Thursday, April 10, 2014

A shelf full of 3 ring binders

The book shelf in my home office is a modest one. A simple put it together yourself model from the local outlet of the worlds largest retailer. Five shelves, plain white, and rather boring. I did replace the cheap cardboard back with salvaged pallet wood to add character and strength, but the shelf is just the vessel, what is on the shelves is what matters.

The top f the unit is covered in mementos, including a green telephone from my grandmother's house, a Spider-man cake decoration from  my 30th birthday, and a ceramic dragon painted by my son when he was younger.

The first shelf is filled with works of fiction, many authors, many genres.

The second  and third shelves is home to my gaming books, mostly GURPS but a few others thrown in for good measure. The books are sorted by genre. Fantasy, Alternate earth, Space, Western, Supers and a few Genre defying.  In each section there are two or three large three ring binders.

The Binders.

Each binder is home to a campaign I have run in the past. Character sheets, NPCs, maps, all of it. Ready to go in a moments notice.  The binders are the equivalent of a Zombie Apocalypse "Go Bag".

If my group of players were to come to me and say they wanted to change games, I could, in just an hour or two, get them running. By the time the players finished building characters, I can review enough of the material to run a starting adventure.

I have a fully developed Supers world ready to go. It pulls a lot of stuff from Champions and Mutants and Masterminds, but I run it in GURPS. I have 3 distinct power levels set up for the game, depending on what the players what to do. I can run a street level game, a regional/national level game, and an international/world level game.

I have a Fantasy world ready to go as well. I have several plot lines, each in a different geographical location, ready to go. The word has large cities, wild regions, and lightly populated areas.

I have SCI-FI covered as well.
 Cyberpunk, got it, in the form of a mash up between GURPS Cyberworld and Shadowrun, depending on if the players what magic or not.
I can run a GURPS Reign of Steel, or GURPS Monster Hunter
I can run a  Space based game too. Traveller, Firefly, WH40k, all ready to go. OK the 40k needs some work, but not much. With a bit more time I could pull together a Star Wars game, but that is very undeveloped at this time.

Point is, save the stuff you have already run. You may need to shave the serial numbers of a few things if your players have seen it before, but you will have it.
 If your players aren't as excited about a game as you are, you can change with little fuss. If you need a one shot because the regular GM is down with the flu, pull out an old supers encounter to fill in. Need a break from the current game? Pull out the binder from a different genre. Stuck for an idea? Go through the binders, maybe change a weird alien into a new fantasy race or monster. Maybe the Pirates from you old fantasy game can crew the Star ship attacking the PCs.

Truth is other than the mega dungeon I am running now, I haven't run a completely original game in years, maybe decades. But, then again, I could drop it into Cyberpunk as a sewer, or Space as a space station, or Supers as an underground lair for the evil mastermind. Good thing I am saving all my notes in a 3 ring binder.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Seven weeks is a long time

So, I havent had a chance to run a game in seven weeks. Normally a break this long would have kicked my gaming ADD into over drive and I would have shown up at tomorrows session with an entire new campaign world ready to foist on my players.

Not this time.

I was able to resist the urge a couple of ways.
First, I didn't go looking for new ideas for the campaign I am currently running, I didn't need to. Running the self contained dungeon has allowed me to plan further out than I normally would have. The maps have all been completed for some time. The upper levels have been stocked, restocked and reviewed. The encounters have been buffed, or de-buffed as needed. The treasures are ready and waiting.

Second, I didn't read any gaming books. This is what usually kicks me into "New Game Planning Mode." Once I start reading about new settings, adventures or whatever, I cant help myself. Often times I will pick up a out of genre book, looking for crossover ideas. This will then percolate in my mind until the ideas become entire campaigns on their own.

So tomorrows session will not be a new game, in a new world, with new characters. Just good old fashioned dungeon crawling.

Boy, am I looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lost Reich paper model

So, the  regular dungeon crawl game has been on hiatus for about 6 weeks now. It has been a weird combination of illness, spring break, vacations, work and on and on

 In the mean time I have been working on some paper models to use in different games.

Below, is a 28mm scale version of Fat Dragon Games' Lost Reich Sherman Mk. 1 mecha. This model was originally designed to be 15mm scale, but I wanted to use it in a different setting. After a  little work in GIMP to change the scale and clan up some details I didn't want in the larger model, and I was ready to print. The model went together pretty easily. It took me about an afternoon, while i was watching television, to fully assemble the model. This included cutting it by hand, scoring the folds, coloring the edges, assembly and basing.

 Above, the 28 mm scale version pictured with an original 15mm scale Sherman and a GW Imperial Guard

Again the 28mm scale Sherman, an Imperial Guard soldier, and a soda can for scale.

the two versions, 15mm on the left and 28mm on the right.