Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quick 6: Games I Never To Get Play

So we all have those games sitting on the shelves that either by circumstance or fate never get their fair shot at your gaming table. Some new hotness comes along, or there's a scheduling conflict, or it doesn't fit your group's composition, or perhaps you are its lone advocate in your circle of gaming buddies. However it happens, we all have games that just don't make it to the gaming table. Here's a new Quick 6, detailing some of my bitter (and often silly) defeats for some games I really dig:

1)In Harms' Way: I love this game, and consider it Flying Mice's best work. Charting the adventure and career of naval officers in the Age of Napoleon? Move over, C.S. Forester! The competitive yet collaborative (and troupe) play, the accumulation of Notice by your brave (and likely foolhardy) acts, to the amazing use of Voluntary Wounds to progress play--this game is a masterpiece. Alas, though its been tried, my current group isn't much into Alan Lewrie, Horatio Hornblower, or Jack Aubrey. And so I have to get by on stolen convention games, a snippet here and there. I need to start a game at the Naval Institute, apparently.

2)d6 Space/Fantasy: My gaming group has several WEG Star Wars RPG vets in it, and so we were looking not long ago at returning to at least an iteration of a system we really knew and enjoyed. But the entire West End Games sell-off brouhaha started right around then, and between the analysis, argument, and endless discussion, we got burnt out. Without actually playing the game. We'll come back to it, but not right now.

3)GURPS: Period. The line seems to be "love Steve Jackson Games, love Munchkin, love GURPS sourcebooks, don't want to play GURPS". That includes GURPS 3e, 4e, any of the "Lite" versions, and likely the foreign versions as well. And the weird thing is--no one really dislikes it. Some of us even like it individually. But as a group, there's just no particular interest in it. In this context, if GURPS were an actor, it would be Bill Pullman.

4)Run Robot Red: I pitch this game about once every few months, and the pitch still goes flat. Annie Rush made a quirky little indie game about different types of robots trying to escape a huge worldship. Its easy to run, fun, and different. And apparently everyone else I game with walked in on this RPG doing their mom, because they will not go for it. So it just sits on a thumbdrive, awaiting to be thrown into my backpack for the next convention.

5)Splicers: Admittedly not Palladium's best work, this game still has some interesting ideas I've wanted to parlay into a couple of short linked adventures. But an early bad experience with the game in the hands of a different GM has scared off a goodly portion of my player pool, fairly or no. Players can be like a skittish stray cat--you might be able to get them close enough once for contact, but if you mess with them, they're awfully leery about coming back around.

6)Icar: Icar deserves better than this. Rob Lang has put several metric tons of work into creating one of the most impressive Sci-Fi RPG compilations I've seen--and its amazingly free. But with a backlog of roughly 17 other space/sci-fi RPGs pushing for playing time simultaneously, I feel like Rob's baby doesn't get the attention it richly deserves. We've got to work out some sort of rotation system for space and sci-fi campaign ideas/system proposals in our group. Custody every other weekend, perhaps?

Question Time: What are some of the RPGs you never seem to get to run or play?


Geek Gazette said...

My games I never get to play are
1) Rifts
2) Mutants & Masterminds
3) Hero System 5er
4) Hollow Earth Expedition
5) Spirit of the Century
6) Legend of the 5 Rings
7) Cortex System (Serenity/BSG)

The rule with my groups is pretty much "if it ain't D&D we don't want it." I occasionally get to sneak in some 3e d20 Modern stuff to run a pulp or modern game, and I've run some Monte Cook's World of Darkness stuff, but it all uses 3e rules so they feel comfortable with it. Oddly enough most of the people I do/have gamed with were 2e players so you would think stuff like Rifts/Palladium would appeal to them. I've managed to run a few games from my list, but only on rare occasions. It was easier to get them to switch to 4e, which is well liked, than to try anything else.
No one wants to buy books or learn new rules. Except me of course, I have more games than I will ever play.

Rob Lang said...

Many thanks for the Icar plug, Zach. You're a star. May I include your linked quote on the Icar website?

The only game I am champing at the bit to play is In Harm's Way Aces In Spades by Flying Mice games. I love the idea of a WW1 pilot game and as soon as I can convince my players that a 2 year campaign game isn't the only way to play, I'll be right on it.

Zachary The First said...

@ Rob: Of course! I'd be honored! :)

@ geek gazette: I think the "one system uber alles" problem is endemic to a lot of gaming groups. Its not necessarily a bad thing, but does make branching out difficult, to say the least. Its like all "baby steps". :)