Sunday, March 22, 2009
Our friend and gaming buddy, who has unfortunately moved out of town a few years back, had a birthday recently and threw himself a gaming con. The good news is that he doesn't live too far away, a little less than two hours, so a couple of us local players headed up for 'Ruchtcon'. Rucht is no stranger to conventions, and I was impressed with how he scheduled the weekend. Just like a large-scale con, it was broken down into four hour blocks, with a variety of games, and half a dozen guest GM's to run said games. It was by-and-large a roleplaying con, which was refreshing since that's something I haven't had a whole lot of lately. In total there were about fifteen to twenty people who came and went over the course of the weekend, and we all had a blast. Here's a glimpse of just what all went down.
The first game in progress when Oz and I arrived was a board game of BSG. I forgot to bring my camera, so all of these pics are from my phone, so excuse the image quality! We had to get to the store before the next slot started for some beverage and snack purchasing, so I didn't get to sit in on this one. The guys seemed to be having fun with it though and it might be worth a second look.
In all of the filler slots between scheduled games there was plenty of Xbox 360 going on. Some people who weren't signed up for a particular slot just hung out and played some pickup games, then at other times, coordinated sessions were played too. Although I didn't partake, I saw a host of games being played; Rock Band, Guitar Hero World Tour, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Resident Evil 5.
The only other board game I saw was the new edition of Talisman. I remember playing the old Talisman quite a bit, it was both fast and fun. I didn't play in this one, which is too bad, I'd like to test drive it a couple of times to see if it's worth a purchase or not. At just a few glances in between trips to the refrigerator, there wasn't a whole lot to look at really. The only pieces that ever made it onto the game board itself were just the PC's, with a score of cards all lining the edges of the board. I know the group playing were going on for about three or four hours and quite often I heard a lot of laughing and carrying on in there, usually coinciding with the draw of a new event card or some new polymorphing catastrophe.
Well, I'm a 40k fan, end of story. Sure there have been annoying editions of the rules come and go, but I probably wouldn't be the miniature gamer I am today if Rogue Trader didn't kick it all off for me so long ago. To have an RPG come out, set in the 40k universe, was something I've been waiting a long time for, and it's finally here.
I did play in this one, and I liked what I saw mechanics-wise. To get the most out of the game however, you really need to be familiar with the universe itself. A few of the players at the table were strangers to 40k, and I think they were lost a little bit of the time.
Rucht ran this one, and I played a mind-cleansed Imperial Guardsman, Oz played a Techpriest. Both are pretty memorable characters, but then again, everyone is a unique individual in the game...it's just that life is cheap. We were sent in as acolytes to investigate some occult killing of local nobles and see if there was a link to chaos. We tracked down the individuals involved across a couple of different sprawling cities, including a walking city the size of a mountain chain. Out team had an eclectic mix of heroes, including a sanctioned 10 year girl psyker. It was a fun game, and definitely inspired to play some more after getting just a small taste of it over the weekend.
I don't know much about this one at all. I've never heard of it before, I've never played it, and while I was there, I didn't see it being played. The link I put up is fairly expansive and should give a good idea about what this indie RPG game is all about.
Star Wars Saga Edition
I really wanted to play in this one. I've heard good things about the new rules system, and although I'm completely turned off by the prequel movies, deep down inside I'm still a Star Wars fan. The game run at the con was set in the Old Republic, a time period 4,000 years before the movie Episode IV, A New Hope.
I've never been much interested in the host of White Wolf games out there. I don't know why, I've always had plenty of other shiny products to distract me with. At one point I had almost talked myself in getting in on a Mage: the Awakening game, but that fell through. This is purely a personal choice, and I know just from being around the RPG scene for sometime, that the game didn't need me, the World of Darkness series has a huge following of gamers out there, and it does very well by itself. They ran a game on Saturday night, and they all seemed to be into it. The GM was knowledgeable and the action was fast. All I picked up was that it was set in the modern day near Boulder, Colorado.
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
This was another one I played in, and I'm glad I did. I've played some WH before, and thoroughly loved it, I've even mentioned it on here once or twice as well. Witch Hunter takes place in the late 1600's in the colonization of the New World. witchcraft, demons, and monsters are all very real, but quickly explained away by local gossip and superstition. It is the role of Witch Hunters, a secret sect of individuals, to covertly investigate and eliminate these threats.
This one holds a special place for us because one of our own, Rucht, helped write the game from the ground up and develop it, so who better to run it than that guy? He's even got a monster book out too, but I've yet to pick it up.
Our Witch Hunters converged on the scene of a small town afflicted by a strange series of women dropping dead after becoming very ill. The common thread, heh, pun intended, was that they were all seamstresses. We searched around some and through our investigations we tracked down the lead suspect who, along with her daughter, were witches. The battle took place in earnest, with arrow, musket shot, and magical flame being exchanged. We put her down eventually and captured the daughter. In the employ of the witch were a host of Watchdolls, malevolent little dolls, wicked with intent, who could magically stitch together limbs, lips, and the eyes of their victims. These were minions at best, but were much creepier than the head witch herself.
I was able to use my Native American character from a previous game for this one. He's a hunter and melee fighter mostly, but has some skill with medicine and tracking too. He's an outcast member of the Huron. Oz played (in usual Oz fashion) a clergyman; an Anglican Priest fresh from England. I don't know the particulars about his character, but he had some kind of holy staff that was rolling ungodly (err, I guess Godly is more appropriate) amounts of damage dice.
This barn set the scene for the mute Frenchman and myself to investigate, and stumble upon the grisly remains of a fellow Witch Hunter. The victim had been stitched together by a Watch Doll, with whom we then battled. It took the better part of both of our skills just to win the combat.
A big ole pile of Damnation and Fate chips that were custom made for a con some time back specifically for the game. These are hard to get your hands on nowadays, and honestly any chip or counter will do, but these are extra nifty.
A lot of people like to claim that their group's GM is the "best", but we have the proof to back it up, haha!