07 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Seven - Most "Intellectual" RPG Owned

Having gills really pays off on Poseidon.
Intellectual RPG, huh? Does that mean "complicated" or "thought-provoking"? I'll go with the latter, I suppose. It's easier that way.

I have to say that Blue Planet is probably the most intellectual RPG I own. That's not to say it doesn't have room for action, but it certainly got me thinking back when I picked up the first edition at GenCon '97. Jeff Barber even signed my copy, which I really appreciated.

Eventually, after Fantasy Flight Games took the reins and released the second edition, I went all in and picked up every new supplement as they were released. It was a sad day when the line was brought to a close. It looks like Capricious Games has the rights, though, so maybe they'll get around to publishing new material at some point.

Anyway. Intellectual. Right.

Blue Planet has a lot going for it. The setting is really, really deep (and I don't mean that from an oceanic standpoint, though it might be implied). Given that, there's so much a GM can do with it that isn't strictly defined in the source material. It's about exploration, exploitation, new horizons, and old nightmares. It's part cyberpunk, part trans-human, and part space adventure. It's gritty, too. Plus, you can play dolphins and killer whales. For real. Eat your heart out, David Brin.

Whatever you do, don't call him Shamoo.
There's a good bit of science in the game, as well as a lot of conjecture. It's not so science heavy that it alienates people like me, and that's probably what I appreciated most--its accessibility. I always dreamed of starting a Blue Planet game set on Earth for a number of sessions, then bringing the characters to Poseidon (by hook or by crook) and introducing them first-hand to this new land of opportunity and adventure.

I've never actually run a game of BP. That hasn't been for lack of trying. I came really close a couple of times, but the groups fell apart just before we could get the games started. I'd like to think the game mechanics are solid. I always thought they were good on paper, but I haven't used them in practice. I hope I get a chance to someday, but when I start skipping around between this system and that system, I don't get much done.

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