03 August 2014
In my drunken boredom last night, I reached out to my roleplaying buddies for something to do. We ended up playing "Pretend you're Xyzzy," which is a Cards Against Humanity* clone, and "Board Game Online," which despite its name really isn't much of a board game. Kind of a postmodern joke masquerading as an actual game. Which is fine, I guess.** The conversation was the really interesting part,
We also decided that we'd like to play a more serious, long-term campaign with a system that's more appropriate for long-term gaming. Which is neat. Running two games at once is almost hilariously easy when you get to choose the system, and everybody knows that light is king.
Except when you're trying to get a long-term campaign done, of course.
So I'll be looking at a system that has slower built-in advancement than Dungeon World, as much as I like the core system. The thing about Dungeon World is that you level up every two or three sessions (between failing rolls, which everybody does a lot of, and the "bonus" end of round experience), and getting new toys. The other big thing about Dungeon World is that your characters soon start to get very good at quite a few things (or very good at just a couple), so the game is really better suited for a focused "go here and do this" sort of campaign instead of a more meandering "choose your own path and explore the world" sort of game.
Of course, I know that now. Next time I run Dungeon World I'll run it with a pre-set goal that everybody agrees on- something like "We're mercenaries fighting for King Harlaus against the filthy Khergits," or "we're plunging into this dungeon to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor." And then when the heroes have completed their goal, the game is over. Finis.\
I'm thinking we should try running Swords and Wizardry or maybe Openquest. Something with a strong traditional background without being rigid, and something that supports a couple of months of gameplay and a relatively open-ended style without promoting mindless grinding and faffing about. It's a delicate balance. I hope I can make it work.
*I don't actually like Cards Against Humanity much, since it's barely a game, and the online version had a lot of pointedly unfunny white cards on them. But I like the group that I was playing with, and sometimes that's enough.
**Boardgame Online is a decent way to pass time if you're drunk, but given that it's just a roll-and-move with some surface dressing on it, it's really not that great.