We’re back from AcadeCon again. And once again, it was a blast, and this time I didn’t end up giving myself con-crud. I want to run down a handful of highlights:
Highlight #1: Running a one-shot for the second time. This w\game that went in a completely absurd and amazing direction when I ran it for the first time last year, and it was fun to see how things turned out differently running it a second time. It was also interesting because I had one player who is around my age in the group, and then three other players who are probably closer to my parents’ age than mine. So it was interesting to be teaching Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition to someone who really knew how to play 2nd Edition.
Highlight #2: My Pride, PrejuDICE, and Zombies game. This was another game that I ran, and it was a blast; I had two people who were huge Jane Austen fans in the group, and getting to run them through the absurd scenario that is Pride, Prejudice and Zombies was great. We also had two people who weren’t as familiar with the original story, and that was a lot of fun as well, as I got to tell some of the story from the movie (and book, but I’ve just seen the movie). We had Jane, Lizzy, and Kitty Bennett and Charles Bingley as player characters. I also tried a very cinematic version of combat, since they were fighting through a zombie horde; it took a little bit for a few of the players to really get into it, but it is fun to get these absurd scenes and to have a single player describing it, and using other characters to help fight off zombies. The game is a bit short, and the big battle was a bit too easy, but everyone had a ton of fun.
Highlight #3: Hanging out with friends is a huge part of the con. Getting to talk for a long while with Amanda, whom we met last year and who played in the game I mentioned in Highlight #1, and later playing Five Tribes with her and one of her friends was a ton of fun. We also had a great time hanging out with our friend Tom Cantwell (he’s given suggestions for our Eating Nerdy series) at Warped Wing Brewery, having him as a player in the Pride, PrejuDICE, and Zombies group, and then playing Machi Koro with him after that. Last year, we knew a few people through Twitter, but didn’t meet them in person until the con, and this year we met and hung out with even more new people. AcadeCon is great because it’s still growing, so you tend to run into some of the same people, and that’s a lot of fun.
Highlight #4: Playing three new systems, two of them with the game creator. We got to play Axon Punk Overdrive (think Cowboy Bebop and cyberpunk) and managed to get a cure for a disease without killing any guards. That was a ton of fun, and we got to build our own characters for that. I picked up the manual for that game system, and we may be featuring a guest post from him soon–stay tuned! We also got to play Dreamchaser with Pete. It’s an interesting game in which the players build a story collectively, using the dreams of your characters as plot points. We were trying to capture a fairy, and I played as an eccentric uncle character.
Highlight #5: We got to play in some really interesting worlds. Axon Punk Overdrive was a fun world to live in, and the creator had clearly put a ton of effort into creating something that was really immersive. But the one that took the cake was playing a game using the Cypher system. We played as vampires, werewolves, and magi who were fending off techno-zombies, aliens, and a cult. It was a super cool, dark world in which humans had been killed off and the whole earth was generally in perpetual daylight, except for the city we were in. We were playing a raiding team that had to solve how an artifact caused a demon to be released in our town. Kristen and I are thinking of getting the components for that system so we can run a game of that ourselves. It’s fantastical and awesome, and with Cypher, the scenarios are always in the future. Throughout the course of gameplay, you find items called cyphers, which are always tech items that have a one-time use for your character. You can only hold so many, but they allow you to do awesome actions. Another feature of the system is that the players are the only ones who roll dice, so the GM can focus more on the story and less on the mechanics, as they’re mainly just setting difficulty levels and framing the story.
Overall, the con was a blast. For people who want to play different RPG’s and learn new systems, I’m always going to recommend that they attend AcadeCon. This year, we did a really good job of balancing out how much we did, resting, and enjoying our time there. Many thanks to everyone who made it awesome, especially The RPG Academy.