Monday, December 15, 2014

RPGaDay #15 Favorite Convention Game

For the last twenty years or so of my convention experience, I've been focusing largely on wargames/miniatures games.  This isn't to say that I haven't run or played in a few sessions of RPGs,   I gotten requests to run more Lost City games using D&D or Hackmaster, and one of my earlier Hackmaster session earned me my con nickname "Q."

But for all the games I've done at cons for 25 years, my favorite must be my GURPS - Illuminati University (IOU) game I ran at CoveCon, circa 1995:  "Scavenger Hunt."

The only drawback from picking this one is that I don't have a great record or recollection.  It was meant to be a test run for a real IOU campaign that never materilzed.

Characters were a mostly gamer stereotypes turned up to 11.  I can only rember two of them: Turnbull Sit, Physics major.   Tang-sniffing surfer dude with dyxlexia.  And he did his physics calculations in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  And William, a D&D player gone the ways of Mazes and Monsters who actually thought he was a fantasy fighter.  Of course, his trusty magic broadsword was made of wood and his magic cloak was a tattered IOU sweatshirt, but he had just enough points in fencing to keep from dying.

The premise was simple:  The Annual IOU Scavenger Hunt was winding down the PC's team was in the thick of things.   With only a few hours left and such a close race, there was only one item that could give any team guaranteed victory:  the disco ball from the 1977 IOU Winter Social.  As the game started, the group had just uncovered its location:  The Steam Tunnels behind IOU.


Following the suggestion in the GURPS-IOU book, I took an old D&D dungeon and fnorded it into the steam tunnels.  Every encounter was life and death.. and hillarious.   Finally, the group dispatched a rival group of werewolf cheerleaders who were looking for the disco ball as well and they encounter the big bad evil:
The Village People, now turned necromancers, and their disco zombie hordes.
For thematic effect (and to torture the group) I popped in a Village People tape into my boom box and we grooved through the final battle.
Ultimately, they defeated the Village People, stopped the zombie threat, and claimed the disco ball to win the scavenger hunt. 
My players for the game were probably the greatest collection of gamers I have ever assembled for a four-hour time slot.   Intelligent, highly inventive, and just unpredictable enough to keep me on my toes without turning the game upside down.   I dispair to think that all of these gamers lived less than a half-hour drive from my house at the time, yet by the time the next local con rolled around, all but one of them had permanently moved out of the area.  Probably too much potential awesomess in one spot.

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