The games that have been hitting my table most in the past few years are Apocalypse World and Burning Wheel. So when there is a con set up by the two designers of those games, both of whom are friends, I felt a strong pull to go.
Thing is, none of their games interest me as one-shots. Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, Freemarket, Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World and In a Wicked Age are all games I’m eager to play but they all go from good to really great after a few sessions. It was a con with almost all of my favorite games but I’m noticing that my favorite games need a few sessions to go from good to great.
FreeMarket: Our con scenario ran a little goofy for my tastes but I’m fascinated by the game. I bought it soon after and I’m reading it now. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts in a bit.
Spending the Dragon’s Hoard: I set up a campaign and not a one-shot. There was just too much to do given the beliefs I put on the character sheet. I’ll post up a thread on the Burning Wheel forum along with characters, beliefs and post-game thoughts.
In a Wicked Age: Another game that needed 4 more sessions to gain its full glory. It was nice to game with Bret and Michael again. This made me want to move to New York City right this moment and start a game of IaWA with Bret, Janaki and Janira.
Dogs in the Vineyard: John really runs the shit out of this game (check out the link for his amazing hand-outs). Also, it was nice to finally game with Matt, who I’ve known for six and a half years and hadn’t gamed with yet.
I slept in for the Sunday morning slot. It was nice to meander in at around noon, chat with Matt and Jared, chill and eat my salad.
Burning Apocalypse Con was a fun weekend with a conspicuous Alexander-shaped hole in it.
Freemarket is definitely quirky, but I can’t tell how much of the goofiness is baked-in.
With my players, the issue was the relative lack of dire consequences. Yes, you can be kicked off the donut, and I explained how. That’s character death right there. But the fact that the rest of it is basically a struggle for esteem rather than life and death issues makes people more lighthearted.
It’s probably also the contrast between the darker tone of the games I usually run and the carnival atmosphere of Freemarket.
Very much looking forward to your thoughts.
The art carries a light tone too. I can see it being light but there’s a line between light and goofy and we had crossed it.
Spend the Hoard was pretty damn fun, campaign-size or no.
I’m glad you had fun. I did too.
I just can’t help but think about how cool the next 3 sessions would have been is all.
I kinda felt the priority system worked against me this year, there were at least 6 or so games I really wanted in, yours included, that I had no hope of getting on. I get the need for it, but wish things had been arranged a little differently.
How would you arrange it differently? From my perspective, it seemed pretty good.. but I was never in a game where it came up. I like the lack of signups ahead of time. I can see ways to get more optimal distributions, maybe, but they all involve sign ups ahead of time. Maybe there could be a ‘sign up if you give a fuck about a particular game’ option?
Oh, maybe it could be like a token system. You have X tokens at the beginning of the con, and if you come to a full game and want to stay, all players involved have to blind bid tokens. If you win, they are spent. Losers keep the tokens. But that is definitely more complicated
It was great to play with you, as always. I have a rather skewed perspective, since I only get to play indie games at conventions. The ability to provide meaningful play with inexperienced players in less than 4 hours is mandatory for me. That’s a primary reason why I run Mouse Guard and have barely skimmed BW Gold. It’s a game designed for 6 to 12 session arcs, not 4 hours.
I hadn’t played either Apocalypse World or In a Wicked Age before this weekend. I’m pretty sure that AW is fundamentally hamstrung in the one-shot. But IAWA has got me thinking about ways to streamline presentation, and possibly squeeze two stories into a single game session. It could bring in the Owe list, and the anthology nature of the material. Maybe I’ll trot it out at Dreamation.