Strategicon Gateway 2016: Friday

Another Strategicon Gateway comes and goes! This is my four year anniversary for re-joining my role-playing con-going siblings of the world. The first included great memories of a 7-hour Cthulhu game, RPG overload, and learning to play Wiz War, and Pit-mute (playing the Pit card game with no talking).


Other than my Fallout Shelter game (written in prior posts), I was going to be responsible for our re-introduction of Games on Demand (GoD) on Saturday. In preparation, I brought a whole new bag with games at the ready: Fall of Magic, The Skeletons, Microscope, Downfall, The Quiet Year, Dungeon World, Legend of the Elements, and more.

As per usual, I headed a night early, stayed at my friend Howie and Lisa's place, and we ended up playing a round of Citadels (the card game).

Friday 2pm: Fallout Shelter RPG

Friday at 2pm I ran my Fallout Shelter RPG game, with 4 players including Morgan Ellis (a local RPG super-hero; no pressure). During the game, a father with 2 kids swung by, as his game was delayed due to a late arriving GM. The kids just stuck around watching for a while, probably entranced by the Legos.

We did a "roses and thorns" at the end, to review the good and the bad.  There were things they liked. The thorns included some excellent feedback around making PC-specific moves for the various roles, which is a great idea. Also limiting the PC-questions (I had 3 each, which gives too me too much information that I don't end up incorporating into the scenario). Some felt like less time in the Wasteland would be good

On my end, I felt like I didn't run this nearly as well as the 2 sessions at Go Play NW. Partly, it felt a little too easy, compared to the more brutal sessions at the last con. Maybe the PCs just rolled well.

I'm running this again for the Art of Story Through Gaming meetup this coming weekend, so maybe I can make some of these suggested changes and see how it goes.

Friday 8pm: Delta Green

This game was GM'd by Aaron Vanek (of Cthulhu film festival fame, and whom I've played with at the Art of Story Through Gaming meetup in LA, as well as at Big Bad Con 2015 with his Songlines game). It is a scenario that he's running as a playtest for someone else.

Players included Jim Pinto, Ryan (who I play The Quiet Year with the next day), Ben (who runs Animalia on Sunday), Howie, and myself.

Overall, the game was fun due to Aaron's familiarity with the setting and running Cthulhu games. His voices for various characters was great. The other PCs were into it, and brought their various personalities along, which made for some fun dynamics.

System-wise, I'm not a fan. Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu RPG itself is not a system I'm that into (despite loving the settings and scenarios), and Delta Green is not much different. Although there were some things that were interesting (like losing massive amounts of stat points after sanity loss) and a few other brutal mechanics, overall there is too much crunchy mechanics for me... I'm a systems lite sort of guy. Personally, I'm more into Dread as a perfect horror and suspense system.

We ended the game around midnight.

Friday midnight gaming: The Quiet Year and Lego

A while later I run into Dimitri, and a new friend Andre from Sweden. We have a drink at the bar, and then off to look for some open gaming. I offer a few options, and we settled on The Quiet Year. Specifically, a version that I've wanted to play test for a while, which is to use a Lego Creationary set instead of drawing on paper.

Andre is not an RPG-er, so we went with settings he was comfortable with, and settled on a pseudo-Game of Thrones setting after the White Walkers have trashed the continent. In our case we are a little community of Wildlings up in a protected area of mountains.

The Legos... they worked so well. They're 3-dimensional, with vibrant colors, and can easily fit all the same criteria of a standard game, such as forcing you to make things quickly (in this case by limiting the number of blocks, which is similar to the standard guidelines of drawing things that are less than an inch in size and take less than 30 seconds).

We didn't get through a full year, more like half a fleeting Quiet Year, but everyone got the flavor and had a good time.

Dimitri on left, Andre on right.

Dimitri on left, Andre on right.

Totem poles, dead kings, Bengy producing worms, and sexy procreating rovers. What's not to love?

Totem poles, dead kings, Bengy producing worms, and sexy procreating rovers. What's not to love?