New Year’s Day is usually seen as a time of resolutions, where we promise to do some things differently than we have in the past. As gamers, it’s also an opportunity for resolutions. Maybe we’ll finally try the FATE system for the first time, maybe we’ll play more and GM less (or vice versa), or maybe we’ll run and conclude that epic campaign that’s been in the back of our heads.
The New Year is also a time for reflection. What went really well in our sessions over the past year? What was lacking? What didn’t we get a chance to do? This year, I decided to share my reflections on what I’d consider my biggest gaming success and my biggest gaming regret at my own table.
My biggest success is Dungeons & Dragons bringing me back into the fold with its new edition. As an industry professional, I had little incentive to get on board with the last edition due to lack of third party support and my circles chose to migrate to Pathfinder rather than adopt D&D 4e. Pathfinder, like its spiritual predecessor, was a bit too crunchy for me but I was willing to stick with it as my go-to fantasy game if the new edition of D&D fell short. Not only did the new edition easily exceed my expectations but, for the first time in a long time, my circles are playing D&D. We’ve only been able to play a few sessions so far, but it’s easily the most fun I’ve had with a non-licensed fantasy game in a long time.
My biggest regret is the Star Wars campaign that never was (there’s a bit more on it here). Star Wars: Edge of the Empire got me running Star Wars again for the first time since the d20 revised version (I skipped the SAGA edition). I ran a group through some of the published materials and had a blast. I then came up with an epic campaign idea that I wanted to spring on them. The problem was that the elements of the current game were too piece-meal and slow in coming out to support my campaign. I also felt that SW:EotE was a bit too complex.
I found my sweet spot by rediscovering the West End Games version along with some websites that contained expanded material. I easily fleshed out my campaign and I was pumped to start. The problem? My group had grown to love SW:EotE and were loathe to change it, especially given that one of the main benefits to me (a simpler system) stripped away all the talents that made their characters unique and awesome. Sensing resistance, I quietly shelved the campaign rather than adapt it for SW;EotE. Six months later I still regret that decision and I hope to run that campaign in the future.
Those are my biggest successes and regrets of 2014. How about you? What was your biggest gaming success of 2014? Do you plan to build on it? What was your biggest gaming regret of the past year? Is there a way for you to rectify it?