Friday, 15 August 2014

RPG a Day, Day 15: Kill 'em all and let Dagon sort 'em out

My favourite con game ...

I've played a few really memorable games at cons, but to be honest there's only one that really leaps to mind at the moment. The year was 2001, and I was at GenCon in Milwaukee. I had only signed up to play in two games, both live-action Call of Cthulhu games. The first one was fun, but it was the second I was really excited about. It was being run by Cthulhu Live supremo Robert "Mac" McLaughlin. Loads of people I knew from the game's mailing list were going to be there.

I had missed signup, but the guys running it were happy to let me in. They assigned me the character of Somebodyorother Marsh, high priest of a Cthulhu/Dagon cult and, of course, a late-stage Deep One hybrid:

Yep, that's me. 
So I had a high old time leading my sinister cult and trying to get hold of a copy of the Necronomicon that was kicking around. I would make evil villain gestures, and say things like "Find him ... and bring him to ME!" But when the authorities were around I acted like a crazy old guy, explaining my froglike hopping as "shrapnel in m'ass ... from the 'Nam. Out there in the jungle ... it was just me ... and Charlie!" (I didn't have the mask on for those scenes, obviously)

But about two-thirds of the way through the game, things took a turn for the weird. We were making our way around the tunnels and back rooms of the stadium where we were playing (which we were sharing with a bunch of tables of annoyed RPGA players) when we stumbled on a small room that had some clothes hooks on the wall. From the pegs hung long yellow robes and pallid masks. 

Oh holy crap!
Now, we knew that there was a Hastur cult also operating in the area, trying to swipe the Necronomicon which was rightfully ours. Me and m'boys immediately decided to hole up in what was obviously their headquarters and thump them when they got back (being Deep Ones, we were big and strong and into brute force and ignorance). 

However, a passing civilian spotted us going into the room and started walking off purposefully. So we murdered her and dragged her body into the room. Only another group of guys spotted us doing that and came in to check it out. They turned out to be Delta Green agents, and there was some gunplay and clawing before we dealt with them. And then a group of reporters spotted us dealing with them, so we had to murder them. By this time we had killed probably about a third of the characters in the game, but our actual enemies were nowhere to be found. 

While we were doing this, they were off summoning their nightmarish master and implementing a new reign of madness. We had been off murdering bystanders while they got their ball into the end zone. We were baffled -- how had they never come back to their base? 

It turned out that the room we had found had nothing to do with the game. Yes, it was full of yellow robes and white masks, but it was just a coincidence. Mac hadn't put them there. We guessed that they must have been left over from a Cthulhu event earlier in the day? That's the only reasonable explanation. 

Isn't it? 

Isn't it? 

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