We are big fans of the Ascension deckbuilding game. We have all the sets. When DriveThruCards started letting fans create their own cards, we were thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that we jumped in and made our own alternate starting cards.
We just don't have time for amazingly complex rules in our roleplaying games anymore. I'm not talking about we, as in society. I mean we, as in AnSR Games. We want to play, not fiddle with the parts to play the game. To that end, we've been working on how to streamline how to make adventures for RPGs so we can get to the story faster. A few variations on this will appear in our upcoming RPG releases, but for now, we wanted to let you in on our thoughts. If you use it, let us know.
We have been working on 3 separate games lately.
We are 4 months into 2017, so we thought we'd share where we're at with all of our projects and what has come up to try to derail us.
Each year, AnSR Games takes a look at what we want to accomplish before November of the next year. After some good deliberation and taking stock of what worked (and didn't in 2016), here are the goals we have for 2017.
Hello, Aaron from AnSR here. I just wanted to tell you about some changes we have going on here at A'n'SR -entertainments. Mainly this: we are now publishing games under the name AnSR Games. It is a simple change, but an important one. Let me explain.
Each year, A'n'SR -entertainments looks back at the goals we set and grades how we did. So... how was 2016? Let's see.
You are a dangerous, super-powered criminal. You have been put behind bars for your crimes. You are being given a chance for a better prison life if you do special missions for the prison Warden... and survive. Welcome to the Controlled Experiment, convict.
ConEx: Controlled Experiments is the latest roleplaying game from A'n'SR -entertainments. In the game, you take the role of super-powered bad guys doing good things against your will. Always watching you is the Warden of the prison. Always gnawing at you is a plan to escape the situation.
ConEx uses the new Details and Dots Modular Game System to power all the action in the game. It is a fast, rules-light RPG with narrative consequences for failure. All the rules for the game, as well as the setting, is in this core rule book. So, grab a twenty-sided die, a pencil, some note cards, some friends, and unleash your inner bad guy.
Aaron from A'n'SR here. I've been frustrated. I've been playing lots of RPG systems. I've been trying to find the perfect game system for the stories we like to tell. I've been subjecting my wife to multiple versions of her character as we figure out how each one works. We've had these great moments of "this is it; this one really works". Then, we figured out where it broke down or didn't work for what we were doing, and went looking for the next thing.
It's been frustrating... and good.
There are few things more frustrating than a puzzle you have a problem solving. Imagine a world without the interwebs and your really analytical friend to tell you how to solve the Rubik's Cube. You would pick it up, fiddle with it, think that you got somewhere, get confused, put it down, do another thing, pick it back up again, peel off a sticker or two, put it down, look for help, pick it up... and maybe quit.
That is kind of how the quest for making a new RPG has been going for us of late. We try something, don't like something about it, try another, try a pre-published game, come back to our design, go to something else, try again... you get the idea.
What We've Been Trying
For example, we tried a game system, but it ended up being a little too odd. Then, we tried Fate Core again. Then we remembered why it wouldn't work the game type we wanted to play, tried to modify it, still had the same problems and gave up on it. Then, we looked at more RPGs. And more RPGs. And even more RPGs.
Next, we brought out GURPS 4th edition. GURPS has a great system where you can do anything you want. We played a whole Angels in the Old West campaign with it. However, I don't know that I like the "roll under an attribute" mechanic since we are playing with terribly powerful beings in a very cinematic world. Plus, I feel like I'm cheating the system out of its genius by stripping out so many of the rules it has.
We went through another iteration of our own pre-made game... but things just fell flat in the execution. It is a frustrating little puzzle, to be honest.
So What Now?
Cortex Plus. We got a copy of the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide, a few other books, and have started a campaign with it. The things we like about it are:
We are 3 adventures into it, and we are really finding the sweet spots with the game and using lots of sticky notes. Don't be surprised if a book comes out of all of our fiddling around with the rules. It has tons of potential.
There's more to come, but this is the journey in our year of experimentation. We'll have more as the summer flits on. In fact, we are way overdue in telling folks about the amazing Geekway to the West convention experience we had.