Thursday, April 30, 2015

#GetOutAndGame Too - The 2015 Season

Did You #GetOutAndGame in 2014?

Last year I put the call out to all you fantastic gamer-geeks to grab your card games, board games, and role-playing games, and head out into the world.  I believe that one of the best ways to pull more people into the gaming community is to showcase our favorite games out in public.  Sure, we do this whenever playing at a friendly local game store, or a gaming club, that's sort of a given.  

But there are a lot of other places where we can gather and game.  As my contribution to #GetOutAndGame last year I wanted to find these locations and and report back to you all.  So along with my daughters and a few great friends from the Norwin Game Knights, I explored some unconventional options for role-playing games!

As we prepare for the 2015 season of #GetOutAndGame, I'd like to recap our adventures from last Spring and Summer, to show you how much fun you can have gaming abroad!

Park Hopping

Not once, but TWICE I managed to pull some players together to try Numenera in a public park.  Our first game was at White Oak Park, and our second was at Oak Hollow Park, both in the Pittsburgh area.  We found that gaming in a park allowed us to combine two great activities:  biking, and role-playing!  Along with a packed lunch and lots of water, we got some exercise in and then ran Seedship, an adventure from the Numenera core book.  

The only downside to gaming out in "the wilderness" is the bugs… especially if you have a child that doesn't like bees or hornets!  Although we had a few close encounters, we're definitely going to try this again!


Did you know that you can pretty much game in any restaurant so long as you ask permission first?  Alternatively, you can not ask for permission, and just show up to play!  We tried both methods as I ran Numenera: The Beale of Boregal between two sessions: one at Five Guys Burgers and Fries and the other at Panera.  We asked the manager at Five Guys if it would be a problem to roll some dice for an hour during a Sunday afternoon, and he gave us the green light!  We even scored a healthy extra dose of fries for our game!  I'd say the only downside to playing a game at Five Guys is the grease.  I'm pretty touchy about keeping my books free of marks and spots.  Take a look at that massive pile of fries above… it was next to impossible!  

Panera was easier on the books, but we took a risk trying to play without asking first.  There is a long table at our local Panera, typically used by other groups trying to hold meetings and gatherings.  Since it was open, we grabbed the table and started rolling dice after a club meeting.  No one came by to stop us, and it actually felled a lot like playing at home… possibly because I spend so much time at Panera!

We actually had a third restaurant session… one that was a bit more stressful as a GM!  When looking for local restaurants to host our gathering, Romano's in downtown Irwin offered us a table.  We happily made reservations for what seemed like their least busy evening, but when we arrived the restaurant was packed… and our table was right in the middle of the dining room!  Nervously I ran Sleeping Giants while several other diners watched my crazy group of gamers partake in a roleplaying game.  Of all our events, I would say that this one probably exposed the most "non-gamers" to our epic hobby.  Who knows, maybe we planted a few seeds?
Classic old-school gaming meets the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, as we concluded our 2014 #GetOutAndGame season with a little gaming surrounded by leather clad rogues and steaming, smoked turkey-legs.  Our choice of OSR titles was "Adventures in the East Mark", which I had just picked up at Gen Con 2014.  I still don't know how I talked Andy, Emily, and Jeremy into giving this a try, and to this day wish we had planned better.  Since we tried gaming during lunchtime, seating was very limited and we were stuck out in the open on a really, really hot day here in the 'Burgh!  

After gaming in two parks, and three restaurants, we figured that the absolute LAST place we would get heckled would be at a Renaissance Festival… we were wrong!  A staff member, doing surveys, questioned what we were doing, and asked why we would be playing a game in the middle of all of the other great events.  There were a few other chuckles from passersby, and several comments, but I didn't care.  I managed to score a TPK (total party kill!)

#GetOutAndGame 2015!  

Okay gamers, it's a new year and time for a new season of #GetOutAndGame!  And this year, I don't want to do this on my own!  I promise to pick some new, crazy locations for our group to play, as well as some new and exciting games, but I need you to do something in return:  I want you all to try this, at least once, and then report back on your event.  Use this as a reason to try that one special game that has been sitting on your shelf for months.  

What?  Your summer is full due to vacationing?  Well why not take your adventuring on the road!  We'll save that for another post, but get your thinking caps on now!  We're already planning to be RPG'ing at Disney World this fall for Disney Con 2015*!

*Disney Con 2015 is not an official, sanctioned gaming convention… yet.