Feb. 23rd, 2010

theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
It's taken me a few days to get to the point where I feel like posting about OwlCon.  Not because I had a bad time (far from it).  Unlike past years though, I didn't come away refreshed and full of energy like I have in the past.  I think it's because my games, while they did well by anyone else's standards, didn't quite feel "right" to me.

Some of this was the venue.  This year, both of my games were the only RPGs going on in a hall full of minis and Munchkin players and the noise factor was quite significant.  However, I don't think that was an overwhelming factor, really.  The biggest problem was that I'd gotten used to my games filling up, and writing the adventures so that all of the PCs were necessary.  For the first game, I ended up with only four players and six slots.  Thankfully, two players were willing to play two characters so we had the full complement and I didn't have to adjust things overmuch.  All in all, the morning game went pretty well.  Folks who'd never played HEX/Ubiquity System before got a taste of it, the one guy who had played it had a good time (which means I must have been running it right), and some awesome stuff happened, like the PCs stealing Airwolf (a spur of the moment bit of improvisation that made the ending much more exciting).

The second game, "Lucha Libre Hero," was a bit more problematic.  First, I was feeling the burn from competing with the noise in the room.  Second, I only had three players of five show up.  As a result, I had to scale things back significantly and prioritize the PCs.  Of the three players, one was a complete newcomer, the others were experienced HERO System guys.  From the outset, it was pretty clear that new guy wasn't feeling the system.  He seemed to be OK with the story, but something was clearly out of his comfort zone, and when I called a break at mid-way, he asked if he could excuse himself from the game.  Fortunately, by that point, we'd picked up an onlooker, another HERO fan, and I drafted him into taking over the character, which he did with admirable enthusiasm.  Ultimately, the adventure ended up alright, but I had to hit the players with a clue-by-four at one point to get them to follow an extremely obvious lead, so I felt like I was leading them by the nose to get them there, which is kind of a bummer.

So I came away feeling somewhat less than successful.  And I don't think it's because they were bad games, they were just really average games by my standards, because I've gotten spoiled the past few years by having players who just jumped on everything I put in front of them and ran with it and made my job so easy.

Afterward, I hooked up for dinner with a couple  of friends from Austin, which helped me get back on track.

Sunday was much better, even though I didn't do any gaming myself.  My ten year old was signed up for a youth D&D 4e game run by one of the guys in my Tuesday night group.  It was his first time playing an RPG without my participation and it went great.  I walked by the table early on and he shouted "Dad!  I'm playing a Warforged with no legs!"  Indeed, the plot was such that the PCs started as old people, and rapidly aged backwards.  I spotted him running to the restroom at one point and he said, "I got my legs back!"

Eventually, he was just a head, riding on a dog by biting its collar (said dog had been a Druid's prized companion, died, and was reincarnated as the human who was the party's fighter during the first 2/3 of the adventure).  In between, they fought a lich and a dragon and a baby Giant.  Sounds like a two hoots and a holler.

Having a few days to decompress and think about it, I am happy with my games, just not as happy as I've been in past years.  Quotes from the Lucha Libre game showed up on the HERO boards courtesy of one of the players, and honestly, it's easy to see that they were having a good time (apart from the guy who left).  So, I'll take the win and keep the lessons close to heart for next year and not count on having full tables.


theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)

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