That Time I Made Up a Story and Somehow Won?

6/06/2016 02:31:00 PM Lexie Dunne 4 Comments


I plan on writing up a full con report because if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I’ve been about 500% more active than usual with pictures and tweets and jokes and making new friends. This weekend I was at Phoenix Comicon, which has probably been my favorite con to attend to date. There were so many authors present, there’s an actual Taco Guild restaurant in an old church, there were signings and panels and game shows and friends and lots of alcohol. But I’ll talk about all of that in my Con Report. Today I just want to throw something on the blog that happened last Thursday because it was a neat experience.

That’s right:

Fantasy Draft League


For those of you that haven’t heard of it, David Pomerico did a write-up about it on the Harper Voyager blog. Basically, two judges are selected (Beth and Scott) and four panelists attempt to put together an RPG adventuring-style party assembled from pop-culture characters. The five types are the Warrior, the Cleric/Druid, the Wizard, the Rogue, and the Wildcard. Each person gets a chance to pick first at least once. I received first pick for the warrior round.

After the teams were assembled, Beth and Scott called upon audience participation to choose 10 locations, 10 disasters, and 10 villains. Luckily we were a room full of nerds and somebody in the back had a 10-sided die, so we did a random encounter roll. The results:

Location: Inside an Ikea
Disaster: A replicating horde of robot-rabbits is attacking
Villain: Zoom is trying to kill us all

Panelists were given a 5-minute window of time to argue WHY their team would defeat Zoom. By luck of the draw and prolific-ness (I had the most books of the panelists, with 2.5), I got to go last.

My team ended up being Xena Warrior Princess, Menolly and her 9/10 fire lizards from the Dragonriders of Pern books, Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse (as opposed to Nicolas Cage's character in The Sorcerer's Apprentice), Felicity Smoak, and Rachel from Animorphs (which played in really well because Austin Aslan initially said he wanted the bear from The Revenant as his warrior, so we were making bear jokes. A bear is Rachel’s primary morph). Austin also really played up the nostalgia and went with The Dude, some wizard I don't know, Marty McFly, Indiana Jones, and Kermit the Frog. Alexandra Oliva assembled a team of really cool characters that I didn’t recognize—and Buffy, which in my book makes her the automatic winner.

My notes during the panel

Ryan Dalton, who is a sweetheart, had Dr. Strange and a buuuunch of others on his team that sounded awesome and seemed to come from Dragonlance. He spun this story that involved a force bubble and time travel and alternate dimensions, and altering reality, and it was all metaphysical and amazing. Alexandra used Ragnar character to read the IKEA packaging and her plan was also amazing, but I was trying to think of my own plan, so I admit I only heard bits of theirs. Austin's plan involved going back in time repeatedly to stop the whole thing from happening in the first place so that the Dude could Abide. Being somewhat of a supervillain myself, I may have poked holes in it by pointing out that you can't get the DeLorean up to 88 INSIDE the Ikea. He more than made up for this by doing an amazing Kermit impression.

And finally, it was my turn. And I shall share with you my ultimate plan to defeat Zoom using five very random allies.


1. Menolly uses the Fire Lizards to dive-bomb the replicating robot rabbits. One of them is literally named Diver, they're good at dive bombing things, and they're the perfect size. Meanwhile...
2. Xena has the time of her life going YIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI and fighting the robot rabbits. This allows for...
3. Mickey to use his magic and create more and more brooms and buckets, spreading soapy water all over the floor and thus enabling Zoom not to be able to run fast because he's slipping and sliding everywhere. While...
4. Felicity Smoak uses Rachel as a dogsbody since her powers are absolutely no good to me on this plan. Through the strength of girl power and teamwork, they use the furniture around them assemble a portal to send Zoom to another planet—with at least two spare bolts and a weirdly shaped allen wrench left over.
5. In the end, Zoom gets slowed down enough for Xena to chakram off his head. And as a non-Animorphs but still really cool Rachel pointed out, Felicity could hack the robot rabbits, ending their dominance over the Ikea.

Guys dressed as Green Lantern and Green Arrow try to poke holes in my plan by pointing out JUST HOW FAST Zoom runs and would he really be stopped by soapy water? To which I replied, “MAGIC soap. Mickey Mouse is MAGIC, therefore the soap is MAGIC.” And every time they argued, I just repeated the word “MAGIC.” This, dear readers, is called committing to your premise. Or just my stubborn Norwegian blood coming out.

The judges got together and declared me the winner, which was a huge surprise since I thought every other plan was better than mine! Ali’s had Buffy! Austin did a mic drop! Ryan obliterated the Ikea! But while Ali got an honorable mention for incorporating the Ikea language, every other plan used the characters' abilities amazingly, but because Felicity built the portal out of the furniture, I was the only one who used the world, too. Which evidently showed great world-building and wasn’t just me throwing concepts at a wall until one of them stuck. Totally.

If you get a chance to do a Fantasy Draft League panel in the future, definitely sign up. It’s so much fun. We lucked out with a location and a villain I could actually understand, though. Maybe I should read Dragonlance.

More about the con coming later, but for right now, I have to go edit a book!

Stay sexy!


  1. Sorcerer's apprentice Mickey and Gail would be great together because they both screw everything u....I mean are awesomely powerful :D

    1. Nice save there, my friend. Nice save.

      As a good writer, though, I knew to use Mickey's ability to screw everything up in his favor and none of the judges pointed out that the Ikea would be useless because the brooms and mop buckets would keep replicating at a rate of apocalypse.

  2. You're welcome for the assist! Half of Ryan's characters were from Forgotten Realms--read R.A. Salvatore's Icewind Dale trilogy and you'll totally get it, along with the audience suggestion of Gromph Baenre as the potential villain. ;)

    1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      Yeah, R.A. Salvatore once killed Chewbacca in the Star Wars Extended Universe, a thing that I am glad the the new Star Wars movies have taken and spat on, but 15-year-old me hates him on principle. :) No wonder I'd never heard of any of it.


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