End Game October 2009 Mini-Con Report

         This was one of a continuing mini-convention series at a game store in Oakland, "End Game". There were 18 events scheduled in three time slots of 4 hours each (10AM-2PM, 3PM-7PM, and 8PM to 12PM). I didn't sign up to GM for this one, though I considered it, because I was swamped with work for my teacher education program. This time, I did two games of Don't Rest Your Head -- not out of some fannishness, but those happened to be the games and GMs that appealed to me most in each slot.


Don't Burn Your Books

Scenario Name: Don't Burn Your Books
Game System: Don't Rest Your Head
GM: Carl Rigney
Number of Players: up to 4
Characters provided? Created at session
Description: There's a new library in the Mad City, full of books better left forgotten, but you're not the sort of person to leave well enough alone or you wouldn't be in this trouble where you can't sleep and now nightmares are chasing you through the streets and the more exhausted you are the better you get and the closer you edge to madness the more that's happening but if you fall asleep even for a moment the nightmares will get you and there's just one simple rule left: Stay Awake. Don't Rest Your Head.
Beginners welcome, system will be taught.

         This was a straight run of DRYH with three players meeting up as we encountered the Mad City. I played Casey, a 20-something Chinese American who with a gambling problem who had just scored big, and wanted to make his dying grandfather proud. The others were a nerdy 20-something bookseller whose shop was about to be repossessed by his mother; along with a 19-year-old waitress, aspiring welder, and shopaholic who was being fired.

         We ended up helping out a personified book who had escaped from the library, rescuing her brother -- while the waitress got the perfect pair of shoes.

Mad, Beautiful Freedom

Scenario Name: Mad, Beautiful Freedom
Game System: Don't Rest Your Head
GM: Ryan Macklin
Variations: Alternate Questionnaire
Power Level: You're a superpowered insomniac
Number of Players: 0 of 4 seats available (no one on wait list)
Characters provided? Created at table
You are the Awake. Something has kept you from being able to sleep, so much so that you can tap into another world -- a Mad City -- filled with horrible Nightmares that seek nothing but your downfall. And something inside of you has awoken as well, a mad, beautiful power the likes of which you thought impossible.

But that's old news. You've been Awake for over a month now. You've been terrorized by monsters, your loved ones threatened at every opportunity, your very lives destroyed because no one else can relate to you anymore.

It's time to put an end to it. It's time to shut down the Mad City, for good. No more Mr. Nice Superpowered Insomniac.

         This was a rather different game, where we played experienced Awake who became part of taking down the Mad City. Our final character creation question was "What do you have left to lose?" I played Jamal, a teenage hooligan whose Exhaustion Talent was breaking things, and whose Madness Talent was "Plastic Identity." His surface was a "pimply, gangly, awkward but confrontational teen" -- while beneath was that he was leading two lives, keeping up with his homework despite his hooliganism. Lon played Walter Joseph, a 37-year-old writer whose Madness Talent was the ability to author his own story. The other player played Liz Schmidt, a 50-something woman who was an unemployed TV addict with the Madness Talent of having things delivered by parcel truck.


         The End Game minicons are still going strong. I'm not sure if I'll run a game in the next one, but I'll want to attend.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Wed Nov 28 00:17:36 2009