Friday, August 14, 2015

Help Jim Ward!!!

The history of RPGs is pretty short. One of the cool things about that is that a lot of the legends of gaming-our elders that shaped and designed the first wave of games-are still alive. You can meet them at conventions, even participate in games run by them, correspond through social media and forums, and continue to support their work in various ways. The gaming community is nothing if not generous in times of need. Now is one of those times. Jim Ward, designer of Metamorphosis Alpha (MA), Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes, Gamma World, and more needs help. The good news is that a lot of people have helped already, but the truth is he still needs a lot of support to get through this tough time.

There are several ways you can help. You can go directly to his GoFundMe page. Taylor Frank, an OSR designer and creator of the excellent Dungeon Lord zine has organized several raffle opportunities; more on them HERE, HERE, and HERE. I think the drawings are on Monday, so check those out as soon as you can. Lots of killer stuff to win. Other OSR luminaries Tim Shorts, James Spahn, Tenkar, and Johua De Santo have also come up with creative ways to support Jim. There is an artwork auction HERE. Another awesome way to help would be to back Jim's new Kickstarter (KS) for Epsilon City, a new MA product that frankly looks completely amazing. I think anyone that backed the previous MA KS was very happy with the high quality products they received. This should be no different. 

If you are dead broke and just cannot swing donating, a great way to help is to simply share this post or the above links with others. If you haven't already seen "Help Jim Ward" three or four times...we aren't saying it loud enough. So please share. You could also reach out to Jim on Facebook; I am sure that getting a message or a comment means a lot. It would to me.

All this MA talk got me thinking. The MA game is usually ran with mutated PCs that are native to the Warden, with the true history of the place and the functions of the various technology having been forgotten over a long period of time. Here are three alternative setups for your MA game that allow for different levels of technological knowledge:

-You are crew members of the Warden that were placed in cryo-sleep chambers, You wake up in the far future in the bowels of the Warden somewhere. In this scenario you are aware of the layout, technology, etc of the Warden but must deal with the mutations and changes that have taken place.

-You and your party are of an entirely different culture with highly developed technology, and you spot the Warden on your ship's radar. You decide to investigate. You can use this method to mashup with Traveller, Stars Without Number, or any number of sci-fi games

-The Warden crash-lands on your planet and you decide to explore it. This scenario is cool because you can use any system or time period. Maybe a Colonial Gothic mashup? The Warden crashes on Indian land or in Boston harbor? Or perhaps late 19th century London, using Call of Cthulhu? Or just go the Barrier Peaks route and play it with your fave edition of D&D. 

A society can rightly be judged based on how it treats its elders. Let's do whatever we can to support a man who has given us so many awesome memories. Please share this information with other gamers. 

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