If you missed my review for Dundracon 2014 you can go here:
NOTE: this time around I'm doing a summary above and then posting pics below with commentary. As a result I expect this to be less lengthy. Additionally, my camera had an issue so I used my cell phone and as a result I took a lot less pictures. I'll make up for that at the next convention.
This DDC was about as good as last year. I got a sweet set up at the hotel and because one of their people liked me I even had a complimentary tray waiting in the room. It was right by the stairs so I could skip the crowded elevators as needed.
I had the usual get together in the bar Saturday night with the usual crowd and we even saw Jesus again but he was out of costume. There were some other good talks including a late night slumber party on Friday where Ez, Mike G and I kept blabbing until we all passed out. Overall, the extended group at the bar concluded that you could not do wrong playing in most of the Telltale Video games. We shared stories of our decisions in the Walking Dead series 1 and 2.
Games were good to me in regards to the lottery. I got into 2 L5R LARPS. Some of those people have been LARPing together for five years or more and have a tendency to even review their LARP experience with podcasts. I can see why some of my RPG friends feel intimidated by such perceived closed circles. My experiences have varied but I'm getting enough benefit from LARPing that I intend to keep trying it out.
Getting back to the lottery system I also got into a couple of short 4 hour games run by Jeff Yin and Todd F which were fun. Dave S. did a pickup of 5E for us during an open slot. Unlike 3E and 4E I'd give this one another try though my tabletop fantasy RPGs are still Warhammer Fantasy 2nd edition, Dragon Age and maybe Kobolds Ate My Baby.
The Saturday game was promising before it started b/c everyone used priority slips to get in. A sixth person who I knew crashed successfully. The group tried "hardcore mode" as I called it and then dropped it after about 30 minutes into the game.
There were some very interesting PC interactions with one another this time around. I think it mirrored the Cold War Soviet Union mindset but that's another story. Rich H. had some interesting info as to what he felt the group did correctly and incorrectly but no spoilers here. While this run was a TPK mostly by player choice it was still pretty damn good fun. I'm glad some familiar faces got into the game and also glad we didn't go over the ten hour slot. BTW, that isn't a guarantee we won't do that at Kubla.
Speaking of Kubla my music guy is in for one last run at Kubla and then we are retiring it from the cons so if you really want to play in it you will need to make the Kubla game or bribe me to run it for you outside of a con. BTW, bribing isn't easy as other groups have already thought of this idea and yeah that was sort of a tongue in cheek remark.
Speaking of which running a second easy game on Monday wasn't that difficult. It's more of a question of whether one wishes to run a second game at the expense of experiencing other games. I typically try for a Battlestar Galactica board game on Mondays with Mike H. That said, if I do do two games at a convention it's likely going to be DDC as they consistently give me good or better players for my RPGs.
There were a few minor hiccups at the con but I was able to smooth them out and most of them didn't require help from the volunteers. Speaking of which I greatly appreciate all the hard work put in by the volunteers, especially those who have been doing it for decades.
In closing I can now announce DDC is my favorite Bay Area gaming convention and while it isn't always the best con for a particular year it holds the highest marks for the last several years.
P.S. Special thanks to Chaosium, especially Dustin, for giving me a ton of prizes to give out to the players for my two games. I also brought a few spare novels I had as well so everyone who wanted a prize got something.
|The back of the hotel.|
|Don't let the Dark Heresy GM screen fool you. This is Fading Suns, a kinder version of Dark Heresy from what our GM told us. The guy who played our leader a did good job of being the clueless archetype.|
|Dovi and Jason M. were playing this one.|
|Ticket to Ride.|
|Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Wars. I have yet to play this one but have an offer pending.|
|Another angle of the map. Really a beautiful prop if I didn't say so already about a billion times heh.|
|My death before dishonor higher ups give up the Mantis Clan islands to the White Peril. It just goes to show that when you play with Ryan B and Robert F. that it won't be a safe resolution.|
|The Mantis Clan during the first year. This was my clan for the Friday LARP.|
|Setup for the first year. This LARP took place over several years as the evil white people showed up.|
|Borders are changing greatly.|
|Bye bye, Mantis Clan.|
|It's a bit of a spoiler pic for those who play in the Kubla run but this is an entrance into something and that's all I'll say for now.|
|The starting vehicle for the Spetsnaz. About a dozen of them can fit inside.|
|A return to graph paper and dungeon crawling.|
|Here's what some of our Winter days look like in California. This was close to dusk.|
|A beautiful suite I was able to get for my Monday game. There were a lot more crashers for this game than my Saturday night game which is sort of ironic but there ya go.|