#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 2: "UNIQUE"

How do you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it.
How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way.

The theme of this year's RPGaDay event is a list of single words which each writer can take in any direction they wish. The elementary school joke above, a favorite of my friend Ricki, emphasizes how varied a word like "unique" can be. To me, this meant talking about the most innovative, creative, out of the box and genuinely fun games I've played in.

And despite the high expectations I've set, I have to give this to a bizarre little 2-hour game called
Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja-Educational Preparatory Super-Elementary Fortress 555, or in the GenCon game catalog ADGNEPSEF555.

The game's theme is "That greatest TV show you remember watching" and all characters are elementary school students who are part of the show. It takes virtually any number of players, and players are absolutely any age (one nine-year-old was there for her ninth consecutive year.) The game is really an experience, more than a game, so I'm going to walk through the process of playing.

When you first arrive at the room, you are met by a collection of plushies, toys and props, each of which is tied to a specific character sheet. You pick up BOTH the sheet and the toy, and take them to one of the many spots at the table. This year, I was a Mercurian I mean human child. I had a chintzy space alien mask, which I always wore when I was in character.

Once everybody is settled, the people running the event proceed with the intro, which is a 10 minute scripted bit of overly-enthusiastic mayhem, with audience participation. I don't even want to know how long it takes them to memorize this, but they run through it with speed, dynamic delivery, and snappy dialog that would make a Broadway master jealous.

Then they briefly introduce each character to the rest of the group, along with their special powers, and award them candy that can be used to activate that power (or eaten.) Additional candy is given for good performances, amusing the GM's or giving commercially-viable corporate PSA's. In addition, one of the players, who selected a certain character (that may make them regret their life choices) is obliged to eat 2d6 Pixie sticks--a tablespoon or two of pure sugar, each.

Then the game begins. In recent years, they have thrown out any idea of having a planned plot, as things quickly devolve into some combination of insane plans and PvP power activations.

Our unscripted game included:
  • A massive war as to whether or not the cat character was evil or not.
  • Everybody getting their own planets, then attempting to destroy, claim, join or protect their own planet.
  • A sleepover, where everybody had to get permission slips from their parent.
  • A grand finale in which everybody does art projects.

Why is this my choice for "unique"? It's like no event I've ever attended; it's frenetic, insane and pointless, with game mechanics that seem to be a combination of throwing candy at each other and who can speak the loudest--and it's the most fun and memorable event of the con. The GM's do an amazing job of keeping the choas at a reasonable level of control so that everybody gets to participate regardless of age or tendencies to be dominant or quiet, and it's just genuinely enjoyable.

The game itself is available on Drive Thru RPG though I'm not sure it would work outside of GenCon or at least without multiple experienced lion tamers GM's.



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