I was kinda bummed out last night because I discovered yesterday afternoon that my d20 Modern game for tomorrow is cancelled. All three of my core players can't make it. By core players I mean the folks I won't run without. In this case it's Ian, Alex and Michael. I could run without one of them but if two of them can't make it then there is no point in getting together. The other three players are at the point where I wouldn't consider them anything other than associate hangers-on. Perhaps that will change in the future. In my Mutants & Masterminds campaign Sue's character is really the lynchpin and de facto leader of the group, so I don't think I would be inclined to run without her. Some of my games don't have core players though. My Savage Worlds monster game could have run without any particular player, though Pat's presence always helps me feel more in control of the situation. I can't always predict what his character will do and I don't always approve of his PC's behavior, but as a player it's golden to have a surefire buddy to back you up if things get stupid.
Speaking of Pat, he lendered me his copy of AEG's Empire, a d20 campaign system written by veteran d20 system wonk Mike Mearls (partial ludography, livejournal). As usual for Mearls' work, this is really good, crunchy stuff. I may use it for the 6 Islands Campaign, if that project ever gets off the ground. Everything of Mr. Mearls I've seen has indicated that he knows where to hit the sweet spot for me when it comes to rules density. His work contains enough crunch that you can play with the mechanics, but not so much that mechanical play will push non-mechanical role-playing off the stage. Rules Medium is my normal term for this sort of thing. Savage Worlds is my current posterboy for rules medium gaming. It has more structure than the typical Rules Lite stuff that's so prevalent with the hip indie game scene, but it isn't a non-stop rules juggernaut like most d20 games.
So there's a gamer in St. Joe named Doug who I met over at RPG.net. Doug sent me a private message that he was looking to clear a bunch of stuff out of his game collection. I thought he was trying to sell me some games, hoping to avoid the hassle of eBaying them. Nope, Doug just wants someone to haul this stuff away for free. I hope Pat's free Sunday, cause we're going to St. Joe. Now I just have to figure out how to explain to my wife that getting a bunch of boxes of game junk is a good thing.
Speaking of explaining things to Amy, I broke down today and placed a bigass Amazon order. It's her fault, I tell ya. She wanted me to buy the 2nd season DVD boxed set of SpongeBob SquarePants for Elizabeth. She should have known I was going to also get Complete Warrior, Complete Adventurer, the Power Gamer's 3.5 Warrior Strategy Guide, and Arcana Evolved. Man, I am so in trouble. I suppose it could be worse. I could've bought the 3.5 core books as well. Still, I really absolutely had to get at least Arcana Evolved. I literally had trouble sleeping last night thinking about that book. Pathetic, isn't it? I got her a couple of books as well, so maybe I can distract her long enough to sneak all my stuff into the game room. Of course if I do that and she reads this blog at some point then I am totally hosed.
The non-sleep depriving, non-Arcana Evolved stuff I got primarily because it looks like this RPGA/Living Greyhawk stuff is a lock. I've got two different GMs already lined up and a 'short list' of possible players that is getty pretty damn long. There are four or five 1st level modules available to played and I think I know enough local gamers that I could host all of them at my place with a different group each time! That's assuming everybody I'm thinking about even has any interest in the RPGA scene. Pat might not. He's not big on organized play. I wouldn't be surprised if Kathleen and Josh took a pass. They seem more into non-d20 games like GURPS and BESM. Either way, the fact that you can run games in the comfort of your own home helps me get over the biggest hump in starting Living Greyhawk: what if the other players suck? By having the games at my house and controlling the guest list I ought to be able to weed out most of the dillhonkers.