ORIGINS 2007 ADVENTURE REPORT
As reported by: Dr. Awkward
This summer, I hosted two role-playing events for young people
at the Origins International Game Expo. Below is my report
on the results of these expeditions.
International Game Expo is held in Columbus, Ohio during midsummer
- usually the last weekend of June or first weekend of July.
Each year it draws between 10,000 and 15,000 game enthusiasts
from around the nation. Tabletop and live-action role-playing
events are only part of the
fun - Origins also features a large variety of board and card
games, wargames, and even video games. You
can find out more about the Origins International Game Expo
a great group of young people and parents for both events.
Very few of the younger players were familiar with the concept
of roleplaying games, even though their parents seemed to
understand - but all of them were playing like seasoned
experts within moments.
Saturday at 1:00, I ran a TOON
game that was taken up by five boys and a mom. The adventure
was set at ChaosCon 2007, a gaming convention in Walla Walla,
Washington, and the characters were Persephone (a rat who
has been living in the convention hall for some time, only
to find a gang of geeks taking over the place one day), Jim
(a security guard for the center who is trying to maintain
law and order), Vlad LeStratocaster (a goth LARPer trying
to out-cool everyone), MechaCyberRobo (a robot made as a promotion
for an RPG, that has somehow achieved sentience), Melvin (a
gamer geek on his way to his next game) and Theg (an actual,
real ogre that everyone seems to think is really a person
dressed as an ogre).
- Persephone collected a lot of shiny things
(including dice, WarHamster figures, and some of Vlad's goth
- Jim managed to enforce absolutely no law
and order whatsoever.
- Vlad managed to impress some other goths
with his aloof coolness.
- Melvin summoned Azathoth (who then attempted
to sell him some cut-rate term life insurance, and gave him
lots of Sanity points).
- MechaCyberRobo fired his pie gun at anything
he thought was a kaiju, got hacked, and even accidentally
activated his soul switcher at one point, when one player
leaned over the table for some dice and knocked over his and
Melvin's name cards, then switched them by accident while
replacing them and I ruled that the two players now had to
swap character sheets.
- Theg smashed lots of things with his club,
and when he was bored with his club, with Melvin and MechaCyberRobo
as improvised clubs.
The culprits responsible for the destruction of ChaosCon
went about as smoothly as a chaotic free-for-all could possibly
go, with one small snag - an overtired fellow who felt like
he was getting picked on a little too much. I took a moment
to explain that he would be able to get his come-uppance on
his tormentors just as soon as his turn came around. This
seemed to help somewhat, as he was back in good spirits by
the time I was calling his name to hear his next action.
chaos culminated with Jim handcuffing MechaCyberRobo to the
only load-bearing column on the floor of the convention center
where their brawl was taking place, and MCR lasering the column
in two with his Laser Death Vision, leveling the entire convention
center and earning him 10,967 Plot Points (the precise attendance
number of ChaosCon 2007, minus himself, of course).
ran Faery's Tale on Sunday
at 10:00 am. I had a group of three girls, plus a mom (of
one of them) and a dad (of the other two) - a perfect mix
of kids and grown-ups.
of intrepid fairies were sent by King Cecil to investigate
the disappearance of several woodland animals in the mortal
world. When they set out, they discovered two nasty river
trolls bagging their catch from a snare they had set in the
forest - then watched as the trolls took their prize to the
nearest faery ring and walked through to Brightwood. Once
there, the trolls joined others with similar sacks, carrying
them into the Dark Wood to the kingdom of King Slug, where
goblin guards at the gate were taking them and issuing boons
to all of the trolls on behalf of the king.
take this moment to mention that one of my players was a shy
little waif named Lauryn who had the biggest blue eyes ever,
and when I would tell her about the trolls or the goblins
or the poor little trapped woodland creatures, they would
grow even wider. I got worried that she was getting a little
spooked, so I made sure to point out that the animals weren't
being hurt at all, only forced to do something that they really
didn't want to do.
little fairies managed to sneak inside to discover the plans
of the nasty goblins. The pixie and sprites flew to the roof
of the rusty stronghold while the two pooka changed into rabbits
to allow themselves to be caught and taken inside by the trolls,
an exchange which went something like this:
Boy, with all of these trolls walking around grabbing all
of the furry little creatures that they can, I think you
pooka should be glad that you changed into birds and not
bunnies or something like that! (nudge nudge)
#1: Yeah, you're right! (Then, a sudden look of
wide-eyed realization, the proverbial "light bulb"
look.) Wait! We could get inside by changing into bunnies
and letting the trolls catch us!
CHANGE INTO BUNNIES AND LET THE TROLLS CATCH YOU?!? ARE
YOU OUT OF YOUR FAERY MINDS?!?
three girls: (giggles)
end, they discovered that the goblins were using the creatures
to carry siege machines through Brightwood - carts that spilled
oil and ignited it, fired poison darts as they rolled, and
so on - which would spread chaos and disorder as the frightened
animals ran about, trying to free themselves. They managed
to stop one of the oil-spreading wagons sent out as a test
run and free the rabbit attached to it before the oil could
ignite, then one of the sprites (played by the dad) snapped
the flint-striker off of the cart and lit the trail of oil
just as the angry goblins were approaching - which, naturally,
scattered them in every possible direction in a very dramatic
the goblins were disctracted by their failed test run, the
infiltrating pooka were able to free the rest of the animals,
with the help of the pixie who used her pixie dust to enchant
a rusty pair of scissors to fly around and cut all of their
bonds. As the mad rush of woodland creatures left the stronghold,
their captors were knocked aside or trampled underfoot, and
the day was saved.
games, the parents told me that they were very happy to see
any sort of event for kids, and that they wished that they
could see more.
wish is my command. I'll be running much more than two events
at Origins 2008, for certain. Hope to see you there!
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