Stories from the Story-game conference

So as I mentioned somewhere around here, I started my first day of the ‘Indie Hurricane’ game-a-thon.

I played a Superhero-comix game this morning, from 10am-1pm, called ‘Capes’. In partnership with the devious and mystical Dr. Calamitous, I played a villain named Solaron, the spirit of a star, formerly enslaved by an advanced civilization in the perversity known as a 'dyson sphere’. Having escaped countless millenia ago, I stride from Solar system to solar system destroying the advancing civilizations that surely will one day attempt the same - the entombment and indentured servitude of freely shining stars, innocent givers of heat and light for the pure joy of caressing distant planets with their twinkling light. Now, burning within a shell of the alien armor forged from the onyx fragments of the Dyson Sphere, I walk and fly like a living eclipse, on the surface darker than the belly of the void, but hinting of indescribably searing and raging light from within.

Summoned by Dr. Calamitous, I came to help him siege the Justice Citadel, home to superheroes residing in New York City. Lorgon the Mindbender (master of mind control), Majumba the Hunter, and Buzzbomb (an aging but invulnerable superhero still rocking, since 1940), met us at the gates.

I sensed the trapped and tortured star buried deep in the nuclear reactor powering the Justice Citadel. I determined to free it, ally with it, and set its power loose.

Instead the combined might of the superheroes trapped me too within the nuclear encasement, returning me, after all these countless millenia of freedom and vengeance, to the despair of imprisonment and slavery. Now the superheroes kick back, watch movies on their vidscreens and eat their cafeteria super-lunches, all powered and provided by me, a fueling source of endless rage and sorrow.

Fucked up. And totally true. I can’t tell you how bad I wanted to tell a story of freedom. I could feel the-spirits-of-star-people supporting me, invisible hands turning the dice this way and that, giving me high rolls, one after another. I’ve never rolled so good. But it came to an end, two villains vs. three superheroes. The villains really couldn’t win.

This so reminded me of an old revelation I had
, about what kind of stories we tell with many ‘superheroes’.

I won’t forget this.

[edit: apologies to Dr. Calamitous (Joel), Majumba (Gilbert), Buzzbomb (Seth), and Lorgan (Jennifer) for not including more of your characters in this story, and thanks for helping me to discover it! Seth offered the dyson sphere bit, Jennifer called me ‘a living eclipse’, Joel hosted the game, and Gilbert opposed me with every fiber of his hunter’s body!]

Incredible. Absolutely incredible. Did the other players get that level of the story?

They did, although they passed over it a bit quickly for my taste. Joel, the host of the game (no GM in Capes!), said he wanted to play a more sober and less campy session of Capes, and this more than satisfied him (in terms of comix, think Marvel Mutant Massacre from the mid 80’s, or some such).


In other news, I have an hour before I plunge back into the conference. I have about 4 or 5 story-jams I’ve signed up for today, each lasting a few hours.


Yesterday, I cannot tell you how high I got off of talking to indie game creators and players. What incredible fun. I met so many people. I felt like someone had slipped crack in my iced tea. I hate meeting new people! But you wouldn’t have known it. I think that says something about ‘following one’s bliss’. This story thing has really shown that to me.

Also, the stigma and bias that I have personally had to ‘role-playing games’, that only non-functioning geeks play them, that they only serve as a platform to express power-fantasies, I have totally blown that bullshit out of the water. In fact, I met so many sincerely sane, cool, and creative people, that I feel a bit ashamed.

Besides. The more I think about it, the more I realize: geeks do all the coolest things. Geeks play with the very code of culture, thought, and information. Geeks REWILD for god’s sake! Geeks love Story, and spoken tradition (think of all the geeks who have memorized every line from this or that movie).

What does it mean to ‘geek’? I think it means to ask questions no one else will ask, to hold preciously Story and insight. To celebrate revelation, and dream. Somebody said somewhere, ‘You didn’t get the memo? The war ended. Geeks won. Look around you. Don’t feel ashamed anymore.’

Although if you went into a public high school I think you’d find the war still raging.

Anyway, apparently my crack hasn’t worn off yet. Hrm. :wink:

As one who has geeked even longer than he’s rewilded, thank you. :slight_smile:

Cool Willem. I’ve always felt that the roleplaying I’ve done is a very important thing. I used to get bummed out that so few experience it like I did. I’m happy to see others brought into it.