Monday, November 28, 2011

Google+ Pickup Games (And Getting Some Conan On)

Back in my days behind a coffee-stained editor's desk in the smoking post-industrial hole that is Detroit, I would frequently pack six solid days of jagged stress around the high-tide parts of the editorial cycle.

As soon as that unremittingly bleak long winter would break even a bit on a morning off I would jump in the car cleats in hand and drive over to the freakishly great soccer fields erected for the city's brief World Cup moment in the sun. Without fail there was always enough critical mass of other stir-crazed players to get a full-teamed game on. Those games went a long way in keeping me sane those eight years.

Plugging away this morning at a balance-sheet analysis of the Google+ gaming boom, one of the greatest strengths (for me) just jumped right off the page: the ability to drop in or run a game at just about anytime of the day or night with less than a couple hours notice.

I don't think I need to spell out the advantage of that to this audience over much, I would hazard a guess that the single biggest X-factor holding many of us back from playing tabletop rpgs as much as we is that ugly beast called Adult Life Scheduling interfering at each and every turn. Having the ability to waltz into a pick-up game, not surprisingly is just an amazing boon, another perhaps unintended, but welcome outcome of the energy around Constantcon.

The only wrinkle I have encountered is that we are still fumbling around with how to actually run these games. To date, the sessions I have played in have been campaign-like games where the GM is clearly trying to spin out something less fleeting and ephemeral. I have had a blast playing them, but with my own standing commitments to running the Domain Game II and EPT Jakalla sessions really make me a kiss-and-dash-on-the-first-date kinda guy.

Punchline: it would be really sweet to have actual one-shots hand-tailored to be played at a moments notice.

Here's my part, I am going to put together 1-2 one-shots specifically designed around the TSR Conan rpg. A game that seems pitch perfect in supporting episodic, action-packed, lite sessions with a small cast (say like 1-3 players).

Here's your part, tell me what you want if you were going to play in said pick-up (better would be design some pick-up games of your own, but I am fresh out of pithy exhortations for the morning.)

1. Show of hands of people who want to play. Good also to say your rough windows of opportunity if you know them. Encircle me on Google+ if you haven't already, or set up a dummy account and do so if you are all shy like.

2. What would you prefer playing: pre-gens (based on actual REH or imaginary characters) or swaggering S&S ne'er do wells of your own?

3. Would you prefer playing a session based on actual REH stories or something completely original? (The question really is whether you think you'd know them to well for them to work with a few twists.)

Game on?


  1. in

    available noon - 4am EST

    make my own PC

    Mandy too

    original stories if possible

  2. Got you and Mandy down on the roster.

    I just realized that I didn't mean to set-up it like we'd only use pre-gens or custom. People should feel free to do either, custom build just entails having to do it beforehand.

    Character generation is completely by the book, no house rules (yet at least).

  3. I'm down - I'd like to make my own dude.

    Most evenings after 8pm EST, or early as fuck before my kids get up (Zak's 4am, frex).

  4. I'd play, can be free most weeknights from 7-11pm GMT.

    Would prefer to make my own character.

    Already got you in my rpg circle and you should have me down as Chris McDowall.

  5. 1. Hell, yes! My schedule is kinda screwy right now, so it's hard to predict.

    2. Original characters preferred, Non-canon pre-gens if jumping in without a moment's notice.

    3. Original stories.

  6. 1) I'm in. Most definitely! and keeping my eyes peeled for tooling needs. My window of opportunity is totally random and pretty rare as I've got twin 3-year-olds at home and a crazy job.
    2) I generally prefer pre-gen characters and like the challenge of odd-ball characters. Can bring my own, too. Working on a FLAILSNAILS tool prototype that could help.
    3) Either. Prefer original but I can get my game on in canned scenarios, too.

  7. 1. I would definitely be interested! I'm available at various weird times and days. I'm out Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

    2. Either is cool

    3. I'm pretty well versed in the stories, and have run several Conan campaigns over the years (using mostly Rolemaster, some Savage Worlds, and currently OD&D). Nevertheless, I would still enjoy playing any of the stories except Tower of the Elephant. I've ran that one way too many times.

  8. Are you still potentially looking for people? I would be very interested in trying the Conan RPG.

    If you could add me on Google+ (robert.james.parker AT), I'll see what I can whip up for a Liane the Wayfarer-type dandy sociopath, or perhaps a drunken priest who got himself kicked out the of parish.

    Anyways, I look forward to participating!