Post Kapcon thread

Wellington RPG Con - Wellington Anniversary Weekend -

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Post Kapcon thread

Postby Mike Sands » Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:49 pm

Well, I had a great time this year.

I'm particularly grateful to those who played Night Witches, Circle of Hands, and Devil & the Void with me. The first two it was my first time GMing and I've been really keen to play them. The last was an early playtest draft of a game I'm working on, which didn't even crash and burn - just a few bumps along the way.

Adventure Squad seemed to go really well - I certainly had fun, and it seems like next year we could have as many kids running games as parents, which would be awesome!

I also played some Atomic Robo, Life on Mars, D&D, and Golden Sky Stories, which were all good fun too.

As I said to a few people, LIfe on Mars makes a great wind-down game - it's thoughtful, slow, and simple, and you create a lovely story of the astronauts and their time travelling to, and on, Mars. I played it in round 4, and after a crazy day and feeling close to burning out, it was the perfect thing to just ease down from Kapcon mode before going home to sleep. Recommended for rounds 4 or 7, it you are beginning to crash.
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby itowlson » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:07 am

A thoroughly satisfying Kapcon, and many thanks to the organisers, GMs and players. (Wait, that sounds like I'm thanking everyone except the tea urn-- actually, thanks to the tea urn as well; I really appreciated your contribution.) Special thanks to those who played in 'my' games ("A Taste for Murder," "Dog Eat Dog" and "Agon") but really made them their own.

My highlights were "Wicked Archipelago" in round 4 and "Wicked Lies and Alibis" in round 6. I find "Wicked Archipelago" quite creatively demanding but it always delivers exotic, nuanced stories with the genuine feel of fables, and I always come away from it wanting to know more... but also secretly glad to have left so much unsaid. Thanks, Steve, Karen and Simon; I hope this gets more airings at future Kapcons, and I feel one step closer to getting off my arse and offering it myself.

"Wicked Lies and Alibis" is Dale 'EPOCH/Famous Author/Pillar of the Wellington Gaming Community/Etc" Elvy's new system for creating 1930s-style murder mysteries. It's a card-driven design which nicely balances player control over the unfolding plot with sufficient structure to prompt player creativity and unblock any creative stalls. Terrific fun that practically runs itself, and I'm looking forward to this being published and to offering it at future Kapcons.
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby IdiotSavant » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:34 am

I have heard great things about "Wicked Lies and Alibis".

I spent most of the con running, but had a blast with "Ye Liveliest Awfulness", provoking various levels of bureaucratic wrangling, HPL fangirl squeeing, and horror when people realised what was goign on. I'd also like to apologise to the round 7 group for gettign a name wrong: its Whipple van Buren Phillips, not "William". Whoops.

"Shadows" I wasn't quite as satisfied with, largely because of my unfamiliarity with running Apocalypse-powered games. Clearly I need to overcome this by running more of them. But it didn't crash and burn, and people had fun wandering round an alien pyramid in an insidious atmosphere doing Prometheus impressions. I'm tempted to try and convert another Classic Traveller scenario for next year.

"A Royal Celebration" was a simple, lightweight and light-hearted larp, and I don't think it'll ever make any top larp lists for design or complexity or depth. But it was fun, especially with our group of players, and that's what's important. Exactly what I needed in round 3.
Playing: D&D5
Running: Laundry Files; Uncharted Worlds
Planning: KapCon XXV; The Gehenna Memo (Hydra 2016), Boffo's Birthday Bash (Phoenix 2016)
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby Artemis » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:25 am

When I signed up for A Royal Celebration I did not expect singing. The singing was awesome. :D
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby IdiotSavant » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:28 am

Artemis wrote:When I signed up for A Royal Celebration I did not expect singing. The singing was awesome. :D

Very awesome; the larp suddenly turned into a musical!
Playing: D&D5
Running: Laundry Files; Uncharted Worlds
Planning: KapCon XXV; The Gehenna Memo (Hydra 2016), Boffo's Birthday Bash (Phoenix 2016)
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby Dale » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:37 am

Thanks to the organisers, and the folks who played with me in 'Heroes of New Haven!' and those who delved into a world in intrigue and murder in 'Wicked Lies & Alibis'. My con report is here.
EPOCH a game of character-driven survival horror
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby Steve Hickey » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:17 pm

That was probably my best, most stress-free Kapcon in years. Thank you to everyone who played in the games I facilitated,

I started with Nod, Simon Carryer's game of swords-and-sorcery short stories. Then played one of the funniest games of Primetime Adventures I've ever had: the story of the stars and crew of a movie shooting in the Ukraine, and the undercover spies using the film shoot as a pretext for conducting their top-secret operations.

Round 3 was Kaleidoscope, a fantastic game about "pretending" to be pretentious film lovers who are discussing an arthouse film they've just seen. The rules say Kaleidoscope takes 2 hours to play, but I was feeling pretty exhausted by about an hour and 15 minutes in.

Round 4 was Wicked Archipelago and SKEW, with Ivan, Karen, and Simon. In Wicked Archipelago, I loved how our game of an invading army vs. a sorceror turned into an apocalypse for the humans as the magical creatures they'd summoned and commanded turned against them. SKEW didn't play well, but I learned some stuff I can apply to my game, Left Coast.

Round 5, I offered Soth, my game about cultists trying to summon a dark god. A great group of players. Unfortunately, they triggered the suspicions of the town's sheriff very early in the game, and that lead to a number of shoot-outs and ambushes. So far, no-one has managed to summon Soth!

I was feeling pretty exhausted by then, so I was ecstatic to run Monsterhearts for a bunch of people I know really well. I decided to start this game aggressively in media res, and things escalated to Roland Emmerich disaster-movie levels by the end of it, as a spat between two teenage girls lead to tidal waves and dead bodies (due to both of them having their Darkest Selves triggered).

And for the final round, thanks to Dan for insisting on running Monsterhearts for me (the first time I've played!). Dan's a great facilitator, and I thought his 'Saw'-inspired take on the genre was awesome.
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby Sam » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:43 pm

IdiotSavant wrote:I spent most of the con running, but had a blast with "Ye Liveliest Awfulness", provoking various levels of bureaucratic wrangling, HPL fangirl squeeing, and horror when people realised what was goign on.

Thank you for *reminding* me that you were running this gaming and encouraging me to play. I totally enjoyed it, and we really should get a set of those tee shirts made for the next game.
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby Freya » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:00 pm

I'm agree with Steve in that this was probably my best KapCon, though it wasn't without a fair degree of stress - I got called in last minute to run Monsterhearts round 7, and between that and having to pay pretty much every bit of money I own to finance a flat move in a month, I wasn't 100% certain I would be able to even make it to KapCon at all; fortunately, my partner Tim was absolutely determined that I go come hell or high water, so I have to first thank him for being awesome and putting up with me coming home at odd hours and saying what probably sounded like really, really weird things.

I pretty much lived in the Games on Demand room - my flat had been stressing me out about our upcoming move, so the only thing I had really signed up for was Steph's Borges LARP. So, this was how my KapCon went:

Round 1: Steve Hickey running Nod. We had a lot of fun, though I feel that I didn't use the Dawn card to the best of it's abilities. That said, Jocasta's relationship with the Barbarian hunting her was fun to show (mainly exasperation). It was one of those systems that made me sit down and go 'dammit, that's a good idea...'. I also love that it seemed that about 90% of the cards seemed custom-designed to betray the Barbarian at some point. It was a fun game.
That said, I was talking to some players later (not people involved in this game) and it came to light that Nod is a very player-centric game - as in, how good a game you have depends very strongly on how good a group of players you have, and on all the players pulling in the same direction, or on at least being willing to accept changes in direction easily. Apparently, if even one player is out of focus or pulling wrong, it can really suck for the rest of the group. Not a criticism of the game, just a commentary - there are plenty of fantastic games that are like that (Monsterhearts and PTA spring to mind).

Round 2: Simon Carryer running Soth. This was a game I'd wanted to play since Steve pitched it to me. It was amazingly fun, though many of the same problems I have with Call of Cthulhu I have with Soth (an over-reliance on players being able to lie convincingly, for instance). That said, I think I'm a much better liar than I once was, and we were relatively under the radar until the Servitor came along.
Not much else to say here; everything I was thinking at the time has already been communicated to Steve. :-D

Round 3: Kaleidoscope run by Steve. Good lord this was silly. Any game that has the exact words 'If you let go of your bourgeoisie notions of fourth-dimensional time...' spoken aloud, in an earnest and sincere fashion has to earn a snicker.
I was proud of managing to get the joyous line 'I really liked the agent and how metatextual he was!' I was less proud of the fact that when I brought up metatext/paratext, there was a specific film maker I was thinking of, who I remembered halfway through the game. That film maker? Woody Allen. I am le dope.
(I'm still not over Steve and Angus' argument about the Indo-Prussian film revolution.)

Round 4: Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Round 5: The Universe (What Others Call The Library). I think this LARP had begun as a conversation between me and Steph, where I had said I would happily help her write it (though I really had no idea how one would go about writing a LARP based on Borges' short story 'The Library of Babel'). The fact that circumstances evolved so that I got to play in it made me overjoyed. I was Carmen, probably the only legitimately insane person there (the books spoke to me) and arguing vehemently with...uh...everyone. It was interesting.
It's not a LARP for everyone. Like, you have to be a person willing to sit down and argue semantics about words, lies, truth, fact and fiction for about two hours in order to actually get this LARP. And semantics is pretty much all this LARP is. It's a wonderful LARP...but it is very much not a LARP for somebody looking for a deep, meaningful character experience. It's a LARP about the existence of truth and how we recognize it as well as, to an extent, the perpetuation of memory. It was a fun LARP...but you definitely have to like Borges and stories like Borges' stuff in order to really buy into it, and I know some people didn't, which is sad.
Norm was amazing. Those eyebrows, man. Those eyebrows.

Round 6: Dual-GM Wield.
My. God.
It's full of magical artifacts exploding and killing their owners!
Yeah, Sophie and Conan teamed up to take on a ten-person game of Wield, with half as weapons and half as humans. We had a bow, a toupee, a toothpick (me), a magical rug and a codpiece. It was an extravaganza of silliness, like I put into words how ridiculously over the top this game got (one of the starting characters was a goat. Wearing a toupee. That granted fire magic.) would be to miss entirely the point of this game. It was an experience.

Round 7: Monsterhearts! (Run by moi)
This was really low energy, especially since I spent most of last year doing no GMing or role-playing and thus, could not remember for the life of me a lot of things that go into Monsterhearts set up. But I managed, telling a tale about an Infernal's deal getting him more problems than he bargained for. I also realized a few aspects of my own style of GMing that I think need to stop. Overall I was pleased with it, mostly because I was too tired not to be, but I think I need more practice GMing and coming up with better answers for my solutions.
But I'm still happy I got to give the Angel the Condition 'Lesbian Feet'.

Thanks to all my players, thanks to all my GMs, and thanks to the people who ran KapCon!
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Re: Post Kapcon thread

Postby the_eggwhite » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:35 am

This was my first KapCon - and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope it won't be my last one, although I'm unlikely to be there every time as it's a bit far to go... Next time I come along, I'll have a crack at running something, though.

Stuff I played in:

Round 1 - Quiet Day In The Library (LARP)
  • Gentle yet intense "Cosy Catastrophe" style LARP, set in a library as world-changing events unfold.
  • Things worthy of note: cultural context - In character loud bangs and shaking: all the Kiwi players are under a table before I can blink. Me left standing around like a lemon before I realise what's happening.

Because I'd been busy with travelling, sleeping, jetlag and whatnot, I hadn't read my character as much as I should have before time in. I probably missed a few bits of character detail as a result, but I think I managed to get the general gist. The game was quietly intense and personal, with each of having very personal (and largely undisclosed) reasons why we were still around when hardly anybody else seemed to be.

I've not had a huge amount of experience with pregen-based LARPs (most of the LARP I do here in the UK has player generated characters, or at the very least characters generated by the facilitators based on discussion with the players), but this particular pregen was a pretty good fit for the kinds of characters I tend to create for myself... so it all worked out.

Enjoyable, memorable game.

Round 2 - Mission Drift (TT)

  • Sci-Fi "on a spaceship" style mystery.
  • PCs starting off amnesiac worked for the plot, but I felt it took a bit too long for enough details to come out for us trust even one other PC each.

If I had one piece of feedback for the GM, it'd be to try to get us each trusting at least one other person a bit sooner. As it is, it didn't hurt the game overly much, but it made the back half feel a bit too rushed in the timeslot... like it needed an extra half an hour. But, as it stood, I *loved* the plot. Kudos to the GM for a good story.

Round 3 - Food, social time, jetlag avoidance by judicious application of daylight

  • We took a break here, as is apparently traditional for some of Katrina's crowd. This meant we had time to get fed and organised for the LARP.

Round 4 - Crisis Point (Flagship LARP)

I'd been really looking forward to this LARP - I used co-run a lot of smaller LARPs in the UK, and have been wanting to see how it's done in NZ. This one didn't disappoint. There were some bumps, but a larger scale LARP without bumps is probably not trying hard enough :)

It's my first time going in to a LARP as a "nice guy" character who's brief includes having arranged for a hit to be put out on somebody. As a result, I think my catchphrases for the night were "I've f%!ked up" and "I don't think I can come back from this", and my signature pose was holding my head in my hands.

It was thoroughly enjoyable to watch the scale of the game gradually unfold, and for the petty (IC) details like gross invasions of personal privacy and assasinations to become increasingly irrelevant.

Whilst I think our group of characters could have used an extra round of proof-reading to check for consistency and ensure motivations made sense... there was nothing there that we couldn't make work. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Round 5 - Watch the Skies (LARP)

Visitors to and residents of a 1950s UFO cult compound, all with hidden agendas.

I hadn't planned to play this, but there was space available and I had no other specific plans. I'm glad I played as I enjoyed it quite a bit, although it took me a while to get into the swing of things.

In a real change for me, I actually managed to play a bit of a heel with some success, mostly because it turned out I was actually fairly low on heel-scale compared to pretty much everyone else, so my "nice-guy" instincts didn't spoil things too badly, and pretty much everyone I was screwing over had it coming in some way. I think I came out of the game with almost all of my goals met, which was pretty rare for me :)

The award for "most nonsense spouted" goes to the chap playing the cult leader, who managed to improvise a sustained torrent of spectacularly realistic 1950s UFO cult nonsense continuously for a full three hours! Kudos!

Round 6 - Screaming at the Edge of Tomorrow (TT - Shadowrun)

I played this on a whim because I fancied something old-school for a change. I enjoyed playing a slightly thuggish type and getting to dish out a bit of violence whilst still having a _bit_ of brain.

Round 7 - LARP the cleanup LARP

  • Character: Second deputy assistant lift-and-carry monkey
  • Skills: Take instruction, lift, carry
  • Flaws: Hated by automatic doors, Hated by lifts
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