Monday, 29 September 2014

For the People! (or Dear God, what have I done?)

Well, with Mad Science out and Gencon being merely an attend event for me this year, you would think I would be smart enough to take a bit of a break this fall, and focus in on getting my new day job in order. That is a very reasonable thought, and isn’t even close to what I ended up doing. Instead of easing off the gas, I floored it.

Giving Back to the Community
Being new to the Panama City Area, I was looking for a way to meet other gamers and have some fun. My arrival coincided with the release of the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I offered the local game store (Comic Emporium) proprietor to run a once a week open game of the new 5th Ed so that people could learn the new game. I would get to meet new gamers and have fun, AND give back to the gaming community by teaching new players the ropes.

Now, while I have mentioned that D&D is not my preferred game, it has always been a very serviceable game, and I have burned many hours blasting through dungeons and even fighting a dragon or two. The new version of D&D is, in my opinion, the best version to date. It is fast and smooth, but keeps the heroic D&D feel. So I bought the new book at Gencon, read up on the rules, created an episodic campaign, put up an advert and hoped players would show. Due to a serendipitous event, my first session was overflowing with players. Things slowed down to a manageable 3 players the following week, and 4 players the week after that, but last Friday hit 9 players! Next week I might have more!

I will take a moment to remind you that I prefer small groups. Remnants was always designed with 3 or 4 players in mind, while Warbirds works best with 3 to 6. Dealing with 9 players in a system as complicated as D&D, even streamlined 5th Ed D&D, is a rough go, and I had one hell of a time keeping up. The saving grace of a group that large is that there was always someone who grabbed whatever bait I dangled in front of them, and there was too much chaos for the players stop each other from making foolish mistakes.

If I do hit 10 players next week, I am going to have to split the group in half. I was thinking an early game and a late game, or run two parties while GMing for both, but I think Cait has the most elegant solution: an A game and a B game that are played on alternate weeks. I have to check with my players, but while there are GM’s that can run 10+ groups, I have never been one of them.

Opening My Big Mouth
So a while back, this thread popped up on Reddit. Being the foolish fool that I am, I replied when Warbirds got a mention, and I sort of accidentally committed Outrider Studios to an unplanned project. As a result of my folly, The Jet Age Sourcebook for Warbirds is nearly finished the draft process. I hope to write up the last few jets within the week, and have it ready for editing in early October. The plan is for it to be similar in style to the WWII Sourcebook as a PDF-only release with lots of public domain photos instead of art.  

In making the new book, I had to break one of my personal rules of game design and include a chart. The chart is both simple and colour coded, but a chart none-the-less. It turns out that once you explore the complexities of Beyond Visual Range air combat, a chart becomes a necessity. Cait gave the chart a very suspicious once over, but decided to let it slide on the promise that there would be no other charts in the book and I would not increase the current chart’s complexity.

Oh, and once I finish this project, I still have another bucket of them waiting to go.

*Note: By “Chart” I mean that players must consult a grid to determine the result of an action(s). I don’t consider lists of stat blocks of vehicles or gear to be charts. You can just copy their statistics onto your character sheet and never look at them again.

More Theory
My posts of late have been more biographical and company-oriented of late. I have a few bits of theory that I definitely want to write on, and I will try to touch on them in the coming weeks and months.

Until then…


  1. I really like Warbirds, and Rapidfire system is by now my go-to system for rule-lite, fast-action rpgs. I'm very pleased to know there's more to come !
    Do you have plane for new products for Edge Rpg too ?

    1. Glad you like the game. As for Edge, we have a long-term plan to revise it, but that is still years out. Any other Edge products are low priority for now, sorry.