Let's Pretend!

Rogue Trader – I've finally read through the full rulebook and am preparing to GM for the first time. In preparation I've listened to numerous play sessions and have read through the various prepared adventures. I'm hoping the game will run smoothly, but I'm a bit nervous about my player group and them jumping to far from the story. Making stuff up on the fly shouldn't be to hard but I really want to use all the material I have.

The other night I got the group together to build their characters. I really like the origin path system as it easily gives the characters a backstory. I had the players start with their career and work backwards. Most of the players just did what sounded cool without reading the stat modifiers. It was easy to do as a group because I could just read off the modifiers after everyone drew their path.

After everyone was done with the basic character stats we have: Rogue Trader, noble born from a failing Dynasty; an Explorator on the run form the law; a trigger happy Navigator; a Seneshal manservant; an angry imperial guard deserter as the Voidmaster; a xenophobic Missionary; and a bat-shit crazy Ex-Militant. 

This should be fun. If you want to learn more about the system check out this link.


Role Playing Games – I never got into RPGs. As a kid I had the "Big Red Box," bought Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, had all the books for the Dark Sun setting, the complete "Marvel Universe Handbook," all the books for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG as well as the Rifts tie-in, read all the novels available for any of the AD&D setings and had the Ral Partha Minis for the Chainmail game.  I never actually role-played. The farthest I ever got was making characters for all my friends with the TMNT game, of course we never played because explaining the rules took too long. Eventually I picked up my first White Dwarf at Taurus Comics in Port Huron, MI and was hooked on the Games Workshop universe. Of course I still could never find anyone to play because the rules took to long to explain.

Eventually I moved on to other things and put my hobbies away. That is until my friends started playing Magic the Gathering. This was during the Prophecy/Invasion period. I picked up a few pre-constructed decks and was hooked. One day at the local game store (two towns away) I saw the 3rd edition Warhammer 40K rulebook, remembering how much I enjoyed the "fluff" and models I picked it up along with a codex. I showed my friends at our next game night and they were interested. Digging through my attic I found my Rogue Trader Era Space Marines as well as the 2nd Edition Box. We played a few games and within a month everyone had their own army. We were now gamers.


That was a long aside to get to my point. Earlier this year, my friend found the classic Deadlands RPG and convinced us to try it out. He was also wise enough to get the anthologies of short stories to introduce us to the world. We made characters, developed our back-stories and began playing. Being my first time role-playing I wasn't sure what to expect. After our first session I was hooked, the game was interesting and you could have your character do whatever you wanted. I played a Huckster, which is a cross between a wizard and a gambler. My character's name was Solomon Grundy and his family was curse by what equates to a demon in the Deadlands setting. He shared ownership of a traveling carnival with a "Mad Scientist" and was on recruiting mission to find showgirls. Our group also had a gambler, photographer, surgeon, indian, and a clueless mad scientist with a flamethrower.

We played through two encounters with everyone showing up for the sessions. Then things just fell apart. 

I've come to the realization that unless you have a dedicated small group of guys there's no way to have an on-going story driven RPG campaign. Which is a shame because I really enjoyed the setting and the game. Perhaps one day we'll pick it up again, but for now miniature war games seem to be the best fit.