Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Yee-haw! Back from NTRPGCon

Shooting orcs and trolls with a laser-gun set the tone for the week.

What a great week.  We headed down "to Dallas early for some family time and really enjoyed ourselves at LEGOland Discovery Center, Six Flags Over Texas, and the Fort Worth Stockyards.  But let's get on to the gaming!

I scooted over to the Marriott during the day to pick up my registration packet and lanyard; the place seemed pretty sleepy at 11am, which is only fair, as the con didn't "officially" start til 1300.  Most of the vendors weren't even set up yet.  I decided to spend a little more family time, since I wasn't signed up for any  Thursday games, so I headed back to the house, where this conversation occurred with my World-of-Warcraft-loving nephew:

Nick: "So have you heard of Fantasy Flight Games?"
Erik: "Yeah, of course."
Nick: "Ever play a game called Talisman?"
Erik:  *evil grin*
Eventually I dropped a THIRD dragon along that left-hand side.

And that, ladies and gents, is how I ended up playing Talisman (including the City board) with Mrs. Wampus, my nephew Nick, and his brother-in-law Shorty.  I scored a jaw-dropping come-from-behind win with the Minstrel, by the way, and some really great memories created.

(The obvious question is "why haven't you played D&D with this guy yet", and the short answer is "time".)

Friday morning was my first registered game: Zogorion, Lord of the Hippogriffs, run by Ian Wheat based on the mini-adventure by Jason Sholtis.  It was slated for Swords & Wizardry, but there was some table consensus to run it with LotFP instead.  This last-minute switch was facilitated by Ian's complete lack of pregens (I'm just giving him crap) - which was the same circumstance which led to me playing my FLAILSNAILS character, Bumphrey the Mole.  Zogorion is a fun little scenario, very enjoyable, and I think we all had a good time with it - despite the part where I lost a level to a vampire.  Who cares, I managed to make off with her treasure sack, right?  XP come and go.  I will note that playing an rpg at that hour of the morning felt really strange.
The crit that stole a level from poor Bumphrey!

I then grabbed lunch and hopped into a pickup game of Metamorphosis Alpha (classic version) run by Jake Parker.  That session was a hoot, which is to be expected when the PCs are a dude with eight arms, a talking falcon, and a sentient strawberry bush (that'd be me).  We didn't realize til later that Jake was running a reskinned version of Matt Finch's Tomb of the Iron God, so that was pretty cool.  The whole thing was a blast; although I'm not sure how much was Metamorphosis and how much was Jake's house rules (or winging it), I have to say that as fun as it was I don't see enough difference between MA and, say, Mutant Future to warrant me picking up MA anytime soon.
If I reuse this guy as a Wampus villain, watch out for the Paralysis and Possession powers.

...was my long day.  It began at 8am playing in Harley Stroh's DCC session, The Black Manse, which turned out to be a playtest of a forthcoming module.  We used pregens and it was my first taste of DCC - there were some things about the system I really enjoyed, and it was a fun session.  The Black Manse was pretty damn scary, and I'm looking forward to picking it up when it comes out (possibly as a con-only special, so I'll have to watch for that).
I can't remember if this picture was taken before or after all Hell broke loose.

Took a leisurely lunch as I finished up some notes and sketches for my own Wampus Country session for Sunday, then cruised around the vendors and ended up at the Art Panel.  Wow, I'm glad I did.  The six assembled artists answered audience questions while they took turns illustrating an adventuring party.  And the artists involved?  Doug Kovacs, Diesel LaForce, Jennell Jaquays, Jeff Dee, Erol Otus, and Jeff Easley!  With maybe only a dozen people in the audience!  Crazy stuff.  Afterward I hung out at the auction and raffle; some of these attendees are serious nutjob collectors.  Unbelievable bids on some stuff.

That evening it was time for more DCC with Harley Stroh, only this time, the game was FLAILSNAILS friendly, so Bumphrey the Mole got his fuzzy butt converted to DCC (including a d5 deed die, which was fun as hell).  Sadly, nobody else brought characters, but this meant I got to see the same pregens from that morning wielded by a different group of players, which was interesting in and of itself.  The scenario was Peril on the Purple Planet, and I have no idea how much of the actual module we experienced, because this session was actually a secret Three DM Experiment: at one point, Harley handed the reins over first to Doug Kovacs, then to Scott Mathis (whose forthcoming DCC supplement for 'Hammer Horror' sounds neat).  Split party, multiple DMs, utter chaos, but eventually we survived the whole thing.  Oh, and Bumphrey got to take out his frustrations on some vampire seductresses.  One day, level drained; the next night, you're crushing vampire skulls with a magic mace...such is the con life, I guess.

Reminder for next year: WET erase will work better on these mats.

Finally, my turn to run!  The morning began with the disappointment that I was missing players; two had to leave early that day for real-life stuff, and another two just plain didn't show up.  Thank heaven the other two registered players (Nick and Shawna) were there, and a third (Rachel aka "Blonde Frog" from Frog God Games) came by to play for a bit.  We'll get more into the actual happenings of the Wampus Country session in a post later this week, but suffice to say a pretty good time was had, I got to do a couple voices and make horrible puns, and move plastic dinosaurs around the battlemat.  Very pleased with the session.
Little did they know they would soon be assaulted by dino-sausages.  Note the empty Dew bottle, not ten minutes into the session.  Later, the waitress brought me some iced tea, so basically I spent most of the adventure peeing.

All in all, I had a magnificent time at NTRPGCon and plan to go back next year!

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