The Stiff: Chapter 1: Page 11

The Stiff: Chapter 1: Page 11

Sorry, everybody; I was so distracted today I again forgot to upload the day’s “The Stiff” page in time. A comic where I have a 200-page backlog, and I still can’t make updates on time! I really need to set up updates for several months in advance, of course, but I’m having some WordPress/ComicPress problems where page images get replaced with the wrong images if I do large batch uploads.

It was a busy day: working on Otaku USA, drawing more “Keep on 16th and Valencia” comics, and mowing the lawn. And my darling wife is out of town in Vancouver. When I’m working hard and wish I had more time to goof off, my thoughts naturally turn to roleplaying games I haven’t had the opportunity to play yet or that I want to play more of. In particular I’m thinking of:

(1) Carcosa: A gory and crazy pulp sci-fi/fantasy/horror/”weird” RPG. Its conceit is that it’s designed as an expansion of original Dungeons & Dragons. I don’t know if I’d actually want to use the OD&D system — I’m not that much of a masochist — but from what I’ve read, the flavor of the setting would lend itself to the kind of games I like to run.
(2) D&D Next: This is one I’d actually like to play as well as DM. I’ve been getting the playtest booklets but I haven’t had much time to actually do anything with them. Derek Guder, who ran a Next game for me and some friends in which we all died in the first 20 minutes (thus elegantly summarizing the primary differences in design philosophy between Next and 4th edition), offered me the chance to be in his D&D Next Planescape campaign, but… well, I guess the fault is entirely my own for saying no, but rush hour traffic between North Seattle and Capitol City is just too aggravating for me to make it to a 2-3 hour campaign session. I’ll certainly be bugging him to find out how it goes, though. And I’m very interested in checking out the first official D&D Next supplement.
(3) Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era. I’ve wanted to play this for AGES, but never managed to get a group together. Like most obscure RPG settings that have some connection to D&D, I found that if I advertised it as being even vaguely D&D-related (or d20-related), everyone just wanted to play a half-elf. I’d actually like to run a game in a Mesopotamian setting.
(4) Reign: Greg Stolz’s “play a group of people who rule a company/guild/city/kingdom” fantasy RPG. This seems like it would be an incredible game with the right group, but obviously everyone would have to be into the concept. Since it’s designed for long-term campaigns, I doubt I’ll ever find a group to play it with.
(5) Trail of Cthulhu: Kenneth Hite is a great writer, and I’ve read some good scenarios for this game (specifically Graham Walmsley’s adventures), but never played it.
(6) Tenra Bansho Zero: I supported the Kickstarter for this beautiful-looking game and just got my copy of it in the mail. (However, I’m a little disappointed the books are smaller than A4 size.) The rules are really interesting and seem like they’d be fun to play, with a mechanism that heavily rewards roleplaying; when players aren’t in a scene, they can show their appreciation of the other players’ roleplaying by tossing them points whenever they do or say something cool. Like Reign, it seems a bit complicated compared to the others. But I loved Maid and Golden Sky Stories (which admittedly have no real relation to this game other than being Japanese) and I’m really looking forward to more games from the JRPG-translating team of Ewen Cluney and Andy Kitkowski.
(7) African Adventures: Not as high on the list as the others, but another game (another discontinued D&D3e variant, specifically) I’ve wanted to try for a long time. I own this game and enjoyed reading it (even if it uses the term “rain forest” for “jungle” throughout– can’t they coexist peacefully?) but I’ve never gotten a group together.