Open Play 48: Crossroads, Into the Odd, Pickets & Blinds, Bhaloidam

30 Jun

6pm – 10pm

Tuesday, July 2nd

Guardian Games

303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

The drill:
6:00pm – Chit chat, socialize, make merry.
6:15pm – Introduce the games and facilitators, facilitators will have the sign up sheets. Then, game on!
9:30pm – Drinks at …? Where should we go guys?

And for the games!


There’s a man at the Crossroads Cafe who can give people what they want, if they do something specific in return. You are going to visit him. This is a ready-to-play story game for up to four players and a facilitator.

Into the Odd:
The world is too large for anyone to fully map and too old for academics to accurately record. Explorers return from every direction with tales of bizarre places, wondrous and horrific.

You are an Explorer, braving the unknown in search of riches, fame, knowledge or power.

Academics know that searching in places too dark or distant would show things too foul to be recorded. Even the most comprehensive references of wildlife are filled with apocryphal entries. Those that seek out monsters to slay will find death before long.

The setting of Into the Odd, by Chris McDowell, is filled with normality. Sure, there are revolutions, terrorists, murders and wars, but this is all very mundane stuff. The Odd is out there to be found, buried beneath the surface. Battles may be fought with guns instead of swords, power may be held by politicians instead of wizards, but down under it all, there is something terrible, something unknowable…something Odd.
This will be a variant of Into the Odd, set in more modern times. That will be all you will need to know…or all that you will EVER know…

Pickets & Blinds:
This is a game. It’s you against the other players. There will be winners and losers, but everyone is going to have to live with what they’ve done.

Some games have you move little metal dogs and race cars across a board. Other games make you throw dice, or run around, or make difficult strategic or diplomatic decisions. This game has none of that. This game is all about telling stories: stories about how normal people in normal American towns end up killing each other.

Every player is going to tell his own story. Each story will be a separate and unique tale of a murder in the suburbs. The stories are told one scene at a time as everyone takes turns. Every time your turn comes up, you tell a little more of your main character’s story, picking up where you left off, describing another scene. The stories are not scripted, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. You are trying to keep everyone else at the table entertained.

As you tell your story, you’ll try to include particularly
exciting moments (called Triggers). Once you work a
Trigger into your story, you get to play a simple, Memory- style card game, the goal of which is to capture pairs. As pairs are made, they are removed from play. Collecting these pairs earns you points, and when the cards run out, the player with the most points wins.

Successfully collecting pairs also allows you to mess with the other players’ stories, making things trickier for their characters, and generally heightening the tension. This leads to even more exciting stories.
But it’s not all that cut and dry. There is another factor
at play: which card that can’t be paired up? If at any time you’re able to guess what card is without its match, you greatly increase your chances of winning. Guess wrong, and you’ll lose the game. There’s a reason that odd card is called “The Downfall.”

Bhaloidam “Super Dysfunctional”:
You’re a team of superheroes with a contract to protect Megaopolis. Sadly – between sky-high insurance premiums, inflated contractor budgets for repairing damages done by the team, and ever-increasing support-staff salaries – this highly-coveted contract barely covers operational expenses, let alone pays the supers a living wage. So, you’re forced to seek endorsements in order to live the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. Unfortunately, in order to land the good endorsements, you must stand out as an exceptional member of your team.

So now, with Megaopolis under threat, you must balance working _with_ your team to fulfill your contract, while making sure you grab enough of the limelight to pay your mortgage next month.

Ready, Set, Game PDX is brought to you by Play Out Loud. Play Out Loud serves Portland with spontaneous shared storytelling activities featuring non-mainstream games. Learn more at

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