I play and run a large variety of games. I’ve also created several settings over the years, with much of the information also appearing in the wiki. I’m trying to list them all here!
- D&D Against the Odds setting
- D&D Ashes of Freedom setting
- D&D New World setting
- Call of Cthulhu including my own Arunstoun setting.
- Dresden Files RPG
- Dark Edinburgh
- Warhammer 40,000 RPGs
- Call of Cthulhu RPG
- Cthulhutech RPG, featuring my Through the Looking Glass setting.
- Necroscope for Call of Cthulhu.
- Star Wars RPG, Saga edition but mainly the West End Games version.
- Marvel Superheroes (TSR)
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
- Mandragora: Ashes of Freedom RPG
It’s a little ironic that up until recently, the Open Roleplaying Community Edinburgh (http://orcedinburgh.co.uk) suffered from a lack of players and a venue. Now we’ve got plenty of players and venues… and no one to run RPGs
Seriously. That’s how much it has changed recently: from what used to be lots of people wanting to run their campaigns and one-shots, there’s now a small handful of GMs at ORC (myself included). We’ve got a lot of folk saying they want to play, but hardly anyone wants to run something (or are already committed to another game).
I know there are folk out there reading this and thinking that ORC only plays D&D: WRONG! I’m running a playtest of Cliché: the Game of Predictable Horror on the 23rd (from Drunken Badger Games, a couple of local RPG designers and friends of mine). Star Wars and Dominion: Tank Police are also running, as well as a number of D&D games (3.5, 4 and customised).
It would be nice to see some old faces coming back as well, even if it is only to play a couple of games. There’s no GM “screening” process, you just need to make sure that you’ve a bunch of folk interested in playing in Edinburgh. You don’t even have to come to Saturday afternoons: use ORC to recruit for your home game if you want (plus you only have to ask me to get your own wiki space for your game).
So if you’re looking for a chance to get back into gaming in Edinburgh and would like to dust off your GM screens, drop me a line (via the Contact Me page or the ORC Website).
Oh and before I forget, ORC are celebrating our birthday tomorrow from 5pm in the Chanter on Bread Street (see here for the map). Expect geekiness, RPG recollections, and much quaffing of ale (but no pole dancing: that was last year!)!
Well, I completed my work on the The Secret Fire RPG yesterday, right on schedule. Having never been involved on developing an RPG on a real basis, this has proved something of a learning curve for me. It will be officially released at GenCon – yes, THAT GenCon!
When you design as part of a team, there’s a sort of momentum to things. You can throw ideas into the mix and you often find that one person’s discarded idea is another’s inspiration. One of the earliest decisions was to go non-OGL, and this freed us up to take a look at what we liked, and what didn’t work. It’s interesting to note that the L&L team at Secret Fire games come from different generations of RPGs. I started with the 1st edition Dragonlance series, and Fighting Fantasy (I still have that dungeon somewhere); others started with original D&D or 3.5. The system is crunchy enough for sticklers, but there’s a lot of flavour to it as well.
When we ran Nova Games, the PBM partnership, it was very different. Dave and I both had our own games, and although we did dabble a little in each others games but we never went the road that Secret Fire is going with TSF. It’s a huge undertaking, more so when there’s a big whammy involved too (which I can’t say more about at this time!), and the whole process is actually very interesting. I’m going to love to see the finished book especially in its printed format – I’d love to be able to do bookbinding or similar, but I don’t know where I’d find the time or materials.
What I also find interesting is that more people are returning to the RPG hobby, often introducing their children to it. TSF should appeal to folk of all ages, especially those returning to the hobby. It encourages creative thought as well. I’ve hated that whole sameness of character that you get with feats and min/maxing of characteristics that happens these days in RPGs, especially D&D. TSF rewards a player who plays his character, not a group of numbers that have been tweaked. There’ s no such thing as a bad character in L&L.
What also strikes me is that we’ve come full circle, with many people returning to the fantasy genre. For a number of years we’ve had fads for particular games, some of which are vastly different from the fantasy genre – this doesn’t mean that they are any more adult or “better”. Like the whole division between LARP, computer RPGs, and pen and paper RPGs – they appeal to different people, and for different reasons. Just because a game is advertised as “dark” or “gritty” doesn’t mean that its a particularly “grown-up” game – let’s not think about what a Twilight series RPG would be like (there probably is one, or will be – where’s Yog-Sothoth when you need him?!). The dystopian future idea was big in the 90s (Shadowrun, Cyberpunk 2020), and still is (CthulhuTech) – but became a little stale. They became victims of their own success, with cyberpunk time-line canons needing constant revision in later editions.
The point I’m trying to make is that no matter what genre of RPG you play, you shouldn’t treat those who like a different genre any different: there’s a lot of arrogance in the RPG hobby, a perception that if you play or run a fantasy RPG (D&D or L&L for example) then you’re not a “proper” GM. That’s total nonsense. Yes, some games are more complicated than others, but we’ve had a lot of fun with simple systems like Star Wars D6, and a lot of my players have fond memories of these games. A complicated system like CthulhuTech’s Framewerk or Shadowrun have done the same thing.
Oh, and one final thing. I was speaking to a friend who participates in Edinburgh’s Vampire LARP, Embraced (http://www.embraced.org.uk). I thought I’d mention the fact that they’re always on the lookout for new blood (sorry!), i.e. new players as it were. They’re quite a close knit group so if you’re new to Edinburgh it might be worth a visit if you’re looking for new friends. There’s always ORC Edinburgh as well – it’s also worth me mentioning my Gaming in Edinburgh page as well.