12S 12M: This is starting to look like a bad idea (basically, an RPG ramble…)

Black Friday Weekend, I was at my local game store to pick up something I ordered and was persuaded to shop around a bit. I picked up a game entitled TimeWatch, and with my ordered in copy of the Doctor Who RPG, I set out hoping to not spend more money.

Little did I know this one chance purchase would haunt me for a month, and cast a grim shade on my plans for the new year.

Have you heard about 12S 12M? It’s a project I’ve committed to at least trying in 2018. After this last month, my belief in the project’s possibility has decreased, due to the sheer amount of work it’s been and I’m not even ready to play!

12S 12M, or Twelve Systems, Twelve Months, is a reoccurring RPG showcase, where I run a system that people haven’t played before (or at least, I haven’t played before). Ideally, it will get people to play more games, play the ones they do play with more versatility, and make my FLGS some money from selling more of whatever game I’m running (Which is unlikely. If game stores had to depend on D&D and other RPGs to survive, they would not. Our hobby does lend itself to buying a lot of things. Once we get our books, we’re basically set.)

In a previous thing I wrote, I mentioned that the only month I had really figured out was January, in the which I would run the Doctor Who RPG. Well, that’s no longer the plan, because I unfortunately read the TimeWatch system.

I say unfortunately now only because there is no way I could possible run something like DW, when I know of the power and beautiful system that is Timewatch. I mean, I could run DW, because I do like lightweight and easy to learn systems, which TW is not, but I really hate how poorly written the DW book is and am really impressed on how well written TW is.

I might use DW as a one shot, but I’d probably use TW to run a Doctor Who campaign.

The problem is that suddenly, I went from having a fairly good idea of what to run in January, to having to figure out a system, figure out how to explain the system, figure out what story to run in the system. It’s taken me 2 weeks to read through the system and have a basic idea of what I’m going to be running for the story. And I’ve realized that my whole next year will be like this, trying frantically to figure out a new system, while running one I barely have a handle on. Basically, I need to have 3 systems in the pipeline at the same time and that is really scary.

It’ll probably get easier as I learn more systems. TW is based on the GUMSHOE system, that I have never played before, and it is very different from the standard Dice + Modifiers than I’m used to. Going back to such a system would probably be easy to do. It will also take a lot of the… power? away from players.

Seriously, TimeWatch looks amazing for players who love breaking the game.

I’m considering if I want to use the premades that TW have, which look fun and are used as examples, or if I want to make my own for the whole of 12S 12M. I did debate converting TW’s premades into other systems, but that seems a little uncouth.

So instead, I’m spending thought cycles this week deriving the constants from all of the “D&D parties” that I know through fiction. The fellowship of the ring, the Avengers, the various casts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Serenity, pretty much anything I can think of to for my lists.

Once I have the lists, I’ll do some tagging, figuring out the Species, Role, and personality of the various indivduals of the lists. Basically asking “What makes them different”.

Once I have that list and those stats, I ought to be able to make something that rolls up a whole team of characters, based on percentages and statistics and things.

This sounds like a big project that I shouldn’t do with everything else going on. So I shant. But I really want too.

Okay, I just tried to write a summary of the statistical break down, twice, and realized that I can’t get exactly what I’m looking for without doing the work (if, you know, at all) so we’re going to move on to another thought.

So yeah, I’ll have to stick with the premades I have for now. I wonder if the Plaent Mercenary  Game Chief PDF has premade characters in it? If not, I’ll have to dig out the old Alpha pdfs and rebuild the characters off of those, just to have something at hand

Its not the numbers for the characters that concern me. Those are easy. Its figuring out the detail of the character and how they inter act with the other premade characters that bothers me. I have enough trouble writing my own characters, much less 8 or so that someone else will play.

Is this D&D’s fault? I’ve been playing with characters with little to know history basically since I’ve started. Do other groups have a decent session 0 and figure out how their group interacts before making characters? (Timewatch has the best “You should make characters as a group” that I’ve seen, second only to PM. D&D 4e basically said “You’re an idiot if you don’t bring a completed character to the table”, but then, we played at a higher tier for the crazy powers. makes it hard to make characters on the spot.)

I basically have my TimeWatch game figured out, but I want to do a test run with my family, since they’ll be home for Christmas. I don’t know what to do the next month, as my test group won’t be here, but I’ll deal with that then.

What the hell am I running in March?? I know that is a ways away, but if I blink it will get here very soon. I’ve done (or will have done) Time Travel and Scifi. Maybe Cyberpunk with Shadowrun? I don’t think I have any books on tap, so I’ll have to order something. Or go with something they already have at the store. They have a pirate RPG that looks interesting. And Numenera and The Strange are on my lists as well.

I’m probably over reacting due to the difficulty of TimeWatch. I’ll probably do just fine.



That’s the ticket.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.


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