Monday, May 9, 2011

Perhaps There's One Too Many Irons For A Fire Of This Size...

I've been worrying lately that I am spreading myself a hair too thin. While I don't actually feel like I'm spread too thin, I worry that it is a possibility. It really isn't an issue of burn out, I think I am over that fear. I am definitely interested in all things DnD and not too concerned about too much of a good thing. I think I've stabilized my love of DnD enough to where I can manage it like an  adult and not act like an obsessive little child. Mostly. Anyway, I try to keep my interests broad enough that I'm not dwelling on DnD for hours and hours at a time. So I have three, possibly four, things on my plate in terms of gaming. I kind of keep getting ideas and wanting to do this or that, and it is hard for me to tell if it is a good and fun idea, or if it is just a waste of mine, and other people's, time. What is going on is that I am basically working on three campaigns at the moment, and they are as follows:

1) Hekinoe: I was in a funk about this place, but I think I've come through to the other side. I like this place, or I would have stopped writing stuff for it by now. There is a post coming up later this week that kind of goes over some of my thoughts about Hekinoe. Suffice it to say that I am ready to come out of the grumpy closet and play with the normal kids. 

2) Labyrinth Lord: I did a bunch of research into older editions of the game and their clones, and I kind of started to find some stuff I am fond of. I really got infected by all the old school love and the somewhat minimalist approach to gaming that the older editions allow. I mean, you can make a comprehensive character sheet on one side of college ruled notebook paper. Anyway, Labyrinth Lord won through out of the clones I've perused, specifically the Advanced Edition Companion, which I guess mimics 1st Edition AD&D. Anyway, I like it and I began scribing a new campaign setting (in pencil on notebook paper!). I don't know if it has any longevity, but it seems like it will be a fun diversion for Jeremy and I and a few others to engage in. 

3) Fourthcore: I am fascinated by this concept, just an unrelentingly tough and deadly series of adventures. No mercy, no dice fudging, no straight forward fights. Everything is about resource management and lateral and critical thinking and making very good guesses. Skill challenges turn into fights without warning while fights turn into skill challenges while a trap is going off while a blizzard rages around you, and the dragon is still eating the Cleric while it all happens. Death is frequent and brutal and occurs with no warning, save vs. death happens, and you like it. There is never a point where you can just turn off your brain and fiddle with your iDevice till your next turn rolls around, you have to constantly be engaged with what is going on around you. The magic loot is bigger and badder and still doesn't mean you'll survive every dungeon. It is so brutal, so challenging, so effing metal! I want to go there.

I do actually feel the need to ramble about Fourthcore for a bit. At the moment, we're settled on trying out a Ravenloft setting for the adventure, but though I love Ravenloft, I must confess that I don't feel like the setting is a perfect fit. Ravenloft is very dark and scary and dangerous, but it is more about fear and horror and stories of evil and torment, than it is about ultra hard encounters and traps. It is gothic horror and is about ambiance and the unknown. I am committed to a Fourthcore style 4th Edition campaign, but I don't know if Ravenloft lends itself to a campaign setting more or less about time and resource management. Every time I crack open my Sword & Sorcery Ravenloft books, all I can think is "This would be so awesome...if we were playing Pathfinder." which is a problem, because Lance and Shawn and Jeremy love them some 4th Edition, and I do too, and I want to play it. 

I just don't know where to go with this idea, I can stay with Ravenloft and kind of see how it goes once we get there (after we're done with Gamma World, which could be forever from now, heh), or I can go back to the drawing board (a place I probably like too much). Lance, Jeremy, Shawn, and Fred are all pretty agreeable guys, so I doubt they'd ragequit if I switched the setting up. Fred is more of a fan of Ravenloft than of 4th Edition, but I don't think he would pass up an excuse to game with cool people. Probably. I'm feeling a lot of creativity within me since I started working on that Labyrinth Lord notebook and I keep coming back to making my own campaign setting based off of PoLand. 

...fucking monkey-tits! I just came up with a killer idea for a campaign setting in PoLand, and it would still allow me to utilize all this Heroes of Shadow and Gloomwrought material that I am purchasing. I blame Erevan, the fucking nitwit. 

Back to what I was saying, I feel the urge to create, and though the role-playing and setting of Fourthcore campaigns tend to take a back seat to the action, I still wouldn't mind flexing the creative muscles, even if it is just to give voice to my interpretation of PoLand.

Edit After The Fact: Yeah, I guess we're going to play 4th Edition in PoLand. Hopefully I can successfully Fourthcore it up, and hopefully they enjoy Fourthcore. 

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