So I got the okay to spend the weekend at one of Denver’s big gaming Conventions. Genghis Con. The other one is in September called Tacticon.
The folks who run the convention have a Yahoo mailing list where they post information about upcoming conventions. I hadn’t signed up but I did find out when game master registrations opened and sent in descriptions of three of the role playing games I wanted to run and two board games. Three of the RPGs are described below. I also wanted to run Pandemic which I was fortunately able to run due to a medical cancellation. And Wings of War, a WWI air combat game.
Unfortunately the Board Game coordinator missed my e-mail asking for slots and the RPG coordinator missed my first two descriptions for Paranoia and My Life With Master. Interestingly enough, I was able to get All Flesh Must Be Eaten in just under the wire.
There wasn’t any confirmation e-mail that they’d received my submissions and when I sent a follow up a week later (and still before the deadline), I still didn’t get a reply. Figuring they were busy, I didn’t press it. I did find out that only the last minute game (All Flesh Must Be Eaten) had made it into the catalog.
Later, I found they were on Facebook and about a month or so before the convention, I asked why my events didn’t make it in. They apparently missed my e-mails (they do get a lot of submissions I’d guess) but they posted them on the website. With that, I was able to get my All Flesh Must Be Eaten game sold out and even overbooked by four! Although only three extra showed up.
In addition, when I got to the convention, I didn’t have a judges badge and didn’t get a t-shirt 🙁 Since I didn’t have a T-Shirt ticket and didn’t have my paypal receipt, I lost out. It was a pretty good shirt this year too so I’m a bit bummed. Rita’s good though as I have a lot of t-shirts 🙂
I did send them an e-mail with several suggestions on improving the website, making it easier for customers to know when events started and ended as well as what events were available. I’ll be working with them in a couple of weeks to see if I can help with ideas.
As all conventions, this one has a room devoted to local gaming related stores. Total Escape Games from Broomfield, Black and Read, etc. Chessex, the dice company only attends Genghis Con and was here with 10 feet of dice. There are weapons such as swords, knives, and even a flail with 20 sided dice vs a spiked ball. There wasn’t much of a selection of Role Playing Books though. Shadowrun War! Came out a few weeks ago and no one had it. Lots of board games though.
ParanoiaDirty, filthy, nasty. Mr. Bubbles says: Take Me Off Your List!
The Troubleshooters ave been tasked to investigate. In a Larry, Curly, Moe situation, the team finds themselves in unknown territory, dealing with a reality show producer, then runaway Scrubbots as the Mr. Bubbles virus infects their PDC’s and they become spammers themselves.
Eventually they return exhausted only to discover they were on the wrong mission!
I think the game went real well. The players got into it and we had four hours of great fun! As the Game Master, I received 58 out of 60 for my score.
My Life With Master
The game can be fun but is hard to summarize without just giving you all the rules. Essentially you, as the GM, are The Master and the players are your Minions. At the start of the game, the Minions choose The Master’s stats and motivations. With that, The Master sends his Minions into the late 1800’s middle European countryside to satisfy his requirements. During that time, the Minions discover love and eventually turn on The Master. The countryside comes to The Master’s abode with pitchforks and torches to burn him out.
And yet, this is just one way to play it. You can play a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde game just as easily or even Dracula or Frankenstein. The one guy who showed up had played it in the past and the GM elected to run it in Louisiana using a Lex Luthor type evil villain. Interesting idea.
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
This is a Zombie Apocalypse game. The game publisher provides quite a few settings from Fantasy dungeon type crawls to Pirates (the newest book) to the Old West, Cyberpunk, and even Space. You can select the setting you want to play on up to creating your own.
I made my own based on a game I ran a couple of years ago. Essentially the H1N1 vaccine reacted with your blood type causing only a small percentage of the population to reanimate. I expanded the original one and created several possible scenarios.
The players started in a downtown Denver coffee shop. When they went to leave they discovered zombies were attacking the population. They hopped into their van and headed down to the apartment and locked themselves in avoiding firefighters and even the police. And that was the game. No zombie battles. Just standing on the sidelines while Denver was taken over by Zombies.
Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun screwing around. I did feel that I lost control a bit and wasn’t able to either prevent them from getting to the apartment (which I should have done) or found a better way to get them out and into the streets. Ah well, we learn from our mistakes.
I’m running Pandemic and a set of Z-Man card games for the representative that had to bail. The Con organizers sent out a call for help and I volunteered for Pandemic + On The Brink as well as a selection of Z-Man card games.
Pandemic with On The Brink expansion
I already have Pandemic with On The Brink so this was an easy volunteer option. I’ve played it a few times and like the game.
Pandemic in a cooperative game with the players attempting to cure diseases throughout the world. The game has a world map with four different colors depicting disease locations. Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black. City vectors are connected and movement is between cities. Players pull two Player cards which are generally cities. Then Infection cards, 2 or more depending on the current disease situation. A single block is placed on the listed city for each Infection card pulled. Diseases expand when an Epidemic card is pulled from the Player deck. An Infection card is pulled and three blocks are placed. An Outbreak occurs when a city already has three cubes, then each adjacent city gains the same color cube. This really becomes a problem if an adjacent city already has three cubes as it causes adjacent cities to gain three blocks. This is generally how the game ends. Players have four actions per turn. Four types of movement are possible along with building a research center (which is how you cure a disease) or clearing a single disease block from a city.
On The Brink adds three more optional rule expansions. We generally run the Mutation option but there’s also a bio-terrorist option and a third one dealing with epidemics. Additional roles are included as well as appropriate counters for the new roles.
Our game ended when the red area (far east) had three, which caused an outbreak to an adjacent city with three. Others had two and were augmented with a third because of the first outbreak which spread it out more. It lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. The end came quick so we didn’t know until the last card that the game ended. All in all, still pretty fun.
The King Commands
This is the first of the card games I ran. It’s a moderately easy game. You have four suits of sword cards and shield cards. Swords are worth 1 point, shields are worth 2. In addition you have gold cards worth 5, Merlin’s crystal worth 0 in points, the King’s Crown worth 3 and Excalibur which is also worth 0 in points.
You play swords against other players. The number and color depict the attack type. There are two defense options, parry and block. You use the same sword cards to parry or similar shield cards to block. If you parry, each player scores their sword cards. If you block, the blocker keeps the swords and shield to be scored. Excalibur can block almost every attack. If you are not able to block or parry, you lose a gold card (assuming you have one).
The Crown lets you demand an action from the other players. Merlin’s crystal lets you look at the top four cards of the draw deck and keep two. You can discard cards from your hand to replenish your cards with one for one on sword cards up to 5 cards for a crown or crystal.
At the end of the game, you add up all the points in your score pile and the person with the highest score wins.
Wendy, Tony, Nate and I played two games at the bar late Saturday morning. I think it’s a tiny bit complicated for a bar game although it went reasonably well.
This is one of the two less complicated but a bit more strategic games. You have a range of card from 3 to 35. Only 24 cards are used. The others are put back in the box without looking. Each player (up to 5) gets 11 tokens. A card is played from the deck. You decide whether to keep it or put a token down saying “No Thanks!” Play rotates with each player putting a token down until someone takes it, either by choice or because they’ve run out of tokens.
Scoring is based on the lowest numbered card in a sequence. So if you have a 27 card and see a 26 card, you pick it up and drop your score by one (from 27 to 26). The 27 card doesn’t count any more. So filling straights is one part of the strategy. You also have to budget your tokens. If you’re out or low, the other player(s) can force you to take a high card.
Once all the cards are gone, you total up the lowest cards in each sequence and all stand-alone cards and subtract the number of tokens you still have. Lowest score wins.
Another simple game. You have 6 suits. The card box is the beginning of the parade. You deal out 5 cards to each player and then 6 cards (Blue 1, Green 4, Yellow 10, Blue 6, White 4, Green 2 for example) face up begin the parade. The object is to have the lowest negative score (so -4 beats -10). You select a card, a Blue 4 card. This is placed at the end of the parade. The next four cards in the parade are ignored and the last two are in the available list (so the Blue 1 and Green 4). You get any Blue card in the available list (so the Blue 1) and any card that is equal or less than your card (so the Green 4). To end the game, you need to have one of each color in your scoring area. Any set of colors where you have the majority (or two more than the other player if a two player game), you turn over and only count the number of cards. So in the above example, you’d have a score of -5.
Mountain of Inferno
I was able to learn the game however it was, in my opinion pretty complicated. The game comes with disciples which are used to create the Mountain. Then there are four other cards which let you move your token between cards or remove disciples. You are only able to move horizontally or vertically so you can strand someone. The winner is the one that sits on the intersection of four unique disciples running horizontally and vertically. You play the number of rounds after the number of players. At the end of the rounds, the total score wins. You keep track of the score on a card.
I did some wandering around Sunday waiting for the noon card games to begin and snapped a few shots in the Miniatures room.
Friday night after Paranoia I zipped over to King Soopers (local grocery store) to get snacks for the weekend. I’m generally pretty bad about snacks but got bananas and raisins and snagged some water from 7/11. I did also get some SmartFood popcorn and Junior Mints as well as a couple of bottles of Cream Soda *yum* 🙂 I drank water pretty much all weekend although I had half a beer Saturday night after gaming along with a .5 liter Coke Zero (which gave me a headache Monday).
The cool thing of course was that I was able to hang with Wendy and her GM for Amber Diceless and chat at the bar and then Saturday night with Nate, Tony, and Wendy playing The King Commands.
All in all, I had quite a fun time and hope that folks who played in my games also had one.