It’s almost Winter Fantasy, one of my favorite cons out there. This is the first place I ever played in a battle interactive. So for this week’s column, I’ve decided to talk about my love/hate relationship with the battle interactive.
A battle interactive is a multi table game of any RPG. Each table acts simultaneously in the event and can even lend help to other tables. Some battle interactive have multiple, different events occurring simultaneous while some have every table doing the same event at the same time. Let’s give this a rundown of the good and bad at them so you know what to expect.
Team Work-You and your friends are part of something much larger. You get a feeling being part of the larger group while getting to see the rest of the group. You and your closest over hundred friends are all gaming together at the same time.
Influence-I have a character who sacrificed himself to seal away an elemental. His name is forever part of the Living Arcanis world. Throat Punch, my gaming guild, is known for trying to prevent the capture of Myth Drannor from secret demons. I have personally affected games that many people play. I take pride in that.
Prestige-Battle Interactives are few and far between. If you’re part of one, other players will want to learn about what happened at it. You’re famous!
Reward-Battle Interactives are rare experiences. When you do them, you travel far and wide to get there. You play for long hours. And, the organizers reward you for it. Battle interactives have some of the best loot/boons that any event in a living game can offer.
Time- Battle interactive are about EIGHT hours. Now eight hours of DnD is fun, but even I need a break after eight hours. Once you’re in, you’re in, so keep that in mind when you go in to the event.
Bad days are REALLY bad-When you have a bad day of DnD, it’s about four hours. Maybe the dice are cold for you or maybe you’re not in a social mood today. In either case, DnD just isn’t where you want to be today. Battle interactive tickets are some of the first tickets to sell out so you buy those months in advance. You don’t know what kind of DnD day you’re going into. Now, when you play, it’s eight hours of bad DnD Day. It still beats work, but maybe not by much.
Challenge mode!-A battle interactive isn’t your standard Living Game experience. You don’t role-play much. You don’t go shopping before in the town. You don’t take things slow. In a battle interactive it’s GO GO GO! You will be hit with the highest challenge your party should be able to handle. You will take your turn in under 30 seconds. You MUST know your rules for your character. YOU MUST BE READY! A battle interactive is a stressful experience. You get thrown into the hardest, most brutal fights with a timer. You have to complete objectives that are nearly impossible, and you have to move fast enough to get them all done NOW! If you fail you let the room and your organization down!
Your GM- I’ve been in awesome battle interactive, but I’ve also been in not so fun ones. Even people who play the same game don’t have to see eye to eye on how the rules work. If you and your GM are likeminded, then it’s eight hours of fun. If you and your GM don’t like each other, then you’re going to have a bad time!
Friends/Enemies- If you go to a battle interactive and you bring a full table with your local gaming group, get their early! You might get a choice table with your full party and life will be great. If you are going alone then go early and find some new friends. Hopefully, you and they will love one another and you will make friends with some people you’ve never met before. And it will be a glorious eight hours of gaming. On the other hand, if you don’t know these people and you get stuck with five alpha males or power gamers or some other group you hate, then it will suck.
That said, I still love Battle Interactives. It’s a great day of DnD. Even a bad day is awesome. I hope I see you at Winter Fantasy!
How about a few tips:
-Bring some drinks/food in a small cooler
-When you get a break, go to the bathroom/smoke. Get the biology stuff done when you can!
-Veggies and fruits are your friend. Don’t just pack chips and cookies!
-If your character is complicated, bring books and have them marked with your powers/spells.
-Be nice to your GM. He’s here to have a good time too!
-Be nice to your fellow players. They are your life line!
-Be able to take your turn in under a minute. Five players plus one GM with two monster groups means 14 minute rounds if every player takes a two minute turn. You might only get 30 minutes in a particular scene.
-GET TO THE PLACE EARLY! For life to go smoothly, you should get their 20-15 minutes in advance. It makes making groups easier. It makes getting GMs easier. It makes every facet of life easier. DON’T BE LATE! Same goes for breaks!