Megaversal Ambassador Program
Forums of the Megaverse
On July 8, 2006, Kevin Siembieda posted the following Murmer from the Megaverse®:
The concept is simple: A volunteer force of Game Masters ready and willing to run Palladium RPG events and demos at conventions, stores, libraries and special events.
1) To introduce new gamers to Palladium RPGs and the joy of role-playing.
2) To remind long time gamers how much fun it is to play Heroes Unlimited, or Rifts®, or Palladium Fantasy®, or Beyond the Supernatural, etc., and to try different Palladium world settings and genres.
3) To put positive, smiling, friendly faces on pen and paper role-playing games and invite more people to play our games.
4) To put Palladium Books’ RPGs out in the public eye and plant the seeds that pen and paper RPGs have a lot to offer. That makes Palladium’s Megaversal Ambassadors modern day Johnny Appleseeds, only instead of planting apple trees, we’re planting the seeds of storytelling and unrestrained imagination via the role-playing game experience. The real RPG experience.
What makes this program different?
Sure there have been similar (and successful) game tournament and demo programs in the past. There is the RPGA and Organized Play groups, and countless tournaments for CCGs and miniature events, but they are orchestrated as “official” competitions with “formal” rules and a cash prize for the “champion.”
That’s cool, but the Megaversal Ambassadors are different. Forget about stuffy formality, hard and fast rules, winners and prizes. We want to get down and dirty with the gamers. We wanna just play, be silly, and have fun.
The prize is the joyous experience of a good time with other gamers and/or discovering a new game or world setting. We want to bring gaming out of the tournament arena and back into the living room, basement and kitchen table!
No, not by going into people’s homes, but by running informal events that are all about role-playing and fun, not about competition, winning and prizes. We want to run RPG events held at conventions (large and small) and at local hobby and comic shops looking to promote one or more nights of gaming.
We want to show newcomers and remind established gamers the fun of laughing and playing with real live people and not just a video screen.
We want to show gamers the incredible range of experiences and limitless imagination that can be unleashed with pen and paper RPGs. Experiences, laughs, memories and camaraderie that exceed even the coolest graphics and on-line interaction, and exhibit storytelling taken to the max.
We can win new players by sharing this experience.
One reason people seem to be turning to online and video games is because nobody has shown them how cool traditional role-playing can be. Another reason is they can’t find players or a good Game Master to run a game. Hopefully, the Megaversal Ambassadors can solve both of those problems and inspire others to start running RPG campaigns of their own as well as help build a cohesive network of gamers.
And we want these gamers cutting their teeth on Palladium Books RPGs, where they can enjoy infinite possibilities, maximum flexibility and fun.
Would YOU like to become a Megaversal Ambassador?
Go to Palladium’s website and read about the Megaversal Ambassadors on the Megaversal Ambassadors Message Board.
Let organizer Zachary Houghton know you’d like to participate, get our rules and guidelines, and give a try at running events. You don’t have to run every week or even every month (though you can if you wish), but focus on a specific convention weekend or two a year where you run 2-4 game events and/or demos.
You have to be a genuine Palladium supporter/fan and a Game Master with the skill to run games and demos, but you don’t have to be the world’s greatest or most experienced G.M. A good game is a good game, and this is a way for you to get more experience and have fun yourself. You should not look at being a Megaversal Ambassador as a job, but as your calling. Be yourself and an RPG evangelist at the same time, and have fun. Fun is contagious after all, and RPGs should be all about fun.
Megaversal Ambassadors must also take this role seriously. You will be seen as the face of Palladium Books. As such, we need you to be friendly, helpful, patient with newcomers (and troublemakers), and run a good game. In short, you are very much an ambassador representing Palladium Books and role-playing in general. We need you to inspire fun, imagination and more gaming. We need you to let people discover and enjoy the Palladium role-playing experience.
We don’t expect every game to be whiz-bang spectacular, but to get across the value and fun of role-playing games. To leave newcomers with a sense of wonder and wanting for more, and return the sense of wonder and adventure in gamers who have drifted away from RPGs.
Fun is the operative word. Plain and simple RPG fun. If you think you can pull that off, then consider joining our growing legion of ambassadors.
Don’t let pen and paper RPGs fall victim to apathy, let’s reinvigorate the industry together.
I know this can work, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Even at the Palladium Open House this past May, I saw the thrills, excitement and wonderment rekindled in the hearts of everyone who attended. These were hardcore gamers mind you, and even they were saying things like, “Wow, what an experience.” “Wow, I forgot how fun Palladium Fantasy is.” “Wow, I never played Heroes Unlimited before. It’s great!” “Wow, that Chaos Earth game was awesome. I think I’m going to try running that world setting myself.” And on and on. The other comment I was delighted to hear was, “I can’t believe how welcomed I felt.” And, “I played with gamers I never met until today and yet, we gamed like we were old friends. It was great.”
Of course it was great, it was the Palladium RPG experience! Where we welcome everybody and emphasize storytelling and fun.
That’s why so many people have begged us to host the Palladium Open House – three days of playing, talking and breathing role-playing games and fun – next year. And I mean begged for us to host it again. Some folks acted like they had never been to a game convention before — and truth be told, they had probably never been to one like this.
I believe the advent of the “multi-media” gaming conventions has diluted the thrill of the role-playing game experience. These media conventions attract a wide range of people with a wide range of somewhat related interests, typically gaming, science fiction (or comics) and film (or Anime). They include all kinds of experiences and games – card games and board games, miniature and computer games, role-playing games and LARPs, tournaments and demos, as well as offering a host of media guests, movie rooms, Japanimation, costume party, a big dealers’ room, swords, toys and everything in between. None of that is bad, and some of these conventions, large and small, are awesome. HOWEVER, it is a mixed bag of so many different things that role-playing games get lost in the myriad other sights, sounds and events. A smorgasbord of choices can be wonderful, but sometimes you just want meat and potatoes.
The Palladium Open House and the Megaversal Ambassadors are designed to offer delicious, satisfying, meat and potatoes role-playing. To focus on one thing and one thing only, the Palladium role-playing game experience – strong characters, memorable story, interesting worlds, surprises and fun. Okay, two other things too, fun and intimacy. No thronging multitudes, no prizes or money to win, no movie celebrities to meet, just role-playing games, role-playing game celebrities (artists, writers, designers), fellow gamers and fun. And man, oh man, there is nothing like it. Heck, at the Palladium Open House we don’t even charge for individual game events. It’s first come, first served with plenty of equally fun games to go around for everyone (and open gaming for those who want to run something of their own).
The end result was immersion into the Palladium Megaverse and a sense of raw excitement, fun and coming home where you belong. Everyone spoke the same language, shared the same love for the Megaverse® and was glad to meet you, share ideas and sit down and talk or game for hours on end. We were told by some that it felt like coming home. You don’t get that anymore, not anywhere – except from Palladium.
We want to spread that feeling around the world via the Palladium Open House RPG Extravaganza (the next one, May 2007) and through the Megaversal Ambassadors. If that sounds like a good thing to you, join us. Be one of the people who show others a new way to have fun. Not only as Game Masters running game events, but as players in the games of others. Also as evangelists who spread the word about the Palladium Open House, Megaversal Ambassadors, and Palladium’s RPGs and sourcebooks. The fancy word for it is “networking,” but it really breaks down to talking to other people and sharing your fun experiences, ideas, likes and dislikes. While you’re at it, find some time to run or play RPGs with your old gaming buddies, you won’t regret it.
Together, let us bring role-playing back to the forefront where it belongs. Only now, some 30 years after its inception, we can do so with more freedom, creativity and reach than ever before. We are more sophisticated as gamers and the old stigma that RPGs are somehow dangerous or evil is mostly gone. The Internet lets us reach out to others more easily and across the globe.
If you ask me, a new era of role-playing mania seems poised to be had. Let us make it happen, starting with Palladium’s RPGs and the Megaversal Ambassadors program.
Would you like to be a Megaversal Ambassador?
Check out the Megaversal Ambassadors message board on the Palladium Books website (www.palladiumbooks.com) and read the guidelines, ask questions, leave a message or send a pm to the right person. Or contact Zachary Houghton at email@example.com. Only serious and committed Ambassadors need apply.
Do YOU need Game Masters for your convention or event?
Check out the Megaversal Ambassadors message board on the Palladium Books website (www.palladiumbooks.com) and leave a message or send a pm to the right person, or contact Zachary Houghton at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have volunteers in your area, we’ll try to get ‘em to run something at your event/convention/store.
My thanks to Zachary Houghton (a.k.a. Zachary the First) for volunteering to take on this big idea. I hope a lot of other people join us on this grand quest to bring Palladium role-playing games into the lives of others.
Game on and keep those imaginations burning bright.
- Kevin Siembieda
- President, Game Designer and Dreamer
The same information was later printed in Rifter #35.
What is a Megaversal Ambassador?
Zachary the First posted the following topic in the Megaversal Ambassador forum:
During the current crisis, we've seen many people step up and volunteer their time to demo their favorite Palladium titles for local gaming groups, stores, or conventions. Our goal is to encourage that sort of activity, and to show folks out there why Palladium's games stand for inclusive, enthusiasm, and fun. It's time to spread the love of Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, Splicers, Heroes Unlimited, Beyond The Supernatural, and so many more great Palladium games!
Hey, gaming is FUN. We know it, and we should be fired up to bring that same joy and love to other folks! Show them what throwing a fusion block at just the time in Rifts feels like! Let them see how an improbable, game-saving criticial hit in Palladium Fantasy can be the perfect end to a perfect night of gaming! Show them how a great game of Beyond The Supernatural can really freak you out, and make you use every bit of your wits to get your character through. How a game of Chaos Earth or Splicers or Heroes Unlimited can be about butt-kicking, but can also explore and support some truly unforgettable role-playing and characters that will always stick with us. Remember the first time you saved the day in Rifts? The first time you braved the wilds of Palladium Fantasy? The first time you stopped a villian against all odds in Heroes Unlimited? Those are the sort of experiences that we can introduce a whole new generation of Palladium fans to (and remind some returning fans exactly why they loved Palladium gaming so much in the first place).
The MAs will have an online or mail-in (perhaps both) application that you can fill out to apply to join up. We're working out an incentive and documentation system for those folks who run events for us, and we're also going to have available guidelines that will describe the standards we'll be setting. As Ambassadors, we will be in the position to be the ones to make the best first impression to new and veteran gamers alike. As such, we will always strive to be the friendliest, most accessible fan community out there.
We'll be compiling a member directory, so that folks can check and contact MAs in their area to request information and arrange events or demos. We're compiling a list of conventions big & small, so that by convention season time next year, we'll really be ensuring maximum coverage in as many regions of the country as we can manage. In addition to all this, we're hoping to add a download section to help with demos and promotions.
Even if you aren't the world's greatest GM, there's still plenty you can do, from creating fliers to chatting up Palladium at your local gaming store to simply being a positive, helpful, and courteous presence for Palladium both online and off.
In the end, Kevin sums it all up better than I ever could. Let's be the folks who charge forward, taking up the banner of gaming, and reminding folks what truly feeling excited, thrilled, scared, and immsered in a great game feels like.
Proud To Be A Megaversal Ambassador,
- -Zachary Houghton
You can read more in the Megaversal Ambassador forum topic.
Megaversal Ambassador Resources
The MegaversalAmbassador.com Web site has been held for use by the Megaversal Ambassador program, but has not yet been developed.
The Megaversal Ambassadors Forum on the Forums of the Megaverse® is the place where most discussion is done.
Sample Rifts Adventures
RIFTS: Deceptive Pretenses - by Novastar