DexCon 2006: Silliness Afoot!

16Jul06

Just got home from DexCon. The con was hectic, but good. And there was a creeping tide of silliness in sundry places.

I wasn’t able to get any time off work, so I didn’t arrive until 7:50pm on Friday. I was scheduled to run With Great Power… at eight. I had three players hungry for four-color goodness so I ran them through “A League of Their Own.” It was probably the silliest game of WGP I’ve ever run. Fun, but in a sort of genre-mocking way. “Prepare to get your buttocks telekinesed, Stalwart!” was a line I recall. The players enjoyed it, and I found the silly a bit relaxing after the hectic of getting there.

After the game I did some chatting to decompress and got to cradle Burning Empires in my hands. It looks like nothing so much a one of those thick hardcover sci-fi novels. I can testify that it’s beautiful. People I trust assure me it plays better. I’m sure I’ll find out sooner or later.

Saturday began with great promise: Judd had a seat available in his Dictionary of Mu game. I love to play anything with Judd and have been anxious to try out Mu for a while. I started out as the prince of these awesome Martian uber-gorillas who had just grew a conscience and released his slaves. He was going to have to face the consequences of it. Oh, and he had this massive Dragon for a demon and I scored a +3 on the binding roll. Sweet. Unfortunately a RL crisis at home reared its head and I had to bow out of the game before actually getting to play. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t much silly in Mu.

Saturday afternoon saw me in an awkward position. Several months back when we were registering events, I thought I might develop my Game Chef game, Play Right!, into a publishable game. I subsequently decided not to, but forgot that I had signed up to playtest it at DexCon. Luckily no one showed up, allowing me the afternoon to reheat the With Great Chili… And, as it turns out, squeeze into a pick up game.

Alexander Newman ran Donjon for six of us. Mayuran suggested we’d be making one of the worst type of Conan movies. I played a wizened old sorcerer called Gu’laag. We were humming along making our characters, coming up with cool abilities and stuff. Then Alexander mentioned that the first part of the game is shopping for gear and you could see the energy level of everyone at the table sink. The rules-inspired slapstick that is the “shopping phase” ate up time and moved neither the adventure, nor our capabilities forward much. After that, people were desperate to do SOMEthing, so Nathan Paoletta summoned an undead wolf to use as a mount and the rest of the group attacked it. Classic dysfunctional player group behavior. Plus with a lot of silly along the way. The game was food for thought, though not for the appetite for role-playing. I hope Alexander writes up an AP.

Six o’clock was the party featuring With Great Chili and a vegetarian rice dish courtesy of Jenn Rodgers & Russ Gaines. The party went pretty well, but come January, we’re going to need a LOT more food.

I was scheduled to run With Great Power again at 8pm, and by 8:10 I had no players and was going to head off and maybe join in Nathan’s game of Carry. Then Eric from pscore.net showed up and said he was really excited to play. So over then next hour he recruited his sister Danae, and his friends Richard and Rob. Together with Kat, they played the Liberty League in a fun rendition of “A League of Their Own.” I don’t know that I’ll every get tired of this scenario, although I should likely retire it. They only got to play one enrichment and one conflict, but they all had fun (Rob even picked up the game the next day.)

Midnight belonged to the Master. I had six minions, three I knew (Fred Hicks, Rob Donahue, Steve-the-really-good-player) and three I didn’t, I had to turn folks away, as well. They made a beast-aspected Master who was a squat military genius of a general who was constructing an infernal war machine out of human parts. There’s a whole AP post here, as well. Suffice it to say that there was a lot of speaking in funny voices and dark silliness. Likely due to the uncomfortable subject matter. But the strength of the game still brought out the intrinsic tragedy.

Four hours of sleep, plus loading up the car, later was the Indie RPG roundtable. Due to scheduling problems, Luke was already gone, so it wasn’t the standard “Luke and Jared show.” I kinda ran things, asking for updates on games we had discussed in January (CUP/One Night has been broken productively and will emerge stronger — Contract Work is developing, but still needs playtesting — Mob Justice/Condemnation has seen a playtest, and a plethora of suggestions, but is waiting for other projects to be finished). The only new design we heard anything about was Rob’s Acts of Confederation-era swashbuckling game. It was a little chaotic, lacking some of that divine fire that motivated the January roundtable, but was a good meeting nonetheless.

A good con. Glad I went. Must sleep now.

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8 Responses to “DexCon 2006: Silliness Afoot!”

  1. Ack! AP on the Donjon game? I suppose I should: I think your insights afterwards were spot on. I was surprised it was so mediocre, especially after the hot-hot game with the kids, but I think you nailed it: the town, the shopping, the inaction (also, 7 people). The straw that broke the donjon floor, though, was splitting everyone up: possibly the stupidest thing I’ve done as a GM evar.
    – Alexander (Somewhat incoherent, also needing sleep).

  2. The only new design we heard anything about was Rob’s Acts of Confederation-era swashbuckling game.
    This is a game that must happen and happen in print with tri-corner hatted goodness.

    • It will; I’m going to stand on Rob’s neck until he makes it.

    • I’m trying very hard not to follow him around and demand it NOW NOW NOW on the grounds that it would alarm him more than a little.
      Perhaps a tri-corner hat would help my cause.


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