The Quest Goes Ever On...

 I guess I'm not the only wargamer who has in his head the ideal kind of rules he'd like to see for a specific period or genre they want to game.  The quest to find such a set can take us in many directions and through many different routes.  That's been my experience when it comes to VSF, Steampunk and Pulp Era gaming in general.

I'm sure many people have their own favourite system.  I could ask my virtual gaming community on G+ to see what you'd all recommend.  But that's the problem you see.  I'm clearly very picky, because I haven't settled with a single set so far.  Despite having only purchased sets I've had recommended to me.  And whilst they all have something wonderful about them, I come away form them all with my doubts.  Because I always seem to be looking for something more.
Take G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. for example.  I love this set of rules from Chris Palmer and Buck Surdu.  I really do.  What I like most about it is the way they have created rules to cope for all manner of conveyances and weapons without forcing a specific Victoriana upon the players.  Its simply a fantastic set of rules.  I also like the way they allow skills to define the various characters.  And I'm also quite fond of the way the 'extras' can fall by the wayside in their droves around the characters like in the movies.

But that last bit is also perhaps what I'm not so fond of in my quest for the perfect ruleset.  Whilst this is fine for a one off battle, I have my doubts whether this will work well in a campaign setting.  I'm wanting my group of adventurers to last a little longer than that.

So I guess I'm saying I want a game that is campaign based.
Can I just say how much I love Sauruan Safari?  It's simply brilliant.  Everyone I've played it with has thoroughly enjoyed it.  I love the way the rules allow the dinosaurs to move and react so you can concentrate on trying to stay alive and bag a T-Rex.
So why don't I use this system then?  Because at the end of the day it's just a Saurian Safari. No rules for an arch nemesis or man on man combat.  But on the plus side, it was this idea of the rules generating enemy actions that probably led me to Two Hour Wargames (albeit by a very tortuous route I doubt I can remember, let alone relate).  And as you know, I love the Reaction system, the same side and solo play options, and also the way PEF's (Possible Enemy Forces) are controlled.  You just never know what's going to happen next.  Which is exactly what I expect from some VSF and Pulp fiction.  More of this soon...
As you will see from the photo at the top of the post, I'm blessed to own all the titles produced so far for Osprey Wargames' In Her Majesty's Name.  Now, I love this take on the late Victorian Period.  And i love the game mechanics.  I like that it's a simple but effective system.  But ts very VSF in one perspective, and I'm wanting to be able to have a set of rules I can use for Pulp as well.
I've downloaded a copy of the Wolsung Steampunk rules.  I even read them a few times.  Trouble is, as an avid Malifaux player, they seemed like... well..how can I put this?  That's right, a bit of a ripoff.  They didn't float my boat.  And I'm guessing that in saying this, I made another discover in the process.  I'm actually looking for a lot less book keeping.  I want to enjoy the enfolding narrative of the game as the rules bring it to life on the tabletop before me.  I don't want to be comparing this bonus compared to that ability and the relative proximity of the effect of that artefact carried by her over there.  All Things Zombie has really taught me about the developing narrative.  Then again, so too did The Rules with No Name...
 

So I've decided to give up.

Seriously.
And thanks to the support of a very good friend of mine, I'm going to have a go at mashing together the best bits of all the above games into one rule set that I can use for my own take on Victoriana and Pulp Fiction.
I'm going to use Chain Reaction 3.1 as the bedrock to the rules.  This will allow me to avoid overcomplications and seek the narrative developed by the game.  PEF's will come into their own, as well as rules I'll need to write for creating arch nemesis characters.  Into that I'll throw GASLIGHT's take on creating fantastic weapons and vehicles.  I'll use a lot of the ideas for scenarios and complications from In Her Majesty's Name, and find a way of incorporating the Lost World dinosaurs from Saurian Safari in there too.  I'm going to need specific rules for different locations, and build in specific reaction charts for different enemies.

It's a lot of work ahead, but it's going to be a lot of fun!

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