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by Jeff Freeman


Random Thoughts

Reading the titles of Sandy's column makes me think the man is at least half Ferrengi. No guess as to the other half.

Definition of geek: The word 'Ferrengi' is in your spell-checker's custom dictionary.

Are there still not any decent sci-fi RPGs? Definition of decent is, one with starship combat that is complicated enough to entertain an entire crew of PCs, yet not overwhelm the poor GM, who must handle the opposing ship(s) all by himself.

I wonder if some sort of dual-system wouldn't solve that problem. Make the PC ships require a whole lot more *work* to pilot in combat while the NPC ships simply move and shoot.


I went back to GameVerse's web site. Again. It still sounds really, really neat... but I can't seem to make it do anything. What the hell is their point anyway? Is there a game to play or are there worlds to explore or no? Should I upgrade to Windows?

Sometimes people send me email asking if they can play RPGs with me. Hard to believe. Are you guys and gals paying attention at all?

Actually, I am kinda interested in joining a new group. I don't want to GM though. Too much work. And stay away from my house. Other than that, I'm game. Can I be one of those crab-critters from Traveller?

Speaking of GMing... Is finding something for the players to do, and then somehow making them care enough to do it, *all* that it boils down to? Sounds easy.

It's not, though.

Ever notice how often people confuse "roleplaying" with "talking a lot"? A yes-or--no question should be answered with either a 'yes' or a 'no' most of the time, I'm thinking, even if you are roleplaying.

Most sci-fi games consist of everyone sitting around for hours discussing "the plan", which falls apart five minutes after attempting to execute it. Then you just shoot everything in sight.

Most Fantasy Adventure games still consist of Killing Bad Things in Tunnels. And that *is* the plan.

Sometimes I have the strangest urge to play the Buck Rogers RPG.

I don't want to play anything new. All the good games were the original ones with really crappy rules systems that you just had to "make due" with.

Except FUDGE. Because it has that, "We're not finished designing this game yet"-edge to it. The really neat part is, they'll never finish designing the game. That's the whole point.

There's too much crap on the market, but 90% of game shop shelf space is devoted to three games.

I was sick of goth before being sick of goth was cool.

But I still don't have any tattoos or body piercings. Well, nothing that was done on purpose.

I'll probably buy the 2nd edition of Vampire anyway.

I hear it's going to be updated with all new pretentiousness and totally revised, overwhelming arrogance!

Let's see, from their website:

"Vampire brought mature themes, cutting-edge design, and an emphasis on character to a previously stagnant industry."

Our heroes! They *saved* the industry!

"Vampire further broadened the industry's horizons by becoming the first RPG to see treatment as a prime-time television series (Kindred: The Embraced)."

I'm sorry... I blinked. Did that last five episodes or was it six?


Hey, digging around their website is fun. Let's play count the F-words.

This is good, too:

"The World of Darkness, and VAMPIRE specifically, is first and foremost a horror setting, and one based on a genre that is in large part rated R. Frankly, this is the same argument I levy against those who complain about our games' "conceit" and "pretentiousness." Well, yeah. Lestat ain't exactly humble, or nice, or run of the mill."

Do I actually have to point out that Lestat doesn't make role-playing games? Or that these White Wolf people aren't, for goodness sakes, *really* vampires.


If you're being conceited and pretentious on purpose, then why are you arguing with people who say you are being conceited and pretentious at all?

Okay. Next web site, PLEASE.

Wait a second...

Trinity looks kind of cool. I wonder how they did starship combat...

Maybe I could use these rules for that 'Pigs In Space' campaign I've been meaning to run.

Now, on to the next website.

Darn. I was hoping PlainLabel would quote me on Pocket Fantasy: "Almost as much fun as a sex toy!"

I bet White Wolf would have used it.

I only thought there was too much crap on the market. There are too many web pages devoted to that crap. Most of them are publishers' home pages.

It all just looks so cool though.

Does the world really, really need another fantasy adventure game? Another sci-fi game? Another... well... anything?

Back home, I see RPGnet has added another fifty regular monthly columns.

Mine seems to be growing shorter... less coherent... and that's quite a feat. They weren't terribly coherent before.

First Love Boat, now Fantasy Island. How can the game industry hope to compete with television?

White Wolf, next time you save the industry, make sure it *stays* saved.

Comments? Try

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What do you think?

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All of Jeff Freeman's Acks

  • The One True Way to Roleplay, Online: July 20, 1999
  • What Were We Thinking? September 8, 1998
  • Random Thoughts August 9, 1998
  • Run With It! July 14, 1998
  • Background: I'm Evil! June 9, 1998
  • Who Wants to Role-Play? May 12, 1998
  • Playing Without Brains Apr 8, 1998
  • Ultima Online Looked Good Off March 10, 1998
  • The Perfect Game February 10, 1998
  • "INTRO TO RPGs" January 6, 1998
  • "Do I Have A Point?"
  • "LOOK BEFORE YOU LARP" November 11, 1997
  • "RPGs: Then and Now" October 7, 1997
  • Chicks in Gaming", September 9, 1997 (and its Danish translation)
  • The FUDGE review that inspired it.

    Other columns at RPGnet

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