What COVID-19 has Taught me About my Gaming Interests

For the last five and a half months, I have been working from home in some capacity. In that time, I have had a lot of time to reflect, to ponder many gaming related topics, and to read several gamebooks. As a result of this experience, which still continues to this day (well, as of writing this article), I have come to the realization that I need more tabletop roleplaying games in my life. These days, I find I am now looking for games that will allow me to tell specific types of stories or prominently feature particular themes.

I’m still a huge fan of horror, and I don’t ever see that changing, but other themes have either piqued my interest or I have a renewed interest in them lately. Three themes are at the forefront of my gaming interests at the moment. These are anthropomorphic, youth-centric, and dark fantasy. Over these last five months, I have read Mausritter (anthropomorphic), Root Quickstart (anthropomorphic), Junior Braves Survival Guide to the Apocalypse (youth-centric), and Nibiru (dark sci-fantasy). In addition to all the reading, I have played several new to me games: HeXXen 1733 (dark fantasy) by Ulisses Spiele, Masks: A New Generation (youth-centric) by Magpie Games, and Liminal (youth-centric/dark fantasy) by Modiphius. I have also recently acquired, and have started reading Bubblegumshoe (youth-centric) and Humblewood for 5e Dungeons & Dragons (anthropomorphic).

Lately, I want stories that are highly narrative focused and promote a lot of in-character dialogue and development. While I will always have a place in my heart for games like Dungeons & Dragons, I just don’t see them being a good fit for me at this point in my “gaming life.” With the possible exception of Humblewood as I think it might be able to tell the type of story, I’m looking for. Typically, for me, D&D games can lack a great story, character investment, and that type of play experience is not what I’m after these days.

I have also learned that I can devise and develop highly detailed and intricate gaming plans, but dang, it’s hard to follow through on all of them. This is a personal failing of mine, but COVID-19 has only exacerbated it. I was planning to run a one-shot game of The Yellow King, to which my Uncle wanted to give it a try, but I’ve not been able to get it to the table for several reasons. I am also falling behind in my preparations for an experimental Ten Candles game I am running at the end of August.

Hopefully, you’ve been able to fit in more gaming, even if it is remote gaming, to your schedule. Social distancing right now is vitally important, but as equally important is maintaining your social connections, even if that is through a video chat. Something is better than nothing. If you want to be part of our gaming discussions and you’re not already on our Discord, consider joining the server and getting involved in the conversations and maybe a game or two. Here’s a link → Discord

Happy gaming!

~ Modoc

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. If you can, please review the yellow king. I’d like it even if it’s for flavor as I’m trying to develop a Delta Green campaign (with some prewritten adventures intertwined) and can’t decide if I want it set in the dreamlands, Carcosa or if I just rip the Dracula Dossier apart into a campaign for DG

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    1. modoc31 says:

      It’s on my “to do” list, but with it being four books, each covering a different timeline and having slightly altered rules, I need more time to finish reading it and digesting it. I had hoped to get a “Paris” scenario to the table last month, but that didn’t happen.

      If you’re looking for a straight-up Carcosian sourcebook, The Yellow King is not it. Each book has a timeline, one historical, one modern, and two alternate histories. None of which are set in Carcosa, but rather each is influenced by The Yellow King and other Carcosian influences.

      I would suggest using The Fall of Delta Green (instead of Delta Green) and then weaving in NBA (Dossier) where needed. If you do any “time travel” you might then look at The Yellow King one of its timelines. Belle Epoque Paris is awesome in my opinion. The alternate historical timeline, “The Wars” is pretty cool too. Anyways, if you still with all gumshoe system books and supplements to build your campaign you should have little problems working them into each other from a game engine perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See, I thought of that but the mechanics of Fall or NBA just doesn’t do it for me. I’ll probably bastardized something

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh but Thank You for the flavor info as well

        Liked by 1 person

      3. modoc31 says:

        Eventually, I will review The Yellow King and that should hopefully give you move info in terms of the “flavor” of each timeline. If you want more specifics, about one of the timelines, let me know on the Discord server. You get a basic outline of each at Pelgrane Press or over on DriveThruRPG.

        I also love the vibe of the 1960s in The Fall of Delta Green.

        As far as the mechanical systems go, I prefer the Gumshoe System over the DG system, but I appreciate that others may feel differently. There is something about DG’s system that didn’t click for me the one time I played through a scenario. I really should go back and re-read the books to see if it clicks for me now.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I do like the stability system to help stave off the sanity losses but it’s the 1d6 with points that bug me

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kyle Maxwell says:

    I’ve had a lot of trouble getting back to my usual horror and horror-adjacent tabletop gaming. Some of that’s due to COVID-19 and some of that is due to family issues, so I’m looking for more escapism than before. Wonder if that’s common these days?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. modoc31 says:

      Hi Kyle,

      I think it’s more common than you’d imagine. While I would have thought my online gaming would have dramatically increased when the lockdowns started, I found that it hadn’t changed all that much. What had changed was I wasn’t meeting with my regular face to face group. As the COVID situation seems to get better, and then digresses in a perpetual cycle, locally, I find my online gaming is only now starting to ramp up. I have no idea why, but who I am to argue – I need the escapism too.

      My advice to you is, find some folks to connect with online and either join a game or run a game for some online folks. We all need some form of escapism! If you’re not already a member of our Discord server, head over there. You might be able to connect with others and get some dice rolling, virtually, of course.

      Like

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