After running a string of relatively high concept games which deal with heavier themes, I think it’s about time that I take a break from the super-serious stuff and come up for air. One thing I’ve learned to avoid burnout is to switch gears now and then, taking a moment to break out of your established conventions to try something new.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean a comedy-type game for me, there are other genres with lighter, but no less entertaining stories to tell. My first HERO campaign was like this, with young heroes dealing with everyday problems with school and life along with occasionally kicking super villain butt.
And so I’m considering my options. I’ve got the rest of the L5R campaign to play through, and a continuation of my “Exalted for People Who Don’t Like Exalted” campaign after that but once both of those are over, I’d like to think that I have a clean slate by which to explore something new.
Of course changing the usual campaigns I run to something less than standard is always a gamble. Pitches have to be done carefully on my end, as anything that doesn’t elicit a “Hell Yeah!” from the players will mean that there won’t be enough player driven momentum to keep the game running. That said, there’s got to be a few games ideas from my old notes or work-addled brain that should be worth a shot:
- Spycraft is a definite contender. A small team of specialists on rogue missions for fun an profit is always a good idea, though I’ll hold off until Spycraft 3.0 comes out before I give it a spin.
- D&D 4e is another option. I had a good experience with D&D 4e, as long as expectations are appropriately calibrated, and the fights not drawn out to forever it might actually work.
- A Supers Campaign is always a good thing in my books. Whether it’s DC Adventures or HERO 6th is up in the air, but I should focus on something a lot lighter in tone. Up to the DC Animated universe level of seriousness is good… but Batman: The Brave and the Bold might be too much.
- Metabarons is an oldie but definitely a goodie. Thanks to the fact that it’s actually D6 Space Opera, there’s a wealth of information I can skim from in other D6 products (Starwars D6 I’m looking at you.) Just add a ton of sugar to my double power expresso and I should be able to run this no problem.
- 7th Sea is a game that is just begging to be ran. I’ve had the books for years now but I’ve only run them in convention one shots. This error has to be corrected.
- Deadlands is another good choice. I enjoyed the Crew of Nine campaign I ran before, when I was learning the ropes of Savage Worlds. It was a fun campaign with lots of laughs, so I’d mark that as a winner in my books.
All of these campaign options are fun, with systems that don’t necessarily get too complex (oh, except for maybe Spycraft and HERO, but their complexity is often a good thing) but most importantly they can provide a good, fun time without having to go high concept.