Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Summer Game-cation

Too Early for a Mid-Life Crisis?

Recently I turned thirty-six years old, and a cruddy truth set in.  I'm okay with my age, and have enjoyed my thirties much more than my twenties.  I'm wiser, healthier, and much more focused on the things that I love best: family, friends, and gaming with family and friends.  I've even found a balance for my technical age of thirty-six, and my mental age of twelve.  

But on my birthday I did some math.  Eighteen years ago I was eighteen, and every birthday going forward means that I've lived more years as a "technical adult" than as a "technical kiddo".  Kind of an emotional buzz-kill.  When I think about it, though, there are only a few things that I really "miss" about being younger.  One of them is true summer vacation!  

Sure, I'll get some vacation time this summer.  I'll spend a week in Delaware with the family and I can't leave out the big trip to Gen Con with my wife in July!  But that's two weeks… TWO WEEKS… out of a three month long summer.  


My Three RPG Groups

Okay, enough lamenting.  The actual point of this post was to share all of the awesome gaming things that I am going to cram into those short vacations… as well as every waking minute of free time that I have available!  As of the start of Summer Game-cation 2015, here's what I have cooking on the role-playing front:
  • The Family - Savage Worlds - 50 Fathoms:  I've wanted to dig into a plot point campaign for a while now, but never gave it a shot.  Since our family hadn't been to the table for an RPG campaign, summer seemed like the perfect time to kick off something new and shiny.  I spent last week reading through the 50 Fathoms Campaign Setting and I'm really excited to share our experiences!  
  • Tuesday Night Cypher Online - Numenera - Rasterperch Keep:  I need to be honest… I'm not sure if the players are going to make it out of this Ravenloft-hack in one piece.  We're now two sessions into the adventure, and already two players have lost multiple emotions through Lady Von Zarro - the Level 10, emotion-leeching pool of ink.  
  • Our Monthly Live Game:  As you may have read, our live table group finished a long Sherlock Holmes/Dark Sun/Star Wars themed adventure in The Strange, and is now between campaigns.  What to run?
We need to choose a new game for our live group, and the Tuesday Cypherians could experience a TPK (total party kill) at any time in Rasterperch Keep.  But I've got a few adventures on deck for both of these options.  You will notice that these are all published adventures/modules, and there is a reason.  Not only is summer as a grown-up less fun, in my line of work the month of July is absolutely BRUTAL!  So my time to write original material is a bit limited.  Here are the best contenders for Next Campaign:

  • The Strange - Heroes of Ardeyn:  I have a lot of old-school, 2nd Edition AD&D adventures that I'd like to run.  But one of my new favorite fantasy "settings" is a "recursion" in The Strange called Ardeyn.  Since the recursion is a Sumerian/Babylonian, sword-and-sandal fantasy world, I can easily use adventures from Al-Qadim, Dark Sun, or other settings to fuel this campaign.  I've already found that hacking AD&D adventures for the Cypher System is a piece of cake.  I've been even more enamored with the idea since reading Ryan Chaddock Games' Ardeyn-themed sourcebook Broken Immersion.  Broken Immersion explores Ardeyn as the world it truly is… an MMORPG turned into a reality through the alien dark matter network known as the Strange.  In this campaign, I'd start the players as natives of Ardeyn, unaware of the existence of other worlds.  
  • Star Wars Edge of the Empire - Debts to Pay:  Our live group had a good time running the Beginners Game of Edge of the Empire, and I'd like to try another module before I'd consider writing my own adventure.  Found in the Gamemaster's Kit, Debts to Pay is a short thirty-page adventure.  Knowing my live group, Debts to Pay would take two to three sessions to finish. 
  • Numenera - The Devil's Spine:  Long-time readers of this blog may remember that started running Monte Cook's The Devil's Spine early in 2014.  If you are interested in where we left off, here's the last play report (session 3).  I'd really like to go back and restart the mega-adventure!  Initially I was going to run this online, but I realized that one of my players was running it themselves.  If I ran this it would have to be with a different group.
  • Savage World - Accursed - The Banshee of Loch Finnere:  I've played Accursed with my children, but really believe that this game would be FANTASTIC with some serious and seriously twisted grown-ups!  A whole group of players as monsters?  Yes please!  The Banshee of Loch Finnere, by Rich Baker, is a twenty page, three part adventure designed for players of Novice Rank… so perfect for a short mini-campaign! As a Savage campaign setting that prides itself as being a cross between Ravenloft, Castlevania, and Van Helsing, Accursed is a blast to play!  

What campaigns are you running this summer?  Are you starting anything new?  Anything crazy?  Let me know!  Please share your experiences for your summer gaming, 2015!