want a fix of something nice and meaty that isn't D&D though, you really just kinda have to be willing to find or create your own quickstart materials/really hold people's hands while making characters for Shadowrun or Deadlands or Call of Cthulu or Insert Obscure Awesome Game here.

Lucas
11-16-2010, 01:41 AM
I've heard good things about Traveller and Ars Magica, but not that they've got free editions floating around. Is that pretty recent?

And yes yes, buy Glistening Chests. What is this, the third time you've pitched it to me?

I haven't done any gaming in forever. If you find something niche and interesting-looking that you want to try, I'd be willing to play and/or run a session or two, so you could go back to one of your regular groups (or start a new one) with a little bit of experience with it. PDFs I have onhand are InSpectres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InSpectres), Dogs in the Vineyard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_the_vineyard), and Trollbabe (which.. I've never seen anyone use for group play, so I don't know about that). Also Donjon and Paladin 1e but neither of those are so great (Donjon's fun but hellish online).

Another classic indie group game, firmly in the "tell a story" versus "collect loot" camp: Primetime Adventures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_adventures).

I wouldn't mind taking you up on that offer. Dogs in the Vineyard looks fascinating, but honestly Primetime Adventures looks even more so (and probably more adaptable about short-term versus long-term games and exactly what the mood is at the table). I'm not sure how the playing card mechanic would work over the internet though, unless every player is supposed to have their own deck.

Edit: Well bugger, even if I had the moneys PTA doesn't seem to be legitimately available at this time....