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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Shab-Al-Hiri Roach] Fastaval 2006 Demo Game  (Read 5267 times)
Per Fischer
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Posts: 203


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« on: April 22, 2006, 06:55:16 AM »

I was invited to the Danish convention Fastaval over Easter 2006 to demo indie games. Apart from a lot of talk about indie roleplaying games and running 60 minutes demos more or less round the clock, I had the opportunity to play a full game of Roach Thursday night. I was a blast.

I had promised Jason to “shamelessly pimp” his new game in Denmark, and that’s exactly what I did. The hype started on my own rpg blog (in Danish), and the six copies I brought with me were all sold faster than anyone can say NAANGI-IN. I could have sold more. I even printed my own t-shirt with the Pemperton University logo on the front and “Shameless Roach Pimp” on the back.

We played appr. 3 and a half hours and went through all six scenes. I was the only one who had actually read the book, but it was the first time playing the game for me as well.

The players were my old friend Paul, one of the rpg pioneers in Denmark who brought with him a copy of D&D back in the seventies I think, Peter and Gustav, who I have played with quite a bit via IRC, and Peter’s friend Jes, who I did not know beforehand.

I briefly explained the setting and idea of the game and we headed straight into creating professors. What a bunch.

Paul: Professor Simeon Pride-Llanthrope, Foreign & Ancient Languages: Central Asian Language History. Enthusiasms: Manipulation and Self-destruction.

Peter: Prescott “The Bomb” Harris-Sibury Jr., Botany: remote pollination. Enthusiasms: Sociability and Pleasure.

Gustav: Professor Siegfried “The Kraut” Hessen-Karlstein, Anthropology: Phrenology. Enthusiasms: Cruelty and Status.

Jes: William “Spear” Bisby, Poetry & Drama: Shakespearean Drama and 17th Century Poetry. Enthusiasms: Debauchery and Wit.

Per: Woodrow E. Hamilton 3rd, Geology: Slate Formations. Enthusiasms: Sport and Status.

We played in the convention “café”, which was also a bar selling expensive draught beers, drinks and essentially red wine. We played under the influence of red wine. The first two scenes were relatively quiet as we all came to terms with how to play the game and how to play together. We had some academic discussions about budgets and how many glass cabinets should be allocated to the different departments. Thing started to heat up in scene 3, the Pemberton Follies of 1919, where the university Chaplain suffered death by a Croquet mallet. One of the game’s most astonishing storylines was the rise and fall of the German Phrenology professor, and it began right here. Prescott “The Bomb”, if I recall correctly, tried to murder the German, and managed to deform his skull with a mallet.
When Professor “Kraut” measured his own skull after “the accident” he had become homosexual according his own theories and research. And the good professor believed his theories to be absolutely fool proof.

I can’t even begin to relay how the game from here on tumbled into an absurd, crazy and enormously funny, unforgettable, game session. Characters became roach bound by the numbers, and status fluctuated wildly. Only the boring asshole Woodrow Hamilton 3rd, played by me, managed to be roach free through the entire game. Hamilton had a come back on the rugby team during the Homecoming Game, and actually managed to score a magnificent touchdown that no one saw. Everyone’s attention was directed at the stampede that killed the team’s quarterback Bantam Whaley.

Professor Kraut, in his new role as a devoted homosexual, sexually assaulted Professor Emeritus John Gerard during a toilet break at the Faculty Senate Meeting. The old Emeritus suffered an instant chock and heart failure. I think it was here that Gustav maniacally shouted the words “I set my professionalism and sexuality at stake!!”.

During the final scene, the Christmas Ball, the story climaxed when least popular co-ed Regina Sutton (Regina was also involved in the Croquet incident earlier and had had her features re-arranged with a mallet), dancing with professor Kraut, had her dress pulled off and her terrible secret revealed to the whole faculty, guests and all, right there on the dance floor: she was a hermaphrodite.

We had no breaks during the game, and just played pedal to the metal full steam from start to finish. We shouted, laughed and called out Roach commands like mad. What an absolute blast. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

I know see we missed the rule of 2D12 when roach bound and directly acting on its command for the first time, but the mechanics flowed smoothly. At one point Peter badly wanted to give Gustav Fan Mail a la PTA, and a player to player reward thingy was the only thing we missed. Everyone set scenes and tried to get involved in conflicts, and there was no dull moments or players waiting for their turn.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2006, 07:11:46 AM »

Per, you are my hero!  It occurs to me that there is nothing in the rules to prevent you from saying "You know what?  You're great.  I'm giving you some of my Reputation, because I admire you that much."  It's a terrible idea, of course, because it introduces stupid bidding wars in the endgame, but when somebody does something spectacular, how can you resist?  I guess the best way to stay within the spirit of the rules is to enthusiastically support them in future conflicts as a sort of reward.  I'm glad the Fastaval game went so well - I hope you took some photos!

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Joe Murphy (Broin)
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Posts: 178


« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006, 04:50:39 AM »

Photos? They had freshly-printed magazines wwith interviews, reviews AND photos for every day of the con!

Nice work, Per. =)

Joe.
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olleolleolle
Member

Posts: 14


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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 07:19:07 AM »

Per, outstanding. Good report.

I heard (anecdotally, not having attended this year's Fastaval) that this session was a downright killer.

(Aside: How'd you print the t-shirt?)
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Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2006, 06:48:58 AM »


(Aside: How'd you print the t-shirt?)

On special transfer paper on my inkjet printer, and ironed the motifs onto the shirt. The Pemberton logo is downloadable from Bully Pulpit Games' website.

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
pedyo
Member

Posts: 54


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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2006, 04:50:35 AM »

This game rocked so hard that I still get girlie giggles just thinking about it. I don't know which part I liked the most: the unseen touchdown that also included the squashing of the quarterback's head and my character stealing away the football, the death by erection scene or the hermaphrodite (who was actually the dean's wife as I recall, not the former-most popular co-ed).
The roach is excellent, excellent, excellent.
And that's a fact.
/Peter
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Peter Dyring-Olsen
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