Monday, August 26, 2013

GenCon 2013 - The Review

Gen Con seems to have happened so long ago. Mainly because I rushed right into another convention in Fan Expo right away, but that doesn't take away the fact that Gen Con happened, and it was kind of cool.

I ended up only running three games, because Gen Con magically reduced the amount of players hours needed to get a badge and it's amazing to me. Mainly because most other places *cough*Origins*cough* seem to be trying to desperately squeeze everything they can out of everyone that they're starting to try to use GMs to fill their other volunteer voids, a practice I think is uncool at best and kind of desperately pathetic at worst, that it's just one more way that Gen Con is turning into a con I'm really starting to enjoy. This is good because for a long while Gen Con was the thing you had to do, the convention I said you had to put up with because everyone else went.

Now I tell you, go. Go have a good time. Gen Con is where you want to do that.

So, what did I do? My first game of Critical!: Go Westerly didn't end up running because most of the people were still in their True Dungeon slot. When it comes down to the economics of games, a slot that costs you over forty dollars versus a slot that costs you four usually ends up with the forty dollar slot winning. And I was left without any players.

That's fine, I ended up hanging out with Akira from Windmill Games and we played Sentinels of the Multiverse. Fun times! We did one, which went well, and then we did a second one which ended up being the wrong kind of combination and it ended up taking forever. So much so that we decided we have figured out how to win, and it was just a grind so we quit. It was fun, I'm not sure I would get it with the separation of time and space I have now, but I do recommend it to people who like a big co-operative superhero card game. You should check it out.

The second game I ran, was the Critical!: Go Westerly game of The Importance of Being Gwendolyn, which I do mean to actually publish at some point in time. Get it out there for people to see, I mean people are downloading You All Meet in a Tavern still which says something, right?

The game went well, we had our Pirate Captain, named Captain, who was busy looking for her lost Pirate Ship in the landlocked parts of Westerly, because it was smaller than the Ocean and you should always look in the smaller places first. We had Grokk our might Orcish Hero who was very much a Hero in his own mind, and eventually a small part of Tam as well. We had our Charismatic Mystic who managed to talk her way through the whole scenario and the wizard who couldn't remember where he was half the time.

They managed to diffuse many situations with Grokk coming out looking like a hero. When the wizard managed to destroy some buildings with a missed fireball, Grokk was there to tell them that Grokk Hero and Bandits Defeated!

The people rejoiced.

When they infiltrated Country Gwendolyn's estate, they had to fight for their lives as the guards recognized Algernon as a hated member of the other Gwendolyn clan. Grokk managed to get out of trouble there too because he was a Hero. It was a great moment with Grokk standing there with his hands above his head and the guards agreed he was a Hero and moved around him.

It was a game that reminds me what I like about Critical a lot. It can be funny, but the funny stuff is usually in the doing and not in the quippy lines that people say. Quips and jokes happen, but it's the actions that add to the humour the most so the game doesn't get bogged down and derailed in the quest for the better joke.

The second game that managed to be successful was the game of Geasa that ran. I ended up with a bunch of Canadians, which is a strange thing that happens to me at Gen Con. I tend to get a lot of people who could be local to me, or damned close enough to have it not matter play in my games. This was one of those times, they played Geasa and they decided that they were going to play it as Kindergardeners. Normally this can be a problem because watching people play kids who don't spend a lot of time around kids is painful, but we had 3 teachers and a teacher's assistant at the table and it went beautifully.

When I play Geasa, I tend to play it dark and I tend to play it aggressively. This group managed to play the game and have all the problems be giant and enormous ... if you were 5. We had the class bully whose mother was the teacher and always blamed the other kids for her behaviour. We had the new kid, the kid who loved dinosaurs and the kid who wished she was Alice from Alice in Wonderland. We had a Fae that was all about napping, Mr. Jinglehat that wanted all the teeth, Ennui which wanted to do something, and the fourth Fae didn't figure much into the game but it went beautifully.

The child who wanted to be Alice had Ennui push her to sneak outside ahead of time. She ended up getting lost in the half block of woods behind the school and stuck her head in a rabbit hole and was covered in frozen mud. There was a creepy moment where Mr. Jinglehat wanted to bully to get the teeth from a dead squirrel, but that was a dark as the game got. The new kid made friends with the dinosaur kid and as they tried to escape to go to the museum, the Nap Matt got the new kid to take a nap under some nice coats and the dinosaur kid ended up heading out on his own. The teacher, who couldn't keep tabs on the kids because of the Fae, ended up sending her daughter out to find the Alice kid but she ended up getting lost too.

It was sweet, and tragic, and wonderful and a way I hadn't seen Geasa get played at all before.

You know, I was kind of feeling a little out of it because everyone was running things at GoD, but I don't think I would have gotten the groups that I did get had I gone and run things through GoD at Gen Con. Origins, I'm still going to do that because I think it's a great idea and something I think I can have fun with. That said, I think I'm going to keep on doing events at Gen Con on my own.

Next year, the plan is to run larger Geasa events, because that way I can have multiple groups going because once a group gets it, they don't need me to tell them what to do. That way I can have lots of these stories to tell because I think they're awesome.

3 comments:

Scott Veenvliet said...

Hey, I was a part of that Geasa game at GenCon (The bully), it was one of my highlights! Thanks and hopefully I can get into one of your games at Origins 2014 this year!

Jonathan Lavallee said...

That's awesome! Yay!

I realized I made a mistake and didn't set up any Geasa games for Origins this year but you can totally check out the stuff I am running! I've got a game or two of Critical, and some stuff for Growling Door Games that I did for them.

Ms A said...

Alice aka the fae that didn't do much and the Dinosaur kid aka the Nap fairy also both really enjoyed the game. Gen Con's ticketing system didn't allow us to get as many game slots together as we'd hoped, but we made up for it in your game. It was a blast. Thanks again.

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