Argyle & Crew a success at TotalCon! The tale of a Sock Puppet scavenger hunt and a sale to celebrate!

First – the sale! Right now and for the rest of this week (through till next Monday) Argyle & Crew is on sale! You can get the PDF for $2.00 (normally $2.99) and the printed version for $7.50 (normally $9) all at DriveThruRPG!

A few weeks ago I ran a morning session of Argyle & Crew at the brilliant Total Confusion convention. I came armed with 12 tube socks and enough glue, washable markers and paper cut-outs to decorate a small whale. I was a bit nervous, as this was the first time I was running the official game as published for a group of kids I’d never met.  I knew from the folks at the convention that my A&C event was full (8 people) and took that to be good news!

The evening before the event, I met up with Wayne from Sages of RPG and somehow talked him into lending a hand with the event and into taking photos. Every photo in this post is his, and I owe him a huge thanks for doing that, and for helping with the scavenger hunt!

In the end, I had seven kids show up for the event, ranging in age between 7 and (at a guess) 13 or so. We had a blast. I explained the rules to them, which since it’s a simple, kid friendly system took next to no time. Even before I was done they had started going nuts on their Soppets.

I'm the one with lots of facial hair

As they were busy creating their Soppets and choosing extras, Wayne was off with a handful of blue sticky notes, pasting them in various semi-hidden areas in the board game room and hallway. He had spoken with a few folks he knew, because Wayne seems to know everyone at these things, and there were stickies hidden at various game tables and areas as well.

Hey! More horsing around!

In this variant of the scavenger hunt scenario included in the Argyle & Crew book, the Extras each turned into a one time ability that could be used only during the actual scavenger hunt. Weapony type things, like the burning cat developed by one player, or the freeze beam used by another, each caused the affected Soppet (and player) to lose one turn. Wings, jet-packs and other flying or speed adding extras gave their Soppets a 15 second head start for each round. I’ll have the updated scavenger hunt (modified for cons specifically) available in the forthcoming Little Book of Big Ideas.

Yo Habla er... Stickio Noto?

With that, they were off!  The first round saw several players frozen or hit with fire based weapons and sitting this round out. My all time favorite extra was also used. It was a laser in the shape of a banana, that when it hit you, caused you to only speak in Spanish – even if you didn’t know Spanish.  I don’t really know what the other convention goers thought, but suddenly there were kids wearing sock puppets roaming the room and hallway asking people (in psuedo-Spanish for one case) if they had seen any blue sticky notes.

Found one!

The first round was a success, with all four non-turn-losing kids returning to me sticky notes in hand. After a brief break where we discussed the merits of speaking to adults using a sock puppet, they were off again!  After 30 minutes of frantic sticky note hunting, it came down to who had collected the most. I also interspersed rounds of  scavenging with rounds of trivia. Questions included such favorites as “Name one of the creators of Dungeons & Dragons” or my personal favorite, “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?”  Yes, I did actually ask that and no, no one scored a point on that one.

Emergency Soppet Repair break

I feel really good about how this event went down. The kids had a great time, I had a great time and as it turns out, our two highest scoring kids were the two youngest, who each walked away with a copy of the book. I had an extra copy to give away, so the rest of the kids entered into a sudden death trivia contest and one winner walked away with my last copy.

It’s very encouraging to see that lots of people enjoyed this, and not just the participants. We had a lot of smiles from the groups around us and lots of smiling parents as well!

I’d love to hear more reports of Argyle & Crew games in the wild. If you have a copy and have played it, let me know how it went! If you’re going to a convention and are willing to run an event, also let me know. We can talk about what you’ll need to do this, and I can most likely provide you with a bit of prize support as well.


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