Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Post-Campaign Filler Games I Might Facilitate/Run

With my Firefly campaign nearing it's conclusion, I reckon I should give some thought as to what to do next with my group, assuming they don't just scatter to the four winds after the campaign concludes. I won't be running a new campaign (at least not a full-length one) right away because the summer break will not be terribly far off by the time we're done and even if my group sticks together until exam period all bets are off after that. So I'll need to do either one-shots or a short-run campaign. Once summer break arrives, I'll be able to put together a campaign group from whoever is still hanging around over the break. In the meantime, here are my options for short games to run:

The Esoterrorists
This is one of my Christmas presents from December, and I really want to give it a shot. The only thing I'm lacking is a scenario to run. I've got an idea about adapting my monster an old Monster Of The Week one-shot I ran, but it'll need quite a bit of tweaking to fit with the Esoterrorists setting. Or I could just do as the game suggests and rip a story from the headlines then put an Esoterror spin on it.

Fate Core
I could run practically anything with Fate Core, but if I do go with this I'll probably use one of the Fate Worlds that's been published already. Camelot Trigger, Psychedemia, Save Game and The Secrets of Cats all look like interesting Worlds to play around with. There's also a Mass Effect hack of Fate Core that's apparently been nominated for the Golden Geek award, so I might try that if I'm still feeling in the mood for space opera after the Firefly campaign wraps up.

Lady Blackbird/Magister Lor
I've run Lady Blackbird before and, though it was intended to be a one-shot, the game could certainly have run as a short campaign if I'd had a mind to continue with it. I haven't got around to reading Magister Lor, the newly released sequel to Lady Blackbird yet, but if it's anything like it's predecessor it should also serve as a fun game to run between longer term campaigns.

Misspent Youth
This would also be a short-run campaign, since the game itself has a built in lifespan of about three 'episodes'. The game is about teenage rebellion in a dystopian future. One player takes on the role of the Authority, while the rest play Young Offenders aged between 12 and 17. The players all collaborate to create the Authority and the dystopia it reigns over, taking inspiration from the things they hate most about real-life bullies. I was a YO in the last game, but I'll need to take on the role of the Authority with my group. Nonetheless, I think it'll be a fun game to play after Firefly.

Our Last Best Hope
Of course, after wrapping up a campaign, maybe it'd be better to do a GM-less game of some sort, and this is one of my all-time favourite GM-less games and it's been far too long since I had a chance to play it. The game is modelled on such end-of-the-world disaster movies as Armageddon, The Core, Deep Impact and Sunshine, and players take on the roles of a team assembled to try and save the earth from certain destruction. I think I'll definitely be facilitating this the week after Firefly wraps up.

This is another game I could probably run as a short campaign, and one I've wanted to try out from the GM's end for a while because of the way it approaches plot generation. This cyberpunk RPG comes with a number of playset style city guides called Transmissions. GMs build their initial plot hook by randomly rolling three elements and develop a plot map which is added to by the PCs interactions with key NPCs. I've no idea how well it will work in play, but I am curious enough that I'm up for giving it a try.

Honourable Mentions
Fiasco: Always a good standby for the odd week when your regular campaign is off, so I'd be happy to facilitate it for at least one of the weeks post-campaign. It may be a bit lacking mechanically for the tastes of at least one of my players though, especially in comparison with Our Last Best Hope.

Kagematsu: This is a GMless game about a village in Senguko era Japan facing a dangerous threat. All it's young men are off to war, leaving only women, children and old men. Luckily, a ronin known as Kagematsu is passing through their village as it faces this crisis, but can he be convinced to fight for them? One player (who must be a woman) takes on the role of Kagematsu while the rest of the group play as village women attempting to win his affections and steer him towards helping them. I'd like to try it out, but it might be a hard sell for the group, given the game's romantic focus, and I can think of at least one of my players who would definitely struggle with that.

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