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For you RPGers out there...

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kennyjb



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 465
Location: Clovis, CA
For you RPGers out there...  Reply with quote  

Ok, I'm not going to give you a game to play here, but an RPG to play at home with your friends. What's an RPG you ask? It's a Role-Playing Game. While this genre is sort-of applied to many computer games, that's not what we're talking about here. I'm talking about the Dungeons & Dragons (aka: D&D) type of game where you and your nerdy friends sit around and talk about what you do in the game, and roll dice to see if you are successful or not.

Actually, I'm going to tell you about 2 different games. The first one is rather difficult to play, but it is significant because the creator claims that it is at least partially inspired by one of CM's books, and is ultimately responsible for me discovering the AG's work.

Sorcerer - This game, created by Ron Edwards, was inspired in part by Practical Demonkeeping. In PD, Travis unwittingly has become a sorcerer - someone who summons demons, whatever they are - in this case the cuddly and adorable Catch. In the game, each player (besides the GM, or game master) plays a character who is a sorcerer. Each character has a demon who is bound to them, and which can be summoned by the character. The character himself can be good or evil in demeanor, and may be a sorcerer intentionally, or not (as in the case of Travis). However, demons are evil and have needs. They must be fed, usually humans, in order to exist on this plane. Demons love to be summoned, they love to be here, and they love to be with other demons. Demons have supernatural powers, sorcerers do not, except that they can summon demons.

The character has attributes (points) that help determine whether he can successfully summon, bind, and control their demon(s). One is willpower, which is the strength to control the demon. Another is humanity, which is basically sanity. Each time you make your demon do something really nasty, you may lose some of your humanity. If you lose all of your humanity, you become completely insane, which is a bad thing. Also, if you fail to accomplish an important task (you don't make the required dice roll), you can trade a point of humanity for another chance.

The thing that makes this game different from any other RPG I've seen is that the GM does not create the world, the situation, or anything about the characters or their demons. The players do, and that's what makes this game difficult for seasoned RPGers who are used to being told where they are, what's around them, and what's happening. In this game the GM merely "plays" all the demons. His job is to be Catch, to cause as much mischief and havoc for the demons' own purposes, and to constantly test the willpower of the sorcerers.

My group, which I am one of the newer members of, having joined in 1996, tried playing this game with about 8 players. We had a very difficult time. Our GM, my buddy Sean (the one with the PD booksigning poster), contacted the game's creator to ask what he was doing wrong, because we're a really good gaming group. When Sean told him we had 8 players, he was shocked. He said he didn't know of anyone trying to play with more than 4 players before.

We didn't play this game too long, but I loved my demon. His name was Puff, he was a giant puff of smoke whose connection to this plane was an ancient ceramic water pipe (bong). When he became visible to others (right before he entered the hapless victim's lungs and sucked the lifeforce from them) he looked like that episode of Star Trek TNG (or was it in a movie, I can't remember) where Capt. Picard is like in real-time, and everything else is slowed down to the point where it's not visibly moving, and whatever is causing it is making him go crazy, and there is a warp core breach, which looks like a cloud of smoke or steam that is not moving, and he draws a happy face in it with his finger. Puff was a very powerful demon, and my character was pretty weak, so Puff was pretty much out of control the entire time and caused much death and destruction, and quickly consumed what little humanity I had left.

Learn more Here



Elfs - Yes, it's Elfs, not Elves. This game is from the same creator, Ron Edwards, and it is very easy to learn and to play. The entire rules take up about 5 pages, and they're hilarious. Elfs are self-centered, greedy, immature little midgets. They have three different stages in life - oral, anal, and genital. Elfs in the oral stage are obsessed with putting anything they find in their mouths - junk food, candy, whatever. Anal-stage elfs are obsessed with anything to do with their (or anyone else's) digestive functions. Imagine Terrence & Phillip on South Park. "I farted." Genital elfs are obsessed with sex. All elfs like treasure, and they don't like to share. They are infantile and greedy. And the way you get experience in the game is not to get money, but to spend it!

Ok, this all may sound really stupid. But believe me, it is fucking hilarious. The really funny thing is that it doesn't seem to work for kids, they don't know how to be infantile nearly as well as 40-year-olds! We played this for the first time about a year ago, and one of our members had a new girlfriend who sat appalled at us as Sean described the rules to us. She really didn't want to play, but we eventually convinced her to give it a try. She chose an oral elf, and she was clearly the most enthusiastically infantile player by the end of the first session!

Our group usually plays monthly, and since we started playing Elfs, we haven't bothered with any other game. It's just that good. Be careful though, you might sprain something from laughing so hard!

Check it out Here

Like I said, we usually play monthly, and we're always looking for some new meat... er, players to join our little group. We meet in San Jose, CA, so if you're a Bay Area fruitbat, and my probably inadequate description of the game hasn't completely turned you off, and you think you'd like to laugh your ass off, send me a PM and we'll get you on the email list.
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