Thursday, April 17, 2014

HelgaCon VII – Overview

The first week of April we had our annual mini-convention on the shores of Massachusetts. It's a fantastic, intense, very energetic gathering that is one of the highlights of my year. This year it grew to the biggest yet, using up every bed in the once-upon-a-time-hotel that we rent now. A lovely way to connect with old friends and new, and share what we're currently doing in games and other stuff. A million thanks to Paul S. for setting the whole thing up, as always!

As usual, there are 5 blocks of gaming throughout the weekend (with 3-4 games running per block). Like in prior years, I ran 3 games and played in 2 myself -- one of the things I love is that it's my best opportunity to stretch myself DM'ing for the largest number of people all year (around 8 players per session). By the end of HelgaCon, I'm very happy, super tired, and pretty ragged in the voice. My schedule ran as follows for this year:

  • Friday Night -- DM'ing the classic Gygax Module D2, "Shrine of the Kuo-Toa".
  • Saturday Morning -- Playing in Paul's high-level B/X game, "The Lost Tablets of Emoria".
  • Saturday Afternoon -- Playing in Paul's pulpy Savage Worlds mashup, "Fortune and Glory".
  • Saturday Night -- DM'ing a gritty low-level D&D game, "The Dangerous Mine".
  • Sunday Morning -- DM'ing a second go-round of "Outdoor Spoliation", using the classic D&D Vol-3 wilderness rules and the recommended Outdoor Survival map.
As you can see, the way the convention's computerized slot-optimizer worked, Paul & I wound up together at the same table in every session (one or the other of us DM'ing the other), so he may need a few months before he wants to see me again. But I had a total blast the whole time. I'll probably summarize some gameplay in the near future for my games, but for now you can see a few sample photos below.

BJ's game, "The Metal Men of Planet Talos" -- Can players escape from an alien planet?



Paul's game, "Fortune and Glory" -- World-hopping pulp pursuit of cultists and ancient artifacts.



End of Paul's game -- Nazis and demonic gangsters attack the university campus in Shanghai!



My game, "The Dangerous Mine" -- Death in the first room, an unsolvable riddle, saves vs. poison gas, and then things start getting really tough.



My game, "Outdoor Spoliation" -- Hunting for major loot in the ruined borderlands (player preparation).




"Outdoor Spoliation" -- behind the DM's screen.



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