RPG: Sci-fi homebrew

I’ve just started playing a new RPG with my housemate and a friend from Hackspace. It’s a homebrew system (so not using an established one) and is set in a sci-fi universe – think sort of Firefly-esque with multiple worlds, multiple factions and a lot of space to explore.

It’s been really interesting to play with the GM of this game. The universe itself is a lot more intricate and political than the Dresden system, and also a lot larger. It’s a different world anyway (I’m an engineer) but it’s been interesting to see the contrasting play styles. The GM tends to go for info-dump, and also for detail – which makes for quite an interesting game for me, as I love the details. I’m still working my way around the system but it should be a lot of fun.

I can also see the D’n’D influences in the game, and I’m beginning to understand the “I have to ask about everything?” frustration. Our GM isn’t bad at all with that, but it does take a lot of lateral thought as to what’s in an area, what the options are, what’s available…and I can see that if you had a bastard of a GM who expected you to guess everything, you end up with the D’n’D frustrations of “you didn’t check for that trap!” and a lot of player frustration and paranoia. It definitely makes me remember, as a GM, that what is obvious to me is not obvious to the players; you either need to spell things out (or make them so obvious as to be normal), or don’t lay nasty traps; you have to let your players see what you do, and then let them figure their own ways around it. Or at least that’s how I see a ‘good game’.

We also, um, possibly…slightly…broke the GM. Our two characters split up, and so I decided to play the AI for the other character to stay involved in the game. The AI turned out sarky, cynical and paranoid, and we ended up with some quite nice banter. I don’t think the GM’s used to that sort of gaming, and was just sitting there laughing…oops.

Next session is in two weeks, which will be awesome – I’m looking forward to it!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.