Last Sunday, the wife and I decided to go to the GameON! Tabletop Gaming Charity Event in Makati. GameON! was a massive effort by the Makati Marauders with the help of the Gaming Library to bring together gamers from all over Metro Manila to play tabletop games, including, but not limited to card games, board games, miniatures, wargames and of course roleplaying games.
We arrived at around 10:00 AM or so, just in time for us to score a room for the morning. The venue was excellent, with several small rooms that could seat anywhere from six to ten people comfortably. Each room had good lighting, air conditioning and a whiteboard dominating one wall. The first room we gamed in was perfect and it didn’t take long for us to settle in and prepare when the first of our volunteer Playtesters stepped inside.
Miguel was the first to join the Playtest. He introduced himself as being fairly new to the RPG hobby and he was curious to try it out. I felt that this was perfect as my current project was aimed to be a rules-light, newbie friendly game. I didn’t waste time handing him an index card as a character sheet and got started guiding him through character creation. This was when Juabe joined in as well, and in a matter of thirty minutes or so, we’d put together a rag-tag band of player characters. My wife, Silver Countess was playing a J-Pop Idol Singer, Miguel was playing a Luchador, and Juabe was playing an up-and-coming Rapper.
The first game was a pretty good, with Miguel and Juabe pulling off a victory against the villain. I was particularly impressed with Miguel and Juabe’s creativity and lateral thinking. There wasn’t much in terms of “Uh… I attack it.” in the session, and that’s a victory in my game design book.
By lunchtime we had been joined by Samantha, an old friend of ours who had just recently been able to join us in the games. We had a quick lunch outside and got back to find that our room was already taken. Thankfully we found another room which we’d been able to share with another group playing Ladies & Gentlemen. Miguel was also already playing in another game elsewhere at the time. We were joined by two others: Ken and Erwin, both of which were also GMs. That brought the player count up to four people and we started with character creation again, leading to Samantha’s memorable Russian Athleti-Matician.
The second game was a riot, where the entire team pretty much ruined a rival with a combination of guile and general lack of shame. It was a whole lot of fun and several other groups were already peeking in on us and wondering why we were laughing so hard. By the time we finished it was around five o’clock in the afternoon, and I was able to get some quality feedback from the volunteer playtesters.
I felt that GameON! was a solid event. The organizers were very easy to work with and welcoming of all kinds of gaming. It was a strong effort from gamers everywhere, and I certainly hope that the team behind this find that this is something worth doing more often.