Friday, January 23, 2015

The Great Eight

Since I just got done with my review of The End of the World: Zombie Apocalypse by Fantasy Flight Games, I'm keeping this blog entry short and ridiculous.

Remember that Big Ten list I did a few weeks ago? Where I listed ten RPGs as the only ones I'd focus my attention on for running and reading? Well, it's undergone some more changes. Notably, two whole slots have dropped off, making it a Great Eight instead of a Big Ten. Anyways, here's the list as it currently stands. Whenever applicable, the latest edition is the one being referred to in this list:

1. D&D 
2. Shadowrun
3. The One Ring
4. Star Wars (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Force and Destiny)
5. Fate Core
6. Call of Cthulhu
7. GURPS
8. Apocalypse Engine

So, let's start with the losses. I had to be brutally honest with myself. I just don't have the time, money, or energy to be anything less. As much as I love Numenera, The Strange, Eclipse Phase, Warhammer Fantasy, and the World of Darnkess, I will likely never run them. The reasons vary: some of these games don't have enough support. Some of these games require too much work. And, as much as I love the idea of some of these games, the fact of the matter is I'm just not that excited to run them.

Following that last one..."excited to play" is the governing factor for the games that remain. I am pumped to run any of these. I'm not saying they are the best of the best; I'm just saying, if somebody asked me to run one of these, I'd do it on a moment's notice and be happy about it! I can't really say the same for the four games that got cut.

So why GURPS? How did that end up on the list? I've seldom mentioned it in previous blog entries. I've never run it, though I've read several books in the line and am familiar with the system. There are several reasons why it's on there, and I intend to talk about them in the future, but here's the TLDR version: GURPS is such a huge game, there is literally something for everybody in it. On this list, I find it makes a fine "yin" to Fate Core's "yang." 

And notice who's back? The Apocalypse Engine! I'll be honest: that one being on there is as much a political move as a matter of choice. I've said before that most PbtA games are more about theory than practice, good ideas rather than solid mechanics. For the most part, I stand by that. However, game groupie that I am, I cling closely to the most popular stuff in the hobby because of my overall mission of bringing new players into RPGing, and the influence that these games are having is undeniable. Besides, how am I NOT going to have the system powering my own hack World Gone Mad on the list?

Now I know the list has changed quite a bit...this is the third revision to it since I first wrote it up back in October...but I always knew this list wouldn't be something set in stone. The idea is to try and focus my attention, not constrain myself. This list, as of now, is best reflecting what I'm into at the moment and what I intend to focus on, moving forward.

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