A Different Kind of Game

Once every three months I play in a roleplaying game group whose members are scattered over the Central Ohio area.  While I’ve only played with them a couple of times, they have been gaming together for the better part of twenty years, playing mostly science fiction games: Star Trek, Traveller, and their current game, Morrow Project.

This group is sort of the antithesis of my C&C Campaign, which meets irregularly for small, inter-connected sessions.  The C&C group is also multi-generational, has players of both sexes, and is fairly new at gaming.  The Morrow Project group meets with a fairly regular schedule, and is composed entirely of men about the same age.

The Morrow Project game also focusses a great deal on the tactical.  The two sessions I’ve played in both would constitute “smash and grab” sessions, and a lot of thought went into what kind of gun would be brought along and a discussion of the properties of tear gas grenades.  I’m not knocking this: games like this are sort of the modern-day equivalent of a dungeon crawl, which is a staple in my C&C game.

Anyways, once a year the group gets together for three days of straight gaming, almost a mini-gaming convention into itself called “End of the World” or EOW.  The general rule is that there is one game per day, any genre, self-contained in terms of plot, and using the house rules.  The house rules (called the EOW rules) were developed so that time wouldn’t be spent learning new rulesets for each day; think of it as a homebrewed version of GURPS.  In fact the game has its genetic code taken from Traveller, the old FASA Star Trek rules, and a bit of homemade stuff.  Percentile stats and skills, d10 combat system, and a high degree of lethality.  For example, in combat when  you’re hit you are either “fine” or “stopped” with “stopped” meaning you are dead or unable to fight.  There’s no in-between of being wounded and penalized in combat as a result, etc.  You can either do what you can do, or you can’t.  And “can’t” often means dead.

So, the group asked me if I’d be willing to run a game for EOW.  I’ve got carte blanche in terms of genre, but have to use the EOW system.  This is a big change for me.  I’m used to running short sessions that all link together into a longer story, not one long session of a self-contained story.  I’m also used to being tied genre-wise to a rules system, not inventing my own magic rules or whatever.  I’m interested in that part–my first chance at game design. It’s making sure I have enough game to go the distance that really is giving me pause.  I’m also a little adrift about what to do genre-wise.  These guys like the tactical stuff, but I’m tempted to do something totally different just to switch things up.  I have until October to get this together, so I’ll be posting things here regular about it.

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