Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HelgaCon III

So I just got back this week from the annual gaming convention that my Boston friends put together. We find a place on Cape Cod, fill up a big rental house, and have a big gaming blow-out over a long weekend. I'll probably be writing reviews and recaps of the action here, possibly for several weeks (what with my schedule and all).

In the meantime, you might want to check out some of the blogs of my good friends who also write about this kind of stuff. Most of the DM'ing duties fell to me, Delta (3 games), Paul (2 games), and BJ (2 games), all of whom keep gaming blogs; in addition, one game apiece was run by our friends Kevin, Dave, and Emily. It's a nice mix, because each of us have markedly different gaming styles. We used to do a round-robin campaign for about 5 years back in Boston; near the end for a year or so Paul & I co-DM'd a campaign, resulting in some (now) hilarious results from our colliding play styles. The other guys will be writing about HelgaCon at the same time as I am, so it might be an interesting compare-and-contrast opportunity.

Here's Paul's blog ("Paul's Blog"). Paul is both a star player and DM; he has enormous sensitivity to the needs of everyone around the table and pays very close attention to what we might call "best practices" in keeping the action running. He tends to run games that I think are more social- and narrative-based (although he had a sandboxy dungeon crawl this weekend), and while I wouldn't do exactly the same thing, the truth is that succeeds and excels at it. Game-theory wise, we're usually at opposite ends of most discussions. (Our friend John said: ""I don't understand how you two can even be friends, you're always disagreeing with each other.") You'll see some of that over on his blog today. In addition, he actually organizes & schedules the whole con in the first place, "For selfish purposes," as he said Sunday.

Here's BJ's blog ("Saturday Night Sandbox"). Again, great player and DM. BJ's a professional artist, so the thing that blows away players in all of his games is that he'll have prepared complete, rich illustrations for all of the unique elements in his games: new monsters, villians, pregen characters, terrain, etc. (As a side note, we all used to work together at a computer game company in Boston. Seeing some of my game concepts come to life in BJ's artwork was one of the high points of the job.) He's got music & miniatures & all kinds of accoutrements prepared for his games. As a player, he's analogous to the star actor who can make bad scripts good and good scripts great; his character will usually be the highlight of the session, both tactically smart and with great gales of laughter from his role-playing.

So check 'em out. More from me later.

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