I was encouraged by a friend to get involved and as it happens I have a nephew who is autistic. Besides, I don't need much encouragement to run in a race. Unlike some I've participated in, this was not a very competitive race, as its primary purpose is fundraising.Check out the links above, and consider how you might be able to support autism research.
So on a sunny and breezy Saturday morning I and about 150 other people ran, walked and rode in strollers along a country lane and over some wooden train bridges. I must make a point of going back and walking along that road, so I can appreciate the scenery, which was beautiful from what I glimpsed while panting along. I finished 25th out of the pack, with a time of 25:12. For my first race of the year, and coming off a long cold wet winter, I'm very pleased. As a bonus I won a pair of "compression leg sleeves" which are a new running 'technology' to me. They're patterned with American flags.
Now, how to apply this to gaming? In many RPG's the profit motive is the most common motivation for adventuring, but what about charities? There are enough examples of real-world charities that adapting them to a game world should not be hard.
- A player character may have or gain some connection to an NPC who is part of a charity organization, or is afflicted with a malady that the charity is trying to cure.
- A player character may have a religious Duty or Oath to donate a portion of his earnings to a specific charity. If the PC gets in trouble, the GM can raise the percentage owed to the charity as penance.
- A charity organization may ask the PC group for help:
- The charity needs protection while it transports its collected goods to the home office.
- The charity has already been robbed, and asks the PCs to recover the donations
- The charity needs help in locating a Macguffin that will help advance the charity's cause
- Competing charities are causing strife in the community, and the officials ask the PCs to mediate
- Charity A may suspect Charity B of fraudulent activity and asks the PCs to investigate
- A Charity group may be a front for some other activity - espionage, secret society, revolutionaries. Whatever it is, they will accomplish Big Badness if not stopped. Local citizens or the local officials ask the PCs to find out the truth.
- And of course, there's the possibility of setting up challenges like races, obstacle courses or duels for the PCs to take part in directly as a public spectacle to raise money.