What are we on now? 11? The non-charitable, non-thoughtful replies are starting to wear me out. But let’s trudge ahead.
The angle I’m interested in here is the rebirth of a particularly catchy premise that’s currently burdened by its fussy, awkward, time-consuming roots. Tastes change all the time and sometimes old ways are better, but I think it’s also true that sometimes there are better solutions available to specific play experience goals. Games are fashion as well as technology.
So: the game I’d most like to see reborn is Traveller. Not the generic sci-fi adventure framework it’s built on. There are lots and lots of generic sci-fi adventure solutions out there. I’m talking about the specific setting and premise of Traveller from its very earliest inception: veterans, mostly, at loose ends and looking for shit to do beyond the Imperium.
Yeah, I know about Traveller World. It’s nice, really. But it also feels like a pretty shallow PbtA refactoring of Traveller-as-played, not Traveller-as-conceived. That old premise is absent (and if we’re being honest, was only very lightly there to begin with). You’re just playing scouts or merchants or whatever. There’s also the matter of what PbtA is good at modeling (genre emulation (cue definition argument about genre)), and the fact that, well, not every damned thing needs to be a PbtA hack. It’s like how Dungeon World is a PbtA emulation of the experiencing of playing D&D. Which is fine but not what I care about.
Runner-up: Runequest in a format that gradually spoon-feeds everyone the vast complexity of the Glorantha setting, doesn’t require months or years of study, and directly addresses the core ideas of the game: the mythic symbolic heroquests, the conflicts between faiths, but most of all the bronze age mindset necessary to make any of that make sense. Invoking and maintaining a non-modern mental framework is on my short list of things I want to accomplish in design before I die. I have no idea how I’ll do it! But Glorantha gaming is my test case (also Pendragon, although the split stats and attached incentivized achievements come close).
Ugh…I just ran across the review of Heroquest Glorantha and now my head is bruised from the repeated strikes on my desk every time the word “narrativist” is used.Ow there it is again! I have no experience at all with Heroquest Glorantha so it’s entirely possible that this is a solved problem. I’ll never know, though, because the internecine warfare between Glorantha camps makes it impossible to find any direct explanation of what it does.