Sunday, November 8, 2015

You down with (Gamer) A.D.D?

Yeah, you know me...

Gamer A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). It's become a running joke in gaming circles. It's funny, although I worry that it in some way trivializes REAL A.D.D. (which is certainly not my intent).

In any case, it's become a shorthand for being easily distracted from one's current RPG pursuit(s) by the "new shiny". The proverbial "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome.

While I'm still firmly committed to getting a Supers game off the ground, I'd be a liar if I said there aren't other games tempting me. As a Solo gamer now, I feel like I (we?) am/are even more vulnerable to the dreaded Gamer A.D.D, as with a group, once everyone is on board with a game, usually it takes on legs of its own and the train keeps rolling. I'd say there's not a lot of suddenly skipping from one game to another on the whim of one person in a group.

In any case here are a few of the other Games I'd Like To Play:

My sci-fi crush
 "White Star", oh how you tempt me. Ever since I picked this up just for the intent of adding material to the Star Trek thing I was tinkering with, it has pulled at me strongly to do as a stand-alone thing.

I love the "generic with the serial numbers filed off" vibe of it. I could totally see playing in a style of the cheesy post-Star Wars sci-fi movies of the 80's, like Battle Beyond the Stars, Starcrash, The Humanoid, The Ice Pirates, or Galaxina, which I love. (Just like in my mind, all of my D&D sessions look like the cheesy post-Conan fantasy flicks of the 80's like Hawk the Slayer...)

With the recent release of White Star supplement Five Year Mission the urge is as strong as ever. It even gives me thoughts of the Trek thing AGAIN...
tempts me to Trek on again

The recent trailers for the new Bond flick "Spectre" got me to thinking, I haven't played a modern action/adventure game in a LONG time, not since Hero Games "Espionage" back in the 80's. But I was a BIG action adventure guy back in the day, eating up flicks like "Die Hard', "Lethal Weapon", "Rambo: First Blood Part II", and a particular favorite "Commando".

Even my choice of reading material back then skewed to the Men's Adventure novels of the 80's like Mack Bolan (the Executioner), Able Team, Phoenix Force, and so on.
Meet the guy who inspired Marvel to create "The Punisher"

So I was curious to see what kind of Spy &/or Action/Adventure games were out there. Though the modern digital age has been a huge boon in the options of readily available, affordable, gaming material, it can also be a BANE too, in that it can be an enabler of one to give in to the urge to ACQUIRE and COLLECT, especially since they are, y'know, so readily available and affordable...

ANYWAY, after shopping around, two games caught my fancy for simple and rules light that look like they'd be a lot of fun that I gave in and picked up, "Covert Ops" and "Dogs of W*A*R", the former being aimed at a more espionage bent (though it looks like it would really cover the whole gamut), while the latter is firmly aimed at those Men's Adventure novels I mentioned earlier.

"Covert Ops"in particular has really got me enthralled. There is a lot of ideas and good game crammed into that rules light package. All of the Random Generators for Major NPC's, Enemy Organizations, Master Villains, Missions, and Security and Traps alone are worth the price. I can already REALLY see running it RIGHT NOW, as a very zero prep, pick up and play, stand-alone adventures type thing, not unlike the Mini Six powered "Monster of the Week" thing that I still want to get back to at some point.

Another genre that I love is the Western. It's a genre that I'm intimately familiar with, having grown up at the tail end of the the heyday of the T.V. Western, and having a Dad who's a fan of the genre instilled a love of Cowboys and Gunslingers in me that has endured, so as such I've had an idea for a "Boot Hill" sandbox for some time that I'd still love to explore at some point.

SO, back to the titular subject of Gamer A.D.D, I wonder if as a Solo gamer that this couldn't end up being a POSITIVE, as we're really free to jump around, experiment, and play whatever we want, WHENEVER we want.

The biggest challenge for me is just to get past that feeling that I'm "cheating" on one game with another, or that I'm "abandoning" one game for another.

I tend to be a absolutist in my thinking, AND in my hobbies and gaming. I'm a real "all or nothing, all in" kind of guy. That's something I'd really like to get over, as when I look at the images posted of so many great games, I really want to make room for them all in my gaming life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

That's Life in the Big City! (Modern Urban City Dressing Tables!)

Welcome to the city that never sleeps...
As mentioned in a previous post in my series on my proposed Solo Open World Superhero Sandbox Hexcrawl, one of the vital elements I still needed was Modern Urban City Dressing Tables. Not Random Encounters, just Set Dressing. Slices of life. Normal people living everyday life doing normal things.

As I said there, I feel like Dressing Tables (regardless of setting) lend verisimilitude, color, flavor, and realism.

Since I couldn't find many to choose from, I made my own. Compiled from the pages of, Reddit, and others, as well as my own, and polished and edited by yours truly, and shared with the world for gratis below, you will find 200 Random Events, in both Day and Night flavors:

Random City Events (Day)

Random City Events (Night)

Though designed for a Supers game, these are generic enough that they can be used in any modern urban setting. They're not fancy or pretty, but they'll get the job done.

So, hopefully these make your city life a little more interesting. If you enjoy them and/or find them useful, feel free to drop me a line. :)

See ya in the Big City heroes!
*EDIT* Night table link was to a draft, not the finished one. Fixed now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Of Stoolies and Snitches (Superhero Sandbox Pt. 4)

Eat your heart out Batman...
While reading a fellow Solo RPG'ers session report on a Shadowrun campaign they've got going, I was hit by another trope of the comic book genre that would fit in perfectly with this thing I've been cooking up: the Informer.

Not quite...

Oh, all right, no one does it better...
One of the classic "bits" of the genre is the hero tearing the city apart and raising hell beating up goons until they get the information they need.

I thought this would make a nice addition in that it would give a hero something PROACTIVE to do instead of REACTIVE, rather than, or in addition to, just patrolling and waiting for things to happen.

What I'm thinking is that it could work not unlike the 1-in-6 Random Encounter I'm so fond of lifted from D&D. Except in this case, the 1-in-6 (or whatever percentage you like) is the chance that a useful stoolie will be available at whatever bar or underworld hangout you raid.

Of course you then you still have the mechanics of your system of choice to perform the actual INTERROGATION, and it'll be up to the Game Master (Emulator) if he actually KNOWS anything. This is just the chance of there actually being a fink in residence who MIGHT know something.

If the first dive you knock over doesn't yield results, and you want to keep trying, add +1 to your roll for each additional joint you tear up. Eventually someone will talk...

This would especially dovetail nicely with the "newspaper" idea from the last post. (And just to clarify on that, it occurred to me that the "newspaper" doesn't REALLY have to be an actual NEWSPAPER. It could be an overheard conversation between two co-workers, the Commissioner telling you about something that has gone down, and so on.)

But as I was saying, these two could fit nicely together. You get tipped off by the "hot news item", then start raiding criminal hangouts for information.

This could also be a good avenue of working in story hooks in and of itself. If a Random Encounter/Adventure hasn't already sprung up in some of your subsequent Patrols and all the die chucking that went with, when you find a canary and grill him, roll on your Random Adventure Generator of choice and *boom* there's what he knows is about to go down.

So, now you can have fun going out and terrorizing the underworld. Tell 'em I said "hi"!