RPG A Day 2022 – What would be your perfect game?

For me, a perfect game isn’t about the rules or the game itself, it’s about the experience. It’s the dice and the story coming together to create a memorable experience – the sort of thing where everyone looks around the table after the session and collectively says, “Damn, that was fun!”

I’ve had a few of these moments. Playing “Barbarian Lives” in the Dungeons & Dragons Open at GenCon in Milwaukee was one. A three-round event, the scenario rewarded role-playing, with people voting on who should advance to the next round. The story itself was a soap opera-inspired arc; I can’t remember the details, but I remember being excited to come back to the game each day. Despite playing with people I didn’t know, it turned out to be one of the most rewarding RPG experiences of my life.

The “Fall of Obsidian Bay”, one of the culminating events of our long-running Blackrazor Guild campaign, featured the Scarlet Brotherhood invading our heroes’ home city. It featured stunning revelations, expected betrayals, epic confrontations with villains, and a great wyrm stomping its way through the city’s center. The players lost the fight, but the individual stories told during the Fall were awesome.

The “Shadow Demon Saga” took advantage of one of our player’s long-running gimmicks: his Book of Grudges. The book noted everyone who had ever slighted the character, and the adventure opened with his enemies suddenly turning up dead. The ensuing investigation revealed the character was possessed by a shadow demon, which proceeded to start killing people on his grudge list. It gave rise to one of our group’s most famous quotes: “That explains all that missing time…”

I don’t know what my next perfect game will look like – as in baseball, you never know when a perfect game will happen, and you certainly can’t make it happen. But I know that experience is out there somewhere, just waiting for us to find it.

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The barbarian from Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Credit: Wizards of the Coast

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