New Year’s Revolutions

The wheel turns, and a new year sneaks up on us like a cunning ninja of time. It’s traditional to make resolutions, just as it is traditional to break them in January. Here is me, doing the former. The latter will come later, no doubt.

It usually does..

Here are my role-playing resolutions for 2012, posted for posterity just so you can poke me and laugh in the coming months.

Play fewer games, better
This is right at the top of the list, in bold. In my mind it’s also underlined and has red stars around it, but that would look silly in a blogpost so I’ve used imaginary pixels. Clever things, imaginary pixels.

Anyhow, yes. It’s usual to want to play a wider, more diverse range of games but this year (with one exception, below) I want to hunker down and master the games I have rather than flit from one game to another and have mastery of none. It feels like I’ve done that too much this year, trying out any new game that passes by and not really reaching a satisfying playpoint with any of them.

My prime goal for 2012 is to utterly and completely master 4e D&D, DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds, De Bellis Antiquitatis and Warhammer 40k. There will be blogposts along the way.

Get into Pathfinder
Here’s the exception to that goal. Does it count as breaking a resolution if it’s another resolution which breaks it?

My impressions of Pathfinder to date have been mixed. I have played in two short sessions (neither of which set the world alight), read the core rules from cover to cover and followed Paizo’s site with great interest. So far I’ve seen nothing in Pathfinder which 4e D&D doesn’t do better (sorry flamers, my opinion, my blog) yet it has a fan-base possessed of almost smug superiority. This clearly means I’m wrong in my assessment and next year I want to find out what I’m missing.

I plan to grab the Beginner Box, grab a fresh bunch of players and start at level one. Who’s with me?

Design a superheroes version of Warhammer 40k

Wait. What? What???

Picture the scene. A sprawling cityscape. At one end swagger countless thugs, tricked up Humvees and worse, goaded along by the Legion of Evil Supervillains. At the other stand SWAT teams, the US army and all the members of the Super-Hero League of Justice. It’s a large scale mass combat superhero smackdown!

The goal is to create army lists for both DC and Marvel’s heroes and villains, along with some of my own devising. There will be heroes and villains, SWAT teams, robots, military vehicles, aliens, thugs and sundry low-powered mutants on all sides of the ethical scale.

I’m using Warhammer 40,000 because it’s a system we’re familiar with, and it supports all of the key elements a superhero wargame requires – massive firepower, flying troops, variable damage effects, urban warfare, etc. It’s also good for everything from small skirmish-type games to massive Crisis-level battles.

This is Batman and his allies versus Ra’s al Ghul and his ninjas on the streets of Gotham. It’s all of the Marvel Civil Wars. It’s Superman & co against Brainiac’s robots. It is Ragnarok all over again, and more Mutant Wars than you can shake an adamantium claw at  It is all this and much, much more!

I plan to call it Thor’s Hammer 40,000. Don’t judge me.

Don’t worry about editions that don’t exist
5th Edition D&D is doubtless coming, and y’know what? I don’t care.

Rather than speculate about something we don’t have yet, my resolution is to emphasize what we have now, and worry about the future when it comes. Blogging about an edition of a game that you can’t even buy right now is just wishing your life away, and what’s the point of that?

Of course, speculation is fun, and this is a resolution I fully expect to break this at least one (or ten, or twenty) times over the coming year. But I am going to try my damndest not to, and focus on the positive in what we have now instead. This is a fantastic time to be a gamer with no shortage of terrific games, scenarios and ideas coming from the industry and the fan-base alike. I would much rather focus on the good things we have now than continually look over at the next hill.

There you go. That’s my RPG Resolutions. What’s yours?

Watch out for those Time Ninjas!


14 Comments on “New Year’s Revolutions”

  1. A superheroes version of WH40K is one of the coolest ideas I have heard all year! Good luck and I hope you post updates on the idea.

  2. I think to understand Pathfinder’s cult-like following, you have to understand the mindset of many of these players, like the ones that I play with. They’ve been playing D&D since the dark ages, and they still tell me stories of the “In the early days, you couldn’t be a female paladin!” etc. (I started playing when 3.5 came out). So, when 4th edition came out, it wasn’t long before they got bored. It is very simplistic and they feel as though the game really never changes as you gain levels, you just get abilities with slightly different effects and different names. It’s boring to them.

    Pathfinder, on the other hand, is like 3.75. They took 3.5 and edited all of the things that didn’t make sense or were out of balance and made it a smoother, better 3.5.

    The reason I’m saying this is to point out that I believe the cult-following that Pathfinder has isn’t because Pathfinder is great but because people that like it are the ones who don’t like 4th edition and see Pathfinder as taking the beest system to date (3.5) and making it better.

    I am not flaming and I really don’t have a preference. I often use 4e when I’m running a game online because the simplification is a godsend when you are dealing with the complications of a digital gameboard anyway.

  3. Thor’s Hammer 40K looks like Heroclix to me. Care to elaborate how it would differ ?

    My resolution for 2012 : GM. Since I’ve burnt out of it in 2010, I’ve tried to get back on the stage and finally managed to find the resolve and the players late this year (Strands of Fate helped a lot in this). Thus, in 2012, I will eventually GM a full campaign, that’s my #1 Gaming resolution this year.

    1. Good question.

      Heroclix is a skirmish game where each figure is an individual character, and combat is geared toward individual figure vs. figure battles. Warhammer 40k is more squad-level where teams of 1-10 (or more) figures act as a group. While there are also individual Heroes in W40K they’re the exception rather than the norm.

      Putting that into superhero terms, I could run a small-scale battle with a hero leading a team of mutants against a load of thugs and a couple of soupervillains, or a large-scale Alien Invasion type scenario such as The Avengers leading groups of lesser heroes against squads of Kree.

      Add in vehicle rules (Batmobile! Giant Toymaster robots! The Mole Machine!) and I think it will be rather jolly good.

      That’s the plan, anyhow.

  4. RPG Resolutions; Play more D&D 3.5 (using a simplified system called Microlite20, well-paced games and a lot of material out there.), Basic Action Super Heroes 1E, Relics & Ruins, In a Wicked Age and hopefully, hopefully, some Dungeon World.

    D&D 3.5, Pathfinder and D&D 4E, all really great games. I just couldn’t get the right pace to my games with these systems. (Do use Pathfinder’s adventures and adventure paths.)

    Thor’s Hammer 40k is a pretty nifty name.

  5. Resolutions:
    1) Pick one system & GM it (and only it) all year. This year I’ve been bouncing from system to system. So many cool mechanics, so little time. Like you, next year I plan to focus. One the other hand, I’ll play whatever my friends are willing to GM.
    2) Spend less time reading about other peoples games, & more time working on my own. Reading blogs is a great way to learn new ways of doing things. It’s also a great way to procrastinate.

  6. * Start my much talked about (in my group not online) Spelljammer campaign in d&d4.

    * Continue planning for a Marvel Campaign using Mutants & Mastermind .The premise is pretty simple: The x-men and the Avengers are starting a joint venture for a school of gifted individuals, be them mutants, aliens, robots, or whatever in the hope to save from a catastrophic vision of the future where every superhumans are hunted down like wild dogs by an unkown force. The players are among the first batch of students in this new school. But will they be there to help save the day, or doom it by undermining the efforts right at the foundation ? (insert dramatic cue music here).

    * Keep going with the ravenloft campain I’ve got underway using d&d4.

    * Look more into Pathfinder, and ways to integrate the setting and/or the adventure paths into d&d4.

  7. Speaking on Pathfinder, a former DM that joined the military raves about it! I’m still stuck in 3.5. But he is designing a superheros game using the Pathfinder framework! If he gives it to me I’d be happy to pass it along! Cheers!

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