27 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Twenty-Six - Game I'd Like to See a New/Improved Edition of...

Darker than Dark Sun.
This is a pretty easy topic, and I bet you're probably thinking, "He wants a new edition of Cyberpunk." While that may be true, I'm perfectly happy with 2020 the way it is (was?). If a new edition of my favorite dark future RPG comes out, I'll pick it up. I may even play it. But it's not what's at the forefront of my mind when I think about RPGs that I want to see a new edition for.

That distinction belongs to Midnight, a campaign setting produced by Fantasy Flight Games, and which I was privileged enough to contribute to. You see, after I discovered Dark Sun in the mid-nineties, I didn't think there was another fantasy setting that could draw me in. I was certain of it. Who wants to play your run of the mill dwarves, elves, and halflings, anyway? Athas is all I needed.

Then, some time after D&D 3.0 came out, I discovered Midnight. It was a campaign setting that threw everything for a loop. People would ask me what it was like and I'd generally answer, "Imagine you're playing in Middle Earth, only Sauron (or Morgoth) wins." Dark Sun was a sort of post-apocalyptic fantasy setting where the events that shaped the world happened long ago in a time that no one remembered... except for the Dragon-Kings.

In Midnight, the war against the Shadow has been lost within living memory. The formerly free peoples of the world are either enslaved or backed into the corners of their own homelands. Peace is a fleeting dream, and the future a horrible nightmare. To rail against the enemy is to invite your own death, as well as that of your family. It's a dark setting, even darker than Athas.

A map of Eredane, the land of the Midnight campaign setting.
A second edition of Midnight was released that brought everything together under the 3.5 banner. It had a lot of great improvements, a wealth of information, and as much fluff and crunch as anyone would want, maybe even more. After 4E was released, there wasn't much more to be done. In 2009, FFG seemingly put the nail in Midnight's proverbial coffin. I still ran games of Midnight because it was still awesome and I hadn't jumped on the 4E bandwagon. To me, it was like running a game of Red Dawn, except the Russians were orcs and the AKs were vardatches.

Now that 5th edition D&D is out and I've had a chance to read the rules, roll up some characters, and will be running a game of it soon, I feel that it would be a great system for running Midnight. That said, even an original system--perhaps even one akin to Edge of the Empire's rules--would be pretty cool, too. I'm not picky. I just want my Midnight to come back and see support. Maybe they'll even ask me to write for it again.

Well... a man can dream, anyway.

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