Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] [Event] Dragonbunnies by Nimrod Jones

  • FromSuperFRED <superfred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 5 Dec 2006 13:27:53 -0500
This is an auto-generated report from SuperFRED regarding an event that Nimrod Jones has submitted.

Title: Dragonbunnies
Location: Dragonmeet '06, UK
Date: 2nd December, 2006

[Since I've noticed that Jenny has already put in her own report I'm refraining from repeating too much; so read this as something of a companion report, I guess.]

- by Nimrod "As Seen In Treehouse" Jones

It is genuinely scary how quickly time passes. It seems like only a couple of months ago when we were last at Dragonmeet, but I turn around and find that twelve months have past behind and it is, indeed, that time of year again.

Dragonmeet is a one-day event in London which has attracted a lot of support and even frequent attendance from people like John Kovalic of Dork Tower fame. The Looney Labs corner has gone from strength to strength over the years. From one table the first year I helped out there, to two tables to this year when we had three (my memory may be wrong, but it makes a nice story). Delayed due to an accident on the motorway we got there just moments before the doors were about to open and even as we were finishing setting up the regulars were up to the table to find out whether we?d be running "Are You A Werewolf?" which has certain proven to be a convention favourite.

Although we'd run "Treehouse" at Conception in February this was the first time (at least when I?ve been around) that we'd had all the official stuff, like the official dice, the nice glossy brochures, etc. It was the first time I'd actually gotten to see all this and so it was with a little surprise that I opened up the brochure and found myself quoted within. Both Jenny and Alex responded with: "I thought you knew." Nope, I didn?t know, but it certainly entertained me - although what entertained me even more when I stopped to think about it was the Americans who might be reading it thinking: "Geez, these Looney Lab guys are getting really desperate making up crazy names like Nimrod Jones!"

With the Trees and Forest promo cards I think that "Treehouse" was definitely the flavour of the day but that didn?t stop a good few games of "Chrononauts" getting played, the obligatory "Fluxx" and a few more that I?m probably not aware of because I was either a) too busy with something else or b) on a break and wandering around catching up with other familiar faces at the con.

Jenny, alas, was a little worse for wear and as a result a little out of it, but between us all we managed to cover the tables well enough. I know that in these situations Jenny always feels like she?s not helping out much, but as I?ve always re-iterated, if it wasn?t for all the preparatory work she makes with the posters, handouts, giant-sized versions of games like Q-Turn and Cosmic Coasters, baking brownies (which is alone by far more than any other demo team has ever done!), and for the most part all the games (except when I?m actually able to bring my games, also, which I wasn?t in this case). Without any of that the demos simply wouldn?t be as good as they are.

With Jenny and Janos leaving it was time for "Are You A Werewolf?" which is often the traditional game to be played at the end of the day. Commandeering the now empty LARP room we sent out an announcement across the tannoy system which was promptly blanked out as white noise by most of the guys I knew wanted to play the game that I bumped into later to make sure they'd heard the announcement. Of course, we had no trouble filling the game.

I decided to have a bit of fun this time round and give a bit more detail for the setting. In games that I?d run with the university roleplay society we'd had a lot of fun variations including "Are You Under the Thrall of Sauron?" set in Middle Earth, of course, and "Are You A Nark?" set in a hippy commune. For simplicity sake, however, I decided to keep both games the hunt for werewolves, and simply interject a bit of setting. The first game I set in Germany in the 16th Century shortly after the real case of Peter Stubbe, historically the first 'confirmed' werewolf, setting it in a nearby town now gripped with fear and paranoia that any of them could have also been a werewolf. Getting into the spirit of things they'd begun accusing each other even before the cards had been dealt. The second game moved the action to Iceland during the early parts of the Age of Settlement in the 9th century and the hunt was on to find the skinchangers, who don the skins of wolves and transfor!
 m to make their sacrifices to Loki in this lawless land while the Seer prays to Odin to grant him visions. It was in this second game that I witnessed what had to be the most coordinated trap I've ever seen for a werewolf (aside from the infamous: "I'm the other werewolf." "No you?re not." exchange in a 'home' game which promptly lead that careless fuzzball to his lynching and never living it down).

This is worth a little elaboration. In the first game, uncharacteristically, instead of shouting "lynch!" they were shouting "wolf!" which for the second game I got them shouting "ulf!" and in both games (especially the second) I witnessed far more detective work than is usual. Part of this, I suspect is because I decided not to hurry them at any point and just let them get on with it, but I also suspect that a lot of it comes down to the contribution of the veterans of the game who were after a little more than the mob rule ? even if they had to struggle to get that recognition. A popular additional character that we use is that of the Alchemist (known as the Doctor in traditional "Mafia" games) who is able to protect one person per night (except for themselves). In the very first night (as I've seen happen in a few games) the Alchemist struck it lucky and protected the correct victim by complete chance. It only took a few rounds for them to then flush out one of the two we!
 rewolves and then things got incredibly strategic! The Alchemist made the bold move and announced who he was and who he knew to already be safe (i.e. the person he'd successfully protected) and was fully expecting to be devoured in the night. He'd worked out that by now, unless the Seer had been exceedingly unlucky, that the Seer should now have a very solid idea of who is innocent, by announcing himself and who had survived the first night he hoped that the Seer would then announce who he knew to be innocent and thereby narrow down the list of suspects. However, the Seer didn't immediately announce himself, but the Alchemist wasn't yet to be sacrificed, as the werewolf made the mistake of trying to be clever by not killing him and trying to arouse the suspicion of the remainder. At this point Alex piped up saying that he was the Seer and pointed out some of the ones he thought was innocent. The thing that amazed me was that he wasn't and the Seer didn't seem to contradict !
 him (although Alex did point to him as innocent). The arrangem!
 ent bein
g that the Seer would be protected by the Alchemist (the classic set-up) while they identified the survivor. In the night, of course, the Alchemist was finally targeted by the werewolf and on the morning the true Seer piped up (with Alex agreeing that he'd been lying) and pointed to the real werewolf after his process of elimination meant that he now knew that everyone else still alive was innocent whether by his own investigation or otherwise. How they managed to set that one up without having the time to actually communicate that plan I have no idea (perhaps Alex would care to enlighten me on that as I didn?t get the chance to ask him afterwards before he left).

With the auction at 6pm pretty much everything had ended although impressively the final auction was to be the only ever prints to be made of the "Dork Tower" two-parter in which Ken goes to Dragonmeet (including this second one http://archive.gamespy.com/comics/dorktower/images/comics/dorktower540.gif in which the organiser, Angus, appears) signed and dedicated to whoever won the auction (Kovalic had agreed to this after being interrupted by the phone call that same day whilst illustrating for "Cthulhu Munchkin"). Angus ended up bidding against his own girlfriend but won it in the end for an incredible £450 (all money for a children's charity).

And so endeth Dragonmeet 2006.

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