September 12th, 2014

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#RPGaDAY in August: DAY 28 - Scariest Game You've Played


Day 28 – Scariest Game You’ve Played
I’ve never been truly ‘scared’ during a tabletop RPG. I’ve certainly felt ‘on edge’ in some Live Action games when I’ve either been in pitch black cave networks not sure what’s waiting round the bend (and not knowing where that bend even is!) or creeping along in a dark Napoleonic Fort’s underbelly knowing that a pack of werewolves is on the prowl somewhere wanting my vamps blood… but LARP can often be a lot more ‘immersive’ than tabletop.

There are two games that could qualify I guess… The first was when we were playtesting the development of ‘The Book of Unremitting Horror’ (Pelgrane Press) when one of the players decided his character had really had enough and decided to just scarper… which to be honest is what anyone in the situations we were getting in would do if they were sane. His PC ended up (unbeknownst to the rest of us) driving out of London, getting on a ferry and leaving the country. I can’t remember what exactly happened but I think whatever it was he was running from did actually materialise on the ferry (I think he was heading to Norway so it was quite a lengthy journey) and reclaim what it was after as he’d foolishly taken an artefact or something with him instead of just dumping it somewhere before he left.

The one I’m going for though was a game of ‘Hunter: The Reckoning” that we played with characters based upon ourselves. It was fantastic (atleast Delphine and I thought so – I know a couple of the other players enjoyed it less) and pretty intense. I think it was possibly slightly more intense for me as Delphine was the type of person who would go running “in to haunted mansion to explore” whilst I am the type of person who wants to read up and study what we may about to be getting ourselves into as opposed to diving in head first. However with Delphine running into those situations it meant that I was running into them to (against my will and better judgement) because I wanted to be there if things hit the fan and couldn’t bear the thought of her in danger. It also created some great in-character arguments between us.

The game was intense in places – as we knew nothing as characters at the start and also our GM played around with things so even as players we couldn’t “presume” what we knew of the World of Darkness was correct. It all got too much for one of the characters/players who vanished. We had no idea what had happened to him – he wasn’t answering his mobile and had told no one where he was. We later found out that he’d left London and gone to his family home up in Leicestershire to just get away from everything. It was a fantastic game :)

hunter rpg

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#RPGaDAY in August: DAY 29 - Most Memorable Encounter


Day 29 – Most Memorable Encounter

It was in the early days of September 1985 and autumn was already in the air. I had just returned from a visit to Paris to see my grandfather who given me £10 as a present.

I’d been told about a new shop that had opened about five miles away. I’m not even sure I knew its name but it was apparently brimming with games, including lots of RPGs. I was told it shut at 5pm so by the time I got home from school and my Mum had rang a taxi for me (as it’d be quicker than getting to the underground station and then getting a train) it was getting quite tight on time. Traffic didn’t help and by the time we got to the street the shop had opened on I only had a few minutes to1 go. I was almost heartbroken.

I had no idea *where* the shop was – just the road name – and it was a very long road. I had been told it was ‘near’ the station but that was about it. I leapt out of the cab and ran into a newsagents to ask them about this mecca of games. They’d not heard of it and time was running out. I literally ran down the street, dodging pedestrians, trying to spot this store… and my watch was slowly passing the 5 o’clock mark.

Then I saw it. I almost barrelled through the front door, panting and out of breath and gasped “Are you still open? Please don’t close!” to a bemused older gentleman behind the counter. “That’s ok, we close at 6 so you have plenty of time.” he replied.

That was my first ever visit to Leisure Games and introduction to the man who started it all only a week or two before my out-of-breath entry. From that moment on I spent almost every afternoon after school in the shop, ended up helping out a bit after school and then on Saturdays when he needed cover and then when his Saturday boy left for university. He then asked me to go fulltime, something I couldn’t do initially as I was still at school but he (and me) eventually got our wish and I ended up spending a fantastic 19 years fulltime at Leisure Games with a previous 4 part-time.

Tony never ever forgot the moment a young out of breath boy ran into his shop and I’ll never forget Tony. He was by far the best and most memorable encounter I’ve had involving RPGs. I owe him so much.

PS – My £10 was spent on a copy of AD&D “Legends & Lore”. The first of many purchases from Leisure Games ;)

Tony LG 1

Leisure Games 91