Over the weekend, what used to be my regular gaming group assembled over lunch to discuss getting back into the swing of actually playing around the same table in the same room again. It has been too long. While PBeM and games over Messenger have enabled us to keep certain games moving along at a glacial pace, for all intents and purposes, gaming activities have been on the most minimal of life support.
Our group has always operated under two or more GMs with an essentially monthly rotation of setting and system, interspersed with some experimental, theme-based, or holiday-focused one-shots. This allowed us to try out a lot of systems and characters, but it also meant that we had to try out a lot of systems and start a lot of characters. Sometimes, the good is the bad, and the bad is the good.
Once the food finally came – from Antarctica, I am guessing – we settled down to the business of deciding if we wanted to game face-to-face again, if we could schedule it, what that schedule would actually be, and what game and GM would be first up. For us, like many groups I am sure, this sort of dialogue is prone to stalling and leaving the question without a definite resolution – particularly if you are just listing games you think you might like to try. Having been caught in that trap before, we opted to evade it this time by trying to refine what sort of setting and system we had played in the past was enjoyed by us all more or less equally. In addition, we also addressed an on again, off again concern about being jacks of many systems and masters of none. With all of this experimentation and no regular practice, certain aspects of the games we play are never really brought kicking and screaming out into the light and made to serve us as they ought. It was put forward that we establish a setting and associated system to use for a long-term, shared campaign and to really try to make the most of it.
After a reasonable debate, we settled on Heroic Pulp Adventure, and opted to use Exile Game Studios’ Hollow Earth Expedition. The Ubiquity Roleplaying System offers elements we all like, and occupies a spot on the Learning Curve versus Granularity index which matches the cross-over point in our Available Time versus Desire for Verisimilitude graph.
As we all live and work in Seoul, we have decided to set the game in Asia. After some discussion of politics and logistics, we settled on Shanghai as the ostensible base of operations for the cast of characters. As the setting will be shared, we have each decided to generate two characters, one with an action-oriented bent, and the other with a more intellectual disposition, to balance out the different design styles of each GM, and provide a large enough pool of character expertise to expand the range of possible story types as far as possible for such a small group of players.
It is early days, yet, but I am quite pleased by this turn of events, and am very much looking forward to getting started in Shanghai in 1936. Additionally, I am hoping to be able to do a direct comparison of Ubiquity and Savage Worlds in play to see for myself the dynamics of each.
Stay tuned for more!
- Ubiquity in Use: Weak Characters? from Casting Shadows (runeslinger.wordpress.com)
- Free RPG Day: Hollow Earth Expedition from Ravenous Role Playing (ravenousrpg.com)
- Let Those with Eyes See…
- Pulp Time
Darken others' doors: