RPG dreams: A new system each time

I’ve had this dream for a while: to find a group flexible enough and willing to put in the effort to run 52 RPG systems in a year, a new one each week. I haven’t found that group yet, but as I was talking to my not-quite-a-boss at the gamestore yesterday, he counter-offered with a store event idea: 12 games in twelve systems in 12 months.

Honestly, I hadn’t ever thought about that before. I’m not really used to biting my dreams into bite sized chunks, I guess. It would be approximately a fourth of the work and likely more appealing to casual players who want to try out the game, as well as people who have been Jonesing for a specific game that never gets played.

Honestly, being able to wear a t-shirt that says “This DM runs anything” sounds like a crazy awesome goal to achieve and I wonder what the qualifications for that would be. Food for thought, I guess. Today, though, I want to list my ideas for the systems I would want to run.

I’m not likely to run anything that is 100% PDF or internet based, for a few reasons. The first, in regards to capitalism, the not-a-boss man might have me run certain systems with an eye of moving product and of course, I will comply. It is my not-quite-a job, after all. The fact that I’ll get some solid discount on that stuff don’t hurt. Second, I find having to flip through a PDF is just harder to find what you need. In a book, you build this spatio-geometric memory associations that make things a lot easier to find.

Also, I can hit people with books if needed.

(I’m writing these all out of order, FYI, as a lot of my thoughts are congealing as I write and looking at the list of empty months. Expect some disjoint.)


Assuming the planning and such goes off without a hitch, I have less than four months until my first curtain call. And, for the sake of the wordplay, I want to run some of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space for Jan-WHO-ary. Kind of lame, I know, but wait until you see the lame poster I’m starting to composite in my head! Yeah!

AiTS is one of the first non-D&D systems I bought. Back when I got it, I cared a lot about the show. That’s faded a bit, but I’m sure I can make something happen. Maybe I’d get current for that game. I dunno.

I did like the system and I think you can do a lot with it. I recall being annoyed that the character options were split between the books, but it was a decent character builder. Seemed flexible and good for action a lot like the show. Full of scenes where good things happen with set backs, and bad things happen with boons.

(Man, I’m going to need to come up not only with satisfying prebuilt characters, but some amazing new player references. A lot of these games have things like inspiration in them and I’ll need a good relatable system for that. I should also see if I can  come up with some sort of souvenir for people. Something collectable that rewards people who stick out the whole year…)

AiTS is going to be a bit tricky. Maybe. I have to look at it again. I recall thinking I would toss out a few of their core conceits if I ever ran a home game and instead, just use it as a system. I know the game wants someone to play as The Doctor and I don’t know how I am going to deal with that. None of the other games I have in mind have such a pivotal position. If thise was closed table, that would be a bit different, but I’m going to be playing with people that I’ve never played with before, who may not have played an RPG before and maybe people who have never watched the show before.

Yeah, let’s get the hard one out of the way first.


Fiasco is the name of the game for February, mainly for the alliteration. I know we have some at the shop. Its also a game about relationships, so what else would be a good fit? I don’t own a copy yet and I’ve only seen it be played once. I’m not quite sure how it plays out, but it’s a big name in the storytelling RPG arena.

That’s part of the reason I would want to run it. It would be completely differnet than anything else I’ve played and that’s part of the fun of 12 Systems in 12 Months (12S12M?)


March has a nice military feel to the month, and so I think I’ll go with Planet Mercenary. It’d be nice to actually get to play a game I helped kickstart and proofread. I really help I’ll have played any by the time this rolls around. that’d be 6 months by this point. Ouef.

I like PM and I think it has mechanics that would make it a good drop in and out game. Character Ranks and roles are built into the characters. So having the quartermaster be part of a mission means something instead of Phil randomly coming along. Also, I think there is built in dynamic there that I recall from my first (and only. \**Sadface*\*) time playing when we were using the alpha rules. The roles gave people a place to build on and develop quirks from. It was awesome.

I’d probably limit the game and avoid things like space battles and the like. I got sent a rough alpha edition of an official adventure from a kickstarter, so I’ll take a look at that. Maybe it’ll work well.

I hope it has some premade characters. I might have to spend a bit making some premade crews for PM. I’ve put it off for too long and I don’t think I’m going to get anything back from the creators for it. alas.


Anime April is my theme for the month and my thoughts jump immediately to Big Eyes, Small Mouth. I haven’t played it, although I had a friend who had who said good things, I did pick up a splat book called “Big Ears, Small Mouse” which looks like it lets you do Redwall in the game, which is cute and awesome.


Post-Apocalyptic is a genre I haven’t touched yet. I played in… gosh what is the name of that… gamma world? there was a 4e gamma world which was kinda cool but rather lacking in being more than a fancy board game. I know there are a few titles out there, but none immedidatley jump to mind.

I did hear a play cast of one once where the party were something like replicants pretending to be humans avoiding detection, having to do underground railroad/secret mission stuff for fellow robots. That sounded cool. I’m sure I can track that down.


Maybe this would be a good month for “Historical” RPG systems. Something like Deadlands of Legend of the 5 rings or something. A lot of RPG is based around “Medival Fantasy.” Turns out, there are a lot of other settings loosly based in history with fantastical elements. Not sure what I’d run. Might depend on the not-a-boss man.


We should do what we can to be all inclusive for this list and that would include a Larp type game. Middle of summer is the best time to do such a thing, so maybe in July? I’ve done it once and had a mediocre experience. I’m sure I could run a better game for new players than what I was presented at Imagicon 2 years ago.

I know nothing of LARP systems, though. I mean, I’ve heard of some of the bigger ones, but nothing I really know what to do with. I’ll need to research.


Slotted for august is a vague hope. My brother kickstarted a game setting for Savage Worlds and, since it is his birth month, I’d love to run that as my 12S12M game. But that is dependant on the kickstarter returning useful results by that time, which may be unlikely. So I’m not sure.


Serenity September is nice alliteration. I know nothing about the game, I’m not an amazing fan of the series, although I know it well enough. I’d have to check it out before confirming.


October is basically Halloween, right? So I’d probably try something horrory. Maybe a Call of Cthulu? Not sure exactly what I would do. I’m not a huge fan of the Lovecraft Mythos. I do have a D&D book based on horror I would use as a starting point for whatever I ran.


Something something superheroes. Not exactly sure what, but I like super hero games and would love to do something. Not sure of the system. I do like Mutants and Masterminds, but 2e not 3e. Its probably just a cosmetic thing, but I haven’t come to terms with it yet. There are a bunch of other systems out there, of course, but M&M is the only one I know firsthand.


I think I will save my newest acquisition for last. Tinyd6 will hopefully put a book in my hands by then and its super versatile setting system will allow me to run a “Party saves Christmas” campaign super easy. yay.

But wait, there’s more!

Yeah, there is no way I can fit every game into 1 weekend a month. Other things I’ve thought about running are The Strange, Traveller, Rifts, Cortex, GURPS, Ars Magica, Numera, 13th Age, Dungeon World, Shadowrun, Not enough steampunk, fairy tales, real world, Sci fi….

Yeah, there is a lot of games that could be run. And I want to run them all. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to try.


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