RPG week

Last week’s RPG adventures started off with an online game of Fiasco, really early on Sunday morning. I had not played Fiasco before, and in general these ‘GM-full’ games (where every player is responsible for setting up part of the plot) are not really my thing. I’d rather just concentrate on playing my character instead of meta-gaming towards an interesting outcome. The premise is interesting: it’s like you’re all directing a Coen Brothers movie while having a ‘favourite’ character in the story.
The playset (basically the set-up for the game) we used was “Upton Abbey“, a setting inspired by British dramas about upper- and lower-class interactions in the 20’s. We weaved a tangled web of debt and sordid affairs both in business and in love. In the end, my character got stabbed by his pregnant lover, and his business partner let him bleed out and made it look like a suicide…
It was good fun, especially considering I played with a group of players that I had never played with before, which is always iffy. I knew some of them from our interactions on RPGGeek, so it’s not like I went in totally blind (I just would not have played). And this group has been playing together for years, so dropping in as a new player made me extra nervous. But it was good, clean fun, and the other players were patient with explaining the mechanics and made me feel at home. In fact, I’m playing again with them next Sunday!

I also bought the new Robotech RPG, which details the “Macross saga”. My love for Macross is well-documented on this blog, so I couldn’t pass up a new RPG. It uses the Savage Worlds ruleset, which I know is hugely popular with some people but that I never encountered. So I had to read up on that too. So far, it’s not that great — it’s been endless lists of character stats and equipment (and mecha!) lists so far. And the editing is quite atrocious too, which does not bode well. We’ll see!
Reading through it and identifying all the oddities how Harmony Gold perverted the Macross lore made me want to re-watch Macross to determine which statements in the game are actually true and which ones are American inventions. I ripped my DVD set on my anemic laptop, because that’s the only machine that still has a DVD player in this house… I’ll be watching through that in my ‘downtime’.

And yesterday I found out there is an upcoming RPG called “Against the Darkmaster“. I mean, at any given time there are upcoming RPGs, and most of them don’t interest me. But this one grabbed my attention because it has the exact same font and ‘trade dress’ as the classic MERP and Rolemaster games. Some research revealed that this is, indeed, a ‘retro-clone’ of MERP with all the Lord of the Rings-stuff stripped off. They have a quickstart and playtest, and I might download that and see what it’s like. It’s unlikely that I would go back to MERP/Rolemaster-style games as they are too ‘heavy’ rules-wise and too lethal for the more cinematic experiences I want these days. But on the other hand, the largest part of my RPG shelves are filled with those books…

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