Progression and Resignation

So, we’re three-quarters of a year into the little experiment I began toward the end of 2011, attempting to convert my coworkers into gamers.  Despite all the odds that were aligned against it, it appears to be a rousing success.  My five core players are still enjoying themselves, their characters are evolving and many have begun creating secondary characters that are often very different from their first attempts.  Players who started off as magicians are turning to cybernetics and vice versa.  There are even a few coworkers who have watched the exploits of the intrepid runners and have expressed an interest in joining the mayhem.

Seeing these new characters come to life, with fresh takes on old concepts is fascinating and exciting for someone who’s been doing this as long as I have (after talking to my local crew it was soon realized that it’s actually closer to 15 years I’ve been a gamemaster for Shadowrun…I suddenly feel old).  Seeing genuinely flawed and scarred characters, rather than taking convenient flaws, is refreshing.  One of my new players has even expressed an interest in trying her had at the GM seat, which puts me in the almost-unique position of a player at my own game.  Out of all the games that I run in person or online, it’s the sessions I run with my coworkers that I look forward to the most.

However, not all experiments pan out.  In the early days of the system, when it was being distributed by Catalyst, I adopted the CthulhuTech system and quickly assimilated the rules.  I found the mechanics unique but fun and the setting to be eccentric, but enjoyable.  I grew to like the setting of the near-future, bordering on the end of days, but with that spark of hope that humanity can hold back their extinction (and in true Lovecraftian style, being sorely misguided).  I’ve tried on numerous occasions to run CthulhuTech with my local group and despite the large body of players I lead into fantasy realms every week, I found myself with a near empty table.

Many said they didn’t want to adopt yet another system, others disliked one part of the genre mashup or the other (mecha, sci-fi and/or Cthulhu mythos).  Regardless, any attempt I’ve made to spark interest in the game has seemingly fallen on deaf ears.  When I run the game at conventions, it typically goes well, but I’ll hardly do well running a system once a year.  With Wildfire themselves operating below radar it hardly bodes well for the continued support for the game.

So, I feel it is inevitable that after Phantasm later this month, I will not likely continue to work on material for CthulhuTech.  As much as I’ve enjoyed the source material, there appears to be little local interest in the game.  Honestly, I have been mulling over the idea of trying my hand at Eclipse Phase to get my sci-fi/horror fix.  I’ve heard excellent things…

I certainly won’t be tossing my CthulhuTech material (I have a healthy play-by-post game going online and I do have fans of the game at local Cons), but if nothing else, once the material from Phantasm has been posted after the Con, there likely will be little in the way of new material.  If you know of a good, dark sci-fi setting I should try, let me know.  I’m in the market, as it were.

J.

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~ by 1nsomniac on September 7, 2012.

5 Responses to “Progression and Resignation”

  1. I have been running Eclise Phase for a while, and it’s a good system. And I have had no difficulties in linking Cthluhu stuff to the various disasters inherntin the gae world…

    –Anders

    • The creative team behind Eclipse Phase did some awesome stuff with Shadowrun in the past, so I can imagine the system is pretty cool.

  2. The downside of having so many great games out there is having so many great games that you are not playing – or cannot.

    If space opens in your Cthulhutech Play-by-post, I would certainly enjoy a chance to join.

    Have you looked at Blue Planet at all? With the new revised edition currently being released, the game might finally get some traction in the game community at large… maybe. It would have to compete with all the clone copies of D&D, of course.

    • You can check out Salroth.com (the site I run my games on). I run a CthulhuTech and Shadowrun play-by-post and every character has their own story (saves a game being derailed by a player dropping out. I will admit, I have not exactly been posting regularly, so it’s moving at a snail’s pace. I’ve lost about half of my players at this point, but if you want to join either game, feel free to sign on to the site and drop me a message (my handle’s Insomniac on the forum…shocker, I know)

      We had a short-lived Blue Planet campaign. Neat setting, but it didn’t resonate with our players (same fate as CthulhuTech). I may broach the subject again, in order to keep things varied.

      • I will check out Salroth.com on the weekend. Even a snail’s pace is much more gaming as a player than I usually get.

        Blue Planet seems to be one of those beloved games that nobody plays. I half-expected Avatar to make it more accessible and easily explained, but living over here on the far side of the planet, it has been hard to judge.

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