My group is getting ready to wrap up our Warhammer Fantasy game, and embark on a brave new endeavor of John Lewis’: playing Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader using a homebrew rules set. John has always used published rules sets, published settings and homebrew settings. This experience will truly be a first for me, but one that I am looking forward to (I’ll tell you more later…). However, we want to invite another player that we miss playing with. The Catch: he can only game every other session due to work.
There’s been a lot said already about how to manage the loss of players for a given session – play without them, don’t play at all, have the GM run their character, have another player run their character, etc. I personally hate all of these options, both as a GM and as a player, due to the immersive storytelling my group likes to engage in. Fortunately, because of the regularity of the scheduled absences, I’m proposing an alternative. I’m going to run a Dresden Files RPG game on the off weeks for the remainder of the group.
For our group, this should accomplish a bit:
- We get to keep gaming weekly, without leaving our buddy behind.
- This gives John more time between sessions to tweak the rules as needed.
- We get more experience with another incarnation of the FATE system.
- I get to introduce the rest of my group to the Dresden Files setting.
Because of the group’s lack of familiarity with this setting, there will be a pretty steep learning curve for them to fully appreciate the distinctions between the different character templates. Also, the setting itself has a lot of nuance for some of the more powerful templates. As I mentioned in my last article, there are plenty of ways to help bring your players into a setting like this one (400 pages in the player’s book alone). My favorite was to have the players familiarize themselves with the setting. However, they will be doing this with the even more complex Warhammer 40K setting at the same time. I know they can do it, but I don’t want them to be forced to.
I was looking at different ways to approach the campaign: do we play in Chicago (which I happen to have access to some play aids for from a different game we never got around to…), do we play in the Baltimore setting from the player’s guide, or do we play in our (current) hometown of Reno, Nevada? The appeal of this last choice jumped out at me for a variety of reasons, the strongest being the fantastic time we had playing Zombie Cataclysm run by our very own Tourq Stevens.
In this game he GM’d, we played ourselves showing up to my house for game night. From that point on, we were in character. We all had done a great job of modeling ourselves using the mechanics of that setting and had a very realistic, yet insanely fun, session. Why couldn’t we repeat that experience in a different game? I think this would be a great approach to introduce my friends to the Dresden Files, at least as it’s seen through the lens of 4 not-yet-clued-in mortals living in Reno.
In the weeks to come, I plan on showcasing some of our campaign/character/plot designs – specifically the use of Fate aspects to help breathe life and importance into the setting and characters.
See you then!