Let’s be real with each other here for a minute. I’ve been trying to lay out my thoughts and feelings about social change for about three hours now, and tying that into why people should just homebrew their settings, but it is challenging to write an opinion about political beliefs to no one in particular. So I am going to try this again in the context of the beliefs that I am comfortable with publishing because they do not take a degree to explain or understand. Gaming is for everyone. Gaming is supposed to be fun. Gaming is supposed to bring us together. That being said there are certain areas where that field is lacking in the RPG community. We are starting to become critical of other people’s experiences as a side effect of analyzing the social context of our core rulebooks and, while social responsibility is necessary and these changes are important, we are also becoming a group of splintered people who are choosing to not abide by these rules. Take that how you want it. Some people are mad because things are getting too PC, other people are upset because they are feeling marginalized by a hobby that they love. While I am in favour of social change and responsibility, the truth is simply this. If something is no longer fun then it is time for a new solution. We have a responsibility to ourselves to keep to the three rules of gaming. To that end I am going to make some suggestions for some really fun RPGs that encourage GMs to be creative in making their own homebrewed worlds so that we can go back to having fun.
The first one I am going to talk about is pretty dear to me and it’s called Fantaji. While I do consider myself friends with the game designer I am not being endorsed to bring up his product here in any way. That being said, Fantaji is a great game! It is meant to be a narrative driven game that encourages players to collaboratively tell a story. There’s also a really in depth look at how to build a universe. It’s my go to outline for world building and can really make the experience fun. Not only that the system works just as well in a fantasy setting as a realistic space opera.
The second Game I would suggest is the Genesys system. The core book itself is not even considered a setting book, rather a system mechanic. The game has specific rules for the various settings you have that can be really in depth. Genesys is definitely pretty crunchy for a setting neutral game and is not really any more challenging to play than DND. The best part about genesys is that if you do want to tie down to a setting you can buy specific books like the Realms Over Terrinoth expansion or the Netrunner expansion. These setting books have extended tables, inventories, and NPCs for a GM to play with and can be used as specific settings if you want to railroad your homebrewing a little more.
The third game I would like to call out is Fate. There are so many fate books out there with so many different settings that it is insane. That should say enough on its own for a GM to see how easy it is to get a world started. It is mostly a party game though and I do not personally believe it can provide a gripping multi game narrative. There are plenty of people who would disagree with me though so keep that in mind.
You can also just pick up some socially conscious RPGs that are fun to play. There are so many settings that are just insane to play in. Consider the Witcher RPG, Alien RPG, Mouse Guard, Cyberpunk 2049, or anything that strikes your fancy. There is even an Indie RPG about running a failing record shop in the nineties or being hunted down by Shia Labeouf. The point is that whatever is on your bookshelf there is so much more for you to see.
The last option that I have is the game you already own. You have already spent your money and time on a system that you already love. Why not just change how you play. Separate your art from the artist (the books you already own). Don’t let anyone tell you that you are playing pretend wrong! As long as it is fun then you are doing it right. So grab a pen and some paper and just start writing. Have fun and enjoy yourself. Do not stop being socially conscious and do not stop trying to change the world. I think that it would be best to have my hobby be a place where anyone can have fun, but try to keep the three biggest rules of gaming in mind.
I definitely am going to try to write more often. I keep paying to keep this site up because I keep thinking I’ll get back to writing more articles soon, but with 16 hours of college and nearly 40 hours of work it is hard to sit down and play let alone write about it. So things might be sparse for a while longer. That being said be good to each other, check out my social Facebook and Twitter and as always,