Gen Con Week(ish): After-Action Report

I hit my wireless plan's data cap sometime on Friday. Combine that with a very busy schedule and the usual spotty WiFi around the convention, and I fell way behind on my Gen Con Week posts. Also, my hope to collect audio quotes from industry folks mostly failed. Sorry about that, but here's a great big after-action report to cover days 2-4.

Friday started with a +TimeWatch RPG game run by +Kevin Kulp in which I, as eminent chromo-scientists Dr. Leah Breen, seduced Benjamin Franklin and then dominated a sophosaur (time-raptor) alpha using my orbital space laser.

Friday and Saturday were my big days to run games. I ran three sessions of Wardens of Ouon and one of Owl Hoot Trail. In all, I had 16 players, and they all seemed to have a good time. That's what I'm shooting for at a con.

My three sessions of Wardens of Ouon went great. The game opens with map creation, and from there, I was able to spin out an adventure without any additional preparation. You can see one such map below from one of the sessions in progress. (I used the Noteboard I picked up from the Pelgrane Press booth for the map as well as aspects created in play. Yes, one of those says "Opiate Cloud.")
Across the three sessions, I had unicorns stealing marble from a human town to feed to the newly-awakened Shadow Mountain, unicorns solving a marital dispute between two bat-spirits, and unicorns stopping an attempt by raven-spirits to take over the entire Forest using a giant sandworm.

Fate Accelerated worked incredibly well, as did my add-on rules. None of my sessions went the full four hours, but they were all solid, fun adventures. After my first session, the players even wanted to sit around for a half-hour and talk about all the stuff they liked. The group in the third session realized just how powerful having a card in the hole was, and they would buy a new card immediately after using one.

I was a little less satisfied with my Owl Hoot Trail game than the players were, I think. I could have been better prepared with a more nuanced adventure. As it was, it ended up being fairly linear (one might say "railroady") and almost pure combat. Considering how deceptively deadly Owl Hoot Trail can be, this might not have been the best way to go. As it was, I actually did have one PC die from blood loss following a bad gunshot wound at the very end of the session. Still, the players said they had fun, and who am I to second guess them?

I spent Saturday night at a Magic: The Gathering sealed event that featured a different game-altering global effect each round. While I had a moderate amount of fun, I dropped out after the third round (and my only victory) because I was tired and hungry. In hindsight, I think there were better ways I could have spent that time.

Sunday was the time for one last tour around the exhibit hall (more on that later) and then a TimeWatch session run by the delightful +John Adamus. (He says "delightful" in a way reminiscent of Stockholm Syndrome.) This session ended up hosting 11(!) players, taking the roles of the All-Ladies Historical Badass Squad. With that many folks at the table, you pretty much have to throw the rules out the window and just play "yes, and." Which John did wonderfully. +Jamie Stefko stole the game as a megalomaniacal Agatha Christie. After, I chatted with Kevin Kulp about my work on the time-crime campaign frame for TimeWatch. Exciting stuff there.

Following that game, it was time for lunch at Haveli, an Indian restaurant that really appreciates the gamer dollar. And then we hit the road, arriving home in Pittsburgh late in the night.

Gen Con was fun. My stress mostly flowed away by Friday morning, and I was able to just have fun with it. I'm really glad about that. Now for the long wait until next year.


This was not a great year for loot, mostly for financial reasons, but also because I just didn't spend much time in the hall. Here's what I picked up:
Jamie also got some cool stuff, including a deck building board game from AEG called Trains that seems very fun.

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