My homework for you today: try out a new game

Ok, you don’t have to do it today, but if you try out a new roleplaying game in the next six month at least, I would be very pleased. As most of you probably already know I am the total opposite of a monogameist. I have played and run dozens of different game systems from the venerable Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition to more recent games like Deathwatch. I dabbled into old-school gaming, looked at indie games like the various incarnations of FATE and gave several editions of D&D a chance. And while there have been quite a few games I didn’t like I wouldn’t miss the experience.

During my gaming career I always met people who stuck to one game system no matter what. This always made me sad. There are so many great roleplaying games out there and to constrain oneself to only one system is almost unthinkable to me. Of course you might be content with playing D&D or Das Scharze Auge (aka the Dark Eye, the major German RPG) only, your gaming experience might be that greater if you let inspire you by other games out there.

Reading the several indie games available gave me ideas on how to improve the quality of the games I’ve been running. Incorporating concepts from one game into another might turn your weekly game to eleven. Perhaps you’ll find a game out there that finally solves some problem that has been irking you forever.

Heck, if you ask me, trying out new games just for the sake of trying out new things is worth it. Again, I don’t want to encourage you to drop the system you have used for ages, but if you have the opportunity to try out something new from time to time, grasp it. The worst that can happen is that you learn about a game you don’t want to play again. In the best case you may actually learn something exciting and new you didn’t know about.

By the way, after doing some research on the ‘net I found a whole website dedicated to that idea. It’s called “Play A New RPG” and contains great suggestions for games you should try out at least once in your life. You should check this site out, it’s definitely worth your time.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

11 thoughts on “My homework for you today: try out a new game”

  1. Gosh, I would have thought Dresden would have propelled FATE from the "indie" label.

    But yeah, I was totally a homogeneous D&D player until a few years ago. Except for those few times I went hetero in college, but those were totally just experiments! Now, a few close and trusted friends have taught me to be OK with myself, branching out and trying new things, and I'll never go back.
    My recent post Lessons Learned in Old School

    1. Don't get me wrong, I don't use "indie" to belittle FATE. But Evil Hat is still a small fry compared to WotC for example, so I think it's ok to use the indie label. 🙂

  2. I used to be a D&D monogamer, then I became a polygamer (?) still playing primarily D&D, now I basically don't play D&D. I think if I had only ever just come into contact with D&D, I'd have burnt out of it and stopped playing RPGs altogether at this point, but now I've played so many games, that my list of favorites will keep me entertained for quite some time (and it has also helped me grow as a hobbyist game writer).
    My recent post RELEASE- High Score Playtest

  3. Great idea. I'd love to try something else, but our group gets together so irregularly that when we can we all want to move the campaign forward. But, when I get the chance you better believe I'll have my Icons adventure ready to go!

  4. Right on.

    I've already been doing this with a casual group since New year. For the most part they've been great and I've found some new RPGs I now love and ones experienced ones I've always wanted to try. But of all the games save one, I've always been the GM.

    So I've done something else for the past month now: I've been a player in a few one-offs with different GMs running different games. I've learned a bit more about my play style and preferences and what types of games/GM styles/player styles that I do and don't like.

    I found I really do enjoy two-fisted pulp, even though I'm not a early 20th Century aficionado. So yeah, I highly recommend giving other GMs games a chance (in a one-off) even if you aren't interested in the genre/setting.

  5. This is good advice as we move into the convention season. I might not get a chance to do it this time around as I'm running this time, but we'll see when sign ups come around.

  6. Amen.

    Only ever playing one RPG system is like living in the same house, in the same neighborhood, of the same village/city, of the same state/province/district, of the same country … for your entire life. You don't get to get out and see the richness of things that are even similar to your origins, much less the things that are completely different. Even if you don't find anything you like, it will live you that much more appreciation of the thing you started with. Get out and see the world.

    And, in the gaming sense, we all need to get out and see the world too. Whether it's d20, Basic RPG (Chaosium's family of games: Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, etc.), Hero, the Rolemaster family (RM, SM, out-of-print MERP and Cyberspace, or the newer HARP/HARP-Sci-Fi), Storyteller-like games, Ars Magica, etc. Rules Heavy games, Rules Light games, etc. There's an entire diversity of games out there, that give different perspectives on how to model these fictional realities, and each perspective creates different game-feels. Even if you always come back to the game you started with, it's useful to see those other perspectives.

  7. I played a game this past Saturday on the Puerto Rico Role Players Geeknic, Vacation of the Dead. A simple six rules created by the GM to run a zombie game. Had a LOT of fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.