2012-07-16 : Audience Participation Murderous Ghosts

Meg and I did a fun thing at Connecticon. It was audience participation Murderous Ghosts.

We had maybe 75 people in a conference room scheduled for 2 hours. We played twice through the game. The first time, I was the MC and Meg was the other player, and we had a volunteer from the audience, Nick, sit up front and manage the cards. I stood up front and did the MC thing, and Meg wandered through the audience. Whenever Meg had any decision to make, she polled the audience to decide and Nick counted their hands, or else she turned to the person she happened to be standing next to and had them decide.

The first story was just 20 minutes long. It was about Alice, who begged a murdered ghost not to hurt her, and it called her weak and deserving and murdered her in turn.

The second time, we had volunteers from the audience be the MC and the player. Chris was the player, and Corwin was the MC. Meg and I stood nearby our counterparts and unobtrusively helped them with the rules, and they did a fantastic job.

The second story was an hour long. It was about Chris, who somehow managed to get past the conglomerate ghost of a fire and its victims to his escape.

The audience throughout was engaged and responsive. They were evenly split on some decisions, like "do we most hope it doesn't reach out, or most hope it doesn't show us what it's hiding?" On others they were nearly unanimous, like "should we pick up the severed hand?" NO! FOR GOD SAKE NO! There were maybe some scary moments and disturbing twists - oh how the game delivers disturbing twists - and thus some gasps and lots of laughing, but I didn't notice anyone getting really scared. Which is fine, it wasn't a scary setting.

It took some energy to run, but it was good fun for a big group.

Questions & comments welcome, as always.

1. On 2012-07-18, Evan said:

Between this and the Parsely games, I think we've got a long-term crowd participation gig that may be the solution to the whole "private audience" RPG limitation.

And that is definitively a good thing.

Question is: can we get a room full of people when the creator isn't present.


2. On 2012-07-18, Vincent said:

I think we might. When Chris bought the game he was all about taking it to his favorite con in Maine to run.

We'll see!


3. On 2012-07-19, Christoph said:

For potential inspiration: a French roleplaying club, Les Pas Perdus, hosted a public Parsely Game with two roles: the "analyzer" (the guy in the box) and "the fluidifier" (the guy in disguise, moving around in the public and encouraging participation): Picture. I only read an AP report (in French) but it sounded nice. And Jared wasn't involved, so that answers Evan's question ;-)


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This makes...
ET go "Thanks! You are a Mensch, Christoph!"
CB go "NP! I guess you must be a humain, Evan!"

4. On 2012-07-20, Alex D said:

Vincent, that seems a bit of a large time difference! Do you attribute it, some, to your familiarity with the game (making the first one run faster)? Or was it just that the second one went on a bit more before reaching an end?


5. On 2012-07-20, Vincent said:

Oh, no. Games where the PC manages to escape are always longer than games where the PC doesn't.

Have you played the game? It ends when the PC dies or escapes. To escape, the PC has to not die at least 3, more often 4 or 5, occasionally 6 or even 7 times. It's just like playing a level of I dunno Super Mario Bros or whatever. If the first Goomba kills you, you've automatically played for a shorter time than if you make it to the end and finish the level.

In the first game, the PC died at the second opportunity, so the game was almost as short as it can be. In the second game, the PC managed to escape, so the game was about as long as it can be.


6. On 2012-07-25, Ed Croft said:

This is fantastic!
I'm a comedian professionally, but I'm a game-designer as a hobby (a pretty serious hobby, mind) and I've been considering ways to dual merge my loves of Roleplaying and Public speaking. Thinking roughly of taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe festival next year...

That's a wonderful model, Vincent - nice and simple and strait-forward. Having two people run it makes a lot of sense - giving the audience a Player to lead them and empathize with, and a GM to create opposition.

Can anybody recommend anything else that's been done in this vein? I'm looking into Parsley games now...



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This makes...
AD go "Microscope?"*

*click in for more

7. On 2012-07-26, Tim Ralphs said:

Wait, you're not Ed Croft as in Tom Croft's brother are you? I'm trying to make the fringe myself next year. This would be an interesting side project.


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This makes...
TR go "With hindsight"*

*click in for more

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