Monday, August 25, 2014

Gen Con 2014 - The Good, The Bad, and The Other

Everyone is already done with their Gen Con write-ups so I figured it would be time to get around writing mine. It was a great convention on the whole personally, professionally it was just kind of okay but I didn't really push for any kind of interaction in that way so that's way more on me than it was on the convention.

Anyway, onto the events that I ran!

1. Critical!: Go Westerly: Growling Door Gates

We had a great little time here running this scenario. The idea is that they're trapped inside a White Griffon Tavern that has been sucked into a different dimension, a demonic dimension. They end up finding out that it's a demon reform school and have to stop the graduation ceremony before it rips into the fabric of reality.

The Good:

It was a funny game. There was a bit where one of the players is like "I'm going to steal gold from another player" and I usually let that go the first few times around. If they keep it up I tend to give them something else to worry about, and if they can still find a way to get a gold steal in then it just makes it actually funny.

They got stuck on the language that the demon gave them. The demon, Gog, kept telling the players that Gog was a bad demon. It was a great moment because I didn't elaborate and they had to spend time figuring out if Gog meant evil or just bad at being a demon.

The Bad:

Again, it devolved a little bit into the "I'm going to steal from you, no I'm going to steal from you" which is fine because it was contained and we moved on.

The Other:

I had the same father daughter team who has played one game of Critical at least once every year. It's always great to see them, and they always bring something fun to the table. This time the daughter ran head long into a large battle with demons and was the first person to ever actually get knocked out in a con game of Critical ever.

But it was a glorious way to get it.

2. Dime Stories: Varmit

Well, I had written about 7k words for this encounter for Joe and then when I tried to access it my phone, which was supposed to have unlimited data, had no data and I couldn't get to it. Thankfully I had an understanding of the highlights of the module and so I just kind of ran with it. I'm sure I ran it wrong but as long as we keep the story moving and kind of get it right then all for it.

The story is about a small town named Varmit and the module is supposed to give you a couple of options. I ran with the corrupt mine foreman, with the local law enforcement having an issue with an escaped convict brother out in the wilderness.

Another moment of awesomeness was that I got to play a game with Matt and Michelle for the first time in quite a few years. There were always attempts but this is the first one we managed to have happen in a while. You can read what Matt thought about the game on his blog.

The Good: 

The story flowed well. The players were good, for the most part, at keeping the story going and understanding that RPGs kind of need the players to bite on some hooks. They did, and the ending really wasn't the easy one which is good because they could have forced the issue. Hell, one player did try to backstab them all and got away with no one the wiser.

The Bad: 

Look, if you're upset because the game is getting off topic there are ways to do it that are both friendly and polite. We all understand being in a game where it goes kind of sideways for a bit. We just had a player who was leaving the game because of time and so we had that "after player leaves conversation" and one guy really soured the mood for everyone at the table.

Seriously, you can be like "Hey folks. I get the conversation is good, but could we get back to playing the game?" That works just fine.

The Other: 

You reckon'?

The problem with any type of western is that you'll end up trying to do "that" accent. I tried hard not to go too deep into it, mainly because I'm a french canadian with a raspy Gencon voice even by this stage of the game, but also because it's really easy to turn it into a "making fun of" voice which I don't want to do.

The aforementioned guy who soured the mood once said the words "you reckon'" at least five to six times in a single sentence.

3. Daedalus - Icarus Falls - When the Wax Melts

There isn't going to be a section here because the game didn't go off.

However, I was the only person sitting at an empty table in a room full of people with full tables. As far as a feeling goes, that sucks a hell of a lot.

I had people show up like 35-45 minutes after the game started but at that point I was dealing with the whole impostor syndrome that shows its ugly head at times like that.

4. Daedalus - Icarus Falls - Tribute

I told myself that this game, I was going to run it no matter how many people showed up, or how late they showed up. I ended up with one person and you know what? Ended up being a damned good time.

Basically we worked out that he had been working for Crime Boss Zidane, and his contact was a young Zenedine. A bunch of children had been taken by a local gang called the Bangers. They had cobbled together enough tech to give them a kind of cybernetics. It was all exoskeletal, because cyberwear isn't a thing in Daedalus and I had a single Ninja Tech who was busy trying to figure out what was going on.

The Good:

Man, the Alarm thing worked wonderfully. I threw it up in a situation with a lot of tension, and it just raked it up a little bit more.

The Bad:

One player made it hard to really see how anything would go in a group.

The Other:

Hilariously, he only failed a single roll. Everything else was either 7+ on the rolls let alone the bonuses.

Anyway, it gets me excited for that project when it comes down the pipe. I still have to go over the document, because I know for a fact that I'm probably missing a section on the revolutionary groups but that said it's looking like a fun game.


Justin said...

Hi, thanks for the writeup. as a player in the Varmit game, just want to say thanks for taking the time and running it for us.

from the chef who tried to sell everyone out :)

Rob Lang said...

Cool write up, always makes me want to start saving for next year.

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