Friday, January 13, 2012

RPG Thoughts: Risk By Way of D&D

Hi, I'm LAZ, and I have gamer ADD.

I admit it, hell, I embrace it. Since last year at this time I've run/played in homebrew D&D, Ravenloft, Alternity, Vampire; The Masquerade, Spelljammer, Planescape, Mordheim, and now, I'm starting Birthright. I'd probably play even more if I had more time/opportunities.

The thing is that the reason that we change games so often is generally due to work. I play at work, so if we get busy, our game gets abandoned. Sometimes we get back to it, sometimes we don't. Right now, there is a big gearing up for a major promotion, so it looks like we are going to be busy for the foreseeable future.

I'm tired of not gaming when we're busy. Funk that jazz! (See the pun?) So I needed something that we could keep going regardless of how busy we are. I needed something that wouldn't necessarily require any type of stats. I wanted to do something Epic. Not Epic level, that's just dumb. I hated that book, its whole solution was 'bigger monsters', which misses the point.

I wanted to do something political (which is really what VtM is about, but the PCs always miss that). So after trying to jury rig something, I remembered that I owned Birthright. Birthright was the right idea. It was massive and sprawling, and it really didn't require that much conversion.

Birthright is a unique campaign, and I think that most people who bought it used it wrong. Hell, I played it wrong for years before I realized how it SHOULD be played. Every campaign I was involved in was Adventurers who were Kings! Which is the wrong emphasis. It is Kings who happen to adventure. That's a huge difference, one that most people missed. The thing is that the Kings are supposed to be like the Kings of old, leading armies, fending off assassins, and doing diplomacy. Adventurers wander around looking for fights, Kings have fights brought to them by their subjects. Roleplaying out a diplomatic session should be paramount, not shaking down informants for information.

That's the great thing. The rules for the Domain turn (IE the Ruling part of the game) are pretty divorced from the normal rules of D&D, so I don't have to spend a bunch of time figuring out a ton of stuff like I did when I converted Ravenloft II from 1st Ed to 3.X. Right there is a big reason that I want to play this game, I can continue using the same rules that I'm already comfortable with.

So that's one point in its favor, the other is that it is practically custom made for a PBM (play by mail) game. Which is exactly how I plan on running this. Each day people will email me their domain actions, and I'll compile it all and send out a world update. Which is perfect. Those who play can make their decision at some point of the day and send in what they want to do, I come home, compile everything, declare what happened, and send out an update. So we all continue playing, but we do so in our own time at our own pace. So the game continues, and I don't really have to do anything that extraneous.

To keep everyone up to date, I created another blog (yes, another one); The Thousand Year Game. Check it out if you are interested. There's still a few unclaimed territories, and I wouldn't be opposed to someone else joining in.

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