RPG-or-Die!-Con was a Success!!!

Thankfully, there were no blizzards, untimely deaths, or other natural disasters on Friday or Saturday, so I actually managed to pull off having my role-playing game day! 

Overall, we had five people involved, played for about 11 hours, and got in three different sessions of RPG-related fun.  I’m going to break up my report into three sections, though, both so that I can get out the content in a more timely fassion, and so that each one won’t be too long to slog through.


Kenny and Tom arrived first, and we got right into an alpha playtest of Comatose, a game that Tom has been working on for a while.  Our goal was to work through the character generation process, and I thought that it went pretty well.  Comatose is a game where you play normal people that are attacked by “the Adversary” in your dreams.  Eventually, you fall into a coma and struggle along with others who are under attack to break free before having your soul eaten (or some other grissly fate like that). 

One of the coolest things is that there are no set “attributes”.  Instead, you choose three characteristics that can be almost anything (think something similar to aspects from FATE).  As you lose conflicts, you take “corruption”, which pushes your characteristics towards their opposite, showing how the adversary sucks away who you are and turns you into a shadow of your former self.  Just to give an example, one of my characteristics was “Defend the Innocent” and the opposite that we defined for it was “Negligent”. 

In addition to being the main resource you use to participate in conflicts, these characteristics are huge flags showing God and everybody exactly what kind of story you want your character to have.  And since the setting is one of an “Adversary” attacking the essence of who you are in a dream world, it also makes total sense that most of the conflicts you would face would focus on these things. 

My character was a kindergarten teacher with a drinking problem, who had been fired for coming to work while intoxicated.  She was currently using a false identity to find work, was trying to stay on the wagon, and had just found out she was pregnant.  Kenny created a focused, aloof grad student who was preparing to defend his thesis and was suffering from extreme stress.  Tom was a dude who worked at Home Depot and had found out that his boss was stealing from the company.  But since he was having an affair with the boss’ wife and had an issue standing up for himself, he couldn’t bring himself to do much of anything about it. 

And the reason that we were all pulled into the Dream together is that we were all tied together in some way.  As it turned out, Tom was engaged to Kenny’s former girlfriend.  Kenny and I were former lovers (and he was the only man that I’ve ever really loved), while Tom and I had also had a previous relationsip (but it didn’t turn out so well since I treated his terribly and took advantage of his “nice guy” nature). 

The relationship web for our characters

Character creation itself was a fun and collaborative process, and I hope that it helped Tom identify what the next step for the game might be.  We defintely had a lot of ideas about the game, and I just hope that they were useful and that Kenny and I weren’t too obnoxious about it. 

We had sort of thought about doing chargen for Diaspora as well during the morning, but we were having so much fun with Comatose that we ran out of time.  Lunch was upon us, and Britt and Carol arrived shortly thereafter, so we just ate and got ready for Dread…

My Comatose character sheet…


  1. I think “Comatose” is shaping up to be a real winner. I’ll be thrilled to help playtest any portion of it again, and I’d like to get a full game of it in sometime, since the character creation is so evocative.

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