Labor Day weekend I was at Tacticon in Denver. It is mostly a role-playing/board game/tactical and historical miniatures Con. I posted pictures in several places over the course of the weekend: Day 1, Day 1 Part 2, and Day 2. This is the full report for the first game!
We got to Tacticon at about 11:30 on Friday. Normally there would still be plenty of game auction going at this point, but we were amazed to find that the auction was over! There must not have been a lot of entries this year. We sacked out in our room and prepared for the full day in the morning!
Days at the con are pretty standard: Awaken, shower, breakfast at hotel, game. We had to pick up our registration as well, so we got down there and ate while we waited for registration for open. Every member of our Con group was from a different city. We are friends who have had to split up over the years. We also struggled to register for like events because Cons cost many and many people’s trips were still up in the air around pre-registration time. Still, we were able to get a lot of overlap.
Our first game (Jon, DJ, Jamie and I) was Dungeon Crawl Classics. DCC is like 1st edition, but with lots and lots of wild magic that does interesting effects based upon the strength of a spell check. Other than that, its very minimalist and creative expression is encouraged! We pick these games every year because they are run by Harley Stroh, one of the actual game designers who lives near Denver. He’s a good GM and we always have a good time in his games. This one didn’t disappoint and was in my top three RPG sessions of all time.
I played a Wizard because I had always wanted to try out the magic system of the game and I had not until that point. The game was titled “The Heist” and the basic premise was that we were a group of thieves trying to infiltrate a mansion trying to steal its treasures. There was a masquerade ball (a common RPG trope) that we could use for cover. Half of us split into a “nobles” group (my character was an actual noble) and half into a “servants” group and we entered the party under different portents. Immediately I mucked things up by attempting to bluff our way in, but rolling a “1”. Undesired combat immediately ensued, which I was able to dissipate with a well placed stinky cloud spell. The servants got in without a hitch and we started to “work” the party room.
Everyone had really creative plans for attempting to gather information. Jamie played a juggler/jester and she used her acrobatic skills to distract guards. Other distractions were also successful. I used Jamie’s distraction to get into a deeper room. My solo investigations were proving foolish, as the room I entered was a butchering room and a giant butcher was hacking up human bodies. This was not the party we thought it would be. Meanwhile, Jon was trying to steal the jewel he discovered and DJ was being seduced by some sort of glamor from a party patron.
Jamie’s distraction only went so far. The lord of the house started to usher her into the butchering room and we all had to act earlier than anticipated. Various other party members tried to help Jamie out but the guards were a bit much. As they opened the door, I used Animal Summoning to summon two goats to distract them to great amusement of all. The following round, I used a great deal of spellburn (sacrificing strength and dexterity to make a spell more powerful) on a Sleep spell. I managed to put the lord of the house into a magical sleep until he was licked by a unicorn (our group’s unofficial title).
At this stage, things got really undead-y. As I put the lord to sleep, the butcher walked up behind me and cleaved me to death. Undead babies awoke in a crypt that others were investigating. DJ’s seducer fully zombied out and he and Jon worked together to eliminate it. The rest of the hall went full zombie under the lady of the house’s control. With my character dead, and no one having any knowledge of how to awaken the lord, she went ballistic. All told, Jon’s character was the only one to make it out alive. Heck, all of our secondary characters that Harley gave us to play after our primaries bit it didn’t even make it.
Of course, Con games are one-shots and all in good fun. Like Call of Cthulhu (more on that in a few days!), you don’t enter the game expecting your character to survive it.
I’ll continue this series and report out on all the games we played at the Con!
PS-One of the things I gleaned from this Con that I will work on for role-playing at school is to run a GM Academy of sorts to help train game club members on GMing. I want to start the role-playing this year off on a good note and we need some training for that to happen.