Con-Versations: Highlights of The Grand Roludothon

A local group of dedicated gamers worked really hard these last 2 years to foster a local bilingual gaming community that meet on a semi-regular basis to play RPGs and board games. Having dubbed the movement Roludo, they setup a  friendly forum and organized a couple of well-received mini-cons .

Over the weekend, they held the Grand Roludothon, a  larger gaming convention. I could only attend for the first day so I made sure I packed it with the best I could offer in terms of sharing cool games with fellow geeks.

I GMed 2 games: A  session of the Dungeon Reality Show in the morning and a session of The Old School Job, my Cortex Plus Hack, in the afternoon.  In the evening, I “rested” by playing a game of Fiasco.

Much fun was had, as usual.  Here are the main highlights I recall.

The Dungeon Reality Show: D&D Essentials

This game was a shortened version of the original game I ran a few months ago (Parts 1 and 2).  If you haven’t heard about it yet, The Dungeon Reality Show is a silly a strange campaign setting I created where down on their luck adventurers find themselves on the Plane of Games, thrust into a dungeon crawl broadcasted throughout the multi-verse. It’s filled with snazzy one-liners, shameless product placement, freeze-frames, reshoots and a healthy dose of diva-drama.

One character, Elan the Eladrin Mage stole the show, not because his player hogged the spotlight, far from it, but because whenever he had the spotlight, he used it masterfully for maximum hilarious effect. It’s the way the player stumbled onto the concept that was genius.  He’d never played this edition of D&D and during his first encounter, he decided to fire his magic missile.  As he was looking on his Powers sheet, I asked  him:

Chatty: Why don’t you describe what your Magic Missile does?

Player (Looking unsure… then light dawned in his eyes): … Elan,  points his target and out comes…. a Rainbow!

From that point on, the player re-fluffed all his powers to paint a powerful, dangerous and angry wizard who had unfortunately been taught magic by Hippy “Flower Mages”.  When he vanquished the 1st encounter’s “Boss” he described his Spectral Image spell as being a cute unicorn running and impaling the poor bloodied orc.

Elan: I swear guys, If I ever hear you say anything about the Unicorn, I’ll kill you.

He later made his Spectral Cage spell into an Akira-like giant bear that sits on people.

Elan: I’m a Happymancer. Bitch.

(As usual, I’m taking some artistic licence in how and when quotes were thrown about)

Highlights:

1) The players killed a bunch of kobold:

George Sagging (Halfling Thief): Who shot shit at me?

Kobold Tunneler: It wasn’t me it was (gurgle gurgle)

Saggins: Oops, my bad.

2) They entered a tomb:

Narrator (Deep voice): As you enter this tomb dedicated to valiant heroes…

Cleric of Pelor (In character): Shut up, we don’t care!

Narrator: Screw this, I’m off to lunch!

3) They killed a bunch of Zombies and Skeletons:

Elan: I roll my sleeves stretch my arms, splay my fingers like that and I launch… BUBBLES!

Chatty (Groaning and throwing an Awesome Bead): Oh man! I’ll go smash my head on that hotel partition.

For the rest of that fight, I had all the encounter’s zombies try to grab the Mage, groaning “Buh Buh-les”

4) The final Final Encounter:

Chatty:…

Players: And?

Chatty: Oh right, here’s a dragon, 2 hobgoblins and a bunch of orcs, there’s some shit you might feel like looking at here, here and here.

Cleric of Pelor: Oh right… no narrator.

My friend Charles played a female dwarven Slayer as an ultra-PC feminist adventurer. At one point in this fight, he forced me to “re-film” a scene because the dragon made “an inappropriate and non-inclusive comment” about the sexual proclivities of Elan.  GOLD!

Charles wrote this jingle toward the end of the adventure:

They’re Dragon-Killing Bubbles, from the bad-ass Eladrin: Try “Elan’s Burnin’ Bubbles” And you’ll be sure to win. Elan’s burning Bubbles-Death with Sparkles!

Great session overall!

The Squeaky-Clean Job

Let me think about a good complication for you....

In the afternoon I got to play another session of my very own Cortex Plus hack based on the Leverage RPG. I had randomly generated the adventure and, after a bit of artistic tweaking, found myself with the following:

An Ogre-Mage has consolidated and fortified an area of the Monte-Cookus sewers underneath the swanky neighbourhood of ‘nobtown. This causes disgusting sewage flow-backs in the manors of the cities’ richest families. Under huge pressure to provide results, the area’s consul asks the PCs, old acquaintances, to help him out where countless city guards and adventurers of lower statures have failed.

As is usually the game when I run one-shot games, the adventure was silly as hell and mostly improvised based on the scaffolding I had generated. The initial scenes were very good and most players took to the game rapidly.

Some highlights:

One PC was a Gnome G-man summoner.  He kept talking with a bad gansta’ accent, asking for the first half of any rewards offered upfront, including the Manor the party was offered for this quest.

Chatty: You want half of a manor, like just now?

G-nome: Sure, why not?

Another PC  mixed potions in his mouth hoping to create a fire breathing  effect…but got permanent Arcane Halitosis instead.

A scoundrel got hit with the dreaded Red Wizard curse, a growing semi-sentient affliction with a somber agenda. He eventually found a Remove Curse scroll… but it was ALSO cursed. So while half of the Red Wizard curse was nullified… he caught  the Blue Wizard’s curse!

Player: Does that mean I have the Purple Wizard’s curse now?

Later, the G-nome whipped out a wand of Earth Digging from their stash (the players totally embraced the  “create your own magic swag” rules) and dug holes to drain some of the  stuck sewage… only to meet a grateful, trash-starved Otyugh from underneath.

Trash_Eater: Thanks, I was STARVED man!

Once in the sparkly-clean Sewer-Forteress of the Ogre-Magi, facing a bunch of sleek, groomed ratmen, a character crawled into one of the numerous rat tunnels.

He then took out and cut the Apocalypse Cheese with the Knife of Ancients naming himself the Lord of Filth.

Best.line.ever.

He called to all the rats of the extensive warren  to overthrow their germophobic master and join him!  Which they did…provided he marry their goddess, a trapped Avatar of the goddess of adventurers.

They managed to escape as PC-generated chaos struck!

A great game!

Based on the excellent feedbacks I got from the game so far, I realized that this Hack is not so much a tribute to Old School gaming than a thrilling and rethinking of the Dungeon Crawling experience. My initial clever joke has been outgrown by the actual  experience delivered by the hack. Thus I’m thinking of renaming it “The Dungeon Job” to better reflect its Leverage RPG influence.

Fiasco: Midtown USA

We closed out the evening with a 5 player game of Fiasco.  I know from experience that trying to explain a scenario always ends up as a tangled mess so I’m going to keep it short.

I was Stan Merlotte, an aging, bald, paunchy ex-bowling pro and bowling alley hustler.  I really wanted to get laid with an old flame of mine: 425 lbs “Maman Denise”.  I ended up with my thumbs sawed off by the local dentist.

A friend on Twitter perfectly  summarized how things went for poor Stan:

Who got two thumbs and just got laid? Not this guy! (thanks @JBMannon)

A great weekend. I want to thank the organizers who worked really hard to make this con a reality, I had lots of fun.

Photo Credits: Christian Jarry (@sicnaxyz)

Comments

  1. The game was lots of fun. Playing Elan was the most fun I had as a player in a little while. We should totally organize a return of Elan eventually. Thanks.

    Your hack sounds very interesting.

  2. adamjford says:

    Chatty, I don’t think i’ll be able to consider my GenCon experience complete without playing in one of these games. They sound hilarious and awesome! 😀

  3. Dixon Trimline says:

    I love the idea of assembling these mini-cons, and then growing it into a mega-con. How excellent! And I am always hugely intimidated by these sorts of free-form, self-flavored, creativity required games. I just don’t think I’m smart or clever or handsome enough!

    However, to read about them, it does make me think about the potential for “performance games,” where people can come as audience members to watch and enjoy and possibly learn. These are exactly the sort of games that should be showcased, as opposed to the perfectly fine but less instructive “I roll 15, you miss, I roll 23, you hit, roll damage, 12 damage, the monster is bloodied, etc.”

  4. @cjarry: The stories your character generated were added to the many tales I share about the games I ran. I’m sure it will be a crowd favorite before long. Thanks for having dived in the experience so readily.

    @adam: Thanks, I’m coming to realize that I could easily spend all waking (and sleeping) hours at Gen Con running games and we’d likely never run out of players. This year I TRULY plan to make it more freeform. Stay tuned to my Twitter account (@chattydm) should I call for a flashmob game 🙂

    @Dixon: The games are not as freeform as you might think. The players merely ask me “he can I do that?” and I usually say “Yes, you need to roll this and that to succeed”. As for making ads on the spot, players are not penalized if they fail to come up with a gem of clever brilliance, they just get a cool bonus if they generate laughter and a sense of “oh this is so (in)appropriate.

  5. Great con report, Chatty! Those games sound like a blast. That tweet broke me up.

  6. thumbs up!.. 🙂

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