So last night at Game Night, our buddy Mur GM’d a quick little RPG called "The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men" (you can order it on Lulu.)
In this game, you play gingerbread men at Christmas. Each one has a Dark Secret. You are in a world where all cookies are eaten or the magic stops after Christmas, unless you can hitch a ride with Santa Claus to the North Pole, or you are chosen to be the one Cookie Ornament that is put on the tree.
It’s a very fun little game, very easy to jump into. You come up with a basic background–I was a birdwatching cookie, Kevin was an angry punk rocker, our buddy Angi was a fire starter, we had Jason the Cookie Revolutionary–and a Dark Secret (I wanted to be eaten by birds, Kevin was licked by the cat before baking and deranged as a result, someone’s mother was killed by a pumpkin, etc.) You use magical candy for various items–licorice ropes, peanut glue, red-hots for grenades, etc.
As with all games, the first act is to utterly foil the GM.
The NPC who was supposed to be our Story Hook–last year’s Cookie Ornament–was in a box of ornaments. We broke into the box with explosives, got inside, discovered everything was wrapped in newspaper (Kevin was screaming "SMASH THE ORNAMENTS!" Jason was screaming revolutionary slogans.) and that there was a strand of tangly christmas lights. The NPC ornament, at the top of the box, yelled down that the lights were dangerous and we should avoid them.
Tearing through all that newspaper to find an ornament heavy enough to smash the windows (we wanted to get outside) seemed like a lot of work. Newspaper burns, however. Our firestarter had JUST pushed a box of matches onto the floor…
"Burn the box!"
"Burn it, then smash it!"
"OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE YOU IDIOTS DOING–"
"Don’t worry, comrade! We will liberate you from the oppression of the box!"
"I’ll throw an explosive red hot into the lights! Then they won’t be a problem any more!"
"WHO GAVE URSULA EXPLOSIVES AND OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE–"
"Up the revolution!"
"Power to the cookie!" (After awhile, we all fell into cookie revolutionary mode. It was sort of infectious.)
"If you are martyred, yours will be the first statue erected in the new cookie homeland!"
"If you live, you will be expected to help build the statues!"
Our GM went grimly to get another martini.
With the box ablaze, an electrical fire started in the corner, and the NPC cookie screaming from the top, we basked in the glow of a job well done. Cookie Guevara, in fine revolutionary form, staged a daring rescue of the NPC cookie–"The revolution leaves no cookie behind!" but had to glue him to his back in order to escape down the rope, as the cookie had taken a great deal of fire damage and had one arm and no legs.
Our GM put her face in her hands. "You…just…glued…the NPC…to your back. Permanently."
"Well, I couldn’t just let him DIE," said Jason.
"No, actually, he would have preferred that."
"You know," I said, struck by sudden inspiration, "If we burn the curtains, the house will fill with smoke, and they’ll HAVE to open a window."
"I have matches!"
"Burn the curtains!"
"Let the cleansing fires take the human oppressors!"
"Viva la revolution!"
Meanwhile, the other group of cookies, who were, y’know, being sane and crap, had successfully scaled the heating coils of the fridge in order to reach the Oracle who dwelt in a cookie jar on top. The Oracle told them to get out, now. "Santa Claus isn’t coming to this house," said Mur. "There is waaaaaay too much naughtiness going on. We might as well climb into the microwave and end it all now."
"…would you like me to help you get into the microwave?"
"AUUGH WHAT ARE YOU ALL, CHAOTIC NEUTRAL!? Burn this, burn that, glue my npc to your back, assist my other npc’s suicide, burn the curtains…"
"I prefer to think of myself as Chaotic Stupid," I said, with dignity.
"YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED!"
The billowing smoke caused the family to flee the house, leaving the door open, and we escaped into the night. Our GM ended it there, as it was getting very late, and a good time was had by all.
It’s an awesome game. Anything where you have to put your head down on the table and cry with laughter for awhile–multiple times–is a good evening.
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