Archive for August, 2017

I’ve been absent from the blog for a bit of time due to sheer work, but I’ve had a little time to myself and I’d like to take a moment to put my thoughts to paper with regards to something my wife and I were talking about the other night.

She’d mentioned that ever since she’d given birth to our (now 2 and a half year old ) little boy, I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for certain games that I long considered my specialties. Among these would be Mage: the Awakening and perhaps to a lesser extent games like Exalted.

Still love this image, though

As with most things, she’s right. It was a strange phase in my gaming career as a GM where I couldn’t really get my head in the game. And it was only a few nights ago, over dinner that we were able to determine why.

I’m currently running two campaigns: an all-Scorpion Clan game of Legend of the Five Rings, and the stellar Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign for Call of Cthulhu. And in both of these, my wife felt that I was much more my old self. That got us thinking about why that was.

Ultimately, we settled on the fact that my outlook on life has been altered somewhat by the birth of our son. Before then, I was perfectly happy to run games that was full of darkness and vain hope. John Constantine’s Hellblazer was a big thing for me, and a part of me actually enjoyed the fact that the Exalts were doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past in Exalted.

It finally dawned on me as to what made playing these games (CoD, WoD, Scion and Exalted) so difficult now: The player characters are essentially their own worst enemy. Each one of the characters are fundamentally flawed to the point that they are doomed to sabotage their own efforts at finding happiness.

And I can’t subscribe to that mindset anymore.

But now that I’m caring for a little version of myself, I find it much for more difficult for me to get into that headspace. Instead, I’m gravitating towards games where the player character motives are ultimately better than those of the bad guys.

Prettier too

So where does this leave me with regards to those other games then? Well, for now, they’ve earned their place on my shelf, and I’ve made many, many good memories from running Mage and Exalted. But that said, I think it’s time for me to retire them from my rotation for now, and focus on learning (and running) other games, like Modiphius’ stellar lineup of games like Star Trek Adventures, Conan and Achtung! Cthulhu.

I’m also looking into learning games I’ve skipped before during the haze that was my wife’s pregnancy and the first year of my son’s life. I’ve been reading up on 7th Sea in hopes of being able to run it, and Shadowrun 5th Edition has been something of a personal challenge to figure out.

In any case, all of this thinking has left me somewhat more optimistic. There’s a huge amount of RPGs out there that are worth checking out, and if anything I’ve found a new kind of freedom in this new state of mine.

Onward, and upward we go!