Inconceivable? Not quite. On Thursday evening from 7-8:30PM, five experienced RPG players met in the Westin Augusta 1-2 for a gaming opportunity set in the world of The Princess Bride. GM Jeff Burns lead the following: Captain Salty Dog played by Paul Klotz; Lady Estonia played by Chelsea Steverson; Francesco Fernandez Santiago Sanchez played by Marx Pyle; and finally Vilker, along with his talking sword Cutting Wit (that insults its foe) played by Matthew Charles Malis.
In addition to the panelists’ characters, audience participation was actively encouraged, which led to hilarious NPCs and comical issues. Making appearances throughout the game were an orphan girl, a giant named Andre, a stowaway gnome named Gary, a psychic who could only see the past, and a time traveler who is always late (consequently, this character was “played by” Jeff Goldblum.)
The action began aboard a galleon ship named the Flamboyant, pronounced with a very silly French accent of course. The tribulations facing the intrepid oceaneers included a serious lack of alcohol and a growing rabbit problem. On this maiden voyage of the Flamboyant, the action began with a welcome ball. Lacking booze and being overrun with rabbits, the crew braved a stormy sea, shrieking eels, getting lost while trying to get lost, and time jumps that took the story back to interesting moments in history, real and imagined.
But wait, there’s more. No, literally. During game play, anyone could call out, “Grandpa, wait!” This triggered an immediate change in course as dictated by the speaker. “Wait” moments saw the characters dealing with an appearance, fighting the Persians on behalf of the Sparta 300, nearly getting arrested in Prohibition era New York, and finally making it to Tortuga.
Though many incidents were introduced by the audience, some of the events were tied directly to fate and the roll of the dice. A holy hand grenade? Nope, just the user’s manual. Being saved after falling overboard? Psh, a poke in the eye and almost being eaten by eels. Plotting a course to Gilligan’s Island? Nah, Jurassic Park here we come.
Risqué subjects, charging T-rexes who just want to be loved, and even an appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow, The Princess Bride Roleplaying Game: Interactive Liveplay! was a fun and appropriate way to spend the first evening at Dragon Con 2019.