Madison Games Day 2 was a success for TARGA events.
Some logistics to churn: The total turn-out for this one-day free game-a-thon was somewhere around 40-50 people, with no pre-registration and a request from the event organizers asking for referees to submit events. Event listings were just one-line announcements (see blog), so it was a free-for-all to attract players.
Chad Thorson and myself showed up at Noon, and right away appropriated a table. We began generating characters for an OD&D session using Labyrinth Lord, with a quick dive into Under Xylarthen's Tower. At first it was just Chad and one other player, but we soon acquired several more players. I had initially generated a couple of henchmen - 1st level fighters named Fred and Charley - but with the addition of two more players to round out the party to six, they were ready to go into the dungeon. Coming down the narrow stairs, they moved straight ahead and were about to enter a room when a couple of fire beetles came on them from behind. But they were satisfactorily dispatched, and their gooey glowing bits used for lighting, rather than the oil lantern wielded by Alvin the Magnificent. The next two encounters were with a giant snake and then two giant weasels. In both cases, magic-users stated they were going to cast spells (Sleep and Web, respectively), but the rest of the party went charging in, resulting in some sleepy comrades, and then some glued to the floor party members. The party then avoided a nasty undead, and found a shaft leading to the 4th level and a bunch of white apes. The cleric in the party attempted a Speak With Animals, and the conversation with the two apes went something like this:
Ape: "Ah! Lunch!"
Cleric: "What do you mean?"
Ape: "You are here! Come down! We will have lunch!"
(Cleric to his compatriots: "well, that sounds sorta friendly..." Compatriots: "What sort of 'lunch' do they mean?")
Cleric: "What will we have for lunch?"
Ape: "You! Come down! You look tasty!"
And it went downhill from there....well, it descended into a melee, with the apes knocking down two party members. I had to invoke the -10 HP rule, though I probably ought to have been more hard-hearted and simply let the apes kill the two characters. However, about it was about three hours in, so we ended the session after dispatching the white apes, and the acquisition of a magic sword.
After a break for pizza, we resumed with the same group of players for a session of Empire of the Petal Throne. The Band of Heroes was sent off to discover more about ancient devices under Fort Pu'er and ended up on a Tubeway Car jaunt across Tekumel. Ice temples, Ssu, and King Griggatsetsa were all encountered, before ending up in Avanthar.
Things broke up around 9pm, as the organizers shut things down about then.
Some lessons learned:
1) Having a referee and at least one player makes recruiting more players easier. Having Chad ready to play broke the ice for the rest of the players, so I was really happy we had coordinated things.
2) Running several different games is more work than it might seem. I had originally planned on running Classic Traveller in addition to OD&D and EPT, and I ended up with four book bags of gaming material - all of which were heavy. It would've been much easier to run the same game three times and leave the other stuff at home.
3) Having flyers and swag to hand out is a Good Thing. I had a table display and a bunch of flyers, several copies of Microlite 74 v.1.1 in booklet form as swag, and One Page Old School Primers. They ate it up. The next Madison Games Day 2 will be sometime in January; we might have two sets of events to run there.
Here's hoping you roll a "20" on your next saving throw!