Category Archives: Conventions

Convention wrap-up – EyeCon 2014 – Part 1

So another Con has come and gone.  we had a lot of fun at EyeCon this year, Here are some of the highlights from the games we played:

From Star Wars d6:

  • Dead Bothans are the intergalactic standard unit of measurement for danger
  • When someone gives you a crate of alcohol to deliver, it is not enough to simply trust it contains alcohol. It must be thoroughly verified.
  • You probably shouldn’t shoot people who are on your own side in a shootout, even if they have been blackmailing you.
  • Your captain can command you to do anything. ANYTHING.

From Star Trek Fiasco:

  • Raising Gorn (in a farm. I had a Gorn Farm) to fight in an arena, and then nursing him back to health when he lost. he got ice cream.
  • Playing a big tough Klingon who had a schoolboy crush on an Orion (non slave) girl.
  • why is there an illiterate Klingon who is also the quarter master?
  • You know you’re in trouble when even your split personality is trying to kill you.

From Three Musketeers game:

  • Whores
  • Fart jokes
  • Saving a bar wench(who was also a whore)
  • More whores
  • Ship of whores. I called it The Good Ship Blowjob.
  • For The Glory(hole) of France!
  • STDs are not Pokemon. you don’t have to collect them all.

stay tuned for highlights from our Cold War Cthulhu game.

Never Stop Gaming

Steve

Convention Wrap-Up – SydCon 2013

Another SydCon has come and gone, and a lot of fun was had by all. Or at least by me.

I played three games this convention:

New X-Men – Marvel Heroic Roleplay

A Fist Full of Ghost Rock –  Deadlands Reloaded

Lights Out –  Paranoia

New X-Men was fun, it was my second time playing this system and I’m starting to like it. the dice pool system is quite intuitive, although it did get quite bogged down when the big combats started. the story was quite good, with the main x-men being captured and the younger members having to free them. although i was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to play the big name characters. we managed devised a truly horrible punishment for Sebastien Shaw by paralyzing him and forcing him to mentally do his taxes (without using the number 7), while we dealt with some weird clones of combined X-Men. my only complaint about the game was that our GM was quite uptight, i don’t think he was used running convention games and needed to chill out a bit. he was definitely put out when the players started to go running in different directions  doing wacky silly stuff like con players normally do, and a Con GM needs to be okay with that.

The second game was Deadlands Reloaded. I’d picked up the explorers edition of this a while back but never got around to playing it, and it was a ridiculous amount of fun. it could almost work as a straight western if you wanted it to , but the wackiness did come around and it lends itself well to a convention game. players like to do big ridiculous things in con games and there was plenty of opportunity to do so.

Paranoia was… Paranoia. Like those old TV adverts for The Matrix, you cannot be told what Paranoia is, you have to experience it for yourself. The really stand out thing about this game was that there was nowhere near enough death! not a single player used all their clones. i think the GM was trying to run a more straight and serious version, that i think left a few people disappointed. Mel particularly wanted to play, as she is normally the one running Paranoia, and ended up being disappointed when her every attempt to get her character killed was thwarted by the GM.

the highlight of the con was running Star Wars with Mel. We decided to break from the mold of her last few Star Wars games and put players right in the middle of the original movie, playing the main characters. hilarity ensues. We hadn’t tried to co-GM before, and it worked out really well. Mel took all the scripted stuff and ran combat, while i did all the Improvised storyline when the players went off the script, and most of the Talking NPCs (Mel wanted to do Vader 🙂 )

we were really glad how willing people were  to go off script and try their own thing. Darth Vader was kill several times, most often by capitol ship weaponry, and Yoda was brought in very early in one game. the highlight was probably Luke going to the dark side, but the other players had already sabotaged the Death Star’s hyperdrive so it exploded with Luke and Vader onboard.

so there goes another Con, now the waiting game begins…

Never Stop Gaming

Steve

 

 

Convention Wrap-up – EyeCon 2013 – Part 2

Part 2 of my EyeCon 2013 wrap-up

I decide to run Serenity again for this convention. I ran it a few years ago at two conventions in a row and it went down really well. I had always meant to go back to running the Firefly crew I had created for the previous conventions, and i thought it was about time to take them for another spin.

I got surprise a few days before the convention, the organizers asked me to create an additional character slot for the game. I was apprehensive at this, I normally don’t like running for large groups, and even 6 is more players than normal for me, I wasn’t sure if 7 players would work, But I did agree and created a new character.

I was running 7 sessions and they were all booked full about three weeks before the con started. that was encouraging, it’s nice to feel wanted, and it’s always a let down when you have to cancel session because there are no players, but it was also a little intimidating. especially when you are still not completely finished writing the game that all these people want to play.

So, head down – bum up, I set about finishing the mission. I knew it had to end with a bang. I like my games to start slow and work their way up to a big finish, normally ending with people dying, backstabbing, heroic sacrifices, big explosions, and general mayhem. So in Firefly terms, that means Reavers, Blue Hand Men, and Alliance. This game would have all three.

The premise would be simple. The crew have no money and are desperate for a job. they get and offer of a huge amount of money to do a job, the catch is they don’t know what it is.
they have to accept before knowing what the job is. They accept and meet on a contact on Beaumonde who tells them half the mission. they have to get aboard a semi-famous gambling ship called the Aces & Eights, and a contact on board will give them the rest of the mission. the Captain accepts, and this is the position the players find themselves in at the start of the game.

behind the scenes, the captain of the Aces & Eights, a guy named Jack Leyland,  has been working for the alliance since the war. but when he found a cache of the freedom drug and started using it to incapacitate people during heists, the Alliance wanted him dead. it’s secretly the Alliance that has hired the players, and once they get on board, an alliance agent that is posing as a guest will tell them to hijack the ship and bring Jack to a deserted planet for payment. Unknown to the players, the Alliance has no intention on paying a group of illegals. the payment will be arrest and/or death.

In my previous Serenity convention game I had created a drug called Freedom. This drug was a version of the gas from the Serenity which created the Reavers, but modified to be super addictive, and with a higher rate of “Reverizaition”.  this was a trick by a resurgent Independence to addict the core worlds and government, and eventually overthrow the Alliance. the production facility was destroyed in the last game, but I decided to include it in this one as a bonus for those people that played the last game. It was in the cargo bay of the Aces & Eights, and Jack warned everybody that came on board to stay away from the cargo bay, thus creating interest.

I once I had the framework of the mission down, I got my regular group together for a playtest. I find a playtest absolutely essential for my convention games for one main reason, i am an on-the -spot, spur of the moment, spontaneous  GM. I come up with my best stuff when I have to make it up as i go along, but… this is not a great thing to do in an actual convention. people have paid money to play this game, and I can’t use them as guinea pigs. So I run a playtest, make stuff up on the spot with them, and then use what I made up in the playtest in the actual games.

This ended up being a very good idea, since in the playtest I spent way too much time on the set-up, and had to rush through the big ending, which really ruins all the build up. in the actual convention i was able to pace it well, with only one group finishing early and most going over by only a few minutes.

most of the groups ended up just killing Jack, finding out they were being set-up, and running off into space. only two groups got the they payoff/Alliance double-cross ending. but one group actually found out they were going to be double-crossed before totally taking over the ship, and did a deal with Jack. It came down to a poker game between the player Captain and Jack with both betting their ships, winner takes all. That group got my awards.

overall, a really fun game to run. My players were great, and continuously surprising me with their creative(read crazy) ideas.

now… what to run at the next con?

Never Stop Gaming!

Steve

 

 

 

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Convention Wrap-up – EyeCon 2013 – Part 1

Another convention has come and gone, and now it is time to reflect.

The first thing I noticed about this year’s EyeCon was that there were a lot of new faces there. It seems that word is getting out about these Sydney conventions, as there were a lot of  people for whom this was their first time coming. this was probably helped by this Eyecon being part of the Will Wheaton/Felicia Day sponsored International Tabletop Day.

I spent most of the convention running games, but for International Tabletop Day Melissa and I took a break from running our games to play some boardgames. we had picked up Pandemic the day before so we brought that along. Pandemic is a really great cooperative game, where players work together as CDC agents trying to stop the outbreak of four diseases around the world. it is quite difficult to win, but still a lot of fun to play. we also played some Fluxx, which is a wacky card game, vaguely similar to Munchkin.

We only played two other RPG’s this time, the Learn to Roleplay 40k using the new Only War setting/rulebook and A Marvellous Game, which was a Marvel superhero game.

Only War was good, though we somewhat stumbled though our mission. I have all the current 40k books, but haven’t actually played them. I saw this as a quick way to get up to speed on the rules, and get to check out the new book at the same time. It was quite fun being an Imperial Guardsman, the GM was good at making you feel like a very insignificant cog in the wheel that is the Imperium 🙂 . we were up against Orks so there was a there was definite feeling that we were all about to die. And it was really cool that we were Catachans, the awesomeist IG regiment 🙂 . I believe what we played was the Free RPG Day module, and it was a good into the the system and the setting.

My character was a female heavy weapons soldier with a heavy flamer, the GM introduced her as “basically Vasquez from aliens”. Melissa chose the Commissar, I think just because he had a Chainsword. We didn’t have a CO so i radioed HQ and got myself a field promotion, though it’s not like the others actually listened to me 🙂 we also had a Techpriest, a preacher, and two regular guardsmen. we ended up taking on a wave of Orks led by a huge Warboss, who was eventually taken down in hand to hand by the Techpriest. but in ture Vasquez style I leapt into the swarm of Orks and detonated my Heavy Flamer’s ammo tanks, and then used my two fate points to survive, shining in The Emperors light. In the wrap up I think she ended up being taken by the black ships. so, overall a really good game.

The second game we played, named A Marvellous Game, used the (relatively) new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying System from MWP. I had picked up the book, but again i hadn’t gotten around to reading it so i was unfamiller with the system. however, since the Marvel Unlimited app for iPad came out a short time ago i have been reading nothing but old marvel comics, so i was thoroughly prepared for playing. There was a good selection of characters to choose from, I picked Captain America and Melissa picked Ms. Marvel. It was very fun playing up the super pro-american do-gooder, There was lots of “you should do this because Freedom!” and “you failed because America!”. When the game started there were doom-bots attacking the Baxter Building, but i first had to help a little old lady and rescue a kitten out of a tree.

The GM for Marvel had some great background music/sound effects that he used during the game. It’s not something you see see very often in a convention game, and it worked well. I also really liked the large range of characters that were playable. its a credit to the GM that he could run the adventure with a wildly varying mix of characters, there were about 20 to choose from, with a mix of Avengers, X-Men, and individual heroes in there. I did notice that there was no telepathic characters playable, and that was probably a good idea. we did get a bit lost at the end, my Captain America got hold of the Infinity Gauntlet  but couldn’t really do anything with it. I think it might be a mistake to give players access to such a powerful item if you don’t want then running around doing whatever they want. over all, a really fun game that makes me want to play the system more.

Check back later for Part 2 of my convention wrap up, which will cover me running my game for 7 sessions.

Never Stop Gaming!

Steve