When, as now, I find myself working long hours far from home, I get less time to prepare for gaming sessions, but more time in the car to think. This week, my main topic of thought has been what gaming activities I can keep up under the current gruelling work regime, and which have to be cut back further. Then, I thought of the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs.
For those unfamiliar with the show, the premise is that a celebrity is cast away on a desert island, with a music player and one compilation album. During the programme, the celebrity explains why they picked the 8 tracks on that album, which are played in turn. The castaway is also allowed one luxury item, and one book, as well as copies of the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare.
You (and enough friends to make a gaming group) know that you will be cast away on a desert island. Don’t worry about food, accomodation etc. You may assume that you have pencils, paper and dice.
However, 8 games is too many to give a tough choice, and it’s the choice and the reasons for it that are interesting.
What three gaming items would you take with you, and why? What would your book and luxury item be?
The gaming products:
- Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition. If I could only take one game, this would be it. Works for any genre, works with or without figures, works as a skirmish wargame.
- All Things Zombie. This comes lower down the list because it needs figures – I picture us drawing a playing area on the beach and using pebbles. However, it serves many purposes; it’s a game in its own right, it’s a setting for SW, it’s a skirmish wargame if you drop the zombies and just use military (or police and ganger) figures, and it’s an AI opponent if the rest of the group don’t make it ashore (or exile me to the DHARMA Initiative end of The Island after too many Total Party Kills).
- For the final item, I really can’t decide between Beasts & Barbarians Golden Edition, which is my favourite SW setting, and Stars Without Number, which has outstanding tools for setting creation. What do you think?
The book and luxury item:
- I could cheat and take my fourth gaming product as a book, but instead I shall choose The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E Howard, which is a snout (in the dark) ahead of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in my affections – although it was the latter that ignited my interest in fantasy and science fiction, and indirectly led me into roleplaying games a few years later.
- A repurposed oil tanker full of Glenmorangie. Obviously, the group were travelling on it when it ran aground, and the penguins from Madagascar have trashed the radio.
OVER TO YOU
What would you pick, and why? Answers on a comment please…