Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Con of the North

Con of the North, a local Saint Paul con, had its 20th anniversary this year. This was the first game con I've attended for several years. I had a great time.

Saturday, I played in three games, back to back, from 10a to 10p. The first was an Over the Edge adventure on Al Amarja. This is surreal modern setting on an independent island in the Mediterranean. It was fun and crazy. One PC was a talking gorilla veterinarian. I played a bicycle messenger who moonlighted as a high-tech thief. I can't really tell you what happened, other than a fantastic X Games-style bicycle free-styling run down a hill to knock out the bad guy, including skidding down a bannister and hitting a jump at the bottom. We laughed pretty much non-stop.

The next was a musketeer adventure in 17th century Paris, investigating the nighttime injury and maiming of other Musketeers. The adventure ended with a bang, literally, due to an explosives-obsessed alchemist. Unfortunately, though the sorcerer involved was killed, so were a number of Musketeers. But I got to kiss a beautiful succubus!

The last game was the highlight of the weekend. The setting was Pirates of the Caribbean, if the Aztecs and Incas had had magic, and therefore didn't get conquered by the conquistadors. I played a Aztec warrior/diplomat. We chased a pirate ship whose captain could control the wind with an ancient Olmec artifact. A fantastic ship battle and boarding ensued, and then a quick trip to the Meso-American underworld to play a game of Tlatchtli, or Mayan court soccer, against other lost souls. Thanks to the selfless sacrifice of one of the players, who leapt to the top of the court to confront the unnamed Olmec god, we scored a point (yours truly), nabbed the artifact, and vamoosed out of the underworld with the artifact and a few lost crew of the ship.

This was a new game GMed by the author (Hi, Chad), called Heirs to the Lost World. It uses a unique dice pool mechanic that gives players a large amount of flexibility in putting effort into their actions. Each culture has some form of magic: alchemy, voodoo, blood magic, sun magic, and shamanism. I liked the system.

The last game of the con was the Sunday morning Tekumel adventure, run by John Till, who played in a T:EPT adventure I ran for his birthday last fall. Called Jakalla Nights, it was a typical "Fresh Off the Boat" tribe in search of new home scenario that had very atypical results. I got to play my favorite nonhuman race, a Tinaliya. We got working passage on board Captain Harchar's ship. We had to do some sailing and shoveling bird guano. But just before we were going to disembark in Jakalla, we discovered that Harchar intended to sell us into slavery. So, we rioted, killed Harchar, and convinced the new captain to let us off in the swamps across the river from Jakalla. We were sick of 'civilized' people trying to screw us and wanted to find a home in the jungles similar to our previous home. Yay for self-determination!

I ended Sunday playing some Chrononauts and Monty Python Fluxx, thus getting my urge to play fun card games out of my blood for a bit.

All in all a good con.