Friday, September 7, 2018

The One About Cons

This year, Harbinger and I went to GenCon for all 4 days, and Saturday only of Dragon*Con. So I am going to talk a little about those, though it's been... a minute since GenCon, and I have likely forgotten everything, or most things.

The really awesome part was that we got to play- and run- a bunch of games. I definitely want to do more GMming at GenCon, though getting to run around and do whatever is a blast. We played:

  • Most of a session of Grim War II (a sequel to this), run by Greg Stolze, though I had to leave in the middle to run a game, which I'll talk about later.  Note: I am one of the writers on the game! Whee! 
  • A playtest of the Talisman RPG by Pegasus Spiele, run by Ian Lemke. This is mostly notable because Harbinger and I are also writers on this game, and this was the game that we both spent a lot of the con running. I can't talk about this a ton, except that yes, it is a conversion of the board game to an RPG, and it is very much in Alpha-Alpha versions. 
  • 13th Age: Carnival of Masks (I think that was the name), which was fun and awesome, and deeply enjoyable. I forget the GM's name, but she was pretty excellent. I played a Ironforged Cleric who was forged out of a sacred reliquary, and was stolen by the Thief Icon dude, who he felt he owed for teaching him about the rest of the world.
  • Shadow of the Demon Lord, run by James Introcaso, which kind of... happened late, late, late one night in Open Gaming after we'd been hanging with some folks in the Alexandria RPG Game Library- which, by the by, deserves all the donations, as it is awesome. Seriously, they have amazing stuff, and are a fantastic resource. As for the game, it was absolutely balls-out gross and crazy in the best way. It all sort of blurs, except I was playing a changeling and I kind of really enjoyed the single d6 resolution mechanic. 
  • The King in Yellow- Gumshoe-based horror; I kickstarted this one, and was super excited to play it. Not sure what I think about Gumshoe, except that I think it's really hard to write adventures for it which aren't deeply railroady. I was playing an androgynous muse bohemian type, which was like... barely roleplaying. Also, our dice were cold as ice for the main battle part of it. And there were a lot of /awful/ French accents. The GM's was kind of amazing. This was the one game that Harbinger did not join me for, as he was running more playtests. 
  • Illimat - Dealers' room demo! Resulted in us purchasing the game. It is gorgeous.
  • Dragonfire - Another dealers' room demo! We did not get this one, though it was very tempting. Just too much of a time sink.

Now, Panels!

  • Over The Edge, which was kind of a... bizarre cabal meeting where 5 True Believers, Jonathan Tweet and Cam Banks worked to convince one Interested Seeker to Immigrate to Al-Amarja. A note that I backed this kickstarter for embarrassing sums of money.
  • Eberron, which involved Kieth Baker looking for ideas for what else people wanted to see re: Eberron content. 
  • Ars Magica, in which the room scandalized John Nephew by insisting that the actual magic mechanics were more important to them than the Order of Hermes. Which is a vast oversimplification, but the real important part is that now Harbinger has agreed to run Ars Magica for a bunch of us, which is excellent.

I feel like we might have done some other panel, but I don't recall. At some point, everything blurs. Also, I should really get into what we purchased game-wise, but I do want to post this someday. Lots of good stuff. 

As for Dragon*Con... well, that was pretty much a trip to the dealer's room and some room party time, though we did get to play Secret Hitler, which I have mentioned in the vague elsewhere. Actually playing it... well, it does make you confront that most useful competitive RPG mechanics can be pretty easily classed as fascist- a number of the fascist policy abilities are char powers in the Battlestar Galactica board game. Would play again though... it probably deserves it's own post, here or in the ol' Cringing in Terror DeadNazi blog. Now, the list of Cosplays we saw, since that's the most important part of D*Con (nobody but nobody was getting into any panels; they were all crammed): 

* fewer Deadpools and Harley Quinns than years past
* Some excellent T'Challas and Erik Killmongers
* A decent number of Pearls, Steven Universe, and Rose Quartz
* A fairly excellent Slipknot
* Classic Mario characters seemed to be the by quantity winners as far as property goes. 
* Probably the best Billy Dee Williams Two-Face I've ever seen
* A spot-on Mad Eye Moody
* A fantastic Thormund Giantsbane, who was only a bit shorter than the dude what plays him
* At least 3 classic Scarlet Witches. This makes me incredibly happy.
* A dude playing DKR Bane, with two giant mastiffs (they were his service animals). He was standing in front of a real van legit painted as the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. There might have been some cognitive dissonance going on here. 
* Some MtF Crossplay, but less than at GenCon. My favorite was a pair of middle aged dudes doing the two creepy twin girls from the Shining. 

Anyway, that's what all stands out in my head at the moment. I'm working on some game systems of my own, also, so y'know, I should actually post about that sometime, when I actually... post. Ever. Yeah. 

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