Welcome to the Game Room. This is where I'll talk about all kinds of games, from RPGs to board games, to video games! Role playing games probably take up most of my gaming head space and when a game is good, RPGs are my favorite kind of game. I enjoy a good board game, but don't get to play all that often. I tend to enjoy myself more socially with a board game than most RPG sessions, as in, I enjoy an average board gaming session more than an average RPG session, but board games could never beat my favorite RPG sessions. Video games? I was obsessed with them as a kid, and have found I play them less as I've gotten older, but I still enjoy them from time to time.
My Taste in RPGs
I've played all manner of RPGs and can enjoy all manner of them from time to time, but I definitely have some preferences. Here's just a list of some of them:
Broadly speaking, my favorite genre is something like "Cartoons and comics from the '80s & '90s."
I generally prefer what are called "Traditional RPGs", as contrasted with what some call Narrative RPGs and Story Games.
While I prefer "Traditional RPGs", I tend to prefer games that aren't structured in a Class & Level kind of way.
In fitting with the "Cartoons & Comics" vibe, I'm not a fan of grimdark, or super sad-sack or oppressive settings where everything is shit.
I enjoy in-game relationships and acting as my character in the moment, vs. Out-of-character planning.
While I can play sci-fi, fantasy or otherwise, my general preference is for something generally "modern day", by which I mean the invention of the automobile up to, like, 20 years in the future.
I like when a game has a returning cast of NPCs that your character can form relationships with.
I dislike when an RPG creates sessions that spend hours in combat. Like, I can enjoy RPG combat, but if 50%+ of play time will be combat, that combat better be entertaining as an event in itself.
Some example RPGs that I'm more inclined towards playing include: White Wolf's Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, Mayfair's DC Heroes, TSR's Marvel Super Heroes, Victory Games' James Bond 007.
Dream RPG Projects
Sometimes I like to tell myself I'd like to write RPGs. Aside from notes and musings, the only thing I've ever really done in this vein that reaches project level is compile and publish the Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game 20th Anniversary PDF. That was successful and has made the rounds on the internet, been published by shady resellers and all the rest, so that was satisfying. Still, it would be even more satisfying to publish something more truly mine, wouldn't it? Here are some RPG ideas I frequently kick around. If there are clickable links, maybe I've even put up some scratch notes on these!
Rising Forces: This isn't a giant leap. The idea for Rising Forces is to be a Street Fighter 2nd Edition, basically. Street Fighter has been out of publication since 1995, which is crazy. The idea isn't to be an ultra-faithful retro-clone, but basically... get the rules that make this thing awesome back in legal print.
Savage City: This is not unlike Rising Forces, completely, but is more of a ground up rebuild inspired by beat 'em up video games.
Excelsior Endeavor: This is an idea for a Supers RPG that takes everything I love about the Marvel Super Heroes RPG and combines it was a d6 mechanic I have.
Empowered: Another Supers RPG idea that combines the stones ideas of the Marvel Universe RPG, and some of the ideas of Daily Utility Phases and Campaign Ratings from Golden Heroes to make a unique thing.
Sky Above: A Sci-fi RPG idea inspired by Traveller, Blue Planet, and Heavy Gear/Jovian Chronicles a bit. The idea is something that is down to earth and humble, as far as peoples' capabilities and so on.
Pirates of the Western Sea: Take Rising Forces (or maybe Savage City), combine it with a 'Pirates of Dark Water' cartoony Sword & Sorcery vibe.
These are all "pie-in-the-sky" as far as where they are at and their liklihood of actually happening, the names, everything else. Hell, some of them may seem redundant.
Michigan Tabletop RPG Creators
The Mid-West US has solid representation in RPG creators. Seeing as I personally live in Michigan, I thought it might be fun to compile a list of Michigan based companies and creators in the RPG space. Hopefully I can dig up some more. Here we go!
Palladium Books: From down in the Detroit area, Palladium is probably the best known RPG company in Michigan. Kevin Siembieda, Eric Wujcik and others. Among their many games we have - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, Palladium Fantasy, Rifts, Beyond the Supernatural, Ninjas & Superspies, Robotech, Mechanoid Invasion, Systems Failure, and more.
Sine Nomine Publishing: Diagonally across the state up near Traverse City, Kevin Crawford's Sine Nomine is known for producing games such as - Stars Without Number, Worlds Without Number, Godbound, Scarlet Heroes, Silent Legions, Other Dust, Wolves of God, Spears of Dawn, and a number of supplements.
Tri Tac Games: Founded back in 1978 and in the Oak Park or Pontiac areas (Detroit). Bureau 13 and Fringeworthy are among the games they are known for.
Superhero Necromancer Press: Based in the middle of the state in Mt. Pleasant, the main products from them so far have been a series of releases for a setting known as "The Rainy City". Disclosure: These folks are part of my gaming group and are long time friends.
Glumer Games: I think these guys are originally from Gladwin, though one of 'em is in Battle Creek now. They have a game, Mystic Days, that is in production.
Chaosium: Founded by Greg Stafford back in 1975, they were originally out in California, but have since moved their HQ to Ann Arbor (presumably related to the location of Moon Design, which merged with Chaosium I believe, this was all some time in the 2010s, they'd made the HeroQuest RPG, later renamed QuestWorlds). Huge company in the history of RPGs, known for Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Stormbringer, and a number of other well known games. Notable designers included Greg Stafford, Sandy Petersen and Steve Perrin, among many others who worked there for a time, or for individual projects.