gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Boo! Hurrah!

So my PC at home is broken. When I switch it on it starts to boot for about 9 seconds and then cuts out. I'm just guessing that the power unit has problems and I'll need to get a new one.

Otherwise, we had a great weekend at Continuum, as always. It is the most consistently well run con that I've ever been too. I was planning to run one game but ended up running three.

pwca has details of my impromptu game of My Life with Master. I didn't have the rules with me so had to make up the formulae on the fly. I'm sure I didn't get them all right but it seemed to work. In any case, everyone seemed engaged and I enjoyed the game, which is usually a good sign and there was some genuine creepiness.

I also ran a two player game of Cthulhu Dark ages for Paula and spencerpine. As it was nice and sunny we played in the garden. So as not to have lots of paper flapping about I just used the three good things, two bad things, one secret method of character generation and no dice. They played medieval pilgrims who have a vision and have to deal with a nasty situation. I've run the same scenario before but with very different PCs (a local lord's son, on his way to becoming the village priest, and his bodyguard) and both times it has gone pretty well. In fact, I'm not sure there's enough in it for any more than two players. Having just two players makes it easier to pace the game and develop the background colour, and having two such good players meant that they added a lot themselves too.

On Sunday morning I ran my only contracted game, Cold City. pwca had been signed up to play but could only stay for Friday which was a shame. And timgray drew the short straw and played the Frenchman. This meant that the briefing officer, Major Spiegelmann was on his case right from the start, but he stood up to my bullying pretty well and was there to take down the monster. The players all got stuck into this game and really made it work.

This is my third outing for this scenario and the first time that the players tried to capture the monster. In the first outing they set up some welding equipment which they herded the monster past and then shot it. The Russian PC got rather badly damaged in the explosion and no sign was found of the monster. Two different reports were filed. In the second outing, at SteveCon Paris, monster and PCs alike died in hails of bullets in the tunnel. This was the bloodiest outing with one PC death and much injury. So a slightly different result each time, but no less fun.

The games that I played were the Friday night special from the Kult of Keepers - three interwtinned scenarios and morthrai destroyed the world. This wasn't as smooth as Gastby, players had very different experiences. Our group didn't get anywhere near the plot and accidentally blundered into the end game. But that is part of the charm of CoC. You don't always know what's going on and sometimes you just can't stop it.

I also played in Kev's game of Cthulhu on Mars. I have mixed feelings about this. I think the basic idea of the scenario was sound and I think the players were great. We had a real feeling of a team under pressue with people reacting in different ways. However this was Sci Fi and Kev never really allowed us to make use of the science that should have been at our disposal. I think he needs a bit more in the background to say how far science has progressed in the next 50 years - I mean, we got to Mars in 6 months, that says big engines to me, so where were they? What about gene sequencing and splicing? Back-up systems? The shuttle has 5, we had none initially. And I think Kev could do a bit more with pacing the build up - events seemed disconnected. That said, I did enjoy this game.

A game that I enjoyed even more was Serenity using Hero Quest rules, we had a great crew and were ruthlessly efficient. The GM had made a load of bank notes as props and put these to good effect in the game. This is possibly the best game of HQ I've played.

On Saturday evening I sat on for part of the interview with Sandy Petersen and Charlie Krank. I think Charlie barely said 10 words such was Sandy's enthusiasm. But it was pretty interesting stuff and made me ponder the hermenutics of Call of Cthulhu. To wit, the game is ill-defined, the background too and the scenarios are generally about understanding what is going on. In effect there is a triple-layer of searching for meaning. How can this not appeal?

My final game of the con was Sandy Petersen's LARP, A Night at The Opera. I played the conductor in this Phantomesque production. It was OK but Sandy got a bit too involved. I think it the guy playing the director had been stronger, Sandy may have been more in the background but as it was it felt a little linear and railroaded. And the finale was a big fight that was rather slowed down by less than smooth mechanics. But both Paula and I had good central roles so we had plenty to do.

We also saw gazillions of friends with whom we spent far too little time.

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