After hanging out with some friends in Berlin, I drove about one and a half hour to arrive at Schloss Neuhausen where this year, by popular demand, a Kraken will take place. The Kraken 2015 gaming vacation, is normally only organized once every two years, but there’s a gaming retreat this year which will be for the duration of the weekend, instead of the usual week.
Right of the bat I run into Fabian, the organizer, telling stories and inviting me for some cake. Then I’m off saying hi to familiar faces of previous years mixed in with new people giving the Kraken a try for the first time.
During the opening ceremony, Fabian introduces the guests of honor and it’s quite a line-up! Of course, like every year, Sandy Petersen is present and he brought pretty much the whole staff at Petersen Games. Chaosium vice presidents Jeff Richard and Michael O’Brien, Ken Rolston of Paranoia fame, Chris Klug, who wrote the James Bond RPG, and Jason Durall who authored Chaosium’s BRP book and is currently working on the new Conan RPG by Modiphius Entertainment.
I also meet Yohann, who I had only met online before, and we kick off a talk about roleplaying styles, Fiasco, and more gaming stuff until Sandy announces he’s about to host a screening of Blackula. I go over the gaming slots that are on the board and my name to Jason Durall’s Conan playtest, a Call of Cthulhu game and a Pendragon game.
There’s also Sandy Petersen’s horror lottery game where 6 names are drawn and you get a chance to play in a scenario with the Great Old One himself. Here’s to hoping I get into that game.
I’m then invited to Philip Glass’ The Omega Option: rule 1, a D6 based game of his own devising in which he wanted to experiment with the concept of time travel. The players were all agents of The Omega Option, a secret special unit of the Emergancy Response Agency. We’re informed that the end of existence is only 10 seconds away and we’re being transported back in time 100 years ago to try and stop this tragedy from happening. No pressure though.
We get to pick a western style character so I end up having the skills of Buffalo Bill while the rest of the party consists of the last mohican, Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, and General Custer.
The village we end up in has a number of western features but still is very modern (as we’re playing far far in the future) so the housing are made of plastic, and there a lot of modern tech present. Our computers have a map that indicates danger zones in the village. These danger zones are area’s in which we absolutely can not change the past as it will have too great of an impact in the timeline that we came from.
We head over to the saloon that has an average danger rating and find a room that has all our gear. And with gear I mean gear. There’s characters walking around with semi-nuclear power to vaporize opponents and so on. Then some gang rides into town on mad max style vehicles. Their leader seems not very pleased to find us in town after some very silly questions including “Do you have a library card?”, decides to just attack us. Boy, are they wiped out fast! Or at least the majority of them is. The rest run and get some rockets sent after them. Rockets that miss the gang but do end up hitting the library. You know, that place where all the information is that we need to solve the issue. Yeah, that place is being blown up.
We have to roll some dice to see if we did not disturb the time continuum and manage to roll three 1’s. So long time continuum. Well not completely yet but we’ll get there soon.
An discussion start about where to head to next. The doctor’s house and some cave tunnels that have the highest danger ratings seem to have the preference. But we end up walking towards a herd of cows guarded by a mechanical dog. Then the dog gets blown up causing the cows to start a stampede. Miraculously I end up dodging the stampede, doc holiday is less lucky. He tries to blow some of the cows up but fails and gets overrun. The cows then stampede through the already blown up library and nearly run over some more characters there.
We manage to salvage the mechanical dog’s head and hook it up to the screen of the movie theatre so we can check all the things the dog has seen in recent history. Just as it gets interesting, one of the players who really really wants to go to the doctor’s house, blows up the dog’s head. So … we end up going to the doctor’s house.
Two party members enter the basement of the house, manage to almost shoot each other, a third party member that overhears the shooting, runs in and blown up an obviously mysterious machine in the basement. This pretty much causes the three of them to vaporize in the explosion. Me and the last party member decide to make a run for it but we are caught by the elemental forces released by the explosion and die as well.
I think this could have been a pretty cool game if the players had taken it seriously. The idea however was to blow things up, right up to the point where the GM was like, ok, now you all die. Pizza roleplay I believe is the term. But we had some good laughs.