Sunday, September 04, 2011

Myth-A-Con Gaming Report, 2011

For 40 bucks, I was able to attend a three day gaming convention in Calgary called Myth-A-Con. I only spent two of the three days because that's about all I can handle in a single weekend. I constantly ate food (awesome hamburgers, sub-par baked goods) and rolled dice for roughly 20 hours of gaming. Here is a report on the new gaming systems that I tried.

Shadowrun: Awesome genre. I loved the mesh between magic and technology. It was awesome to be in the middle of a gang war. The rolling mechanic was a little bit bulky with all the 6 siders, but it was not really a hindrance to the game. Bruce was a really good DM for this one. No minis were used; it was all old-school in your head combat. I played a car thief that had an awesome van with a mounted heavy machine gun. Yeah, we did a totally cool drive-by shooting and threw a captured orc gangbanger out of the speeding van.

Savage Worlds: This version of Savage Worlds was set in the 1930s. It was sort of an Indiana Jones/ Mummy type of setting. The DM (Mike?) was pretty good. He knew the game system and was able to add lots of flare to make the game believable. The game system was all exploding d6s. You only get 4 hits until you die, but you can use little story points as re-rolls to help you survive gun shots and crocodile attacks. I liked the exploding dice but I thought the system was a little bit bulky. We used little miniature paper cutouts and a little photocopied grid to roughly show the position of our guys for combat. Very cool genre, so-so game mechanics. I played Buck, a sexist, over-the-top man's man that led an expedition to the rain forest to snatch a gem from the natives.

Dresdin Files: I wish I could make a better judgment on this system, but the person running the game didn't really know what they were doing. Very disappointing. The genre was really cool, though. Vampires, undead, demons and that sort of thing running around the modern world. I played an emo-kid that wanted to turn into a white vampire that fed off of depression. At least it was fun to play an emo kid. I modeled the kid after the South Park goth kids. The DM used dice and a piece of paper to roughly position our pcs for combat. The system used a cool and very simple system for resolving combat: 1-2= fail, 3-4= nothing, 5-6= success. Successes cancel failures and viceversa. I need to play this game with an experienced GM to really get a better feel for it.

Eclipse Phase: This was the coolest game at the con. I loved the simple percentile dice system. I loved the genre, BIGTIME. I played a computer hacker that was working for a major corporation and got to hack elevators, security doors, cameras, and other high-tech thingys. I think I have found my new favorite role-playing game for space D&D. The DM was fantastic. No minis were used. This was all old-school in-your-mind combat. Cant's say enough good things about this game. Please go to to check this game out.

Legend of the Five Rings: I am a sucker for Asian themed games so this one was instantly appealing to me. The GM was really good at building intrigue and was really good at promoting role-playing by giving out pre-gens that had certain quirks and mandates. I played a samurai retainer that needed to protect another PC, was jealous of another PC, and despised other PCs. Role-playing in this event was a lot of fun. Combat in Lot5R is all 10 sided dice that explode. The exploding thing is really fun, but the system is really bulky. Hit points are complicated and counting up 9d10 with 7 players in the party made for very slow combat. Combat was all old-school in-your-mind. The DM was quite good, but sort of evil. We failed in our quest, and he put the blame of the failure squarely on the shoulders of on poor PC.

Playing these games over the weekend was really a terrific experience. I got to know a bunch of new people, and learn lots of new games. I also learned that I put way too much emphasis on tactics and miniature combat in my homegames. I love combat with the guys, but doing so much role-playing this weekend reminds me of the pleasures of role-playing, mystery solving and creative, critical thinking. I will surely be adding more of these elements to my home games.


Rognar said...

Eclipse Phase is chock full of awesome, but the chargen is a real bear. Good thing you can resleeve your character because you sure as hell don't want to come up with a new guy on the fly.

Tayloritos said...

I played in all the same sessions with DeroBane-Bane.

I would have to rate Eclipse Phase and Shadowrun as the most fun. Bruce GM'd both these games and did a totally awesome job. EP was more enjoyable then Shadowrun due to the eloquent dice mechanics. Simple is good when you are on your 4th game session in 2 days.

I enjoyed both Savage Worlds and L5R partly because of exploding dice. You can never count out a bad guy when they can keep stacking max dice rolls. Both these sessions were late at night and forced to end early. Good stories and good characters drove both games.

I have to agree with DB-Bane on Dresden Files, it feels cool but we needed an experienced DM.

Rognar feel free to admonish me for not jumping on the Eclipse Phase bandwagon with you many years ago. Awesome system, setting and characters.

Rognar said...

No admonishment will be forthcoming. Eclipse Phase is a lot easier to enjoy as a one-off tournament game, than a campaign. There's a lot going on behind the screen that your GM kept to himself. I really doubt we could play it for more than a few sessions.

Tayloritos said...

Yeah, Thanks to Sentry Box and my failed will save, I have the Eclipse Phase core book. Third Printng with corrections.

Derobane-bane said...

I will probably go pick up my own copy soon enough.

Obiri said...

Sounds like you guys had fun! Last night we ventured into Carrion Hill and came within one round of a TPK on the final boss. Inquisitor's rock but have lots of abilities to track.

Rognar said...

I only buy pdfs now. I like the background material, but I know I'll never run or play EP. I just can't justify the expense.

Rognar said...

Btw, I've heard good things about The Dresden Files RPG. Too bad your experience with it wasn't good. I've never watched the show, but the source material doesn't really appeal to me. The whole gothic-horror-in-the-modern-day genre has been done a few dozen times too often for my tastes.

Horsemen said...

I am glad you all had fun at the Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase. I had a blast GMing for all of you and running those games with you were two of the three reasons why Myth-A-Con rocked for me this year.

Eclipse Phase requires the right GM and group to really make a campaign rock but I also believe it works better in short runs. Chapters if you will and then a break with another system before returning for the next chapter.

With both games I did keep a few things behind the screen, the depth of both universes cannot really be explored in a Con slot.

However, that said provided you are all coming back next year, we are already talking to Cory about having two Shadowrun events and one Eclipse Phase for those interested. The second SR will be on Saturday as I would love for Eugen to experience you.

You renewed my interest in running events for Cons and I think he would get as large of a charge out of GMing for you as I did.

Cory has asked that I run an EP game for the Pirates Game Days once a month that I am considering, would there be interest on your end?

Once again, thank you for the most awesome time.

Yong Kyosunim said...

I always liked going to cons to play any game aside from D&D. I play D&D enough at home, I don't want to spend $40 and three days playing it anywhere else.

I played a Torg game that was really awesome.