Anima’s Tale

Back in October 2020, I began a short-lived solo game centred around a character named Anima. After two sessions, the latter being on 4th November, the game came to a grinding halt as I was diagnosed with anxiety and took time off work to recover. Thus began my interest in prehistoric fantasy gaming.

Since that time, I have been thinking and talking about a prehistoric fantasy game but had all but forgotten about Anima. I suppose that the trauma (if that’s the right word) of the period overrode the memory. Although, weirdly, I did carry through on a plan to record the set-up of the game as a podcast in December 2020 and then took it down in the New Year.

Yesterday, I found the original handwritten notes for the game and re-read the narrative (and play notes), awakening my interest in the game and bringing back several memories. As an act of commitment to myself, I decided to resurrect the character and pick the play back up.

Sadly, the character sheets for Anima were not accessible. I thought I had found them in some earlier files with the same character name, but the details from the play notes did not match. The game was originally started using GURPS Lite (4e) as the rules engine but the sheets I found were higher points and used the full Basic Set.

Faced with the need to recreate the character, I decided to switch things up a bit to suit myself. I grabbed the GURPS 3e rules and three supplements upon which to base my play – GURPS Ice Age, Bestiary, and Magic. Of course, I was drawn to the earlier 1st edition copies of the latter, so I will probably end up substituting in the later versions once play gets under way.

Why choose GURPS 3e? It’s hard to explain but probably could be summed up as the game feels “warmer” – a term I recently picked up from S. John Ross’ blog.

For me, the 3rd Edition is rougher around the edges and evokes a nostalgia and sense of familiarity. It’s also less precise and much more sprawling as a rules set… in all the right ways. Whatever the rationale, it felt like a good opportunity to test drive the older game.

And that’s about it for now. I intend to begin play over the weekend and then see where the game takes me. The key is that I am aiming to build a habit of playing solo around a game idea that has been fascinating me for at least 2 years.

Game on!

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