Monday, January 1, 2018

Year in Gaming 2017

2017 just passed. How was it for gaming for me?

Running GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

I ran 12 sessions of Dungeon Fantasy this year, down from 2016's 14 sessions. It wasn't a good year for scheduled gaming, but averaging once a month is okay. It's the minimum I'd hope for, but I did spend two days we could have played DF playing AD&D - see below. Counting those, I would have been able to run DF just as often as the year before.

We had nine different players this year, getting two new guys in just under the wire. A couple of players went effectively defunct, and at least one trial didn't seem to take (for lack of time or interest, it's not clear.) But the core group is the same.

The big change was switching from GURPS DF to the DFRPG. Not a huge change, but we made some mechanical and template switches as a result. We're still ironing out some of the differences. It's been nice to just say to someone, "Get the boxed set or borrow Adventurers and Exploits and you've got what you need to play."

All in all the game was fun to run and seems like it's fun to play in. It remains the core of my gaming.

Playing GURPS Gamma Terra

We played 5 sessions of Gamma Terra, up from 2016's four sessions, starting with session #10. We established a new base, Unknown Area 3, and since then have been exploring the ruins of Muskogeon. It's been up and down, mostly up - with the down being the frustration of not knowing how to deal peacefully with folks we'd like to deal with peacefully. The ups have been everything else - it's a dramatic game, gloomy without being depressing or oppressive, and full of very weird and nasty friends and foes. Good stuff, and I'm glad we get to play as infrequently as it is.

Playing AD&D

I ran two sessions of AD&D in White Plume Mountain.

This was a lot of fun. I remembered a lot of what I didn't like about AD&D, but we really did get to enjoy the things I liked about it. It was a really rough adjustment for players used to - or only experienced in - GURPS, as AD&D's resources are utilized differently and recovered poorly. The players did play well, however, they just made a lot of game-system mistakes and the occasional awesomely funny assumption (If you can speak manticore, then the manticores will be friendly . . . right?)

Other gaming

In January and February Tim Shorts, Douglas Cole, and I managed to play two sessions of Swords & Wizardry Lite GMed by Erik Tenkar. It was a lot of fun. Sadly, short-lived. Erik retired, which means he's more busy than before and running less games that I know of. Still, it was enjoyable and I got to be silly and aggressive and run a wizard.

I also ran 9 short sessions of GURPS light in the classroom - check my classroom gaming label if you want to find them all. I haven't been able to re-start it. I still teach that student, but he's got test prep now, and I don't have any other students whose needs match what gaming can give them. That's not an indictment of gaming, or of my students, just a simple truth: they often come to me with very specific needs, and I tailor the tools we use to them. "You descend the stairs into the dungeon and see a room with a corridor leaving left, right, and center, what do you do?" is remarkably good for vocabulary utilization and getting comfortable with English. It's not very useful for "I can't understand the English on my science homework" or "I need to prep for TOEFL." Still, it was great to get to use GURPS to teach, not only to entertain.

Finally, I got to play one session in my cousin's D&D5 game. It was a short, tight session and I was able to try out a human wizard. It's so nice have a handful of spells I can just use for simple tricks (cantrips) and some more potent (but not lethally so) expendable spells. Plus D&D5 runs smoothly and easily. Chargen is kind of a bear for me, like a disorganized mix of AD&D and Rolemaster, but actual play is good.


It was not a good year for writing. I've been busier than ever with my jobs, and my studies, and my continuing education. So I haven't been able to accept deadline work easily as I don't often know what will happen between the day I agree and the actual deadline. I did managed to write a couple of Pyramid articles, though, for the DFRPG.

I also managed to write the Magic Items book for the DFRPG. It was nice to see that come out, too.

Computer & Video Gaming

I basically did little of this, this year. A little bit here and there, but mostly I played Fantasy General for a few weeks solid in the summer, and then not much after that. My good intentions to finish Darklands came to naught because I really need to sit down and untangle where I am, what I'm in the middle of, and what I need to do next. It's annoying because of the dearth of in-game tracking. I did keep playing Borderlands 2, which, along with some of the DLC (someone got me the GOTY edition expansion), has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. I've paid pennies on the hour for fun.


The Bones 4 Kickstarter came and went, and the Bones 3 Kickstarter arrived. I've been busy painting them, along with assorted other minis. I got some of the last 2000 AD minis, and I filled in a few gaps in my metal minis collection. I didn't paint as much as 2016 or 2015, but I did get some painting done, and I was able to debut some exciting minis on the tabletop. That's what it's all about for me, after all.

I sold some of my Ogre minis, and the rest will go up on eBay this spring along with the don't-wants from Bones 3.

All in all, it was a solid year of gaming. It was no 2015, but it was good, nonetheless.


  1. My year in gaming 2017

    Dungeon Fantasy

    I switched over to almost exclusively running GURPS DF (from exclusively running Discworld RPG).

    I've probably now run more GURPS games this year than I have total in my whole life. It's surprising how much I know specific rules and forget or don't know others.

    I'm less impressed with players and other GMs knowledge or inability to read /understand GURPS.

    I run this as an open game. Something like a dozen different players have come through. Some have stayed. Most haven't.

    I also ran three Madness Dosier games at a convention.

    Playing games

    I played zero RPGs. Australia is from what I can see somewhat different from the rest of the world (Or just the USA that I see/read about). D&D5ed seems to well and truly have cemented itself as the game of choice. There is Pathfinder left over and a rump of Call of Cthulhu.

    In other words none of the RPG games Ive purchased or wanted to play in the last ten years are available to play.


    The state of boardgames seems much better. Ive played dozens of well made games. Considering that I thought boardgames were a dead end six months ago thats a huge turn around.

    Computer and video gaming

    My old PC broke (spctacularly) now with an upgrade I'm getting back into PC gaming (slowly)


    Ive started painting for the first time since my teens. Very enjoyable. I have neither the skill or patience for fine detail. But I dont need that just churning out minis is where I'm at.

    1. Thanks for appending your year in gaming to mine!

      "I'm less impressed with players and other GMs knowledge or inability to read /understand GURPS."

      You can substitute any game system you like for GURPS in that sentence. I played AD&D with guys who didn't understand the rules, Rolemaster with guys who didn't understand the rules (and ran it when I didn't, at first), Champions with guys who didn't understand the rules, etc.

      And most of them didn't really stick, either.

      And I've very glad to hear you are painting and enjoying it!


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