Monday, November 11, 2019

The Middle Kingdom -- a Metatopia Roundup


We're back from Metatopia. It was freaking awesome. I came, I saw, I tested my game, it actually functioned as a game, and I have a zillion things to re-do, but I feel basically good about it.  I had some wonderful experiences and panels and thoughts about the con itself and the atmosphere which I need to think on some more, but which are broadly good.

Also, I played some amazing stuff, which I will more or less try to describe herein.

First thing, Friday I played a psionic cop game called Psicom, by Jim Dagg, which was awesome both for being pretty much my whole raspberry jam, but because of the other two playtesters, who were these dudes. Seriously, if you can play a game that has action in it with Stras, DO THAT THING. He is a full on Anime hero at the table and it is everything. John is also the nicest dude, though Jim is also the nicest dude, so it was all very happy. Instaback, instabuy.

I didn't do much else on Friday since I was stressing about my Hi-Test, which I also won't go into, as I wanna unpack and do design talk for it on another post. So skipping to Saturday, when I played Immortal Flight by the incomparable Shoshana Kessock. It was really neat; I am allll about playing some Nephilim just living in the world, and it's incredibly evocative. "The Midnight Song". Shivers. and there was a Rabbi at the table too, so we got fully down with it. Mechanics are interesting; I'm really looking forward to this one moving forward.

Another playtest for me, then we played Throne of the Void by the above mentioned Stras and John of Off Guard Games. Harbinger puts it most eloquently here:

This one was especially interesting because we got to play with Rob Donoghue, who is a political cutthroat in intergalactic space politics, but who I mostly chat with as a fellow Scrum Master and Agile development evangelist. Seriously, he did Lean Coffee Friday and Sat morning of the con and it was awesome. Also, it was my first real experience with a Forged In The Dark game by folks who really Feel that system, and I am into it.

Last game Friday was Wracked, by Matthew Malis, another ATL dude who Harbinger knows from LARP-stuff. Really strong concept-- dead folks who have escaped hell and are working for the Reaper in order to secure Redemption. So thematically similar to Immortal Flight in some ways, but not in others. Very strong Vice/Virtue mechanic, which I liked better than the way such is used in Mage, tbh. Dice mechanics were a lot like the ones I'm currently using in At What Cost, which is not a bad thing-- great minds and all! Definitely had fun, and am looking to see where it goes.

Sunday, I had one more test, and then B and I played a game called Vigilance, by AquaVertigo Games. It... was about people who come from the dead in pre-antiquity and function as Living Laws tied to constellations. you can see, I maaaay have played to a theme a bit in my game choices.

Vigilance had a really cool dice pool mechanic, and was again, thematically very strong. The personal story mechanics, once I got them, are very evocative and pull you in well. Yeah, I pretty much hit the jackpot on all the games I played for subject and intensity. While many of them did deal with similar themes, they had interesting and unique things to say about them, and contributed something different in their own way to the craft.

Also psi cops and space politics, which I am forever here for.

And that is Metatopia Roundup #1, and the one I most wanted to get out, because whatever else, the awesome games I played deserve some shoutouts, and the awesome people who ran them as well.

G'night to all of you out there, and here.

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