Bring out your dead!

There was a poll and discussion going on recently at EnWorld regarding how people feel about having the bad guys in their game brought back from the dead. Depending on the genre it’s a common enough trope, however like anything else it can become stale if used too much.

It’s one thing if you are playing a Supers game and the villain doesn’t really die in the first place.  How often in the comics does it turn out that the hero’s arch-nemesis appears to be killed, but it turns out he initiated an elaborate escape plan that saved him at the last moment? And let’s not forget the ever popular “it was a clone/robot all along”, while the BBEG was snugly secured away in his fortress of eeeeevil. But even in the Supers genre this starts to become a bit too much for me.

When I think of the possibility of bringing back a dead villain in a game I run, I like to think about the bigger picture that surrounds the villain in both the world and story. The first thing I consider is whether or not the villain’s minions want to bring him back. Even if explicit instructions have been left behind, how loyal are the minions? And do any of them have ambitions of their own that might outweigh their master’s wishes?

The next thing I mull over is whether or not there is someone else who would want the villain to stay dead, who also has the power to make it happen.  Is there another villain that might have seen the dead one as a threat to their own plans? Perhaps this is a great opportunity for them to roll in and wipe out the dead villains remaining forces, insuring that none are left to make any attempt at bringing them back.

Overall, I think taking a broader view of the situation rather than just arbitrarily resurrecting a dead villain can make your game world a more vibrant and living place. Unless of course you just want to mess with your players’ heads!  Winking smile

What do you think?

New Year, New Game

The fine folk over at Gnome Stew have issued a challenge to gamers for 2012: run a new game this year!. Run a new campaign in your favorite system, run a new game system you haven’t tried before, whatever. Just run a new game. As part of this challenge, they’ve created a contest as well.  Write a blog post about whatever new game you are going to run, and you could win a prize package worth over $150! All of the details can be found here. I’m not actually going to enter the contest, but I do plan on running a few new games this year.

First, I hope to run another one-shot session of the Dresden Files RPG. I ran one 2 years ago at Gen Con that went over pretty well, and another one several months ago which was a bit bumpy due to insufficient knowledge of the magic system. I plan on rereading the rules soon and then I want to run another session to give the magic system a good shakedown.

Second, I plan to run a playtest of the new D&D rules once the cat is out of the bag at the D&D Experience later this month. I’m excited about the possibilities based on the list of designers on the team, and their stated goals for how they want the game to play.

Finally, I am going to run at least a one-shot of the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. This is another game I am excited about, based on their use of the Cortex Plus system as the base for it. I’m always interested in new attempts at rules for supers, and this one looks pretty good so far.

So what about you, devoted reader? Are you entering the contest? What new games might you be looking to run this year?

You Say You Want A Resolution…

Well, it’s that time again. The old year has been tossed aside, and a fresh one is slotted up and ready for us to run roughshod over. Now, I’ve never been one for making resolutions, and the few that I have made were less than successful. But I’m going to give it another try here anyway.

My resolution for 2012 is to make a serious effort to post content to this blog. As such, I’m shooting for a bare minimum of 1 post per week, regardless of how I feel or what’s going on in my life. If I can pull it off, I will have nearly doubled my output from last year (a dismal 27 posts!)

At the moment, I have no real idea what the content will be. I’d like to continue with Fiction Friday, but I think right now it’s more important to get the words up here, so if I have fiction to put up on a Tuesday, I’ll fire it off rather than wait on it until Friday. I reserve the right to change my mind though! (Hey, my blog, remember!)

Once I’ve gotten into some kind of posting rhythm again, I’d like to try and get more discussion going in the comments. As a first step towards that, I’ve removed the requirement of registering before you can comment.  I’ll be monitoring comments before allowing them to post, just in case the spammers get through the site’s filters, and you’ll still need to provide a name and valid email address (which won’t be displayed), but now anyone can just drop on in and leave a comment. Hopefully this will encourage more feedback and discussion.

Alright, I’ve got 1 post in the can now…only 51 more to go (and hopefully a lot more!).