Indiecon 2012

I missed slot 0 and slot 1 due to scheduling problems, but signed up for something as soon as I arrived. Thus, Indiecon started for me with:

Slot 2: Microscope

in which we built a story of colonisation of Mars, starting with the first lab on the planet and ending with independence of Mars. I heard many good things about Microscope, yet reading about how you play made me think it would bore me to tears and not give enough structure for storytelling. Well, Indiecon is where I go to experiment! So I promptly signed up and didn’t regret it one bit. It really is all that. The only thing to be careful about is that I think it requires enthusiastic buy in (not half-hearted compromise) from all the participants, which we happily did have. Game of the con.

Slot 3: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying

which I joined because I was interested in how the Smallville/Leverage/MHR family rules worked in practice. Well, I read some Marvel comics, but simply not enough for this group, and got lost in the injokes. I didn’t like how the rules seemed to create a lot of whiffs on purpose and nullify descriptions. There was zero reason to be creative or inventive if the dice didn’t go your way. Perhaps other players were familiar with this, since they weren’t very creative or thorough when describing what they were doing, which the GM noticed several times. The session ended with one of the players who was most familiar with the system one-shotting the „final boss” and commenting on how the same mechanical trick was executed by friend X during Thursday’s session in club Y. Completely underwhelming. I had much more fun with Icons (thanks to Elaine and Mick!).

Slot 4: nothing

I wanted to play something in this slot, but I still didn’t have NPCs statted out for the Tenra Bansho Zero adventure I was going to run in slot 6, so I decided to take it easy, stay in the lodge with a laptop and do some more prep.

Slot 5: Traveller

which I signed up for as Dan’s guinea pig. He was really interested in Traveller and was thinking of buying the core rules but unfortunately was called off the con due to job reasons, so I thought I’d check it out in practice. The adventure was a fun rescue mission where a lot of the time nothing was as it seemed. I liked the characters and the setting. All of the fun was up to the GM. Someone later described the rules as roll 2d6 – add skill – get 7 – and that’s what it was – it didn’t add anything to the game (apart from a few persistent whiffs in the same rather important area where we finally had to get an NPC to do the job). I’d play with the same GM again but not fussed about Traveller.

Slot 6: Tenra Bansho Zero

which I ran for the first time; I’ll direct you to my postmortem and reports of the players (Pete, Rich, Leo and Simon) as I don’t want to rate my own game, but I have to say I enjoyed running it a lot and all the players were completely awesome.

Slot 7: Where The Heart Is

which I got invited to by Leo and went to as an experiment. It does what it’s supposed to do and it does it well: slice of life of a dysfunctional family. Unfortunately it just isn’t the type of game I would enjoy. I never saw Requiem for a Dream and never played A Penny for My Thoughts, on purpose. And I won’t play Where the Heart Is again. One of the players commented after the game that the signup sheet should probably have a disclaimer, something along the lines: if you recently went through a breakup or a personal loss, do not play this game. I’d agree.

Slot 8 and later:

by this time I was tired and emotionally wrung out. I decided I could allow myself to be soft and go home, despite that I earlier contemplated running another game of TBZ as there were some interested players. Next time I’ll remember to take Monday off as well :)

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