Category Archives: Gears

New Year’s Gaming Resolutions

calvin-and-hobbesBefore talking about the plans for 2012 let’s have a look back at the last year. Back in January 2011 I set one goal for 2011: play more. And while I discovered Google+ Hangouts as a perfect medium for online gaming, I didn’t actually achieve that goal. When I am not totally mistaken I did actually play less than in 2010. Scheduling has been more difficult than ever and a lot of the plans I made fell flat in the end.

But that doesn’t mean I have given up. So my first gaming related resolution for 2012 is the same as last year: play more. We actually scheduled our first game for the second weekend in January where I want to wrap up the Call of Cthulhu game from New Year’s Eve.

But aside from that I want to run a campaign from start to finish in 2012. It doesn’t need to be long, but a story arc that covers at least a dozen sessions would be a nice change. I have a couple of ideas what I would love to run in the new year, but before making any plans I should consult my players. More than once I’ve made plans for a game that I never ran because I couldn’t interest my players in it.

One of the things I would love to do is running a sandbox campaign with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I recently got my print copy of Carcosa and I utterly love that book. The setting is extremely weird, has a lot of Lovecraft influences and looks and reads great. I’ll also have to think of a way on how to make use of Vornheim, too, since it’s another book I would like to use someday. I am not sure if my players are into old-school D&D, but it might be worth a try.

When it comes to game design I still have a couple of unfinished projects on my harddrive that need some more work. So another goal for 2012 is to at least finish one of those projects. Heck, perhaps I should resurrect the Gearbox project or finally finish that game I’ve been working on in secret for way too long…

So what are your gaming resolutions for 2012? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Gears is not dead yet

Some of you may still remember that I was working on another RPG project earlier this year, called Gears. In June I decided to put Gears on a backburner and focused more on Warrior, Rogue & Mage. I had put too much pressure on myself and Gears wasn’t really turning out the way I wanted to.

Some days ago, I looked at what I’ve written months ago and started thinking about what I want to change and what I want to keep. The 3d6 roll-under dice mechanic will be mostly unchanged, but the degree of success/failure will play a larger role than before especially when it comes to combat and weapon damage. I’ve also overhauled the skill system. The skill ladder is still there but I made some tweaks. The talent system in Gears will be close to what you’ve seen in WR&M. I also love the Fate points from WR&M, so expect to see something similar in Gears, too.

Overall Gears will still be rules-light but it will definitely more crunchy than WR&M. I have some great ideas for character creation but I don’t want to spill the beans right now. But rest assured that Gears is not dead yet!

Why isn’t Gears done yet?

As you probably know, I have been working on the roleplaying game project “Gears” quite a while now. In the meantime I even released an early draft to the public, which looked pretty playable, if you ignore the fact that it still laceds magic rules and talents. The problem is that I basically keep rewriting the rules from scratch.

The gist is that I don’t “feel” that the current rules are as they should be. That’s a pretty fuzzy description on what’s currently going on in my head. When I write something, design a rule, etc. I want it to have the right feel to it. Much of what I do is more by intuition than an exact science. When something I work on, doesn’t feel right, I keep rewriting it as long as I am happy with it. And alas this just doesn’t work with Gears.

While I love a lot of the concepts I added to the game, it just doesn’t work out (for me) as a whole. The core mechanic is cool, but when combined with the skill ladder and other parts of the game, it feels awkward and unwieldy. I keep changing the combat rules and damage mechanics and fiddle around with the skill lists.

While I was working on Gears I had this idea for a smaller game which uses the classic fantasy archetypes to describe the capabilities of characters: Warrior, Rogue & Mage. And to my surprise the game works great and it’s very easy to adapt to other genres. Instead on working on Gears, which makes me want to tear my hair out, I would love to put more effort in WR&M or something derived from it.

That’s pretty much the reason why Gears isn’t done yet and why I think it’s probably best when I put it officially on the backburner for now. As long as Gears looms like Damocles’ sword above me, I can’t put some serious effort into anything else.

Ok, I just needed to get this off my chest. Now let’s return to our regular program.