Saturday, July 5, 2014

Time for Lord Qon, Time for Fireworks

I spent the afternoon at CONvergence. When I left for the con, I felt sad leaving home. It had been a beautiful, cool morning, and the family had spent a pleasant morning on the couch.

It was parallel play.

The Anubian Ambassador was sitting in Carlos' lap, while he watched the World Cup and Wimbledon. For my part, I sat next to them reading about the mysteries of Lord Belkhanu and his faithful Cohort, Lord Qon. (And we might add that Lord Qon and the Ambassador have a bit in common).

But back to the Con we went. 

It was a nice respite from people complaining online about inclusion in gaming. Imagine that! I was with 7,000 people for an entire afternoon, and nobody complained about that one paragraph in Basic D&D supposedly being "unnecessary"!

In the afternoon, Rachel Kronick of the Blade & Crown blog was part of a great panel on how to have a game and - a life - as you get older. Really, the panel was all about how to make sure you can persist in gaming as life gets more complex, which it invariably does as you age. I know that when my dad passed away, I stopped gaming for almost a year, and that's just one kind of complication that gamers face in later life.  

I can't say I walked away from the panel with any magic bullets, other than a greater awareness of the importance of:
  • Making explicit agreements at the table about the schedule, frequency, and length of gaming sessions;
  • Taking turns running things, so no one feels stressed or overwhelmed;
  • Carefully considering the style and format of games we choose to play:
    • Are there workarounds or shortcuts that reduce GM preparation or facilitate greater improvisation?
    • Are there games - Apocalypse World with its playsheets, and Technoir with its city templates - whose design makes it easier for both the players and the GM to get a game going"
So that was good, as was the wonderful moderation of Beth Kinderman. Yes, a CONvergence panel in which the moderator actually moderated. Beth engaged the panelists and audience in a way that enriched the discussion. No huge digressions, no audience talking over the panelists!

I came home and had dinner with the family. Later the three of us went to see the fireworks. Before and after the fireworks, I set out to convert Empire of the Petal Throne's priest and magic user "skills" into spells for Fate of Tekumel.  I was surprised to discover (re-discover?) that some of the original EPT "skills" were quite powerful - especially items 8 and up on each list!  

We'll be testing these conversions at the table tomorrow!


  1. Do not underestimate the professional skills of the priest asks magic user. Revivify is a temple spell in other Tekumel games and Control Underworld Creatures is the Web of Refulgent Command, a Ksarul temple spell. Heavy stuff.

  2. Wow 7000 people and I thought our cons were pretty big at 2800 antendees. I cant even imagine GenCon.

    1. It's a bit like going to the MN State Fair, which can see upwards of 100K people a day. Parking is hell. People are everywhere. All ages. Schnozzels shouting in elevators. People (all guys) who stink, especially in panels and on the gamer floor, which is long and tightly packed, like a submarine. Sat next to a really stinky guy wearing a giraffe suit yesterday. Had to move over one seat.

      Love this one sword dealer. For the second year in a row, I almost bought a replica Chinese sword from one of the Mummy films. Great sword dealer, as interested in selling weapons to women as to men.

      Bought IDW's beautiful huge Michael Kaluta-illustrated edition of "A Princess of Mars", instead.

      The con can be overwhelming, yet it is also so fun; carnivalesque like a Fellini film.