I have recently been somewhat retired from GMing games. The reason for this was due to me having a lot of personal stress from work. I passed the GM reigns of my Shadowrun game to a friend while I contemplated if I would move on to the next version of Dungeons and Dragons. This was quite some time ago and during this time I have been playing another friend’s game of D&D 5.0 while trying to come up with a game plan of sorts for myself.
During my absence from being a GM, I have acquired quite a few different rpgs. The reason for buying new games while I was not actively running them vary. For example I like to try to support developers that translate Japanese Trpgs. I also have friends in the industry that I like to support like Wise turtle games. In addition, some of the games I just find cool and I buy them in the hope that maybe one day I will feel like running a game again.
So, while I haven’t been running games I have been getting the urge to. I figure I would compile a list of rpgs that I have that I would love to run during this year and maybe into next. This is a list of games that is not in any particular order so if one is higher on the list that does not matter. In addition, some of the games I have some personal history so I figured I would add those notes as well as what kind of game I was interested in running with them.
Before we go much further, I should address something. Anime. Why anime? Anime has been extremely important to me for essentially my entire life. I was raised on shows like Maya the bee, Ronin warriors, Japanese video games such as final fantasy, etc. Due to this it makes sense that many of my games are flavored with an anime style. I like to tell big stories and many times, I like my players to begin journey as heroes that were meant for more than a farmer’s life. My stories tend to be low on character death as I want a player’s death to be something meaningful. Not just a score of numbers that you can just replace with more numbers. Not just -‘eh we’ll just resurrect em, no big deal’. Of course this is on a case by case basis and I will be clear-player characters can and will die. I just want those deaths to mean something.
Anyway, that said- Here are my most wanted games to run in 2016:
First is an rpg that I have some personal ties to. I have been a member of the wise turtle forums since 2006 and have owned the OVA anime rpg series since. In my teens, an RPG named BESM was one of the most popular rpgs we ever ran. It was pretty popular in my group mainly because we ran a lot of one shots back in the day and keeping the same system while altering the setting was very doable with a generic anime system. When I moved to college, the 3rd edition of the system came out and while it addressed several of the issues I had with BESM – it suffered from bloat. OVA is a return to the old days of the original BESM where you could achieve many styles of games with the same rules set and the rules set was lite and easy to understand. I have been creating a setting for it on this very blog called Inheritance of Mana which is a setting I have been planning for quite some time. Unfortunately it has turned into a much more vast setting than I imagined it would be and so it has been sitting in the back burner.
What I wanted to accomplish with that setting was to have a game that we could drop in and out of. Stories would try to stay locked to one session or two. Major story arcs would be something I would do very infrequently. This design was to handle drop in and drop out players and to handle issues of me getting too stressed. The characters and world would persist and often characters would take on missions while other missions would either be handled by other NPCs or lost entirely. This could cause major repercussions depending on what type of mission is chosen and which is ignored.
My next game is one that if you know me i have been trying to run for years and years:
Anima Beyond Fantasy. Back when Exalted first came out, I was super impressed with its setting and hoped that one day I could take on an anime rpg with a big story, lots of places to explore etc. My brother was super into it and so I always wanted to get a game I could call my own like he did. One day I discovered the game was coming to America from the forums rpg.net and when I saw the cover I could not be more enthusiastic. I eventually got the game and it was pretty dense. The translation from its native language was not always the best in parts and it did not even have an index! Plus at the time I was friends with a guy that was always super pushy about everything so he pushed me into a game that ended up being a complete disaster! It took me awhile to try again only this time I made a one shot to test the mechanics…only that did not go too well either. One of the test characters I created I did not create properly as I made all the characters within the week and missed one of the requirements for his abilities. Anyway, I have tried and failed many times on this but i view it is a project that I always wanted to finally get right.
My goals for this was to make a grand epic dark fantasy setting where the heroes rose up against impossible odds (and some of them are quite neigh impossible given the powers that be) . I hoped to involve them in a shadow war with peoples of great importance. Will I finally get to play this game this year? Only time will tell…
My next game is a mecha game!
I’ve always wanted to run a game where the players were pilots of giant robots caught up in intergalactic politics.Battle Century G seemed to be the game that fit that bill. OVA would be a decent candidate but having to constantly take scale advantage into account was one thing plus G had some interesting mecha customization and has some good rules for the setting. Our heroes would be fighting for the rights of the colonies – terraformed settlements that the government is lobbying decide their fate. Our heroes would be performing precision strikes against military targets while a man or woman in the government argued for their cause.
Another game I most recently fell in love with is…
Fragged Empire has a very interesting concept. Humanity has died out and you play as the species created by the species that humans created to replace them. There are few races detailed in the core book but each of them are very interesting and lend to role playing well.
I do not have a huge history with Fragged Empire and in fact, I am sort of cheating with its inclusion as I do not yet own the book (gasp!). I have it ordered at my FLGS however it was pushed back a week so I don’t yet have it. Anyway, what drew me to the game is I have always wanted to run a game set in space. This game lends itself very well to the small crew sorts of stories of stragglers, smugglers or maybe merchants that are just trying to get by doing odd…jobs. I would be running it somewhat similar to rouges in space – where we are good people in general but willing to take jobs that could involve vaporizing someone. Fragged Empire lends itself well to sand box style campaigns so it would also lend itself well to the type of game I described for OVA. Drop in and out players could be handled easily due to the free time system as well as just being maybe on the ship while the others are doing stuff.
Another game I have been pretty interested in is yet another anime style game.
Ryuutama is a game that I learned about quite awhile ago. I tend to keep an eye out on games that are played in Japan. And I also tend to support most games that are translated as the work that goes into making sure the tone is right while translating the game into another language can be difficult. Sometimes it does not work out well – like the core book of Anima. Other times it can be very interesting to see a completely different style of game that could lead to new stories.When the game was announced on Kickstarter, I was not able to donate money to the cause, however they did allow a late backer program so I was able to pay into that when I could afford it.
Ryuutama is a game about travel and exploration. At its heart, it places the emphasis on the journey, whether that journey is to a neighboring town to find the one style of flower your love interest loves- or journeying to the next city as you learned the duke will be in attendance to his father’s funeral and you wish to make it so he does not have to be without his father long. Ryuutama has 4 styles of stories they emphasis and each of them are tied to a special GM-PC that can affect the story by ‘helping’ the players. Green stories are the default travel stories. Blue dragons are stories that focus on love and friendship. Red dragons focus on tales of war and battle. Finally Black dragon stories focus on tragedy, loss and deep sadness.
What I would do is focus on a green dragon story of travel. In my world, the planet’s seasons are each controlled by dragons and dragons live and die by the tales travelers tell. The PC’s in my story are the special chosen travelers that carry a special style of travel-logue. The players will travel to many towns, but must stop in specific areas. If the players do not get to each location by the end of the year, the following year will be subject to a year long winter…So I guess you could say my story has both Green and Black dragon elements, however it is primarily Green.
Finally…Another RPG I wish to run is-
Yes, I wish to run a game heavily inspired by the Fire Emblem Series. But I would be using a familiar friend to run this game. This game would be run using dungeons and dragons 4th edition. This book alone
gave me everything I need from a GM’s standpoint to run the game. The group for this will probably be small as not many of my friends are willing to play the 4th edition anymore but that is OK. DMG2 has several things in it that lend to this style of game.
The game will focus on fewer battles, but important ones. Players will have to defend their kingdom from an immense enemy force and their only hope is to appeal to the other countries in the region for help. While I could run this sort of game with OVA, I am honestly feeling a bit nostalgic for 4.0 and so this would be a way to deal with that.
OK. That was a lot to take in. Here are some random facts about the games listed:
6 games in total.
5 games are anime games.
4 games are set in fantasy worlds.
2 games are sci-fi
2 games I have owned for 5 or more years.
4 games I have owned for less than two years closer to one year.
2 games are rules lite
1 game is rules medium
3 games are rules intensive
4 would be settings I create
2 games use d6’s only
1 game I did 1/2 a review for
1 game I have never mentioned on this site before.