I’ve got Genesys on my mind

239561After I decided to cancel my D&D game, one of the players immediately offered to run a “Realms of Terrinoth” game for us. “Realms of Terrinoth” is the first in the line of settings for Fantasy Flight Games’ Genesys Roleplaying System. Genesys is the generic variant of the system they’ve used for their Star Wars roleplaying game line. He followed my advice and opted to start things slow. We’ll use pregenerated characters for a one-shot, and if we all enjoy the game, we might continue to play.

In preparation of the Realms of Terrinoth game I studied the Genesys rules over the weekend, and the more I read, the more I got excited about the system. I’ve played Edge of the Empire for quite some time now, and even though I was skeptical at the beginning, I grew quite fond of the system. It’s not too complex and there are guidelines for creating your own adversaries, weapons and armor. The rules also give examples for various settings. It looks like it could be a homebrewer’s dream.

I have several setting outlines on my hard drive that I always wanted to develop further, but finding a fitting setting was often an issue. Sure, GURPS works with everything, but I find it too unwieldy. I’ve thought about the Cypher System, but I find it easier to design a setting tailored to this system than the other way around. Arion Games’ Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition and its sci-fi counterpart Stellar Adventures are extremely easy to hack, but probably also a bit too light for anything more long-term. Genesys – in my humble opinion – hits a sweet spot between the narrative and the mechanics and is also a system a lot of my friends are already familiar with.

Since I am not in the GM’s seat at the moment, I can spend my time preparing a possible future game. Sometimes I just love preparing for a campaign, write up a setting, just for the fun of it. I still remember fondly the work I put into a Fallout conversion for Fudge. I only used it once, but it was so much fun! Three ideas I’ve had brewing for a while are

  1. A pseudo-victorian fantasy world with steampunk elements inspired by “Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
  2. A UFO conspiracy game set into the 50s or 60s inspired by both “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified” and the short-lived TV series “Dark Skies
  3. A Cold War secret agent game inspired by “A Colder War” and “Laundry Files” by Charles Stross in which the horror of the atomic age meets the Cthulhu Mythos.

These are just three ideas from among countless others which have been simmering in my head for quite a while. I think the best thing I can do is just pick one and start working on it. I don’t think I need a 1000-paged campaign bible, but a dozens pages of notes and a few guidelines on how to make it work with Genesys should suffice. At this point I don’t mind if I never get to run it, I don’t mind if it’s not the most unique and creative thing I could come up with. I want to create something just for the heck of it – and not because I feel pressured because I have to run something next week.

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.

2 thoughts on “I’ve got Genesys on my mind”

  1. If you are going to create something for the sheer enjoyment of creating it why not test drive something like evernote for the setting.. You can use it as a personal wiki and link documents so NPCs can be tagged to locations or events etc.

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