We have arrived in Maryland safe and sound. The drive was not too bad at all, compared to a lot of the other long drives we've taken.
The very day after we arrived it was out to the woods to hack each other to-- er, I mean, to play. Hee. The armory of PVC Pipe swords were a smash hit right from the start. Dana adores the claymore Percy made for him, and Bob (Dana's younger brother) likes the Wander Blade Percy made him. Lynn's wardrobe of various costumes and cloaks is incredibly impressive, and has kept our whole company well robed in medieval garb.
So far I've been involved in two games. We've discovered that the element of 'objects' in an Imagination Game is very near essential.
Obviously, for an Imagination Game, one needs characters. That's a no brainer. Costumes come in close second, and weaponry, and location. Those kind of go without saying. But one element that has been invaluable and I think often overlooked or poorly defined is the element of objects, which can be anything from a coke can to a ring of dungeon keys. An object is an inanimate thing that allows the balance of power in the game to shift back and forth, usually because it is desired by more than one party of characters within the game itself. Objects are fast, easy ways to spark conflict, which is what makes Imagination Games fun.
For example, in the first game I played with the others (Dana and I had to go out for a bit so we missed the first Imagination Game everyone played), the main object was a ring of oversized keys that I'd bought from JoAnn's just before leaving home. Dungeon keys. We had three character groups, two in each group; Rosi and I, who wanted the keys to save my Uncle; Dana and Percy, who wanted the keys to rescue their family; Lynn and Pippin, who wanted the keys because they owned them; and then Seph, who wanted the keys because he was the official Key Keeper of the realm.
So you see, there are five groups who all want the same thing. Some of them could forge alliances, since their causes are common, and there is no specific villain even though some of the groups must also work against each other in order to achieve their objectives.
There doesn't have to be just one object, either. In the game we are currently playing, there are two: a diamond and a message to the king. However, in this game also, I am playing the villain. Needless to say, we have a plethora of conflict, especially since I am the type of villain to play tricks rather than fight head to head. (I have alos managed to con both groups holding objects out of their objects and hidden them, but they aren't meant to know that yet. Shh!)
In both games, the balance of power has shifted numerous times. Whoever holds the object(s) automatically has an advantage over the others. Since everyone's trying to get them, and since several will undoubtedly succeed, the game never stands still. There are obviously other elements that play into keeping the game on its toes, but objects are extremely helpful.
As you can see, there are no pictures. I apologize. I haven't had time to download the pictures from the SD card onto the computer yet, but I promise I will soon.