New Year, New Games

photo rights to canonsnapper

The folks over at Gnome Stew are hosting a New Year, New Game blog carnival as part of their 2012 New Year, New Game contest. This post is The Iron Tavern’s participation in their blog carnival.

New year, new game. Sometimes groups get in their groove and neglect checking out new games. I am extremely guilty of this. In fact, of the people in my local weekly gaming group, I am likely the one most guilty of not playing a lot of new games. I tend to get pretty focused on a system and not drift too much from that.

I always have good intentions of course. But with what limited gaming time I have, I try not to spread myself too thin or not want to give up a gaming night to another system that I would be learning from scratch. This results in me sticking with my game of choice at the moment.

Now over the course of 2011 I did get to play some games outside of my normal preference of the fantasy genre. The Kingmaker game I am running went on hiatus for a few months and this presented a great time for others in my group to run a few things. So we saw Supernatural run, Call of Cthulhu and a mini-arc Star Wars campaign. Okay, I admit, I’ve played Star Wars before, but the others were new to me. I had a good time playing the different games and I should make a more conscious effort of trying games outside of my norm more often.

Given the routine I get in, let’s look at some of the things that do get me interested in breaking that rut and trying something new.

The biggest thing? One-shots. Tell me the game is a one-shot and I am much more open to trying a game. The risk with a one-shot is minimal, if I don’t like it I only spent one evening on it and still managed to hang out with friends. If I do like it, then we can go from there and maybe work the game into rotation more frequently.

Next up is the excitement from the person proposing the new game and how good they do selling it. Want me to be interested in trying out a different game? Tell me how it is cool, what makes it unique? Do you seem excited when you tell me about it? The pitch for the new game is a big factor in how warm I am to trying it. Sell me on it.

Finally, I like for the person that will be running the game to know the rules pretty well. A lot of questions come up in one-shots. How does this work? I want to do this, what do I need to roll? What skill do I use? Do I want to roll high or low? Quick answers to these questions keep things moving quickly and keep things from getting bogged down during play.

I have been pretty spoiled by our de facto RPG expert in our group. He is very well versed in all things RPG and is an encyclopedia of rules knowledge of a myriad of systems. When he’s pitching a new game system I am much more apt to say yes.

Now that I have covered what gets me most interested in breaking my routine and trying a new game, let’s look at what I most want to try out in 2012. I have three games on that list. FiascoThe One Ring, and Dragon Age.

Fiasco interests me because I keep hearing great things about it on various social networks. It is also outside my norm from what I understand, yet it still intrigues me. My RPG expert in my group is familiar with it, now I just need to talk him into running it!

The One Ring is a game I have purchased and also have interest in either running or playing a small mini-campaign in. Followers of The Iron Tavern have seen me talk about the game before, but it looks like it does an excellent job of painting a Tolkien world through game mechanics. The combat system also looks interesting too me and quite different than many of the d20 systems I am used to.

And finally, Dragon Age has recently caught my eye. The artwork on the cover of the upcoming 3rd set is very impressive and I downloaded the Quickstart Guide as a result. It looks very promising and might be a viable option for remote play over Google Hangouts or Skype due to less dependence on a battlemat.

In closing, here’s to breaking out of your normal gaming routine to try something a little different in 2012!