Friday, April 5, 2013

Original Minneapolis Dungeon

Confrontation With the Giant Weasel
(Not necessarily to scale)

Last Saturday as part of Minicon, Rachel Kronick, Eric Gilbertson, and I had the opportunity to witness a session of the Minneapolis Dungeon. This was a recurrent informal game system that was invented locally and played more or less simultaneously with the release of ODD in 1974. Rachel Kronick has a post on the history of the game (and her experience with the game at this con) at her blog. It's pretty cool that +Jon Peterson, author of  the magisterial Playing at the World, even stopped by and made a comment.

Minneapolis Dungeon had its own rules system. It wasn't ODD. Players used a 2d6 roll for most actions. It was extremely simple and freeform.  I also liked the fact that the GM asked each player to create a special power for their character. This actually reminded me a lot of a classic from the 1990s, Over the Edge (a system now open-sourced as WaRP). Some of these were pretty silly, but just about all of them got some use at the gaming table.

So much for KEWEL POWRZ being this newfangled storygame FATEy thing!

The GM for Saturday's session was Richard Tatge, who was one of the original folks associated with the Minneapolis Dungeon.

Richard Tatge is on the right

Here was the session set-up:

The Gaming Table
People took turns being audience and at the gaming table. I would say a rotation occurred every 15 minutes or so. Rachel, Eric, and I opted to just observe (i.e., be kibitzers), and I admit it, my drawing at the top of the post is pure kibitzerkraft.  But I actually liked the fact that Richard structured things so everyone who wanted to play had a chance to do so at least once during the "panel".

I wonder how else this rotation model could be used in gaming?

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