It's a new year and that means a new season for Erratic Episodes. And whoa did 2012 go out, not with a bang but a whimper. Despite being a total blast, my Dread game in October was a long way from the end of the year, much too long to be the last game of the 2012 season. But it is what it is and the best we can do is endeavor to make 2013 an even better year for gaming. That's my New Year's resolution for this site: More. Or, more coherently: Run an episode of Erratic Episodes every month in 2013.
That's the plan, we'll see if it sticks.
First though, I've got to put a pin in the much neglected Mass Effect game. The up side of playing with some of the best and brightest in the game industry is that they are undoubtedly awesome players. The down side is that getting them all to commit to being in the same room at the same time for any length of time is no mean feat. So I'm working on that and hope to have this wrapped by month's end. Wish me luck.
I'm not sure if Mass Effect counts as one of this year's 12 yet, but regardless, here's a list of the games I'm already planning on running in the coming year.
Pathfinder: Mythic Adventures
Mutants & Masterminds
Call of Cthulhu
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition
Kingdom Death: Monster
Pathfinder is obvious. I also have reason to believe that the Mythic Adventures rules will bring an exciting spin to the game, opening the door for some story seeds that have been gestating for a long time. You can check out what's in store for August with the Mythic Adventures playtest here.
Dread clocks in as one of my favorite new things of 2012--period. There will be more of this in the near(ish) future. In fact, this is probably my new default one-shot game. So expect to see more of this showing up on the site this year.
I've loved the Iron Kingdoms since the Witchfire Trilogy and the Monsternomicon. Back in the day I did quite a bit of work in No Quarter and even wrote a fair amount of Monsternomicon 2. Now that Privateer Press has their own RPG with the Iron Kingdoms Core Rules I'm excited to put it through its paces. I know at least one friend already has a gun mage rolled up, so this is another definite.
Mutants & Masterminds has long been my go-to supers game and it's been too long since I've put the system to use. I've got all three of Green Ronin's DC Adventures books on my bedside table where I paw through them frequently--they're gorgeous if you haven't checked them out--and after three years of ripening they're more than ready to get into rotation. Now if I can just find a way to work the Crooks book in as well...
Call of Cthulhu. I've never actually GMed this. Probably should.
Even though this game doesn't scream immersive horror, I think I could pull off something fun (and with a particularly high body count) with Dungeon Crawl Classics.
A Light in the Belfry was my first Erratic Episode and was a total blast. I'm thinking about revisiting D&D 2E this year, but don't have anything planned or an adventure in mind yet. Last time I took the Ravenloft road, and as tempting as it is to follow that path again this year might call for something else. Dragonlance maybe. But if I do that, I'm tempted to inflict the Fifth Age rules on the players... we'll see.
On a related note, we have a copy of the Dragon Strike video board game in the Paizo conference room. So... that's a thing.
The last game on the list is such a newcomer it doesn't even exist yet. Not even an RPG, Kingdom Death: Monster is a new game by Adam Poots and some of the sickest artists I've seen in a long, long time. It's described as a cooperative horror survival miniatures game (that's a lot of words I like) that seems like it would benefit from a campaign format. In the game, players awaken in a grim, hell-like land called the Abyss with no memories, only a sharp stone, a loincloth, and a lantern. With those, they have to survive and establish a society, all in the Abyss, all while being confronted by huge and horrible monsters. The game is in the final days of a ridiculously successful Kickstarter, which provides tons of details, gameplay videos, and images of the incredible miniatures the game features. The entire project is audacious, and would be flat out ridiculous if the guys behind it hadn't started with their Kingdom Death (boutique, nightmare) miniatures line (check out the site). They've already got pieces sculpted, the game looks fascinating and deadly, but seriously, they had me at the concept: kill giant lethal monsters and use their bits to create a society in a nightmare land. Sold. That the miniatures look amazing is just the icing on a whole cake-shaped pile of icing. So I'm planning to put this into rotation as soon as I get the box and the minis all glued together. The game is supposed to release in November, but between Kickstarter delays and my slow gluing, it might be 2014 before this actually gets off the ground. But so far, it's the game I'm most excited to check out this year... and if you're not yet, you should be, so check it out. And contribute if there's still time! It might look costly, but you can bet it'll be more if you want it later.
Another solid contender on the list is the One Ring RPG. I know very little about this, but from paging through I'm totally intrigued by the way the game handles lengthy journeys.
So that's the scheme for 2013. As you can see, this list does not fill up 12 months of games, so I obviously need some help. What games am I missing? What are your favorites that I should check out? What is the most awesome system you've played in recent years that I need to know about? Bonus points if the system is fast to pick up, and double bonus points if it's horror related. Thanks to everyone for the feedback and here's looking forward to an avalanche of dice in 2013.