During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Which RPG Have You Played the Most Since August 2016?
Most of my gaming for the past year has been Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. While I really appreciate that it provides something more like a 1st and 2nd edition experience while still introducing some story gaming elements, it’s not the system I’d have chosen. That’s not knocking the game by any means, but after being involved in the hobby for *cough* almost 40 years, I’m not necessarily overwhelmed that I keep landing back at the default. It’s like how you and your friends always end up going to that one restaurant that you can all agree on. It’s the safe choice and it’s perfectly fine, but sometimes you crave something different.
Satisfying My Group
The reason I’m doing 5th edition is because my group, with the exception of my wife, are all new to tabletop roleplaying. They wanted an authentic Dungeons & Dragons experience. So while I’m champing at the bit to try out something like Dungeon World, or to do a short campaign using Primetime Adventures, or even use my own Lighthouse Roleplaying System, I can’t deprive them of the brand-name, the classes-and-levels structure, and all the polyhedral dice.
It’s About the Experience
I will admit that it has been kind of fun running just the rules as written and using a published adventure. It’s been a long time since I ran an adventure that I did not make up myself. I think it’s been even longer since I didn’t impose at least one or two house rules. Notably, I’ve always used tables for critical hits and fumbles, rather than basic double damage and absolute miss. Usually, I ignore XP and level characters up after a number of sessions equal to their current level; a character who turns 5th level will, after 5 sessions, reach 6th level and then after 6 more sessions will hit 7th. These players bask in receiving XP at the end of every session, and sometimes demand it at the end of each encounter. I won’t take that joy away from them.
Check Them Out
If you want to see what Lighthouse is about, the core rules are cheap. It’s the engine for all of the roleplaying games I’m going to be publishing going forward. If you haven’t checked out 5th Edition D&D yet, I recommend the Beginner’s Box. Pick up Dungeon World for an alternate take on dungeoneering and story gaming. There’s never a time when I won’t recommend Primetime Adventures, one of my favorite games of all time.