Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Look! Up In The Sky!

Last night, I got word that Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds Third Edition Hero's Handbook was available for pre-order, with a PDF copy thrown in for another five bucks.

 Needless to say, I jumped on that more or less immediately.  Yes, I already have DC Adventures, which is the same rules set, but I also knew this would be a cleaned up and reorganized version of said rules.  Also, I'm a sucker for just about anything Steve Kenson writes.

At first look through, I'm really pleased with the purchase.  GR did a nice job of re-organizing and changing the presentation of some key bits of information, clarifying a few things, and generally making 3e a tighter, better product.  And the new "iconic" characters are pretty sweet (especially Princess).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wherein I Call BS

I was going to post a long rant here about people who feel that engaging in alt-history is the only way to run a sustained Old West campaign.  I decided against the long and cranky version and will go with the short and sweet:

"Gunsmoke" ran for twenty years on television (635 episodes), not to mention a decade on the radio.  Never once did it have to dip into magic, steampunk, kung fu, or a version of the west where the CSA was still a nation.

"Silverado" and "Lonesome Dove" are both blueprints for awesome RPG campaigns that could run for many sessions.  In neither do the main characters end up movers and shakers on the map of the US.  The same can be said for virtually every classic (and not-so-classic) western ever made, hundreds of radio shows you've probably never heard of, and thousands of novels. Even out-there westerns like "Briscoe County, Jr." and "The Wild Wild West" still operated in a recognizable late 1800s American West, without someone messing up the timeline or altering the map to suit their needs.

The reasons for this are actually pretty simple.  The essence of the western is the individual (or small group of iconoclasts) dealing with the inevitable waning of the frontier.  Whether it's the tension between law and lawlessness, or the power-hungry versus the weak, or civilization versus savagery, these are the themes that recur time and again.  The stories and their stakes are largely personal.  Even in books and films where politics plays a part, it's almost always local.  As a result, successes are small scale and often temporary.  There are no epic foes to overcome.  Becoming a legend doesn't keep you from being shot in the back by a guest in your own home while adjusting a picture.  Honestly, the real success is surviving long enough to settle down and stop living dangerously.  Maybe that's not what some folks want out of a gaming experience and I can certainly understand that, but it's a cornerstone of the genre.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a feature, not a bug.

All in all, there seems to be a conflation in some people's heads between alt-history and historical fiction.  Historical fiction is the middle ground between the actual history in textbooks and "What If?" For my money, it's entirely possible to run a "realistic" western game entirely in the terms of historical fiction without slipping over into the realms of alt-history.

(Hmmm...turns out that wasn't so short.)

Friday, December 24, 2010


No gaming today.  I forgot we had someone coming over in the afternoon that would've made it impossible.  But we've still got tomorrow afternoon/evening and Sunday for me to get my revenge.  Instead, I spent the better part of the day reorganizing my gaming shelves.  Being an old gamer and a packrat, I've accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.  And even though I've sold off some bits and put more in storage, the shelves in my study are still filled to bursting.

And then there's the overflow.  Books piled up on my side of the bedroom (fortunately hidden from view for the most part by the bed, but still a navigation hazard) as whatever is interesting this week gets hauled off the shelf for bedtime.  To help combat this, a few years ago, I set up a small bookshelf in our bedroom, with the goal of keeping stuff I was most likely to want to read at hand, rather than stacking it up on the floor or nightstand.  Sort of an "A-list" as it were.

Of course, that only helped so much.  My tastes changed, and inertia set in, and most of the shelf space wasn't devoted to the stuff I'm most likely to need these days, so it was time for a change.  Also, roughly 90% of the books I'd gotten at and since GenGon had never been shelved, but were dwelling in piles of their own on the floor of my study.  I decided to fix it, which meant trying to decide what got to stay on the shelf in the bedroom and what had to go. 

Ultimately, what went was my Hero System stuff.  Mind you, I love the Hero System.  I've played it more than anything else in the past 25 years, and it's still my most likely go-to for a sustained superhero campaign.  But I really haven't broken out the Hero stuff in well over a year now, and the odds of me needing, say, Asian Bestiary II or The Ultimate Skill on a moment's notice are pretty damned slim.  So, they've been moved out, in favor of an assortment of Urban Fantasy/Horror games that are more likely to see use.  Aberrant also got moved into the study (I'm not sure what it was doing on the A-shelf in the first place) to make way for my Feng Shui stuff (on the off chance I get to run it in the coming year).

Do you prioritize your collection?  Do you consider your gaming stuff a collection at all?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Came, I Saw...

I got my butt kicked.

This afternoon, The Boy and I broke out the Star Wars minis for a massive (by our standards) 250 pt per side battle.  As expected, he opted for the bad guys, which suited me fine.  Or so I thought.

We'd agreed that our armies could be drawn from any era, which was probably where things went completely wrong for me, as he drew a force composed of about 2/3 droids under the command of General Grievous (who has a really frightening and perhaps unbalanced Commander Effect) with the remaining third made up of Yuzhan Vong, the Force-Resistant baddies of some of the later fiction.

For my part, I went with a really well put together squad of mixed Clone Troopers, under the orders of Commander Rex, supporting Mace Windu.

(You'll note that even though we could draw from other eras, I went for consistency.  Because that's how I roll.  Not that it helped.)

Anyway, given the fact that his droids were ridonkulously deadly thanks to Grievous, and Windu was hindered by the Vong, I lost pretty badly.  I conceded on Turn 3, much to his delight.

We'll be playing again tomorrow, but I think I'm going to check the errata on Grievous.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Budget Minis!

So, today I decided to drive into Houston to buy comics, and, since I was in the area, check out the nearby Target to see if they had any cheap Star Wars Minis boosters.  They did.  A bunch, in fact.  At anywhere from 40-50% off original list price.  I bought a bunch.  Not the entire bunch, but probably half of what they had left, a more or less equal distribution of the Clone Wars, Galaxy at War, Jedi Academy, and Legacy of the Force sets.

The Boy and I spent about two hours this afternoon unpacking and sorting them.  He's in his room refreshing himself on the rules so we can play tomorrow.  I guess it's either an early xmas present for him, or a late birthday gift (he turned 11 last Friday), but it's as much a present for me, since this is something we both enjoy, and should I ever run a SW game, more minis is a good thing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Few More Star Wars Thoughts

(I had four teeth pulled this morning, so there's no way on Earth I'm going to get much done in any sort of creative capacity today.  At best, I can meander further down Memory Lane on the subject that's been close at hand lately.)

Thought One:

For the three or four youngsters who might be reading this, 1977 was a different time for movies.  There were no nationwide releases, except for the very biggest films.  As no one expected Star Wars to do well, it opened in only a few theaters, and then, as the critical acclaim hit, spread out across the country.  It took until July to open in San Antonio (my hometown), and the anticipation was sheer murder.  For weeks all I knew about it was little bits gleaned from the trailers and a review Gene Shalit did on "The Today Show" that contained a two minute clip of the Falcon vs TIE Fighters sequence, with hardly any context.

Finally, the week before it opened, my local newspaper started serializing a condensed version of the novel (newspapers actually used to do this, or at least the San Antonio Express-News did, as I remember reading several books that way).  Over the course of that week, I got my first indoctrination into Star Wars, along with a few still photos. So, I actually read it before I saw it.  In doing so, I got a few things wrong.  For instance, I thought Darth Vader's last name (I never assumed his first name was anything but Darth) was pronounced Vah-der, instead of Vay-der.  I also thought there was a long i in Wookiee, like Woo-KY-ee.

The other truth of movies back in 1977 was, without a video market, movies stayed in the theaters for months on end if they were making money.  My second viewing of "Star Wars" was for my younger brothers' birthday, six months later, and the film hadn't left the theater.  The following summer saw it re-released. Of course, by that time, we'd been inundated with stuff.  My brothers and I had action figures (sadly, our cloth-robed Jawa is lost to the sands of time, but I still have my Han Solo).  They had bedsheets (which my son now sleeps on occasionally).  We staged massive lightsaber battles in the back yard using the plastic tubes stolen out of my Dad's golf bad.  And, on the gaming end, I had my little rules-hacked together Jedi vs. Stormtroopers game.  I'm pretty sure I let the Jedi throw fireballs, since there was nothing in the established canon that said they couldn't.

Thought Two:

My son just turned eleven.  To say he's a fan of the franchise would be a bit of an understatement.  Of course, the stuff he loves is largely the kung fu Jedi, the Clone Troopers, and the droids that try to kill them.  Thanks to this interest, we have a decently little accumulation of stuff from WoTC's minis game (which is a decent little skirmish game).  With the death of WoTC's Star Wars license, I've been finding booster packs at Target for cheap.  I wonder if the secondary market has declined any, because I wouldn't mind a few dozen more Stormtroopers.

Thought Three:

If one were doing a Star Wars game with limited canon, would the Holiday Special be part of that canon?  Discuss.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Distractions and Departures

I need to write up some NPCs and critters, but the Barbarians of Lemuria round is basically written.  DC Adventures is going to be harder.  For one thing, BoL PCs can be pretty easily knocked out in a few minutes.  DCA requires a considerably longer time.  Also, since I'm adapting characters from media, this will entail a fair bit of adjudication on my part.  When I submitted the adventure, I expected the two volumes of heroes and villains to be out, at least in PDF form, but even if they were, I'd still end up changing the characters to better fit their animated versions.

For the time being, I'll just work on the plot and make sure it all fits into place.

Of course, since I'm supposed to be working on this, I am, of course, thinking about other games.  At the moment, the two topics of most interest are Feng Shui and Star Wars.  A thread opened up on RPGnet recently about running Star Wars using only "A New Hope" (aka "Star Wars" for those of my generation) as the sole piece of canon.  This turned up a somewhat earlier thread and they both make for interesting reads as well as inspiring a slew of memories.

I was fourteen when "Star Wars" came out in 1977.  In fact, I saw it on my birthday, because movies didn't open simultaneously nationwide back then.  Fourteen was also the same time I discovered wargaming, which led directly to Melee and Wizard, which eventually led to D&D and then other RPGs.  But within weeks of learning how to play Melee and Wizard, I'd already begun modifying them.  One of my early efforts was an adapation of Star Wars.  This was still a couple of years before of The Empire Strikes Back, and the only other contributions to the canon at the time were Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Marvel's Star Wars comics (which are effing CRAZY), and little snippets that would show up here and there in the pages of Starlog magazine.

My rules mods were rudimentary.  My sense of what the world was about was, in retrospect, just crazy.  Dragons from Wizard were re-skinned as Krait Dragons.  Blasters were stupid deadly, Imperial Stormtroopers couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, and a Jedi Knight was the most powerful force on the board.  All in all, I suppose, not that different from any incarnation of the RPG rules.  What I do remember is playing the hell out of it for at least a couple of months before D&D came along and introduced me to Traveller (which I immediately houseruled to include lots of LucasArt Intellectual Property).

What I really remember though is that sense of sheer potential.  Since virtually nothing was known, it seemed virtually anything was possible.  The thing is, I don't think I could run a game today that could capture that lightning in a bottle.  Things are just too well nailed down and creating the setting would be an enormous exercise in "OK, this exists, but in this game it's like X instead of Y.  Also, Z doesn't exist at all."  In short, it's fun to think about, but actually doing it would require more work and player buy-in than would probably be worthwhile.

And if thinking about that approach isn't enough, there's another that's been intruding on me.  A few weeks ago, I managed to score a copy of Bill Slavicsek's A Guide to the Star Wars Universe: From Airspeeders to Zorba the Hutt and Beyond -- Everything You Need To Know About the Expanding Universe of Star Wars! (2nd Edition).  It's from 1994 or so, during the period when Star Wars pretty much existed as a source for novels and comics, computer games, and an RPG published by West End Games.  In fact, WEG had pretty much become the official keepers of Star Wars continuity, so it's no surprise that Mr. Slavicsek's name would grace the cover of this weighty tome.  Every word of it comes from well-before "The Phantom Menace," and as such, entries like The Clone Wars and the Sith are wonderfully vague.  The Marvel comics are intentionally left out of canon (as are the newspaper daily strips that no one but me seems to remember), but pretty much anything else they could cram in is there.  It's a wonderful testament to the state of the art, a decade or so after the supposed end of the franchise.  I think it would make an awesome game setting as well, provided the players could be well enough informed about the differences between the universe described in the Guide and the one Mr. Lucas later decided to saddle us with.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm about 500 words into my first pass on "Caravan of Flowers," the Barbarians of Lemuria adventure I'm running for OwlCon.  As such, I'm now at the point where my inner conversation has shifted from "What happens next, and why?" and to "Yeah, yeah, got it.  Do I really need to write that down?"

This is also what I refer to as "the hard part."  See, I'm great at coming up with ideas, and I can flesh them out on a whim, as long as I'm not having to translate them into words on paper (or screen).  When I wrote "Sins of the Past," the biggest challenge was turning a set of notes that are perfectly useful for my GMing purposes (less than 1000 words, the entire thing fitting on one sheet of paper, apart from NPCs) into something a person paying for the product could use without feeling ripped off (about 10,000 words and thirty pages of manuscript).  Granted, the final product certainly made the work worth it, but it was far from easy.

Granted, these notes are only for my use and don't need to be nearly so detailed.  But, if I DON'T write at least some of the salient details down, I know I'll end up tripping myself up come the actual game. So, I guess I need to put the internet down and get some more work done.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gaming Over The Holidays?

In about two hours, my holidays begin in earnest.  I'm off next week, working four days between Christmas and New Years Day (which are historically pretty low-impact), and then off the week after that.  So, at total of four work days in the next three weeks or so.

In that time, I've got to get some writing done, but I'm also hoping to get some gaming in along the way.  My regular groups are both on hold until after the holidays, but I still have some prospects.  Specifically, I'm hoping to finally play "Battles of Westeros" and possibly "Legacy of the Unconquered Sun."  The final weekend of my time off features a trip up to Fort Worth to visit friends who are big on board games, so I'm thinking if I take them with me, I might be able to scare up some players.

How about you?  Are the holidays a time for more or fewer gaming opportunies?

Monday, December 13, 2010

C'est La Vie

Back when I kicked off the Blogger incarnation of this site (all of two weeks ago or so), I said I'd hoped I'd be able to get back into the groove of writing and gaming and creating, as my work stress was finally dropping off.


Last week, my wife found out she's going to be laid off in early January.

This week, a long-planned server upgrade at work very suddenly kicked into "Do it now!" mode.  Actually, we're doing it on Thursday night, but it means a couple of very long days ahead doing the final prep work for it, and actually implementing it will make for a very late night followed by a very early morning.

On the bright side, after that, I've got a week off.  Then a week on.  Then another week off.

If I live that long.

I'm still planning on rocking the dice tomorrow night.  Something tells me I'm going to need to kill some goblins.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Casting Call: The Justice League

My DC Adventures round for Owlcon is called "Justice League Unlimited - The Return of Lex Luthor."  I'm a big fan of the animated JL and its continuity, which feels like the best of DC Comics distilled down to its purest essence.

I've got the basics of the plot sketched out, and some ideas of what bad guys (and gals) I'll be using, but coming up with the Justice Leaguers for PCs is a bit more challenging.  For this post, I'm going to "blog out loud" my thought processes in picking the heroes for this adventure.

While it's easy to just stat out the so-called "Original Seven" (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter) and go with them, constructing an adventure around them, particularly one focusing on Mister Luthor is a bit trickier.  Even the somewhat powered-down cartoon versions of the JL are potential plot-wreckers, and a GM doesn't have the same sort of editorial fiat an animation director has.  For instance, the Martian Manhunter's telepathy is quite capable of bypassing a mystery that the heroes will need to solve. The same goes for Wonder Woman's magic lasso, though bringing it to bear appropriately might be trickier.  As an experienced supers GM, I can certainly find ways around this, but the trick is to do it without feeling contrived.  For a one-shot like this, it's generally easier to just leave potential plot killers out of the mix in the first place.

So, first off, I'm going to look at each of the seven and see what they could bring or take away from the mix:

Batman:  I can already tell you he's out.  First off, even in the JL, Bats doesn't play well with others.  His investigation skills are valuable, but there's too much temptation for anyone who knows the character to try and play him as "Bat-God."  Besides, my friend Rick is already running an All-Batman game at the con.

Superman:  I loves me some Superman, but he's another non-starter.  Too powerful.  Also, with Luthor as the focal villain, it's too personal.  A player with Superman would be entirely justified in single-mindedly dogging Luthor (never crossing the line) until he discovered the truth behind the plot.  I think Big Blue will be off saving aliens halfway across the galaxy.

Wonder Woman:  As noted, her magic lasso is a potential plot-wrecker, but she's iconic and a powerhouse in her own right.  Also, I like to provide powerful female PCs in my games, so she's probably in.

Green Lantern: Too much potential for shortcutting the adventure.  Also, the Power Ring is all about options.  In a convention round, presenting a player with too many character options is just asking for the game to slow down while they ponder their choices.

The Flash:  A solid choice.  Wally is powerful, but unfocused.  Definitely in.

Hawkgirl:  By the end of the JLU series, she was back in the League, but still not entirely trusted by the people of Earth.  She was also in a bit of relationship limbo due to certain future events revealed by time travel.  I like her though.  She's a good close-in fighter with lots of mobility.  I'll put her on the possible list.

Martian Manhunter:  A non-starter for the reasons listed above.

So, assuming I go with those three, I now have a Powerhouse (Wonder Woman), a Speedster (Flash), and an In-Fighter (Hawkgirl).  I'm lacking any sort of Ranged Specialist, a Mentalist (by design), and any sort of esoteric powers/specialties types.  The game is set up for six players, so I've got three more slots to fill.  Time to hit up the expanded League.

For a Ranged Specialist, I don't think I can do much better than Green Arrow.  He's versatile (all those cool arrows), has some decent investigative skills, and he's a smart-ass.  But unlike Green Lantern, his versatility is somewhat capped, making him a bit more manageable as a convention character.

Black Canary is a tempting choice.  She's got some ranged ability (the Canary Cry) along with being one of the top hand-to-hand fighters in the DCU.  She's also generally mentioned in the same breath as Green Arrow.  On the downside, she's a third character who's basically a skilled person in a costume (Canary Cry notwithstanding).  Also, while I never know what sort of mix of players I'm going to get for my games, I do know my groups are generally mostly composed of male gamers.  Plenty of guys don't have any trouble playing a female character, especially in a one-shot, but I've run into a few who actually seemed to have an issue with it.  Making my PC mix 50/50 male to female suits my sensibilities, but it might create friction, and sometimes the path of least resistance is best.  For now, I'm going to list her as an "alternate."  I'll have her character sheet available when players choose and if someone wants to play her, they're more than welcome to do so.

So, what do I still need? At this point, I can start looking for more esoteric and obscure types.  One of the joys of Justice League Unlimited was the expansive list of guest stars.  A quick visit to The World's Finest website (your one-stop shop for all things Animated DCU) provides me with a handy list of every hero who appeared in an episode of the series.

Right off the bat, Mr. Terrific looks good.  He's got brains and investigative skills, gadgeteering, and those nifty little T-Spheres that can do a number of handy tricks.  Plus, in the comics he's in the JSA and I'm a huge JSA fan.  So he's in.

Looking at the roster, I'm thinking it's a little underpowered, at least by Justice League standards.  So that's going to rule out a slew of characters who are basically costumed adventurers.  Looking at the list, I think Captain Atom might be a good choice.  I think I'll pencil him in.

So, we've got Wonder Woman, Flash, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, Mister Terrific, and Captain Atom, with Black Canary as an alternate.  In terms of the adventure as written in my head, I think any combination of six heroes could handle it.  But if I've got fewer characters, I may need to prioritize the choices.  That's something I'll come back to once I've got thing plotted out more solidly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'd Best Get To Writing

Last night, I found out my Barbarians of Lemuria round for Owlcon has already filled via pre-registration, and my DC Adventures game is half-full, meaning both games should "make," if all the players show.

Having playtested BoL, I know what I'm going to change up for the con session.  DCA is still a bit more nebulous and stuck in my head plot-wise, but that's not entirely atypical at this stage in my creative process. I know who the major bad guy is, and I know what he wants.  I just need to figure out what he's going to do to get it, who's going to help him, and who specifically will stand in his way.  Then, you know, actually write it all up.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Would Make A Lousy D&D Adventurer

I'd probably make a lousy player character in any genre, but in a fantasy setting, I think I'd be extra-useless.  Yeah, I used to be a pretty competent fencer, back before my knees and ankles went south, but even in my prime, I had zero long-term endurance.  I'm horribly near-sighted, and worst of all, I suffer from chronic migraines.

Unless the magic system works in a 32-bit Windows environment, I'm not going to be much of a wizard either.

(The above is what happens when I spend the entire day laid out on my back with a throbbing headache.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Color Me Gobsmacked (If Happy)

From a thread about Adamant Entertainment's ICONS RPG over on RPGnet:

“Sins of the Past” is easily the best published adventure I have read in ages - ICONS or not. It’s has a strong storyline and solid set pieces while at the same time allowing for a lot of flexibility. But above all, it’s got heart. Not sure how else to put it, but it’s ultimately an adventure about people.

Also, the “In play test” sections are very helpful.

The only drawback is that it is that it just doesn’t fit in my current campaign.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think my mom had gotten an account at the Big Purple. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Games I Want To Play

The other day on RPGnet, someone put up the perennial "What Do You WANT To Play?" thread.  At the time, I just listed my answers rather quickly, but it got me to thinking about why I chose them, in terms of itches aren't getting scratched in my current games.

My reply was as follows:

World of Darkness (old, new, don't care, I've never managed to play a WoD game)
Dresden Files
A supers game (not concerned much with what system)

I didn't give any explanations, just threw them out.  Of the four, the top two are, I think, the most directly related to seeking out something different from my current games.
Legend of the Five Rings is, to my mind, almost the anti-D&D.  Granted, in its current incarnation (4th Edition), it's very much a toolbox and can be played in a host of styles, but the setting undercuts a lot of the standard assumptions in D&D.  Recently, I was going through some old notes printed off a website and I found this passage from a review of the first edition game:

"Let me get this straight," I thought. "You want me to play a fantasy RPG in which your characters bathe daily, are literate, polite to one another, and work in a team. You will be given a badge in the form of a pair of very sharp swords. Magic is considered a respectable, skilled profession among the upper classes, so five spellcasters in a group doesn't stretch plausibility. The warriors will be professionals with licenses to kill, but the second they overstep the bounds of their lord, they will be reined in, because the social order will be more powerful than any one man. There will be no mixing of incompatible characters such as thieves and ninja that inevitably lead to intra-party homicide.

"You want a system where you can kill or die in one sword stroke, so you actually have to think about the ramifications of a fight beforehand. You want to get away from the Conan fantasy in which you collect enough treasure to buy your own kingdom and having problems you can't solve with swords will not be reserved for "high-level" characters.

"You want courtly love, moral dilemmas, and loyalty to your lord to play an inherent part of the game system. You will define the role of women among each of the clans, creating a stereotype intended to be broken. You will have a responsibility to those you guard both above and below you, and you will have a license to kill. In other words, I as a GM will have a plausible reason why a mixed batch of armed psychos will get into trouble every week from now until eternity.

"Twist my frickin' arm."

 I'll admit, it's an attractive notion.  The new version of the rules is really nicely done, a big fat book that doesn't skimp on the details or the options.  But it would be a tough sell to my Tuesday group, and at the moment, I lack prospective recruits for a weekend game, so it remains on my "I Want To Play" list.

A World of Darkness game is similarly rooted in getting into something a bit deeper and character-driven, but it's also a glaring hole in my gamer resume.  Despite never being afraid of new games and new systems; despite owning tons of WoD stuff going back to the first edition of Vampire: the Masquerade; despite owning enough Goth recordings to make Ian Curtis kill himself all over again, I've never played any of them.  At this point, it's practically a "Thing," but not one I particularly enjoy.  I'd much rather get my feet wet by playing, but at this point, I'm considering running a one-on-one game with my wife (who has at least played Vampire).

The Dresden Files RPG is ubercoolnewshiny.  But I don't want to GM it.  I'm not even sure I completely grok the FATE system.  It's easily the crunchiest "rules-light" game I've ever met.  But I love Jim Butcher's world and I love the idea of creating your own city.  Granted, the last part is something any group could do, but DFRPG gives you tools to do it.  FATE didn't go over so well with the Tuesday crew.  I might could draft some players to run a weekend game, but I'd quickly find myself in the position of "He who knows the rules.  Sort of.", which isn't really to my liking, and since this is my list, I get to say what's what.

Lastly, I listed just about any sort of superhero game, if I could focus enough on a single system to get a campaign rolling. I could probably garner some players for such a game; but supers is sort of my fall-back position when I'm feeling creatively stagnant and feeling like I should GM SOMETHING.  It's familiar, comfortable ground, but I don't know if I have a sustainable supers game in me right now.  As it is, I'm still trying to piece together a one-shot for a convention in a couple of months.

So, what do YOU want to play these days?  What, if anything, do those choices say about what you want out of gaming?