MG Kids goes out on a LARP in Morristown

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By Carl Hausman, MG Kids correspondent

On July 7, I went to a huge games convention in Morristown. First, we signed in and my mom interviewed someone dressed up as a pirate gypsy.

Carl Hausman contemplates his next Dragon Dice move. Sharon Sheridan photo

Then, we went to the board game room, where you could show off board games and play others that people had brought and had made themselves. I had brought one but they were just going to get into a chaotic part of the board gaming.

Dragon Dice. Sharon Sheridan photo

Next, I went to a table where there was an interesting game being displayed. It was called Dragon Dice. I got to play a private demo with the vendor. He took the place of an army of Amazons, and I took Swamp Stalkers. He won by a hair.

After that, I went downstairs to investigate something to do with robots. You chose a robot off a table and put it on this actual giant board on the floor, complete with conveyor belts, turning points and bottomless pits. I got to play it, but once I died the third time – once from falling in a pit and twice from going on the wrong conveyor belt – I decided I was getting a little aggravated. It didn’t help that, since I kept having to regenerate, my lasers weren’t working.

Carl Hausman moves his robot on the lifesize board. Sharon Sheridan photo

Eventually, I quit with the robots and went over to watch a game called Warmachine. I learned a bit about it. There were these giant robots with axes that went hewing right through the army like nobody’s business. There were very realistic ruins, too. Some of the toughest monsters seemed to be a hulking, green, fanged monster with rocks covering parts of his skin, called a Slag Troll, and a slightly smaller version, but with tusks instead of fangs and with purple skin, although I’m not sure what it was called.

The goal seemed to be to keep the trolls out of the city. You can also play “kill the caster,” which involves defeating the enemy general – sort of like chess. They also had things like interesting tokens that told you things like, “This building is on fire” or, “There is a cloud of venomous smoke here.”

Afterwards, I headed upstairs for a live role-playing show. First, they had to kill a giant evil ball protected by robots and charged by lights that you had to turn off. Then, they had us watch two people get utterly defeated fighting “Dissonance.” His purpose is to erase the universe from existence: the definition of “Bad Guy.”

Carl Hausman learns about LARPing from Meghan Fitzpatrick, aka Sadie the Hobling. Paul Hausman photo

Then, I went back downstairs a little bit and got two starter sets for Dragon Dice, one of Amazons and Swamp Stalkers for my cousin and one of Undead and Feral for me. Feral are a sort of half-human, half-animal. When I go to my grandmother’s this weekend, I plan to ask him if he wants to battle me.

Lastly, I went back down and watched them hammer down on each other in Warmachine a bit more. The Slag Troll seemed to be giving them trouble because he kept slamming his opponents flat, and every time he killed an enemy, he used that enemy’s health to heal himself.

Dan Raven plays Warmachine. Sharon Sheridan photo

Then, I went home. But you should really try this out. It’s there Saturday and Sunday.

READ MORE ABOUT DEXCON 14

Dexcon 14 runs through July 10 at the Hyatt Morristown. Admission is free for Morristown residents under 21 with ID or a parent. Otherwise, it’s $50 on July 9 and $35 on July 10.

Carl Hausman, 10, plays and invents games at his home in Flanders. He attends St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown.

Daniel Burkley instructs Carl Hausman in the art of Dragon Dice. Sharon Sheridan photo

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