Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Some Big Anniversaries as a Game Master

2017 brings three significant anniversaries for me as a Game Master.

First, I have been running RPGs for my kids (now 13 and 11) since sometime in 2012--five years! It's been very on and off again over that time, but now that I'm running some D&D 5E modules for them, it should be a much more regular part of our lives.

Second, the end of July will mark 10 years since I started "The Kynthiad," the solo Greek myth BESM game that I run for my wife Erika. I wrote about this game at some length around its anniversary two years ago, and a few times since.

Image result for gurps cthulhupunkThird, 20 years ago this May, I GMed my first game for Erika and her best friend, Seanna Lea--both of whom still plays in most of my games to this day. That "Cthulhu 2000 AD" campaign was a modern-day Lovecraftian game using GURPS CthulhuPunk, and was my second attempt at running GURPS. I had first tried the system--briefly--in college, and it was the system of choice for the first regular gaming group that I joined after moving to Boston. I decided to use GURPS rather than Call of Cthulhu because I was more familiar with that system, and because I preferred to have more fully developed characters then was possible with CoC's very simple character generation. I made a number of mistakes, mostly in ensuring party cohesion, and in balancing "waking world" vs. Dreamlands adventures, but we all had fun over those 15 months. A couple of years later, I ran a one-shot for Erika and Seanna Lea's characters in order to provide them better closure than I had able to do before the campaign's end. (By then, I had also been running a GURPS fantasy campaign--"Adventures in Arcadayn"--for Erika, Seanna Lea, and another friend for a couple years, but that is, as they say, another story.)

Shortly after that final one-shot, I posted some of my notes on this campaign (and the previous one, which was also a Cthulhu game) to my gaming website. That was on Yahoo! Geocities at the time, and I migrated those notes to Wikispaces when I had to switch hosts some years later. By the time I migrated Thastygliax's Vault to Google Sites in 2014, I had so many different campaign archives to move that the GURPS Cthulhu games were among the lowest in priority, so they did not get moved at that time. While working on that migration, I discovered that many (but not all) of those pages could be found on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine*. That meant that I could still post a link to that content until I got around to posting it on my new site. I did so, but included a caveat about the Wayback Machine's archive not being 100% complete.

Then I didn't think about those pages again for a couple years, expect for the briefest of moments every time I opened the Vault's homepage. Those Cthulhu games are the oldest campaigns that I have listed there, so are at the top of the list of links. This past week, I finally took the time to add My GURPS Cthulhu Campaigns to the Vault, so that I could delete that annoying little caveat. It was while I was preparing those pages for their new home that I realized that I had started my "Cthulhu 2000 AD" campaign 20 years (and a few weeks) ago.

Erika and Seanna Lea are certainly open to me running more Lovecraftian games, evidenced by the fact that they've played in all three of my campaigns set in Green Ronin Publishing's Mythos-tainted Freeport: The City of Adventure. There is a chance, albeit a very slim one, that we may revisit their "Cthulhu 2000 AD" characters someday, for nostalgia's sake. But it would almost certainly be in a different game system, and might not have much continuity with the original campaign. The most obvious choice of system is GURPS Fourth Edition (which I own but have never had a chance to try out) but their characters would work just as well (if not better?) in the Buffy/Angel version of Unisystem.

Happy anniversaries, Erika and Seanna Lea!

* Another old project of mine that I found on the Wayback Machine was GURPS Sluggy Freelance, which I briefly posted about this past weekend after copying it to the Vault.

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