That *New Game* Smell

They say the first step to resolving an addiction is to admit you have a problem. Well, here’s my problem: I’m addicted to new settings.

too many diceI look at new systems whether they are set in an existing RPG framework or a brand new one. I’ll look into systems and worlds whether I’m currently running and/or playing in a campaign or not. Regardless of my current circumstances, I seem to compulsively keep an eye out on other settings to check out what they are all about. This can be an obviously be an expensive addiction just between buying the various settings and finding storage space for it all.

Think I’m kidding? In the past couple of years, I have checked out the Pathfinder campaign setting, the Dragon Age campaign setting, the Mutant & Masterminds setting (and their DC spin-off), the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG and Eclipse Phase settings. (And that is just naming a few of the games I have checked out — this is actually a slower phase for me than normal.)

What I haven’t ever really figured out is what I’m looking for.

On the one hand, mining new systems for ideas is attractive to me. I may not ever use a system like Eclipse Phase, but its ideas about its setting and how to make use of reputation within a setting are full of great ideas. And it’s a similar situation with the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG — I’m not all that interested in running a Westeros-themed campaign, but the tools around building noble houses in a fantasy setting seem very useful.

But my compulsions don’t tend to stop there…

A friend (or on-line blog post) could say something that makes me curious enough to check it out the system. I believe it was Fitz’s review of FantasyCraft that made me want to check it out. Or it could be just a bit of the blurb about the setting makes me curious as to either to what the setting is like or how the rules handle something.

In the case of Dragon Age, it was a bit of both things — the setting was Dark Fantasy, which I tend to like, and I was really curious to play around with the stunt mechanics.

For Mutants & Masterminds, I bought the first book for two reasons. One, I was curious what all the hype was about. Two, since the old Marvel Superheroes RPG system that was put out by TSR, I haven’t really found a superhero RPG setting that I clicked with the rules. Given all the superhero movies that are out, I thought it might be time to check out another system for that type of genre.

At any rate, I have an addiction. And even though I’m not currently playing or running a campaign, I don’t really see an end in sight!

What attracts you to look at new systems?

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