marshal kt wrote:I have, and had over 100 of RPG's of the past 30+ years. All I've played or at least read through, at least once. Having others interested was/is the hard part. Some had great concepts but crappy rules. [Living Steel, sci-fi.] Other had just too many rules. [Traveller]. Some were too nichey. [Behind Enemy Lines, WW2] Some based on books and with good rules, just didn't have players wanting to play; even though they've read the books and new the 'worlds'. [Vampire Earth, post-apoc, supernatural, guerilla war. Based on the Way of the wolf, Way of the Cat, Way of the Bear, et c. novel] Heck, I had 2 different versions of Runequest. First ed. by SPI was 'too silly' according to the group.[ducks instead of halflings]. Seceond ed. rules by Avalon Hill, were to unreadable. [you had to read both books at the same time, referring back and forth between them. The sections were broken down like a wargame. IE Section 1.0.1a et c.]
I'm currently running a 1920's Noir game. I've lost 3 players out of 6. 1 moved away. 1 didn't like the ruleset. [he has to have hit points] The other 'gets bored when there's no fighting' and now is going to night school.
My other group is trying DCC and usually can only play fantasy. Any other genre they get lost in, even when it plays like fantasy.
I'll check your's out and hope I can find players. The FLGS can't keep any form of permanent RPG group. The Pathfinder Society is currently trying, again to get a twice a month game going. Trying is the operative word. Pathfinder is the store's best selling RPG, but no one plays there.
This sounds very familiar. Luckily, since I've been in Austin, I've found a fairly regular group. We've played all sorts of games. And most of us have been playing since at least the '80s. I'm one of the more seasoned of the group, having started with Basic D&D in 1981. But we have one guy who cut his teeth on OD&D several years before that.
I've played fairly continuously for... a long while. I've played a LOT of games. Owned my fair share as well. It's been challenging finding group-members willing to play on a regular schedule. It doesn't seem like that gets any easier either.
TATG is a whole mess of different things. I should probably write a blog post about it some time. Initially, it's a reaction to Ravenloft. I always loathed Ravenloft. Loved the adventure. But was annoyed by the setting. Annoyed a great deal, in fact. So in the spirit of how Joseph wanted DCC to stay truer to the Appendix N literature, TATG wants to stay "truer" to the Gothic novels, short stories, and Hammer Horror films that inspired Ravenloft and pretty much every other Victorian or Steampunk game with a vampire somewhere in there.
You'll see that in Winter Home with the Bloodnymphs. THAT'S how vampires are done.
TATG also answers, fairly simply, the age old question of "what if no one wants to play the Cleric"? As well as ditching the skill-monkey thief and reviving (in many forms) the old Fighting Man.
It also greatly simplifies the idea of multi-classing.
Lots of riddles solved.
But the biggest one was "what do we do next?" Playtests and campaigning revealed that a weakness of the genre is a lack of arc. In a traditional fantasy game, there's the Conan arc. Peasant to thief to adventurer to conquerer to king. There's nothing of the sort in the Gothic genre. In fact, you'd have to completely soil the source material to shoehorn something like that in (*cough*Ravenloft*cough*).
So I took a different path. There's a huge chapter of tables that answer this question. You can generate an entire campaign by just rolling up what happens during investigations and between adventures. See, that's what I wound up concluding. The reason this genre isn't, well, all it CAN be is because (a) it hasn't been well-represented in gameplay and (b) there's no arc to inform us what's next. Hopefully, what I've put in TATG isn't too far off the mark in those regards.
It also goes up to 11.
DCC goes up to 10th Level. TATG goes up to 11. But that shouldn't be too freaky. An 11th level TATG character is about equivalent to an 8th level DCC character. But the TATG character would be more useful. In the same way a Thief or mid-level Wizard might be.
It's still very much an OSR experience. But it's one that's informed by a half-decade on the Forge, as well as playing and play-testing all these capital-N story games. It's a bit off the beaten path in that regards. You don't know how easy and tempting it would've been to just shoehorn a Gothic Horror-themed campaign setting onto DCC.
But I'm pleased with how it plays. Like that kaleidoscopic boat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm also pleased with how it auto-generates stories and character arcs. Just the other night the group ended a haunting by a pretty nasty entity, only to discover that the bishop who had asked them to take on the mission died in his sleep that very night. That wasn't planned. It was rolled. But now we get the insanely fun task of figuring out, as a group, why?!
And we haven't even taken on the In-Between Adventures chapter, post-adventure. Those usually generate at least one sub-plot, if not a full adventure, all by themselves.
Book two will make it even better with a completely revamped take on OSR monsters. Adversaries. Factions. And a full-scale hexmap.
Book three... the spellcasting class. Spells. Potions. Rituals. Steampunkery. Constructs. Grafts. And campaign hacks. So you can play games inspired by Scooby-Doo or Vampire Hunter D or Prometheus.
I'm a bit excited about it. But I guess if I wasn't, I'd have no business expecting anyone else to be.