What's All This?

Well, folks who know me know that I'm a gaming nut, mostly centered around playing RPGs.

This blog aims to record my attempts to map out a gamescape for myself in the Philippine setting, given that I don't really have much time to do so, what with my growing family, and work, and other real life concerns.

I try to keep updated on the news, share posts by other bloggers and what I think about them, and write about my thoughts on the impact that gaming has had on my life and the lives of others I've known (in person and virtually).

My Gaming Preferences

Favorite Games
There are two games that really taught me about role-playing and the importance of tactics and teamwork in all kinds of conflict resolution and problem solving in games (though to be fair, I'd include the people in the gaming groups that I played with). They are:
  • Champions (HERO System) - Superhero RPGs hold a fascination for me, because I was a big comic book collector back when I had more disposable income. I've tried the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG by TSR, the DC Heroes RPG by Mayfair Games, and most recently the Mutants & Masterminds RPG by Green Ronin, but Champions remains my game of choice. Tactical options, the concept of separating game effect from special effect, and the meshing of most of the game's mechanic philosophy with my own preferences make it my go-to game for any cross-genre game.
  • Call of Cthulhu (Basic Roleplaying) - there's something about how the system matches the game genre so well, the SAN mechanics, and the way the rulebook and many sourcebooks and adventures consistently reinforce the game's atmosphere and themes. I still hold Masks of Nyarlathotep up as one of the best RPG adventure campaigns ever.

Favorite Published Settings

  • Super-hero genre: the settings for Marvel Super-Heroes & DC Heroes could be considered a cheat, but they are. Especially since I tend to combine them into a single setting when I run Champions. I also liked the Mutants and Masterminds, and Champions Universe settings for its obvious fondness for the same source material and its lean yet evocative writing style. San Angelo also deserves mention for its game-changing take on a super-hero city.
  • Horror: Call of Cthulhu's 1920s era adventures - something about the era really draws me in, the time period, the look, and the sourcebooks that deliver on atmosphere-reinforcing information and wonderful telling details make this a winner for me. The modern Call of Cthulhu stuff didn't really work for me as a setting -- great for one shots though. And then Delta Green came around with its conspiracy theories and its wonderful twisting and updating of the Cthulhu Mythos, and I was sold!
  • High Fantasy: didn't really dabble in this area much, but I really liked Skyrealms of Jorune, Shadow World, and from the D&D contributions: portions of the Mystara setting (The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, The Principalities of Glantri, The Dawn of the Emperors Boxed Set, and the Night's Dark Terror, and Isle of Dread modules) and portions of the Forgotten Realms setting.
  • Space Fantasy: without a doubt, the hands-down winner is Fading Suns. There's something about being able to run adventures in a universe obviously inspired by the Dune series and the Hyperion Cantos (and perhaps even a smidge of Against a Dark Background) but is unique enough to be its own setting.

The year 2011 was another learning experience in terms of writing a series of articles. Mainly I learned that I need to set aside time to read and write for some of the series that I had planned -- not all entries are easy to do, and that's what killed some of my attempts.

Still, in 2012 I'd like to continue doing reviews. Perhaps not all new products, some older ones -- even those that are not available in PDF on RPGNow or DriveThruRPG. I've become fascinated by what elements make certain RPG products work better than others and some of my fave rulebooks and sourcebooks come from back in my gaming past.

I'd also like to restart my postings on Enigmundia, and maybe combine that work with the Shards work I was doing.

I'd like to start up some support for the Hero System, sustain my support for Fading Suns, and figure out how to write some stuff for a science fiction campaign inspired by many sources.

That's a lot. I do hope I can do it.

Goals for 2012

Just so I don't suffer blogpost amnesia, I write this more for myself than for you guys.

Of course, I'm going to continue doing RPG reviews broken up into:
  • new products
  • old products

I'm going to return to Enigmundia focusing on two areas:
  • Zan Lazario - primarily a take on Mystara that's inspired by the Spanish colonization of the Philippines
  • Kingdom of Wheels - a more high fantasy take on the traditional fantasy world with Megadungeons, hollow worlds, and non-human races

And I'm going to focus on several key RPG properties
  • Fading Suns
  • Hero System
  • OSR rulesets and products
Let's go 2012.

From 2011

After a stellar year of posting in terms of volume and variety in 2010, I'm hoping to narrow my blog posting in terms of focus.

This year I hope that most, if not all, of my posts fall along the following lines:
  • Various Dungeons and Dragons-related posts covering 3E and back (including OSR stuff);
  • Fading Suns-related posts;
  • HERO System-related posts; 
  • Reports on actual game play or game planning; 
  • Brief Systems-related reviews or interesting game mechanic elements;
  • Brief Setting-related reviews or interesting game setting elements;
  • General RPG history and news. 
Also, I hope to try out writing brief game presentation-related posts (graphic design, layout, and organization of games and supplements that work for me -- and why).

UPDATE (30 March 2011)

I'm trying to narrow things down into projects. I still want to post different things that catch my interest, but for the meat, I want to have a more definite set of offerings. The blog projects I'm working on are:
  • Mining Mystara - my effort to distill the elements of the Mystara setting that I really like, with the eventual purpose of creating a default go-to setting for all things D&D;
  • HEROic D&D - my effort to use the 6th Edition of the Hero System "toolkit" to create a game system that harkens back to the early days of D&D gameplay;
  • Reading Room - reading through rulesets and settings that catch my fancy;
  • Hinirang - my effort to create the filipino history-inspired fantasy setting based on the original writings of the shared world setting.
Potential projects include:
  • And The Sky Full of Stars Without Number -- a look at doing conversions of the OGL Babylon 5 material that was done by Mongoose Publications to the Stars Without Number system;
  • Telling Details -- creating adventure seeds / bits of texture based on Filipino cultural traits and quirks. 
UPDATE (04 June 2011)

So things have changed again. While I do love posting news and history, I think I should really try to shift out of the 'armchair' focus and try to prepare to get into running or playing more games. Current directions for my posting are:
  • Mining Mystara - really push this forward to solidify my version of Mystara in a D&D ruleset (version unknown at this time)
  • Mining Firebirds - finding things of interest to stick into the Fading Suns setting
  • Building Stuff in HERO - may still tackle HEROic D&D, but also trying to work on characters in 6th Edition; I have a long history with HERO, and want to get back into it
  • Reading Room - reading through rulesets and settings that catch my fancy
  • Hinirang - my effort to create the filipino history-inspired fantasy setting based on the original writings of the shared world setting