Day two of Gamestorm 16 started bright and early. Though I didn’t get to sleep until after 1 a.m. the night before, I was up at 7 and ready to go. I had a game of Monster Kart Mayhem to run at 9:00, and I was eager to get started.
If you read my previous post, you’ll remember that there were some registration issues with Gamestorm this year. Unfortunately, the lack of pre-registered games meant that only people who wandered by the table where sign-up sheets were placed would have any chance of even seeing the game. To top that off, there could be dozens of these sign-up sheets on any given table, and that meant there wren’t a lot of tables with ready-to-go players.
Monster Kart Mayhem was one such casualty of the registration system. I got to the con just after 9 and was worried I was running late, but when I finally found my table I was saddened to see there were zero sign-ups.
I didn’t get to run my game at 9, but I took MKM to the Game Lab — a special area where people could take their playtest games — and got signed up for an open 10 a.m. slot. Come 10:00, I ran my game.
While setting up, an old friend from back in the days of Living Greyhawk (an organized play campaign from Wizards of the Coast for D&D 3.5) wandered by. We stopped and chatted, and I asked him if he’d like to playtest my game. Sure enough he did, and he grabbed an other friend to join in.
We had four total players at the table, and we used the following characters: Frankie, The Shrew, Abominable Snowman, and Count Dracula. My old role-playing buddy had no problems getting into the character of The Shrew, and it made for some good laughs all around. Ultimately I won using Count Dracula, but it was a tight race.
I received a lot of good playtest feedback. The people who were more into board games definitely thought the game would benefit from more play mats and cheat sheets, which doesn’t really surprise me. I’ve been working on ways to make the game meet the needs of both board gamers and role players, so we’ll see how that turns out.
More Lack of Mayhem
After eating lunch and catching up with a few more old friends, I headed upstairs to the role-playing area where I was to run Monster Kart Mayhem again at 2 p.m. Unfortunately, there were no sign-ups there either.
I sat down at a table and prompted others to come join me anyway, but a lot of the people looking for games in the RPG area were interested in finding something to fill a full 4-hour time slot, rather than the 1.5-hour time that MKM was supposed to take. Fair enough.
Several people wandered by whose GM for their scheduled game hadn’t shown up, so I invited them to sit down and play a game of Psi-punk with me. I had printed an extra set of character sheets for just such an occasion, so we all sat down and started picking characters.
Just before getting started, the GM for the other game came in. He was late due to some bad traffic, but now he was there and ready to play. He also happened to be another old acquaintance who I had gamed with once before but hadn’t seen in 2 years, so it was neat to see him again.
We were all a bit torn on what to do; everyone was into the idea of playing Psi-punk, but they had come to play an indie game called Universalis and now the GM was here. Since Universalis could be run in as few as 2 hours, we decided to make a compromise: I’d run a quick 2-hour game of Psi-punk and then he’d run his game of Universalis. Sold.
So I ran Psi-punk again, using the same World’s Edge Arena rules as I did during Day One, and everyone had a blast. There wasn’t as much effort put into playing to the crowd, and I found it interesting how the two different groups handled the rules.
After Psi-punk we played a game of Universalis, which is a cooperative storytelling game. Players literally build the setting and the rules as they go along, then play out different scenes using the characters that were established during creation. It’s a fun game, and I’ll do a more in-depth write-up in a future post.
I had pre-registered to play in Shane Hensley’s Savage Worlds game called “the Last Parsec,” which was scheduled to run during Savage Saturday Night at 7:00 p.m. Unfortunately, 11 other people had also registered to play, and I was 9th on the list. Needless to say, I didn’t get in. I also wasn’t successful at getting in on any of the other SW games that ran during that time.
Not to be defeated, I ran downstairs to the Organized Play room and signed up to play in the Pathfinder Society Special, whose name I can’t remember. I only had my 2nd-level flowing monk with me, so I signed up for a low-level table and got started.
The Special had something to do with defending a city from a demon army. All of the tables were working together in theory, but unlike in other multi-table events I’ve played in the past, we didn’t really interact. I tend to prefer the special games where the high-level characters can do drive-by buffing of low-level tables and make everyone feel like heroes, but that wasn’t the case here.
Either way, we kicked some demon butt and successfully defended the walls of the town. Yay, heroes!
The event ended around 11:30 p.m. I found the friend I was staying with and we went back to his place. It wouldn’t be until about 2:30 that I’d finally crash, but since I didn’t have anything planned for the next day I wasn’t too worried about it.
My friend’s wife decided to join us on Sunday, and my wife decided to come up from Salem to join us all too. We had plans to leave around 9 a.m., so I grabbed what sleep I could before getting up to face the next day.