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Although some of our Ohio folks have already been to BashCon this year, the con season really kicked off this past weekend, with the Hex staff attending not one but two conventions. Ian and Colin Thomas (cult hero) went to Louisville for Conglomeration (Ian’s posted a brief summary on the Hex forums–hopefully he’ll go into more detail either on the forums or in a con report here [hint, hint]). Meanwhile, I headed to scenic Carbondale, Illinois for Egypt Wars. I arrived around noon Saturday, just in time to register and catch the end of the pony-themed Pathfinder game that one of the Quilt City Ogres was running.
My first game was All-Star M-Force, which was attended entirely by players from my current low-budget super-heroes campaign. While I would have liked to have some new-to-QAGS players (after all, I can run games for the Ogres any time), it turned out to be a lot of fun. The set-up for the game is that players are celebrities (preferably minor or washed-up ones) who work for Hollywood M-Force office, so the PC party consisted of Emilio Estevez, Lou Diamond Phillips, the guy who played Gate Keeper in the old Nightmare VHS game (who had by now completely taken on the persona of the Gate Keeper), and GMC Bronson Pinchot (TV’s Balki). The Gate Keeper’s Weakness was “Frequently Mistaken For A Monster,” and I don’t think I actually let the player roll for it a single time because it was so much more fun to just assume that it happened. Fortunately, the players didn’t seem to mind.
The team was called out to handle a very serious situation: The President’s motorcade had been attacked by zombies in downtown L.A, and Obama was trapped in the zombie-besieged presidential limo. Just making their way through the panicked crowd required the team to abandon their van and make their way on foot, and as they neared the limo, they found their way blocked by a throng of undead. Although they lost Balki, they eventually made their way through to find the limo surrounded by zombies. The only thing that stood between Obama and the walking dead was Snakes On A Plane star Samuel L. Jackson, who was standing on the roof of the limo doing his best to keep the zombies at bay.
After saving the President (and Sam) with thrilling heroics, the team discovered that the zombies seemed to be acting according to a plan, which probably meant they were being controlled by a zombie master. Meanwhile, Glen Beck was using footage of the Gate Keeper getting into the limo to prove that Obama was, in fact, in league with the zombies and was planning to turn the U.S. into an undead utopia where Americans were rounded up by FEMA and thrown into brain-removal camps. In order to find the zombie master, the team did some detective work and formulated a clever plan involving the Gate Keeper posing as a corpse and a fake funeral attended by Charlie Sheen, Bob Sagat, and (obviously) a bunch hookers. This led them to the zombie master’s location–an abandoned warehouse owned by the EIV Network (a division of Halliburton; the Quinn Library staff was able to discover that EIV stood for “Excellence In Voodoo” and the CEO was listed R. Limbaugh). As the Gate Keeper’s coffin was being driven into the building, the rest of the team called for backup and stealthily entered the warehouse, where they witnessed Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Karl Rove doing some kind of Voodoo ceremony. When the coffin was open, the Gate Keeper jumped out and creeped the hell out of everyone just as the rest of the team made their presence known and the bad guys surrendered out of sheer terror right before backup (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Brad Pitt) arrived. The newspapers the next day told how Samuel L. Jackson had valiantly risked his own life to save Obama and defeat the zombie master.
The zombie theme continued later that night with Roller Girls vs. Zombies, and I walked into the game room to find 14 gamers (including one authentic roller girl with the geek-tastic derby name of “Dawn Gin Master“) waiting to play. I was immediately glad that I’d gone overboard and made what I thought was way too many pre-generated characters for the game. Those of you who have played games in the Fratboys vs. series can probably guess the plot: the PCs play roller girls, and after some roller derby antics, they are attacked by zombies. This time around, the team was based in Cleveland and the zombie attack came in the form of Big Bad Bertha, the opposing team’s star player, who missed the early part of the game due to illness but showed up midway through and started biting people. Two of the pre-gens were ESPN 8 “The Ocho” sportscasters Pepper Brooks and Cotton McKnight (from Dodgeball), and without Cotton there to help him work the shiny buttons, Pepper accidentally shut off power to the building just as full-blown zombie panic set in. Eventually most of the team and support staff (everyone but Pepper, who the zombies were mostly ignoring, and one roller girl, whose player apparently thought that it was a good idea for one person to go off alone in a 14-person game) managed to barricade themselves into the locker rooms and raid it for zombie-killin’ weapons (mostly sports equipment).
After the weapon-gathering montage, the team made their way out, retrieved Pepper, met up with the girl who had been separated, and loaded up on the team bus–just in time for some of the members to start turning into zombies. After dispatching the no-longer-living team members, they took off through the streets of Cleveland, which was now a post-apocalyptic hellscape (kind of like it was before, only with more zombies). They made a brief stop at an S&M bar, where Pepper was unexpectedly reunited with Cotton. While at the bar, they tried to get news of the outside world, but the only show still broadcasting was Glenn Beck, who was using five chalk boards, a set of Tinker Toys, and a See n’ Say to prove that the zombie apocalypse was all part of Obama’s evil plan. The team loaded up what supplies they could find and headed out of Cleveland, hoping to find an uninfected small town. On the way out of town, they passed the presidential limo, with Samuel L. Jackson standing on top fighting off zombies. After a few stops in zombie-infected towns, the bus eventually arrived in Toledo, which had been relatively unaffected by the crisis. The game ended with the team defeating the Holocausmonauts, Ohio’s most feared roller derby team.
After the game, I joined the Ogres at the Saluki City Ogre Lair for a few beers and far more in-depth Highlander discussions than I’m usually comfortable with, and eventually headed back to the hotel for some sleep. Sunday afternoon (following severe disappointment at not being able to locate the Cuban restaurant I had caught part of an advertisement for), I went back to the con for my final game, Waxman’s Warriors, a game that takes place in Jack Chick‘s version of the afterlife. Since we’re selling the adventure and some of the people reading this may want to play it, I’m just going to say that the last game of the weekend took FOREVER. I think this was the first time one of my con games has ever lasted a full four hours. Still, it did have some great moments despite how long it took, though I didn’t manage to work in Glenn Beck this time (Sam Jackson’s disembodied voice did have a cameo, though).
All in all, Egypt Wars was a great way to start off the con season.
The Ogres recorded some snippets of some of the games at Egypt Wars and have posted them to their Youtube page.