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PAX East: Indie RPGs

April 3, 2013

Dear Reader,

Today’s installment is from my “other” buddy, Malchiah.  He covers an indie RPG panel.

The Indie RPG panel was a particular pleasure at PAX East this year. I’ve played a number of indie games and enjoy exploring new systems or mechanics, and while there are more games than I will ever get to play, it’s always good to see more independent game designers in the mix. Sometimes fresh ideas can add a new perspective we otherwise might not experience since too many players limit themselves only to the tried-and-true game they’ve played for years.

I picked up Vincent Baker’s “Apocalypse World” game, which was touted by the other panelists as being very helpful while designing their own games. I have yet to look through it enough to see for myself, but I made sure to give Stubborn a copy, knowing he’s more likely to actually read it than I am.

However, what was most interesting for me was the panelists’ discussion on live-action roleplaying.  I’ve never really been interested in LARPs before (believing them all to be vampire-related) but Emily Care Boss changed my mind. I now want to experience the Battlestar Galactica LARP ( in Sweden, complete with uniforms and weapons aboard an actual destroyer.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, there was recently an all-female LARP entitled “Mad About the Boy” ( which involved a scenario where all men died off due to some genetic disease. Participants had such deep, emotional experiences, I find myself wondering why more LARPs don’t achieve this level of immersion, or why it’s taken us this long to realize just how much fun we could be having.
Unfortunately for me, it seems LARPs like this are more easily found in Europe.  Until I hunt down some good ones or do some traveling, I may have to be content with Disney. Apparently, they will soon incorporate the concept by creating scenarios where their actors will carry out elaborate storylines throughout the theme park guided by unseen directors acting as gamemasters. Guests would be able to participate and influence the storylines based on their interactions.
I might enjoy a “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed storyline, but knowing me, I would simply test the limits of decency.  Mickey and Minnie are bound to have a breaking point somewhere. 😉
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