Mental Access to MTKuszek

Mental Access to MTKuszek
A Window of Opportunity

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

08-16-2011 Qags-in-a-bag: The Setup

day 448

tomorrow, (i hope) i should have the write up for one of the best games that i have ever run in my signature convention game, Qags-in-a-bag.

and what, pray tell, is Qags-in-a-bag? allow me to explain... gear up kiddies, this is the long version of the origins of the fabled and mysterious bag.

let's travel back in time to late June 2006. exactly one week before Origins '06

Saturday evening, i'm in Point Place, at the annual Summerfest and Fireworks extravaganza. hanging out with family. for some strange reason, my father asks me if they are to expect anymore grandchildren. i reply, "No, it hasn't happened at this point. I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen."

Sunday, my wife informs me that she is pregnant with our second child. Karma's a bitch, right?

so, she tells me that i should go to the con and have a good time, and not really worry about the pregnancy situation. so i go. it is this weekend that i discover the Qags 2nd Edition rulebook, and it's also the first time i get into a qags event at a convention. i fell in love with the system and wanted to run something for my friends as soon as i could.

and i did, my group manages to do a game that we wanted to for a long time; a superhero game in which you pull your name from a hat and design your character around that name. it was mad fun.

so, after that, Qags became my default system for quick adventure. but i wanted a faster delivery system. from my previous experience, i know that gaming while having a child happens at a premium. i began to kick around an idea of creating a true random adventure generator, something that i could just pull out and in a matter of seconds i could get a game going. kinda like mad libs for RPGs.

so i looked at how i did the character creation for our superhero game. small pieces of paper. nothing special. i began to write other things down on the paper. game mechanics, places, persons, things, sayings, concepts, fully realized ideas, etc. after a while i had a bit of a pile of small papers. i began to throw it into a brown paper lunch bag to hold them all. i wrote "Qags Lunch" on the bag, just to make sure that it wouldn't get lost in the mix of other bags.

the bag slowly filled with ideas, but it was a long process, and after a while, i decided to try it out. i pulled out three or four pieces of paper at once, took a look at them, then began to put together some semblance of a theme. strangely, it worked. i pulled out three more, then made a second theme. i thought i was on to something.

so i tried it out on friends, and it seemed to work, though i really didn't have any specific rules for the game at this point, since i considered it free-form.

i debuted "Qags-in-a-bag" in 2008, since "Qags Lunch" didn't cover the concept very well, and "making $#!+ up off the top of my head" is a little lengthy. it's first public event was at BashCon in my home town. this was also the time that i inadvertently ran into two of the Hex Games staffers, those who write Qags and Qags related products.

so for 4 1/2 years now , i've been running this event, and i've still never had a duplicate game. fascinating.

I say that the "Qags-in-a-bag" game that i ran at Gencon this year was by far the best thing that i ever ran using this technique. again, i hope to have the full write up posted tomorrow.

Qags-in-a-bag: Invented By Necessity...Designed By Insanity...



  1. That superhero game was a blast. Hmmm I was The Antisocial, in my Grandma's basement of solitude. and we had Chipindale ...I forget the rest.

  2. we had the chippendale dancer that had been smashed in the face with a chair, but was still uber-charismatic, i remember Hanzo who could put together all sorts of mechanical things and as a minor power could manipulate clocks, but not time.

    i cant remember the rest, but that was when the nefarious Dr. Lemming made his first appearance.