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Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 North Texas RPG Con Report [Long]-

I am back from Dallas/Ft. Worth (Irving), Texas, and the 2010 North Texas RPG convention, where I had the great pleasure to meet, speak with, and even game repeatedly with TSR and Classic-gaming notables:

  • Rob Kuntz
  • Tim Kask
  • Dennis Sustare
  • Paul Jaquays
  • Steve Winter
I was also fortunate enough to have met many of the active resurgence players, such as Matt Finch, Alan Grohe, and I am embarrassed to say, others whose names and faces have become dissociated in my fatigued mind.


Steve Winter (formerly with TSR, currently with WotC) ran a 1st Edition Gamma World adventure for us, and I think we all had a very enjoyable time, with plenty of smiles and a few laughs amid the exploration and combat with the Wasp-Men. Several of us have camera-pix of a battle scene, and I will try to post that soon.


I was asked to consider running a one-off/pick-up game and had a reader (also a Robert, I believe [if not, please forgive me]) of this blog as the first Player to arrive. The concept i was running with was that he, possibly solo, would trek out from Kelzsyn's Bluff through the wetlands in search of an Ancient Scout cache of significant importance and believed entirely undisturbed. A second player, a young man, a first-time RPG player who was more familiar with popular SciFi franchises than fantasy clich├ęs and tropes, but quickly extrapolated based on my references to Star Wars (his preferred franchise universe), Star Trek, and Stargate. This fellow proved to be an excellent Player in that he was articulate and succinct in his declared intent and quickly realised that anything he though his character could do was likely 'allowable' as governed by a 2d12 + Primary Modifier roll result. Sharp kid. This then led to the deal between the seller and the Scout, which was interrupted by the original customer and her two cohort (a half-Durnsman, and a Western Isles Vrun). Things were getting nasty (the young fighter-type had beheaded the WI Vrun and picked up his Aelbaan blade when my friend Rob Kuntz showed up to join the game by dropping a terracotta potted-plant upon the crown of the much displeased and snarling woman. When she awoke, she and the Durnsman sparingly explained that the three of them had assembled to work the problem together and that they were willing to co-operate. Rob would have none of it and soon the woman and man were discarded to the Thrashers in Mirror Lake.

I'll skip the rest of that and then say that my Friday Night game was a continuation and that the first group was successful in large part due to Rob's insistence that the party was entirely capable of solving all of the riddles, overcoming all obstacles, or finding alternate methods/routes. He demonstrated great caution at times and charged in when he saw an opening and usually was very successful in intent even if his dice were tired and cranky.
My new players included artists Jason Braun (original cover of Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future), and Amanda Marohl (we are discussing artwork for Urutsk), SirAllen of Dragonsfoot, and 'Doctor Joe' (a young Robert De Niro circa Taxi Driver, channelling a version of Kevin Spacey, and a fine Gentleman, Player and Gamer, too!).
In that session, three field agents of the Marnharnnan Defence Agency (created by international blogger and author of such fine MICRO-Scale games such as SAMURAI CYBORG ARE GO!, and Jung Guns, Sean Wills), researching the possibility that a rumoured tech cache had recently been successfully looted. They were to be on the lookout for items in the open and black markets.
We started at the Cat Lake City (courier depot/brothel/inn/bar and grille/saloon, contained in three interconnected buildings on the shore of a large pond, and complete with a Tiki-type hut, a barbecue, and a dock surrounded by reeds and rushes) where everyone met and then followed the hook to the tunnels of the Bluff in search of foreign sappers that later turn out to be Guild Council mercs, likely hired by the VCA to access something or perhaps demolish the site.
Highlights included SirAllen's antics and his character's chosen accent; Joe's very clever and funny comments; and the group's launching of a frictionless lock careening down an underground passageway like a pinball.


The crew gathered again, minus Jason Braun, who had to man his table. Later, as Rob was away at his game or panel, Steve Winter and his friend (David, was it?) rolled up characters while two other new players also joined the party exploring Ancient stuff deep in the earth, fighting plague-zombies, and unravelling more of the mystery of the setting. Rob checked-in on us a couple or three times as he was running his group.


Rob met me first, then Steve Winter joined in and we talked about the setting and system and compared it against some of its influences (EPT, MA/GW, The Morrow Project, and Skyrealms of Jorune), and when Amanda, and Joe joined us, we set off on the last instalment before next year's Con with a submersible, and surfer-shaman NPC toward new and much larger adventures.

I signed a few dice bags along with Tim, Dennis, Rob, Paul; went out to lunch with them on Thursday; and learnt all sorts of interesting inside scoop on TSR days.

Doug Rhea and BadMike ran a great con, and did amazing amounts of work to make it flow remarkably well. They deserve great praise for that job. :D

It was a remarkable experience and opportunity afforded me, and I am very thankful and grateful for it.

What did you folks game that weekend? :)