Big Bad Con Report
Because I’m not going to make posts about every game. >.>
I already talked briefly about the Drama System hack we played (Colony Wars) on Saturday evening. Since I’ve given up on chronological order: in Colony Wars, I took the most chances. I burst right out of the gate playing a frustrated asshole who wanted respect, not bureaucratic flim-flam. I of course aimed that scene at my husband, since I haven’t quite reached the Gamer Confidence level required to toss character sheets at people I’ve just met. The experience made me shaky, but that usually means I’m stretching. I did apologize to my husband about five times because, me.
I would play Dungeon World again in a hot minute. Great group of gamers (really, everyone I gamed with all weekend was awesome), imaginative group, and a GM who really knew how to take a nugget of an idea and run with it. The entire thing felt like we segued from one awesome heavy metal album cover to the next. My ranger rode a halfling-made (therefore, awesome) thatched roof down the side of a collapsing stone spire into a sunless sea. In Xanadu did rune-slavers steal halflings, and it was a blast kicking ass and resisting mind control.
Let me put it this way: I would gladly run Dungeon World, and people who know me well know that that’s a rare declaration.
FATE — oh gosh. Fate still escapes me. I have to admit it. I’ve played Core a few times, both one shots and campaigns, and there’s something about it that just exhausts me. It’s fiddly. I was able to play Fate Accelerated at the con (CAMELOT Trigger), and I will say that Accelerated beats Core all to hell in keeping me interested.
I hate saying that I still don’t really get how the aspects pile on top of each other. It’s one of those things like trigonometry that my brain hears and discards. Every time I’ve played, there’s been a tipping point about 3/4ths of the way through the one-shot or campaign in which the aspects start clicking, and then they’re awesome — but it seems to happen organically, and I wish I knew how to make that happen as a deliberate gaming choice.
I think I need an Accelerated campaign to really get my head in the Fate game. That said, I liked the structure our GM gave the one-shot a lot. Her obvious enjoyment of Fate also kicked my enthusiasm level high.
And finally, Golden Sky Stories was thoroughly enjoyable. I was a cat! A cat henge, a helper kitty who displayed many traits of Cat even when in her human-seeming form. The mod we played — A Peaceful Town — was just adorable, and I can imagine a really interesting array of solutions to its very small problem. I was especially looking forward to this particular game because of my friend the GM, not to mention the paradigm shift from the fairly grimdark rest of my weekend. As Carl wrote in the con game’s blurb: ”There are 1000 RPGs where you can solve problems with violence. This is not one of them.”
I’ll put it this way — as someone who loves acting out grimdark emotional train wrecks as much as I do, I’ve never said “AWWW” so much in a game. The other players were just as much into it as I was. My husband the dove henge is still claiming he casts “Tranquility” on me every time he hugs me. So much fun.
A few other notes about Big Bad Con: Oy, that is not a great hotel. But! The con is organized so well, and the trade-off that comes with the not-great-hotel is the price that allows people who couldn’t otherwise come to the con to do so. I wish the games started earlier, so the breaks between games were longer. The food trucks were a brilliant idea. I will also remember next year that I too can bring bourbon to the table.
tl;dr — Of all the gaming cons I’ve been to, Big Bad Con is by far the most smoothly-run and low-key, with a great group of attendees. A++, will game again!