So we had to make due. And make due we did. ;-)
We ended up playing a game of Settlers of Catan on Friday night. It was good fun and Ben won, apropos since it was his "going away" party in the first place. Lots of beer was consumed and we all had a great time. I'd never played the game actually, and I have to say that it was really a cool experience. There's a LOT more strategy involved than I had initially thought.
Saturday dawned bright and early...and we started gaming around noon. Chris ended up sleeping late, as was his due.
We started in on a game of Microlite20 that I had prepared for. I had created a small folder for each of the players that contained rules and a couple of character sheets. The aim was to let the guys experience a rules-lite old school-type game. I don't think that there was anyone in that room that had ever played an edition of Dungeons and Dragons earlier than 2nd edition. This was their introduction to a type of gaming that has sadly gone the way of the dodo.
Rolling up characters took us all of about 20 to 30 minutes, including explaining some of the quirkier parts of the rules. After we had finished with that I placed them in a tavern (of course) and told them about a place called 'The House of the Worm" that was located to the northeast, in a place called "Pike Hollow". (Yes, I borrowed freely from a few sources...to be sure.)
The game played quite smoothly and there were very very few pauses for rules adjudication. I was pleased. Most of the game-play revolved around a more free-form style which was new to most of the guys. They are all experienced role players though and picked up on the spirit of the game and had a bunch of fun.
I won't go into detail about the game itself other than to say that I had a complete BLAST running the game. It was so ad-lib and free flowing that I was ecstatic. I tried very hard for a swords and sorcery appeal, something that just dripped old school flavor. I think I succeeded, the guys all raved about the game when we broke for dinner.
Unfortunately we didn't continue, but instead decided to give one of the other guys a chance at running Star Wars. Which was fun.... But a little more "involved" than the microlite20 game.
It was funny, as I started rolling up and creating my Star Wars character I was immediately lamenting the heavy-handed approach to running a game. And Star Wars isn't all that rules intensive compared to other systems. Still, it was a HUGE difference from microlite20.
The guy running the game, while good at making stuff up on the fly, was definitely into the rules and a little less into the "game" and flavor. I'm not complaining, I had fun, I'm just making an observation.
I'd like to run another game of microlite20. I'm not sure that it will ever happen though...sadly the guys I play with are REALLY into the WotC thing right now. "Sigh", what's a guy to do? The upside though is that I finally got to play a rules-lite, old school session with some grown ups AND one of the guys playing totally dug the game and setting and was talking about trying to run a sandbox game with me sometime in the future. Yeah!