Liveplay Report: Slap Happy Games, They Happen

Those who have been following along know that I have been enjoying Modiphius’s Conan RPG with my family. We play Friday nights. The downside is that my wife and my eldest both work jobs with shifting schedules. Three weeks ago, we ended up calling it a night without any game. Two weeks ago, we came home, everyone over the age of twelve exhausted, but knew we did not want to get into the habit of canceling games. So, we played. By the standards of some, it was a disaster. Others might’ve considered the game a total win.

Split Focus

Everyone had eaten and had a long day. So, between full days and a combination of mental and physical exhaustion, it was difficult to maintain focus. I didn’t even pull my books out and it was admittedly hard to read my organized notes. We all knew one thing, though, my eldest’s character was imprisoned from the activities and choices made during Conan’s downtime/between adventures mechanic of Carousing, I had figured we would end up running a Heist-style adventure using the rules from Conan the Thief. I just didn’t have it in me, though. Neither did half my group.

Instead, they brilliantly thought to talk their way out of things. After all, they had just saved members of the royal family just before this all happened. I really didn’t think they would think of that. So, a series of back and forth banter ensued. There was very little dice rolling going on, but there were plenty of smart and funny things said. My eldest was freed only after having her weight measured against a duck. When the scale stuck, I wasn’t sure what she would do, but a simple stomp seemed to fix the issue.

Fun RPGs with Monty Python skits

Yes. You heard me right. Monty Python made an appearance in the game. It occurs to me that I need to broaden my children’s video library. Meanwhile, my wife got it chuckled and didn’t say anything.

We Still Got to Play

After being released from jail, the crew had one mission–to check the library for clues and help insure the safety of the princess. Here, too, there was also a comment about the princess perhaps being in another castle. But, there was investigations made and meta-gaming was controlled where players actually had to communicate with one another based on what they found.

Clues lead them to look for someone in the market. To my son’s dismay, it wasn’t the merchant who had sold him the cheap sword for at least twice its value. But, they followed the clues to the next victim of a cursed tome. After saving the life of two, they were able to realize another piece of the puzzle. An ancient curse on a bloodline. However, with a final comment about how the features of the latest victim were unmistakably similar to the first victim and how one of the players asked “Oh, this one is a merchant too?” we simply couldn’t recover. The uproarious laughter was too much, took too long to recover from.

Stuff Happens, Fun Matters

I thought for a moment that I owed the group an apology. They all assured me I did not. They had fun and they knew it was a struggle for me to run anything that night, but I tried anyhow. Granted, not all of our games are like that. However, having the occasional game like that is okay. Also, everyone was involved. not just one or two players. No one was left out or put off by the jokes and distractions. When THAT happens, that is when there is a problem. Furthermore, we still accomplished some things. Like many games, it didn’t go quite as the GM had planned, but it did progress. Our next session was set up for a combination of investigation and dark secrets with something that interests everyone.

Sometimes, the game takes an unexpected turn. Sometimes we’re tired and distracted. But, if we can still manage for everyone at the table to have fun, we have succeeded.

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