Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

DexCon 9 Recedes

Posted by Nathan P. on July 16, 2006

Holy shit.

Thats some good Con.

Judd’s keeping tabs on it here. Bookmark that, because there will be many posts to come.

Sleep now. Work tomorrow. More later.

[Later]

God, I’m paralyzed with the sheer amount of cool stuff there is to say about this DexCon. For now, here’s a rundown of the games I played:

Thursday

First, Polaris. Tony was going to try to cover a With Great Power… demo that Kat was unable to make, but only one person showed, and what he really wanted to play was Polaris. So Tony grabbed me and Shawn DeArment and we went for it. I think our fourth player (god, I’m so bad with names – which was NOT helped by the fucking lame badge puzzle that involved intentionally misspelling everyone’s name tag…Dave, maybe?) wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of soul-crushingly self-punishing crazyawesome play that me, Tony and Shawn can bring. But we had a really good game, and it was a nice first AP of the game for me.

Second, Carry. And what a group it was that sat down to play. Alexander (aka Iskander), Tony, Shawn, Steve and Rich (both of whom I met for the first time), and Judd. I was so freaking nervous, and the actual game got off to a sloooooow start. But, in the end, it rocked pretty hard. Again, the focus that Tony and Judd and Shawn, at least, brought to the table was cool, but in retrospect, we more pulled the mechanics along behind us then really engaged with them. The total gametime was something like 2.5 hours, and it was sick and dark and powerful.

Friday

First, a pickup game of Mortal Coil.

Oh, Mortal Coil. If Brennan wasn’t so damn nice, I would cockpunch him for daring to write such an awesome, and awesomely beautiful, game. Alas, his bearded face brings nothing but sunshines and rainbows, and my efforts are thwarted.

So, Mortal Coil, run by Brennan, and with Alexander (again), Chris the Spook (Praetorian at RPG.net, I beleive), and one of the Ganaktagok Ganagtagang (I stole this phrase from someone else’s blog, because it’s awesome) – Fred, I think. Brennan’s all “So, whats the tone?” and we’re all “Bleak and depressing.” The last scene of the game – my love, who was until a scene ago my mortal enemy (until she hated me so much that I used her hate to make her magically bind herself to me), brain melts as she forces me to run from the Witchfinder General, who only hesitates in following me because I used our bond to make her strike at him. The one making her brian melt? A little girl, who was until recently bound to one of my fellow rebels, in an organization that abuses children in order to heighten their emotions to where they can do magic. And we’re the good guys.

Anyway. My summary: Mortal Coil is like PTA, but ALL THE TIME. Also, it’s the most gorgeous gaming book I’ve ever seen. Jenn Rogers (who did all the art) is so freaking talented, its unbeleiveable.

Second, Carry. This time with Shawn (again! and playing the same character! He’s a madman), RobNJ, Kevin “Award-Winning Game Designer” Allen Jr., Jeffery (who played in Hare and Hound at Dreamation), and a fellow by the name of Kevin, who has played a lot of Twilight:2000. This game kicked some serious fucking ass. We really engaged with the mechanics, which was nice, and I think more satisfying for me as the designer. Again, dark and painful and powerful as hell. I hope someone writes up an AP post, because I don’t have much more to say than that. Well, except for my favorite quote about my game at the Con: “Dude, this is a FUCKED UP game, where my stakes are that, if I win, I’m going to FAIL my Find Traps roll.”

Somewhere in here, I also saw the proof for Dictionary of Mu. Which is the most gorgeous gaming book I’ve ever seen. Art by Jenn Rodgers and layout by Luke Crane, you say? Why yes, that may have something to do with it.

Saturday

First, Burning Empires (!). I got up early to do breakfast with Crane & Co. (as well as Tony and Jared), and figured hey, I’m up, I should play something. Judd’s table for Mu was full, so Burning Empires it was. The game was fun – I was a little overwhelmed by the context and setting info, but Luke started the session by saying that the scenario’s a work in progress, and I have some feedback to email him about that. I played with Alexander, Chris the Spook, and another fellow who had a good time, but was pretty overwhelmed with the mechanics. But…well. Here’s the thing. Burning Empires, in addition to being the most gorgous gaming book I have ever seen, period, bar none*, is also destined to be the most awesome military-style space-genre game ever. And I say this as someone who isn’t really a fan of the genre. It WORKS, and it works WELL, for everything you ever wanted to do with soldiers in space. This book is going to fucking fly off the shelves, and it DESERVES IT. So I was happy I got to play the first demo EVAR.

*why is this so, you ask? What? The phrase “680 full-color pages inside of a digest-sized hardcover with gorgeous art” doesn’t really capture it. When you see it, you will see.

Second, a pick-up game of Donjon. Run by Alexander. With me, Chris the Spook, Judd, Michael Miller, Dro and Mayuran. This game kind of bit. Something about the 7 players with the books directions to go shopping first and the task-based resolution just made it unfun. I’m sure there will be an AP about it soon.

Third, Carry again. This time with three folks who showed up for Pulp Era, but then Dregg cancelled it because he wanted to go play Cyberpunk, I think. Anyway, it was neat on a lot of levels. One of them had played Shock: at Dreamation with Joshua Newman, but other than that they didn’t have much experience with indie games. Also, one of them was female, which marks the first time to my knowledge that a female person has played the complete game (Emily Care Boss played the proto-game at Dreamation, tho). The game went well, though not as well as the first two nights. I think 5 is the magic number of players for the game. 4 and 6 is no problem, and 3 and 2 can be done, but it loses a little in terms of sheer volume of fucked up shit happening. The girl didn’t seem very engaged, in a “I’m here to spend time with my friends” kind of way. I would pull her a bit, and she would go to exactly where I pulled, and no further. They didn’t really try to game the mechanics, which was sad, because I love how gaming the mechanics just makes the results more twisted. But, the game did go well, and I was well and fully over my nervousness by then, and I sold two pre-orders to them after, so I guess they liked it too!

And I played Plunder with Alexander and I think Fred, though I don’t really remember, at some point in there. And the fucker robbed me of victory with a well-timed mutiny. I have a cockpunch waiting for him when he leasts expects it…

Anyway. That’s the game summary. More to come (prolly in another post).

5 Responses to “DexCon 9 Recedes”

  1. Fred Hicks said

    Hey. This isn’t the Fred you played with, but instead the Fred With Blue Hair. Was good meeting you; hope to see you at other cons, man!

  2. Guy said

    People who are “only there to be with their friends” usually feel like it too, sadly.

    Also, why was Chris(Praetorian indeed) a Spook?

  3. Nathan P. said

    Fred – hells yes. I feel like we could sit down and have some good conversations. Dreamation.

    Guy – He’s a diplomat of some kind. And, obviously, all government employees are spooks.

  4. mayuran said

    nathan-

    thanks for driving us around! i think you should invest in a Mr. Sulu GPS system (it is actually cheaper than getting a Sri Lankan guide, believe it or not).

    you’d better roll down to NYC some time (maybe for a nerdnyc event).

    that way you’ll learn to play jungle speed in an environment where sqauwking will get you a shiv in the gut (or strangled by a penis).

    good luck at gencon.

  5. Nathan P. said

    Man, I drive fine without all you jokers distracting me. And the cryptic arrows of NJ, they don’t help either.

    I totally wanna come down to NY for some Nerding. We’ll see how schedules work out.

    Always a pleasure hangin’ with you. Even if you do get all mad when I kick your Sri Lankan ass at Jungle Speed.

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