Saturday, May 12, 2018

Chupacabracon V

Had a great time at the local role-playing game convention Chupacabracon V last weekend. My original plan was to make a weekend of it, but I ended up only attending on Saturday. The work week wore me out to the point that I needed to turn in early on Friday. Even then, I ran out of juice by Saturday evening. This was my first time at Chupacabracon and my first gaming convention in awhile. I was looking forward to a good experience outside of my regular gaming circle.

A quick selfie with the Chupacabracon mascot.

Spent Saturday morning having coffee and donuts while attending a great pair of panels featuring Kenneth Hite and Mark Carroll. Kenneth Hite first showed up on my radar with his "Suppressed Transmission" column in Pyramid magazine. He authored Trail of Cthulhu and Night's Black Agents for Pelgrane Press and is one of the hosts of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast. Mark Carroll is best known to me for his work on the Conan and John Carter of Mars RPGs for Modiphius Entertainment.

The first panel was the "Cthulhu and Donuts Breakfast Special" and, as promised by the name, featured boxes of freshly baked treats from Round Rock Donuts. The discussion focused on Lovecraftian horror in tabletop role-playing games. The second panel was "Dark Campaigning: Beyond the TPK Horror One Shot" and dealt with the consequences of player character mortality in horror role-playing games - what to do when they all die to whatever they were investigating. The panels were lively, the hosts displayed deep knowledge of the subject matter, and the questions were on point. In particular, there were a couple of game recommendations - Ten Candles and Silent Legions - that I'll have to follow up on. There was also excellent gamemastering advice - the best of it was: "Never walk into a place you don't know how to walk out of." In addition to being a quote from the movie Ronin, it tells gamemasters to never commit the group to a long, multi-session series of adventures without a way to pull the player characters out if things don't turn out to be as interesting as planned. An example given was tracking down the source of the Nile - if the players get tired of going up the river, there's no quick way of getting them back to where they started.

I thought that presenting the convention floor plans as a dungeon map was clever.

I left for lunch after inspecting the wares the various dealers had on offer. On returning, I discovered that the parking situation at the Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock Conference Center was pretty dire. My circling the lot like a shark for awhile was rewarded with a choice spot.

Lunch and the time spent looking for a parking spot gave me time to consider what to buy. My completionist desires won out over everything else with the purchase of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Module D3: Vault of the Drow. This completes my set of the Queen of the Spiders "supermodule" by Gary Gygax - modules G, D, and Q.

The people at Chupacabracon - guests, staff, and attendees - were all friendly. I spent much of my time wondering around and chatting with various folks about the hobby. It's always good to share experiences with people outside of your usual circle - it helps ideas circulate.

Never agree to meet with a Hutt on a floating platform with "maintenance" droids hidden underneath it.

I had the opportunity to play in Bill Slavicsek's "Ghost of a Chance" Star Wars RPG session. He used a modified version of West End Games D6 system. Our Rebel cell was dispatched from Yavin 4 to track down and retrieve the Ghost and its crew. Our first lead was a Hutt on the Smuggler's Moon of Nal Shaddaa who was the last to have dealings with them. Some intense - and well-armed - negotiations led us to a technology dealer on the Bothan homeworld of Bothawui. He revealed that the Ghost and its crew were taken captive by an Imperial Security officer who happened to be celebrating in a bar nearby. That officer was kind enough to let us know the location of the Imperial base where the Ghost and its crew were being held. He also "donated" his uniform and code cylinders. Our Rebel cell entered the base through the time-honored tradition of impersonating Imperial personnel, but trouble quickly found us. This led to another time-honored tradition in Star Wars - shooting up Stormtroopers and Imperial facilities.

I had a bad feeling about this.

My long week at work was catching up with me after the Star Wars game. I decided to call it a day and return home for dinner and an evening spent unwinding.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at Chapabracon V. It's a great convention with great people. I wish I could have spent more time there, but I've long ago learned not to push things too far. I'm looking forward to attending next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment