Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunzagek Gadzhialma*: The Savaged Brown Robe Sessions

Sunzagek Gadzhialma*
*They aim to misbehave

Collecting on a Kickstarter perk, I had the opportunity back in May 2012 to get together with the cast and crew of JourneyQuest (JQ) and members of Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG), to play Savage Worlds and the results were… incendiary.

How this all came about

During the JourneyQuest Season 2 Kickstarter campaign, Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE) set up incentives for other organizations to help spread the word about the campaign. One such incentive promised that if PEG could raise enough pledges for the JQ2 Kickstarter, then ZOE would record cast and crew playing the Savage Worlds RPG. Further, the JQ2 fundraising campaign offered a “Brown Robe B” package that included a personal gaming session run by JQ writer/director Matt Vancil again with the cast and crew. Being a fan of both JQ and Savage Worlds, I ‘savaged’ my pledge to the project. To meet both objectives, ZOE combined them into one weekend.

Day One

Clint Black, the Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager for PEG, came in and ran an excellent tutorial adventure set in the JourneyQuest universe with an all-orc cast of Player Characters – continuing the tale of Rilk the Wise, Yart Flayschildren and Grellnock Skullsplitter who are joined by three others of their clan: Drurt, Zeeba and Mooby. His adventure “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” was fantastic, fun, and extremely entertaining.

Participating in this session were: Jesse Lee Keeter as Rilk, Christian Doyle as Yart, Matt Vancil as Grellnock, PEG special guest Cheyenne Wright as Drurt, Aubrey Kehres as Zeeba, and myself as Mooby. 

Day Two

With only the previous day’s tutorial under his belt, Matt Vancil took the helm for the second session and continued the tale of Rilk and company, this time picking up the trail of Glorion the Orcslayer and into the underbelly of the Temple of All Dooms.

Participating in this session were: Jesse Lee Keeter again as Rilk (for the first half of the session), Samara Lerman as Rilk (for the second half), Luke Amundson as Yart, Scott C. Brown as Grellnock, Clint Black as Drurt, Brian Lewis as Zeeba, and myself again as Mooby.

Matt has committed to writing a short story (or possibly a published RPG adventure) about the sessions at some future date, which will become canon in the JQ universe. I’m intentionally not revealing the plot of the sessions so as to not spoil any of his fun or the poetic licenses he may need to take to avoid literally exploding his universe (I did hint a bit about Mooby in some fan fiction).  Ben also recorded pieces of the sessions and a few snippets of those may slip out in the future (such as the post-game discussion on the JQ2 Supporters DVD).

Was it worth it?

Quite honestly, when I committed the pledge I was terrified that I would regret it. All sorts of scenarios popped into my head: I’ve never met them, they’ve never met me -- would this get weird? What if the session was only two-hours? on and on. With these people, I shouldn’t have worried. Matt, Ben, and Clint are professionals and they went above and beyond my expectations, not only making a fan feel welcome, but providing a lasting memory. The same holds for all the people I met -- they truly are a great community.

Finally, what I valued greatly from these sessions was to see a spark of collaboration kindle between PEG and ZOE (technically, between PEG and DG) in what I’m hoping is the start of more. This was the first time the cast and crew played Savage Worlds and they took to it like green to an orc on a cloudless day. 


Thank you to all the Savages who pledge to the JQ2 kickstarter -- your support of both Savage Worlds and JourneyQuest made these sessions possible.

Thank you to Beau Prichard, Tyler Hill, and Taylor Buhrman for Friday morning and afternoon – Glitch is awesome and I cannot wait for the next season to happen.

Thank you to the all-star players: Cheyenne Wright, Christian Doyle, Jesse Lee Keeter, Aubrey Kehres, Brian Lewis, Samara Lerman, Luke Amundson and Scott C. Brown.

Thank you to DTwenty Games (now Card Advantage Games) for the use of their spectacular venue and hospitality.

Thank you to my wife for agreeing to let me go on this little journey.

And my most sincere gratitude to Clint Black, Shane Hensley (for sending Clint), Ben Dobyns and Matt Vancil for organizing this and truly cranking the fun dial to 11. Well done, guys, well done.