[Savage Rifts] Journey's End

A couple weeks back I wrote about my Savage RIFTS game taking an unexpected turn and sort of accidentally stumbling into a pretty decent setup for picaresque adventures.

Last week I ran the first installment in that new framework. Sadly, and by mutual agreement with my group, it looks like that will be the final installment for the foreseeable future.

I can't really place my finger on it, but things just never really gelled for me. I'll need to give some thought as to why this may be. It might have been the fact I haven't run RIFTS for over 20 years. It might've been the fact that I went with a region that holds no familiarity or nostalgic attachment from the days when I did run RIFTS. It might've been a poor choice of scenarios that didn't match my preferred play-style. There was also the learning curve of running Savage Worlds at a power-level I was unfamiliar with, which proved draining. I got to the point of familiarity I needed to be at, but by that point my enthusiasm was largely shot.

Not helping matters is the fact that I'm currently running one of the most satisfying games I've run in a long time, so it only highlighted my dissatisfaction with this one.

I definitely want to return to Savage RIFTS. I think that next time around, I'll go with a setting and framework that feels more comfortable, familiar, and engaging, and I'll write my own material. (Due to a confluence of writing deadlines, I was pretty much forced to go with pre-written material this time around.)

On a positive note, I did quite enjoy the experience that Savage RIFTS offers—it felt like RIFTS should feel. Also, my Chiang-ku conversion felt just about right, being neither to over- or under-powered, so I'll go ahead and pat myself on the back for a job well-done there.

With Savage RIFTS going gentle into that good night, we decided to run horror-themed one-shots all the month of October—I get to play "The Derelict" next week! And Cryptworld on Halloween weekend!—after which I'll be indulging my new-old love of old World of Darkness and starting up a Vampire: the Dark Ages chronicle. I'll be posting more about that in coming weeks, I'm sure.

Player-Generated Handouts

Oh, hi!

Don't worry, I didn't forget this blog. It's just that I came back from Gen Con with a pile o' work to tend to. Also, unfortunately, I've joined the ranks of people with "family health problems" storming into my life and providing yet more distraction from things like writing fun little blog posts.

In light of August's unremitting intensity, then, I'm thinking a schedule of one post a week is more realistic for the foreseeable future. So that's my new resolution. Thursdays seem as good a day as any, so Thursdays it is. No more dilly-dallying, then...

The wife and I have been playing a lot of Vampire: the Masquerade (20th Anniversary Edition) lately. She's fairly obsessed, to be honest. There's no doubt in my mind that, had she been into gaming as a teenager back in the 90s, she would have been one of the countless thousands of young ladies for whom Vampire was everything. Eh. Vuh. Ree. Thing. We've even joked that she might've ended up in some sort of real-life blood cult or something. So it's probably best she didn't know about it at the time.

Anyway.

For our most recent session, Desiree actually wrote up a nine-page script for a "play within a play" that her vampire/actor character was planning to put on with his infamous sire, attempting to clear her name with the larger Kindred community. She spent a whole Saturday afternoon writing this thing up, chuckling to herself intermittently at how silly the whole thing was but pushing ahead regardless.

Needless to say, I couldn't be more pleased. Is there any experience more rewarding for a GM than seeing your player(s) get just as invested in a game as you are? When players come to the table with character sketches, background narratives, or supplementary handouts--ah! What a joy.

What are some of your favorite and/or most memorable moments when players went the extra mile with investing themselves in the game in between sessions?