Monday, June 17, 2013

I’m a Tinker Gnome

At least when it comes to tabletop RPG’s.  I don’t think I have played more than three games in my life that I haven’t tried to alter, enhance, improve, or otherwise deviate from the written words of.  This has lead me to some fun times.  The whole process has even lead me to writing my own games from the ground up.  And now, with my recent interest in OSR and Retro-clones, a new kind of tinkering has sprung to mind.

First off, I have to admit that the initial impetus for a lot of my amateur game-design has been financial.  I have never been well-off, and aside from a brief period about 10-12 years ago, I have always had to struggle to stay above water.  Consequently, I have never really been able to afford all of the cool splat books, new RPG’s, and added content written for my favorite games.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  Saturday was Free RPG Day.  And, like Free Comic Book Day, it’s almost like a Geek Holiday that I look forward to every year.  This year I picked up the annual Pathfinder freebie, a WoD/Vampire adventure (mainly for my wife), and two sets of quickstart rules.  It’s the quickstarts that sparked an idea.

While sitting on the can yesterday (where I get some of my best reading done), I was perusing GW’s free intro to their new WH40K RPG, Only War.  The game centers around the idea that the players are all Imperial Guardsmen.  I’d be interested in seeing how this plays out, as my initial thought is that it would just end up being a skirmish game, like a mini-version of a full-blown 40K game.  Which is fine with me, but I doubt I could convince anyone I currently game with to give it a try.

But my idea came in when I looked at the mechanics, and realized that, even though the quickstart rules are pretty sparse, only giving the players what they need to run a very limited scope game, it would not be hard to reverse-engineer it into a complete game.  Maybe even scour the rules of GW trademarks and place the whole system into an original world.  Honestly, the rules could work well for an action/adventure game based loosely on my beloved Mack Bolan/Phoenix Force/Able Team/Stony Man books and their universe.

Not sure if I will do much with this, but I think I will most likely at least do the scouring and expanding part.

Meanwhile, today sees me back to the office after 9 days off.  In between work tasks I am tinkering with the OSR conversion of Life of Rage.

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