Saturday, March 28, 2009

Now That was an Role Playing Game

Note how I spell that out. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I'm in a gaming club up here at college. We're having our annual gaming con this weekend. Honestly, there wasn't too much of note. I wasn't involved in really interesting games, and I sort of blundered into helping with one event that I ended up doing badly in- really, I think, because of luck more than anything else.

Except the game I signed up for tonight. I was waffling over helping one of my teammates for a general challenge thing with Super Smash Bros Brawl, as I'm pretty good at that game, and going to this one, but I play a lot of smash and wanted to do something different for one, and there were a lot of other players for two.

One of the best decisions I've made in a while. The game was d20 Modern, described as a cross between "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Lord of the Flies". There were eight of us playing, of whom I knew 2 other folk. We all sat down and the GM handed out good, detailed characters built around simple backgrounds. We were all kids, for one thing. I was an older brother to one of the other characters (luckily I knew the girl playing her, or things would have gotten a touch awkward), traveling in a convoy to Canada to get away from the Blitz, essentially, during WWII. The first part of the game was some exploring and an eerie chill my sister and I got when a heavy fog rolled in. There were a few other touches that no, we were not dealing with a completely mundane situation. My character was somewhat in denial about all of this, which made for some interesting roleplaying. That night, we got attacked by a U-Boat wolfpack. A lot of the other kids were running around trying to help, but I had my sister to watch out for, so I mostly stayed out of the way. We had thought we'd get away, but our engines died* and we got lit up. Everyone ended up in the lifeboat. That's when things started getting strange. We ran across an empty lifeboat that came from another boat (that probably shouldn't have been there empty) and then a Canadian plane started appearing from directions it couldn't have. We saw an island, and landed there. That's when things took a turn for the supernatural. We were investigating, finding food, when the rest of the party found a crashed plane- supposedly the one we had seen before, and got weird messages over the radio. Then...a dragon attacks the plane and sends us rolling into a ditch, where we go exploring. Nearly get caught by weird goblins, and ended up running into a crypt/cave thing that was the home of a Fae Queen. She tested us with this weird lovecraftian horror that we diplomacy'd into submission (it ended up being friendly) and she fed us, clothed us, and gave us cool gear. The thing about that was that the other players (and the GM) mentioned how capricous and manipulative the Fae are, and that we should not under any circumstances make any promises to them. We didn't, and she asked us to go kill her evil counterpart. Because of what a conniving, manipulating bitch she was, we ended up going to her evil counterpart to ask for her take on things, expertly bluffing our way past her gnome guards (one of 'em was going to duel me for asking if he had parents, but there was no time for that. Would've been fun.) She gave us considerably more info, telling us more about the conflict between them and continuing, as the Fae did, to make a choice. Who do we kill? She told us where to find the Queen's weak point. So we all had a choice to make. Go with the manipulative queen and her gifts and the promise of sweetness and light (however superficial), or the openly evil, but far more honest witch. It ended up being a choice between progress and stasis- do we stay in Neverland or go back? We ended up choosing to go back.

The GM crafted an incredible story and atmosphere. We really got completley drawn into the plot, played everything in character, and never got into combat. That's amazing, and it really impressed me with how well the GM ran things. Made me realize what I'd been missing in terms of real roleplaying.
*Turned out to be sabotage, actually

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