Here begins a story of fear, darkness, and how Dungeons & Dragons comes in handy at the weirdest times.
My story begins the Friday of Gen Con 2004. Gen Con’s pretty much the definitive roleplaying event of the year. Tons of geeks, tons of games, tons of fun. It’s the kind of event where you can run into a noted goth/industrial band, and they’ll be trying to sell you their post-apocalyptic game.
Due to last-minute changes in plans (the law ate my Jeff), I was pretty much on my own. I was looking around for a game, and someone suggested the Camarilla event, Candles in the Dark. Looked like fun, and, let me be frank with you, it had been forever since I did a LARP. And a little longer since I did one that wasn’t stupid.
So, I decided to go along. On the way over, I tried to get into something resembling character. Vampire. Right. Paranoid. Slightly grim. Terrified of myself. Got it.
I picked up my character sheet. Okay, Ventrue. That works… ooh, got three levels of Fortitude. That’s cool. So I found my coterie, and together we had a look at our group description.
We were the “Alliance of the Lawful and Just.” Hrm. We trusted each other implicitly, having fought many battles together. Double hrm. We were “Interested in improving cooperation with human authorities to fight criminals, both human and supernatural.” Holy crap.
And then the Malk uttered one fateful sentence:
“Is this normal? It says I have a lasso.”
“Alliance of the Lawful and Just. ALJ.”
“Fuck, we’re the Superfriends.”
“You better believe it, Mr. ‘Wayne.'”
Well, didn’t look like we were much for a game of personal horror. So we hit the beats, making deals with the Cam and Sabbat to try and avoid harm to humans. The game was quite a lot of fun until an infernalist showed up in our midst. Killing her took an hour and very few people got to act. Eventually, the lead ST just handwaved it and let people make cool suggestions.
Having been bored to tears, the ALJ’s spirits were down. This wasn’t helped by the fact that we barely missed the bus to get to the Vampire: The Requiem release party. Waiting an extra half hour to go to a kickass pseudo-goth event can be a powerful downer.
Yet, as we stood around on the curb, I had a wonderful, excellent, positively enormous idea.
“Hey, they want a Justice League? We’ll give ’em a Justice League.
“Tomorrow night… we’re going in costume.”