I recently spent three days at the 15th annual Gamestorm convention in Vancouver, WA. Gamestorm is a local board game and RPG convention for the Portland Metro Area and surrounding region, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s small compared to many conventions, but its intimate nature make it all the more fun as you get to meet many local people and see old friends. In fact, I bumped into former co-workers and co-students who I hadn’t seen in years.
I attended three days of the four-day Con: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The convention started on Thursday, March 21st but it really ramps up on Friday and Saturday.
Naturally I brought Psi-punk to run, but I also had a chance to play some board games and a couple of Pathfinder Society adventures. Over the next few updates I’ll talk a bit about each day and the games I got to enjoy.
Day One – Friday, March 22nd
Friday was all about Psi-punk. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the session I was going to run, but my GMing style doesn’t usually call for much prep time. I spent a few hours making pre-generated characters to offer people at the table and used Psi-punk’s random adventure generator to get an idea for what the adventure was going to be like, then showed up with my dice in hand and was ready to go.
The game was scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. but I showed up around 12:30. I rode to Vancouver with my roommate and he was helping out in the Pathfinder Society room, so I took the time to read over my limited notes and come up with a few concepts for how I’d like to get the game started.
Before the game started I spotted one of the people who had played in my Saturday session of Psi-punk last year. He mentioned he had been getting his Kickstarter backer updates and was really looking forward to the game. Even though he wasn’t there to play again on Friday (he was doing Fallout for Savage Worlds, which sounds like a blast) it was good to see someone from last year’s playtest session and to know that he had a good enough time to come back in August and back the project. It was the first feedback I had received about last year’s convention from one of the players who was there, so that was very exciting.
My game had completely filled up with 6 players during pre-registration, and every one of them showed up to Friday’s session. One of the players was a little nervous because she had never played an RPG of any sort before, but after a few minutes she had gotten the grasp of everything and was having just as much fun as anyone at the table. In fact, she was the first person to be nominated for a free Luck Point because many of the ideas she came up with had contributed greatly to the party’s success.
I already wrote about the party’s adventure over at the Psi-punk Developer’s Blog. If you’re interested to know what the party did during their time with the game, head on over and check it out.
We wrapped up the session right on time at 6 p.m. and I received some great feedback from the players. They all enjoyed the game and many felt the great chemistry at the table. I regret not getting everyone’s contact information and keeping in touch, since it would be a fine group to get together again.
I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with folks in the Pathfinder Society room. I wasn’t there long enough to get involved in a game, but I got to hear stories from friends and see a few old faces. My roommate and I went to grab a bite at Woody’s Tacos in Vancouver which, as you may gather from the name, is not the most authentic of Mexican food restaurants. The food was okay,and the burritos were huge, but it’s not a place I’d bother eating again unless I needed a very filling meal.
We went home around 9:30 and got some sleep. Saturday was going to start at 8 a.m. and that meant leaving the house by 6:30. We knew it was going to be a long day, so it was nice to duck out a little early and get that extra sleep.
In my next post, I’ll wrap up Saturday’s events which included Pathfinder Society, an impromptu game of Psi-punk, and a few board games that were new to me.