Tuesday, 14 August 2012

OSRcon Reflections, Pt. I

OSRCon, 2012

Ahh, the mini-con: large room with tables, high volume, “game shopping” and bad food for lunch.  Thankfully, OSRcon 2012 did not alter the formula.  Some things don’t need to change.

The Games
On Friday, the con began strangely.  Arriving at the appointed hour, the GM – Ken St. Andre (of Tunnels & Trolls) was not yet in the building.  After waiting 45 minutes or so, I elected to leave and explore Toronto.  I never did find out what happened and I’m not sure if Ken’s T&T game actually went off.

Friday evening, I ran Boot Hill, the only non-fantasy game at OSRcon.  Well attended with seven players, the group began the task of taming the town of Brimstone, NM circa 1869.     

Not surprisingly, after 4 hours, we had just about completed the first ‘game-day’ of the four I planned out (on my cue cards).  Heavy on the role-playing with short bursts of violence, none of which was epic or ennobling (thank god!), the game lived up to my hopes of more ‘Unforgiven’ than ‘Silverado’.  The PCs – seemingly to their surprise- attempted to bring law (of a kind) to a town that was ‘living’ before they arrived.  In short, I attempted to make the town itself a character for them to interact with.  Overall, they embraced this and began to grope around in a place where one had to chose a side(s).  Ending seemed intrusive but necessary and the players seemed to enjoy the game as a welcome expression of the genre-richness of a bye-gone era.

Saturday, fantasy reigned supreme at the tables.   Deciding to play a game, I joined James M. dungeoncrawl.  An enjoyable group and an engaged DM meant several hours of level 1-2 monster crushing and puzzle crunching.  Again, the obvious challenges and constraints of “convention play” resulted in a rather limited and stilted perception of James’ Dwimmermount.  I would certainly have preferred a more ‘regular’ session but did enjoy this sampling.

Next: The Panel, The Impressions

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