Monday, February 18, 2008

Pulp, Fantasy & Oh So Very British

Six months ago role-playing games didn't even factor in my social calendar, either as a regular or irregular event. I hadn't played in anything for months, and my GMing experiences could be counted on one hand, despite the fact that I really wanted to let people play in some of the fantastical worlds that swam in my head!

But things have started to change in the last few months. I got in on a regular Monday night gaming session with Gar that started off as Spirit of the Century (SotC), in which I played a Gadgeteer. Once it was officially announced that Gar was writing the new edition of Traveller for Mongoose, we started play-testing the mechanics he was working on within the Firefly setting, as none of our group had much experience with Traveller, and were far more keen on playing space-cowboys anyway! In Firefly, I started off as a Rogue, before dieing, apparently completely forgettably, and returning as a Core-Worlds doctor, secretly under the employ of Blue Sun to investigate the origins or Reavers. That wrapped up all too fast before Christmas, and we moved on to something else in the New Year.

Now we're play-testing the upcoming Doctor Who RPG, which is fun, though admittedly, I'm playing it as an SotC game! I play a 1944 RAF pilot accidentally caught up in wacky time-travel shenanigans! Even though I'm not a fan of the Doctor Who series, Gar was careful to gauge our interests and play towards that! Plus, although I dislike the show, I love the concept. I love the time-travel, action adventure, the pulp-styled gadgets and over-the-top fun, the lovable ridiculousness of the TARDIS and the odd creepiness of the Daleks. What I don't like are the cheesy villains (pet hate: living plastic! Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot!!) and the over use of low budget effects or props. There isn't an excuse for them anymore. The show has both a sizable budget and an endlessly creative crew. Episodes such as Blink, Sound of Drums and Family of Blood illustrate the inventiveness and ingenuity of the crew at all stages of an episodes production, yet despite these few shining moments, we still have to put up with living plastic and gas mask-faced zombies!! If you haven't already seen it, do yourself a favour and watch Blink. It is incredible, and due to the nature of the episode, everything you need to know about the Doctor is explained within the episode, so you could watch it without ever having seen another one!

Sorry... that got a bit rantish there. Well, I guess this is my blog, and I can talk about what interests me, but still. I've gone way off track!! Back to RPGs and the current situation I find myself in.

Um... actually, where was I? *blah, blah, blah* Play-test... *blah, blah* Doctor Who... Oh yes! Now I'm up to my own game! After months of trying to get a group together to play my own SotC game, I finally struck gold and pieced together a stunning and enthusiastic group for a Tuesday night ongoing story. As SotC is supposed to be a "pick-up-and-play" game, I've designed each episode to run within a single night, and there is very little of an over-arcing plot. It's fun, fast and pulpy. Last week was all character generation, which ran longer than expected as three of the five players were new to the system. However, while it officially starts tomorrow, I've spent the last week adjusting some of my stories to fit into characters backgrounds. Instead of Professor Bob, madman extraordinaire, they'll now fight Doctor Eternity, nemesis of Sir Alistair, inventor to His Majesty King George V. Honestly, I've never looked forward to a game more than this one!

And to top it all off, I'm now playing in Claire's D&D game on Sunday nights!! So far, there isn't much to say about this one. We're investigating the spread of a plague that doesn't kill anyone, we have no-one in the party that can heal, and I'm playing a customised version of a WarForged, essentially based exclusively off of RoboCop! This one's gonna be fun.

That brings my weekly gaming experiences up from zip, to three games a week, running Sunday, Monday and Tuesday! Not bad for someone that had lost all interest in gaming not so long ago. I'll try to add various bits of short fiction based on the games as I go along. I enjoy the three settings I'm playing in at the moment, and I love adding to the backgrounds or just general bits and pieces. Keep me bookmarked, and feel free to comment on things, or add your own ideas to my stories!

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