I surveyed my Thursday group to get feedback on backup-game ideas for nights when we have fewer than the current quorum of 3 players + GM which can happen at the last minute.  Here were the options I floated:

  1. Play cooperative wargames. We would play together vs. the AI, and our character could level up over time. Works great with 1-3 players and keep our characters from game to game.
  2. Play a one-shot game to try out new rules. I’m itching to take FrontierSpace (an unofficial Star Frontiers 2.0) for a spin. We’d just always want to have something ready to go.
  3. Play a one-shot with old rules such as a D&D game.
  4. Play with 2 players and a GM. With the current military themed Traveller arc, this might be odd and disruptive. Our upcoming superheroes campaign however will allow for 2 players really well though since we can play ‘police procedural’ investigations that wrap up nicely as a one-night side-quest.
  5. Play board games and card games. One player isn’t that hip on board games, and about half of the board games don’t work for me due to color blindness. I do like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride which are color-blind friendly, and have been itching to try Star Realms sometime which is also color-blind friendly.

Play a one-shot game to try out new rules was the clear winner from that quick survey I did last week of things to do when we don’t play our normal campaign games. I wanted to analyze the other votes better so I went and weighted the results (1st place vote = ‘5’, 2nd place vote = ‘4’, etc., then averaged the votes), and here are the results.

  • 1st Place — Play a one-shot game to try out new rules (5 pts)
  • 2nd Place — Play a one-shot with old rules (3.5 pts)
  • 3rd Place — Play current campaign game with 2 players and a GM (2.5 pts)
  • 4th Place — Play board games and card games (2.25 pts)
  • 5th Place — Play cooperative wargames (2 pts)

Places 3-5 are pretty similarly rated.

All of which is to say, our Thursday players primarily like roleplaying and like something different (but still an RPG) once in a while.