Revisiting RPGs and Lego licenses

One game to rule them all?
Lego Lord of the Rings

Continuing this week’s look at tabletop role-playing games, especially the announcement of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and subsequent reactions, here’s an overview of my current groups. I caught up on videos and some reading around the holidays, but I had to take a short break from my campaigns because it was too difficult to get quorum for my groups. We seem to be getting back on track.

In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed several recent sourcebooks — in both hardcopy and PDF — including the Asian-flavored Pathfinder Bestiary 3, Mongoose’s printing of science fiction sandbox Stars Without Number, and the horror/SF Ashen Stars, which uses the Gumshoe investigative/troubleshooter rules. All of them will be helpful in my current campaigns.

The two teams of about six people each in my “Vortexspace opera game (using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer plus Bulldogs) were on hiatus over the past few weeks. I’ve kept busy, however, with planning for our alternating Monday night sessions, which are still going strong. Fellow Game Masters Jim J.D’B. and Byron V.O. have helped me prepare for the continuing misadventures of the explorers and diplomats aboard the Blackbird and the grifters on the Appomattox.

My Pathfinder: “the Vanished Landstelecom fantasy team has had persistent scheduling problems on Sunday nights, but I hope to rebuild from our core group of three low-to-midlevel Player Characters. They’ve been heading north into the Wisalef Forest to investigate rumors of Unseelie Fey…. Paizo’s recent Pathfinder Boxed Set is a good introduction to that system (for up to four or five players to Level 5) and to role-playing in general.

Most of the people in my groups are also playing in other games. Various local Game Masters have expressed interest in running one-shots, although they’ll have to promote their ideas and find time and space for them. Here are some of their ongoing campaigns and potential one-shots:

Paul J. and Greg D.C.: FATE 3e Dresden Files (modern supernatural) 

-James B.: D20 Call of Cthulhu (period horror) or Gumshoe: Mutant City Blues (investigative metahumans) 

-Josh C.: conversion of AD&D2 Spelljammer to FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre (fantasy) or Arkham Horror (board game) 

-Jason E.R.: Fvlminata (alternate Roman history/espionage) 

-Bruce K.: Pathfinder/D&D4e or D20 Conan (sword and sorcery) 

-Rich C.G.: Cthulhu Invictus (alternate Roman history/horror)

A few of the local role-players have also asked to return to my “Societe de Justice Internationale: Drake’s Port 7″ superhero scenarios using D20 Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Ed., whose excellent Game Master’s Guide just arrived. So many games, so little time….

In unrelated but exciting news, Lego recently announced that, in addition to its licenses for Harry Potter, DC and Marvel Comics, and Star Wars, it won the rights to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies! We briefly used Lego for the D&D3.0 “Vanished Lands: the Liberators” and “Dragonslayers,” and even though I have dozens of other miniatures, I’d love to use Lego minifigs for my campaigns in any genre, from steampunk and superheroes to science fiction!

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