A few weeks back, I attended the 31st annual RustyCon, one of our local general fan conventions. It boasts a population of 500-700 attendees and prides itself on being a very family-friendly convention. For this con, I was attending more as a panelist than anything else.
For some people, the three-day Labor Day weekend is a last hoorah for summer. Maybe a camping trip. Maybe a day of meat. Some other horrible thing involving sunshine and the outdoors.
I spent three days shunning the evil Daystar and running Monsterhearts one-shots, collaboratively spinning yards of angsty teenage monsters and their messy lives. All in an effort to feel a bit more comfortable with the rules before I run a one-shot at Ambercon Northwest.
Yeah. I’m a huge dork.
We played our second session of our Apocalypse World game recently. This is probably the first time I’ve run a second session for any of the AW hacks. This session got me involved in the use of the Fronts and threats for the game. This is the mechanical tracking of plot threads that impact the characters. Normally I run generally off the cuff, with only a vague notion of where things are going and leaving myself open to letting the magic happen. But I figured I wanted to get the full AW experience, so I pulled out the little booklets that I’d printed out with all the other playsheets and started filling them in with guidance from the book.
One of the interesting things about our Monsterhearts game that I failed to mention were the ground rules that were set up for our gaming etiquette. I’ve never really managed to get anything like that established for my gaming groups. In the past I’ve tried to ask people for hard limits and gotten little to no response. And since it’s sometimes hard to just get players to read setting information (“I don’t do homework for fun”), I had just given up on the topic. In general, our rules tend to be an unspoken “Don’t be a dick.”
After Go Play Northwest this year, I found myself wanting to dive into Apocalypse World and its assorted hacks. In part because I have a couple hacks I want to make and don’t want to repeat my past mistakes of taking elements from a game I barely understand and then fumbling it up when I try to apply it elsewhere. In part because it’s just stupid fun. Bizarrely, I still don’t feel jazzed over “the post apocalypse” as a genre. But I’ve had stupid amounts of fun both times I’ve played it so I was willing to give it a whirl.
Once again the wife and I travelled out to beautiful and scenic Livonia, Michigan, for the 23rd annual AmberCon. For those not familiar, this is a small four-day convention dedicated primarily to playing Amber Diceless and (mostly) similar games. No dealer room, no panels. Just four days of roleplaying in scheduled slots of games. It’s held at Embassy Suites Livonia. There have been other Ambercons spawned over the years, and I am most fond of AmberCon Northwest, but this is the convention originally started by Amber Diceless creator Erick Wujcik.
I’ve really loved running the Shadowrun campaign I’ve been doing. I’ve had a stellar group of roleplayers who have really made the game come alive. I’ve also learned a whole lot.
I had an interesting insight into the care and feeding of a game a couple weeks ago. This insight chiefly revolved around the importance of communication and how one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.
A few things I’ve had on my notes to write about, figured I’d jot down some thoughts.