Wednesday, April 6, 2011
RPGs in a couple of hours.
I used to play many RPG's when I was at school and college, but commitments change and its been years since I have filled in a character sheet or described a dungeon. Sometimes I miss it, but I really don't think I have the time to invest in a weekly RPG meet or the extra time needed to design and prepare as a DM.
Every now and then I hanker back to the good old days and pickup a RPG manual in the shops or browse an article online. They always remind me of some amazing times when my Elven Ranger managed to save the party or when my Street Samurai went berserk in New York.
As RPG's are all about the storeys they weave through amazing set pieces and player interaction you just can't fault them for theme and for leaving you with these great memories.
Board games on the other hand don't quite compare. Sometimes they do, grabbing that Dominion win by using a great card combination or a game of Combat Commander where your brave Russians managed to defend the grain silos of Stalingrad. But these seem to be thin on the ground.
There are a few RPG crossover games now, Descent and Mansions of Madness seem to be the main ones that I have played. Although there are a few others that I have yet to try. What I like about these games is that they can distill the elements of a RPG into a few hours of game play.
Descent seems to be the best of the Fantasy games, with the Road to Legend expansion adding some campaign play into the mix. I have played Descent a few times and its been quite good fun. Although I would prefer to have more puzzles and RPG like additions to it. It seems to be more about monster killing and treasure grabbing.
Mansions of Madness seems to have hit the sweet spot a little better. But then Cthulhu was always more about the insanity than the combat. I like the way the game plays out with the party having more to think about than just follow the path to the big monster.
Mansions seems to have captured the imagination of its players, with home brew scenarios and extras being talked about. I have been intrigued with what I have read and come up with a few ideas myself. The game just seems to lend itself to being built on. And with its lovely components it's hard not to think about what you can add to the game.
I would like to try a sci-fi themed game or even better a cyberpunk themed game. Getting a complete game down in an evening would certainly get my vote and if Vladamir Genocide the crazy Russian Street Samurai could make an appearance then even better.