#RPGaDAY2015, Day 16: Longest Game Session

I don’t recall what was the longest game session I’ve played—the first time I encountered a roleplaying game I was twelve or thirteen and I know that I’ve experienced quite a bit of gaming since then. Games in college would last up to six hours with my friends and I gathering for an afternoon (and the requisite pizza break). But, none really stood out as a long game session.

Maybe that thing back in high school.

I still remember the last name of the guy who invited everyone over: Smet. SmetCon was this guy inviting over two or three groups of gamers to his house one weekend afternoon, where he was going to run us through an adventure. Perhaps a dozen players were there. Make the most powerful AD&D character you can at whatever level. So I made a druid, which I never played before, but at that level would have been super powerful if any element of the adventure took place outdoors. It turned out to be a dungeon crawl.[1]


Our large party decided to split up so our characters could cover more ground—which naturally meant that half of the players had to be sent out of the room, because “you get to have no fun for a while” was the accepted method of playing RPGs back then—and then the game slowed to a crawl as the two groups decided the heck with plundering the tomb of whomever and decided to set up traps and kill each other off.

960It could have been awesome, but we were all pimply-faced teenagers and it turned into a crappy afternoon if you were on my team’s side, who seemed to have longer gaming timeouts than the other (although I’m sure that’s because the “you have no fun in the other room” time seemed slower than actually doing things at the table), and one egregiously asinine moment when the red team successfully detected an anti-magic force field thing you could pass through which disenchants everything[2] so they teleported to the exact opposite side of the field in an attempt to fool any of us who could track them into thinking they walked right through. Of course, when our team investigated the barrier and—not finding anything odd—we passed through, we didn’t notice the instant neutering of our magical glowing and floating stuff. We were all near 20th level: the half of our gear that didn’t glow actually spoke to us. Hell, at least one adventurer had a bunch of magical pebbles that were orbiting his head.

Cue the inevitable cries of foul from teenagers going through puberty once the subterfuge “and none of your magical items work” ambush was sprung.

Crazy kids.

That might have been it, but it’s one of the few games I actually played in and one of the few games in which I, and half the players, were sent away to not play the game while playing the game[3] which is why it probably seemed so loooooong. Thing is, I didn’t learn from that—in the college games, I still regularly sent people out of the room to have No Fun until much, much later when I realized that I characters keeping secrets from each other is far more rewarding when the players know what’s going on.

  1. Yeah, I was kind of a stupid kid. []
  2. This is the type of bullshit we had to put up with in the early days of Dungeons & Dragons. Did you know that Gary Gygax’s first game with his children had them finding a huge chest full of coins and treasure, but the chest was too heavy for them to move? What a dick. No wonder so many people approach the GM/player divide as adversarial roles instead of as a collaborative one. []
  3. ? []
Gen Con 2013: Regret and Joy, Work and Play

Gen Con 2013: Regret and Joy, Work and Play

Gen Con 2013 was full of regret, for the people I didn’t get to meet; full of joy, for the simple acts of kindness and generosity. Gen Con 2013 was full of work, with all my free time eaten up; full of play, when free time actually was free. It was an amazing show, and one that I nearly didn’t attend. Luckily, things feel together not exactly at the last minute, so there I was, in Indianapolis with the best weather I’ve experienced for the convention.

Continue reading “Gen Con 2013: Regret and Joy, Work and Play” »

Gen Con schedule!

Gen Con schedule!

Tuesday, August 13
Hey, I’ll be arriving around seven in the evening! Contact me if you want to meet up!

Wednesday, August 14
9 PM: The Diana Jones Award ceremony/party

Thursday, August 15
Exhibit Hall Hours: Generally, I’ll be in The Bob & Angus booth in the Mayfair Games area.
I’m working with Pulp Gamer this convention, which is providing video support for Mayfair Games, which leads me to the first big thing:

6 PM: Mayfair Games Block Party
A free event open to the public on Georgia Street (where the food trucks are). You’ll probably see me in either a red and black Pulp Gamer shirt or a blue Mayfair Games shirt. Either way, I’ll be lugging a camera around on my shoulder, filming you!

Friday, August 16
Exhibit Hall Hours: The Bob & Angus Show booth in the Mayfair Games area in the morning, then again in the last two hours.
Drop by and chat! Or stare and point.

7 PM: Running a game at ICC 112
I’ll be running a RPG (Star Wars) over in ICC 122. This will be the first time I’ve actually run a game at Gen Con, which is strange — Back when I was in Arizona, I’d be running convention games and game day sessions all the time. This will be my fourth Gen Con, the first I’ve actually run a game.

Saturday, August 17
Exhibit Hall Hours: The Bob & Angus Show booth in the Mayfair Games area until about two, then back again for the close of the hall. I’ll probably still be in the hall after hours, but most likely I’ll be back in the room, prepping for Sunday’s event.

Sunday, August 18
All day: Catan North American Championship, Mayfair Games closing ceremonies.
I’ll be providing graphics support to the live broadcast of the CNAC pretty much all day today, then somewhere in the Mayfair Games area for Mayfair’s closing ceremonies.

Monday, August 18
I’ll be bidding Indianapolis a fond farewell around midday.