I sought out the Frog God Games booth in the dealer's room so I could catch up with the legendary dwarven barkeep and blogger +Erik Tenkar. He generously gave me the new Swords & Wizardry Light folder containing lots of goodies. We caught up on some of the latest OSR gossip and drama, his lovely wife snapped a photo, and then I was off to explore the rest of that cavernous chamber...
While purchasing the 2nd edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, I chatted with +Jeff Talanian, as I often do at Gary Con. Browsing the new rulebook literally took me 10 minutes of turning pages, several pages at a time. It's that fucking big! $60 seemed a fair price.
Got some new dice (not that I needed any) because I'm a helpless dice addict just like many gamers. Hey, it's an affliction with benefits - I get to roll the plastic bones while pretending I'm a fairy princess sorceress (violet-pink kind of a mist within clear dice), a loathsome Cthulhu cultist biding my time until the Great Old Ones return (who's pretending?) on account of them being several awesome shades of green, and a member of Team America: America... Fuck yeah! Three sets for $25.
Probably the best deal was the $20 Broodmother Skyfortress which I've been meaning to get for ages. Will let you know what I think after I dive in, +Jeff Rients. If you're coming to Gary Con in March, maybe you could sign it for me?
So, the Alpha Blue game!
Instead of scrambling for players like my 1st session (read about that near-epic fail here), I had a full table of 6 players. A few knew of me and my RPG stuff, a few did not.
It was a satisfying adventure; although, 6 players is a lot when it comes to the non-combat pillar of roleplaying, namely interaction and exploration. Everyone started out at a familiar club on the Alpha Blue space station brothel, being regaled by their mentor Spock-bacca. Each PC got a little bit of "screen time" until the hook and then everyone journeyed to the desert planet of P'oon in order to meet their contact, Obi Wan'k, who told them about a shipment of blue crystal located at the local starport.
There are so many details and highlights that I don't know where to begin - my favorite might be the player who was laughing so hard while describing his pimp negotiating a drug deal just before blowing them up with a thermal detonator that he felt the need to apologize to everyone.
This is a random table I came up with for just that situation (which also came up earlier in the Crimson Dragon Slayer scenario earlier in the day).
I find that con games include at least one GM. I'm talking about gamers who GM most of the time in their home games. This Alpha Blue session was no exception. He was outspoken, proactive, playful, and respectful of the other players' "screen time," character motivations, agency, etc. Since he GMs his own games, he knows what I know. For those who don't regularly GM, I recommend Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss.
I'm looking forward to next year. Those I didn't get a chance to chat with, I'll be at Gary Con X this March!
p.s. Looking for part I? Here it is.