This is my fairly belated recap of this year’s AmberCon Northwest. I hope you enjoy it.
Had a couple thoughts that have been bubbling up regarding the gaming aspect of roleplaying games and how that indirectly ties into Amber Diceless.
Hey, only took me a couple months.
April 16th-19th, I flew out with the special lady friend for four days of roleplaying at the 20th anniversary AmberCon US in beautiful, scenic Livonia, MI. For those who haven’t attended one, these cons are relatively small (ACNW and ACUS have 80-100 attendees each year) and lack some of the features you see in larger cons. Like a sprawling dealer room and such. Instead, it’s just solid gaming from Thursday night through Sunday night. And by gaming, I mostly mean “roleplaying.” Like serious, immersionist, actor-stance, honest-to-Buddha roleplaying. There’s a bit of indy gaming that goes on. Fringe weirdos like Amber players tends to have some overlap with the indy game crowd. But there’s also some people who staunchly hate indy games. Especially the story game, roll-for-narrative control sorts of games.
The con definitely has a different feel from ACNW, which is the con I spend most of my time at. It was started by Erick Wujcik himself and has about seven years on ACNW. The median age often feels older. It seems like there are more ongoing campaigns than there are at ACNW, some of which may very well have started in the early years of the con. This is, and has been, the major stomping ground of many of the people I got to know through the old Amber Mailing List. When I think “Amber Community,” I think of this place.
Only took me a month. I blame NaNoWriMo. And laziness. This will be relatively brief since time has faded the crazy high I left the convention with and I don’t want this to be even later than it already is.
This last weekend I picked up a couple of game books. My intro got long, so I’m putting the whole damn thing behind a cut. What’s behind the cut? A couple mini reviews and some commentary on baggage with roleplaying games.
A few game related thoughts I’d had since my last post. One continuing my thoughts on random encounters, one regarding an idea I’m poaching from tatterdamelion for the kids game (which the random encounter thoughts reminded me of) and one regarding a quote from the White Wolf team on game design.
After my post a couple weeks ago about, among other things, my need to play more and GM less, I’ve gotten invited to play in three games. ZOMG. One is the D&D 4e game I mentioned previously. Another is Werewolf: The Wild West and the third is Exalted. Additionally, the kids game has rebooted rather than combusted.
I’ve been frantically working on characters since the first session of D&D is today and the first sessions of the other two games are the following weekend. This work has brought up a number of thoughts. I’ll try not to let this devolve into, “Lemme tell you about my character.” I’d hoped to cover all three games in this post, but in the time it’s taken me to write up just the thoughts on D&D, I’ve kinda run out of time. I’ll try and post about character creation thoughts about Werewolf and Exalted within the next week.
Have an assortment of things that I’ve been mulling around regarding roleplaying games. Let’s see how many I get through, huh?
I just wrapped up a six-session Amber campaign. (It was intentionally six sessions. It wasn’t a matter of me just snapping, deciding I hate everyone and just killing the game. I’ve only done that a couple times. Really.) It had involved a good chunk of experimentation with blending in elements of a few other games, including Apects from FATE/Spirit of the Century. I had mixed experiences with the mechanical portion of the game, so I thought I’d share what I dragged into this game, how I felt about it and then wrap it all up with a broader discussion on the concept of resource management and how I fail with it.
Another 4 days of gaming in beautiful and scenic Livonia, with very little sleep and eating very poorly. Comments on the games I played and other aspects of the con behind the cut.