#RPGaDay2020 – Day 1: Beginning

DAY ONE STUFF: It has been RPGaDay in my time zone for 34 minutes as I begin this entry – the witching hour, if the witches have a flair for dramatically late entrances which will seem very early to some. As today is Day 1, I will devote some of this entry to a review of the event.

RPGaDay is a celebration of the things we enjoy about roleplaying games and the hobby activities that have grown up alongside them. It was begun out of an experience of missing GenCon, but has come to be much more than that.

To participate, get a copy of the prompts and for each day of August, post something positive to whatever social media channels suit you, with whatever media suits you and tag it with #RPGaDay2020. Post comments, videos, animations, comics, images, poems, skits, photographs, blog entries… whatever works for you and the inspiration you derive from the prompts.

Remember there are also translations of the prompts into seven or more languages, available at this link!

The theme this year has a random and exploratory spin to it. You can chart your own course through the prompts, you can leave your course to fate, you can follow the path from 1-31, or something in between. You can go for the standard infographic in its nostalgic colors, or choose to explore the mysterious complex of twisting halls and scattered rooms. The prompts themselves are drawn from the things that players uncover, discover, or introduce into the fiction of a session, be they running a character, running the world, or something that is both or neither. So, in a sense, you as a participant have the option to respond this year either in-character or out-of-character, or some variation as suits you.

I will be working through the prompts as though we were playing a session this year – a session of a game which pays close attention to the relative sizes of snack cakes, does abide anyone stepping on churches in its town, and offers a simple question as a challenge to spooks, spectres, and ghosts…

Who you gonna call?


In Session 0, it came out that we all enjoyed how the first Ghostbusters film took the time to incorporate some legitimate spookiness into the mood as the film opens, and that atmosphere of nervous excitement thinly covered by banter was seized upon as the heart of our ghostbusters. As a result, we know that with me as the GM (Ghostmaster) one of the reasons for the characters to be so busy is that maybe the dead really have been rising from the grave. The players, as recent franchisees, will be introducing Gray Stent, Diego Spencer, Dieter Lemmon, and Dunhill Theodore to a withering retirement community for the wealthy, political, and disturbingly connected. For their part, as I bring the hints of danger, they will bring the tools, the talent, and the wit to spotlight the key moment for cold beverages to mark the end of a successful work day.

They claim to not fear any ghosts…

We open on the outskirts of town beyond the warm lights of gated mansions, and the boutique stores that service them. Traffic seeping out of the urban center was like a slow leak of waste fluids from an unclaimed corpse. By the time the crew arrives at the source of the disturbance, it is well past sundown. That definitely was not the plan. Whatever has been causing disappearances only comes out at night. The players all laughingly announce that if that is the case, they want to get there at noon – no sleeping there to check it out.

As the dim yellow headlights of their reclaimed rust-bucket of a 70s Chevy Van play across the cracked asphalt of the weed-strewn parking lot of an illegally-zoned research lab called Veracity Infrastructure Gestalt Operations, a salty wind from the coast tosses the damp remains of a condemned building notice up onto the windshield with a slap, where it clings desperately for a quivering moment, until it slides wetly off with a limp sense of sudden and resigned despair. On the radio, some sax-laden song by Hall & Oates grinds out a steady beat while Diego peers through thick lenses at floor plans he has scored from the hall of records.

Of course, inside the steamed up interior of the laboring van, still reeking of cheap automotive paint and bondo, the ghostbusters cannot actually see the condition of the actual building, or even get the vaguest sense of its outlines. The entire complex is obscured by dark and seething vines.

Their first paying contract and no one wants to get out of the van…

The vines, twisting and turning – even when there is no wind – seem to be beckoning them forward…

Dunhill Theodore’s player looks around the table and hums the tune to ‘Feed Me Seymour‘ with a wink.

“After you Dr, Stent!” quips Dieter.

“No, after you, Dr. Lemmon!” retorts Gray.

Finally, PKE meter whirring like a hummingbird, Diego Spencer heaves the door of the van open with a metallic shriek, rust raining down onto the weed-strewn asphalt. Drawing on his intimate connection with that most-quotable of movies, his player shoots a knowing glance across the table then says, “Lemmon, I want to get a sample of this,” as he mimes Diego’s passing of a sample collection dish.

In the moment, Dieter Lemmon’s player perks up, smiles, then gets faux-snarky, “Someone grows some dank weeds and you want to keep some?”

Our campaign has begun, and the four ghostbusters, with the ink barely dry on their three mortgages and ridiculous lease of an abandoned double cinema, signal that they are stepping into the writhing darkness of a vine-shrouded mystery with unlicensed, partly-tested, nuclear accelerators on their backs.

Question: What is being done to get this campaign going?

Later today, I will release a video on YouTube which will address some of the things that I think go into a campaign launch like this. In the interim, I look forward to the spread of the first hours of #RPGaDay2020 around the globe~

Tomorrow’s Prompt: Change

Speak your piece~

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