Earlier this month I had the opportunity to travel with two friends to Go Play Northwest, a “convention for people who like to design, run, and play independent role-playing games.” It amounted to a weekend of solid story-gaming, as well as a chance to meet new indie-gamers, catch with up old indie-friends, and rub shoulders with indie-greats. Fortunately for me, some of those fields overlap; fortunately those around me, I had the good sense not to use the word “indie” so often around them.
Personal highlights included:
In a Wicked Age: An utterly-irredeemable demon-child (played by my friend Daniel) riding his own terminally-ill queen/mother (played by me) down rough-hewn stone steps to an in-use torture chamber.
Destructicus Prime: a toy-based smash-up that opened with Ben launching a tank off a ramp (landing on and then smearing an entire dimetrodon across the arena) and concluded with three players so desperate for glory they attempted called-shots to a volcano–with their own vehicles.
Shab-al-Hiri Roach: Jackson’s physicist, so graviton-obsessed that he created a “Collider” to study the effects of dropping very heavy things on very breakable things. Just when I thought he couldn’t relate gravity to the religious ego-check I was delivering, he drops mention of Lucifer’s own fall.
Tunnels and Trolls: not story gaming per-se, but I was pretty chuffed when my faerie wizard “Whim” hollowed out the inside of a donkey-headed skeleton so that it might serve him as power armor/mecha. That I was as a result later able to make use of a powerful but life-leeching magical item with no ill-effects was simply undead icing on the necromantic cake.
There exists a list of notable quotations from the convention; they will likely make even less sense out of context and to those unfamiliar with the games win question, but that should not stop you from scrolling down to the bottom of the page to read the my only appearance on the list, which I had no idea anyone had heard, let alone written down.
Though I’ve detailed a handful of independent games before, I’m including below links to additional games that I’ve played and would recommend checking out, no matter the cost to life or limb.