Guadalupe the Pirate – GenCon 2004 Demo

Guadalupe Smith is a pirate.  He is looking for the Skeleton of Cadavra.  He is looking for the Skeleton of Cadavra because Cadavra killed his father.  He’d be looking for Cadavra himself, but Cadavra is dead, so Guadalupe Smith has to settle for Cadavra’s skeleton.

Captain Blind is also looking for the Skeleton of Cadavra.  He is called Captain Blind because he is blind.  We know he is blind because he has a pirate eye patch on both eyes.  Captain Blind has a seeing eye dog named Dead Dog.  The seeing eye dog is named Dead Dog, because it is dead.  Captain Blind doesn’t know his dog is dead because he’s blind and can’t see; and because he’s really really drunk.  Captain Blind has forgotten his dog’s real name, but everyone else keeps saying its a dead dog, so now Captain Blind calls it Dead Dog too..

Captain Blind has a map to the Skeleton of Cadavra.  He can’t read this map because he’s blind.  He also can’t read this map because its tattooed on his ass.  It was tattooed on his ass in a special code that can only be read by a cross eyed donkey.  Captain Blind was really really really drunk that day.  Captain Blind would like to call up his friend Guadalupe Smith because Guadalupe owns a cross eyed donkey.  Maybe Guadalupe Smith’s cross eyed donkey can read the map tattooed on his ass, because he’s a cross eyed donkey and the map can only be read by cross eyed donkeys.  Plus its hard to see because its on his ass.  But that’s ok because he can’t see it anyway being blind.  But he can’t reach his friend Guadalupe Smith because his cell phone is broken.  So he’ll have to sail over to Guadalupe’s island.

Guadalupe is alone in his hut by the ocean on a tiny island.  Guadalupe has been living alone on this island ever since he lost his marbles many years ago.  Guadalupe owns a cross eyed donkey. He is trying to call up his old friend Captain Blind so he can have his ass read his ass, but he can’t get through because Captain Blind’s cell phone is broken.

Guadalupe sees Captain Blind sailing his boat over to his island.  Captain Blind tries to dock the boat, but he doesn’t do a very good job because he’s blind; and because he’s really drunk.  The boat crashes on a reef.  Captain Blind wades to shore pulling his dead dog Dead Dog on a leash behind him.

Captain Blind has a new pet parrot.  Captain’s Blind’s new pet parrot is named New Pet Parrot because that’s what people call him.  Captain Blind’s new pet parrot likes to crap on people’s heads.  Captain Blind’s new pet parrot, New Pet Parrot  tries to crap on Guadalupe’s head.  Guadalupe runs around and around but its no use.  New Pet Parrot craps on his head.

Guadalupe sticks his head in the sand to wash off the parrot crap.  It would probably be easier for Guadalupe to wash off the parrot crap in the ocean, but Guadalupe lost his marbles many years ago and now only washes using sand.

Fortunately when Guadalupe sticks his head under the sand, he spies his lost marbles.  After all these years Guadalupe has his marbles back.  Thanks New Pet Parrot.

Nearby the cross eyed donkey starts laughing.


Featured Effect, the Bizarre:
This demo wins the prize for single most bizarre game ever played in by me.  It resembled listening to a bunch of really drunk people trying to tell a story, structured like reading a Dick and Jane book.

It made no sense, it didn’t need to make any sense.  Its was just bizarre, almost surreal.

Universalis games sometimes get silly.  Often this is because players are nervous at the amount of power they have over the story.  They’re anxious that they might screw the story up so their first inclination is often to retreat into silly humor.  Its ok if your friends laugh at you when you’re doing silly humor.  Its not okay if they laugh at you when you’re trying to be seriously dramatic.  So being silly is much safer.  Usually this wears off after a couple of games and a little bit of practice.  The players realize they aren’t going to screw anything up and can actually tell a good story themselves.

Other times the game gets silly simply because its time to be a little silly.  Maybe its late, everyone is tired, but no one wants to break up the session just yet.  Maybe everyone just has a case of the giggles..  Whatever the reason, Universalis is a fine game to play when you’re just in the mood for something ridiculous.  You’re not “ruining” a GM’s carefully planned scenario by being silly.  There is no prep time being squandered.  Just pick up some Coins and let the free association start flowing.

It won’t be high drama, but it can be strangely cathartic.

—Ralph Mazza


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