I have two friends that are big into historical wargaming. Actually, one is big into historical wargaming, the other loves wargaming. The rub is, one routinely annoys the other because he plays to find out what would happen if the cavalry charged the line, what if the tanks fell back instead, what if…
Mad love to the Men of the West YouTube channel. I have been inspired by their ‘What If’ content. I’m running The One Ring 2E via the Free League alpha rules. There are a couple of lines about there being no Tolkien canon —and I’m glad they said it. It takes the big cave troll off my back to explore Middle Earth, unfettered. We need that space in gaming. I’d love to run a game where Elrond DID push Isildur. Or where Gandalf kept the One ring. What if…Bilbo never found the One Ring. It’s a twist I’m working into my One Ring series of games on Twitch.tv/actualplay. Or maybe Gollum finds Bilbo in the Shire, chokes him out, and takes back his precious. The players understand the significance of Bilbo never finding the ring. This upsets the known status quo. The game stakes are off the rails now and the characters are not second fiddles to the Fellowship. We have a real game now, a reason to cross paths with Gollum, Gandalf and company. The game doesn’t have to be a museum tour —don’t touch!
What if is a big factor in my Lifted supers setting. There are no Lifted leaders as folks manifest powers. No Fury, Batman, or Xavier assembling teams. The player-characters decide if that’s a thing they want to play or explore. They also are not overshadowed by these existing groups. The cavalry won’t be showing up either when things go south.
What if… Try it out.