ConQuest 2009

Could call it PacifiCon these days, too, though I was quite fond of PacifiCon back in the ’90’s, where this con to me is just so “ConQuest”.  One of the three gaming conventions I go to locally.  It was the second year of its latest location.  That should have been a plus.

Maybe it was the economy, but it seemed awfully uneventful.  The RPG schedule was sad and CCGs even sadder, though CCGs are just dying at local cons as the major events all happen at stores or hotels or whatever now.

I really enjoyed last year and enjoyed the previous year, too.  Low expectations are a wonder.

Wargaming, boardgaming, and miniatures seemed to be doing okay, but, then, that’s what this con is known for – DunDraCon is RPGs and KublaCon used to be CCGs.  Having limited interest in any of these in general, I almost hoped we’d have a HoR mod during the weekend.

Friday, I blew off the con.  I had an opportunity to play in a HoR mod.  Originally, I figured it was about six of one, half a dozen of the other whether to do that or sign up for a convention RPG event in the evening, but further thought resulted in my realizing that any HoR mods I miss with the online group I’m fairly likely to never get to play as the campaign only has one more year and there aren’t enough people in the group seemingly to rerun mods.  When Gen Con rolls around next year, I’ll probably want to do whatever is new and maybe get in only a couple older mods, yet there are lots of mods I want to do out of the 30 that currently exist that I haven’t done, nevermind new ones that come out before the end of the campaign.

Ignoring the intro mod for the campaign, it was the first mod of the campaign, and it flew by.  We only spent 2 hours on it when I figured 6 was more likely.  It went so quickly that one of the players volunteered to run another mod for us, so we did another early mod and finished about 11PM.  Too late for me to go to the con.

My main character did finally rank up, “only” took 20 modules and 83 XP.  Now, I just need to get that Emerald Magistrate cert from the GM of an earlier mod, and my character will be … uh … different? than what he was just a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, I headed over in the morning and checked the event schedule.  Nothing I wanted to do in those times when I wasn’t running anything.  Awesome.  Maybe I could get some stuff done at home, like work on the RPG adventure I was running Monday.  I played a bit of Type P Magic and went home.  Built one V:TES deck for my “tournament” that evening and took a nap.

As expected, the tournament never went off, but unlike the norm for the cons, we didn’t even get enough people for a pickup game.  I didn’t see a number of the usual suspects at the con, though hardly being at it didn’t help.

I played some more Type P, we went out for dinner, just missing hitting the local burger grill that has half-priced burgers on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I was dropped off at home.

Sunday, I built a new Ultimate Combat! deck in the morning as there was a nebulous plan for me to play with the one-time top ranked player in the world (actually, he still would be if there was such a thing as rankings anymore).  I found him, he had some stuff he needed to do in the morning, I played some more Type P, got lunch, we played six games in the afternoon while he was monitoring an Acquire tournament’s finals.

My brown belt, Instant Replay/Shoulder Throw deck traded games with his brown belt Knowledge/Fighting Spirit deck.  In each game, I pulled off 22 pt. attacks, but he had enough defense in the second game to survive and I couldn’t deal with the counterattack.  I pointed out that one of the things that makes the game so great is how you have incredibly swingy plays, but they seem fair and correct play is rewarded.  I probably made a mistake ceding tempo to his deck by not putting out more technique.

I played my brand new black belt, Mark of the Cheetah deck, a rebuild of an archetype I had done long ago (everything with UC! is long ago).  The build was horrid.  That probably had something to do with not being as familiar with all of the cards as I was back when I played the game every once in a while.  He played a white belt, Adrenaline deck.  I sucked first game and decked myself second game trying to dig for a card that wasn’t left in my deck.

We, then, played our gold belt decks against each other.  Mine seemed much better tuned, a straightforward combination deck that tries to KO as quickly as possible.  I swept the two games as my power generation was more consistent.

We talked about playing about once a month.  Huzzah, guess I need to remember how to build decks for the game.

Played some more Type P.  Went home to get my V:TES stuff for my “draft tournament” (aka second excuse to play some pickup games).  Of course, there was no actual tournament, but I did demo to somebody.  Played some more P.  Played a pickup game of V:TES late in the evening, which I totally wasn’t in the mood for as I needed to do a lot of stuff for my game the next day.  Got ousted quickly, waited around for the game’s end as someone was borrowing a deck (Imbued) from me.  Went home about 12:30AM.

Monday, got up at 6:30AM to get stuff prepared for my Solomon Kane game.  Wandered over to the con.  Ran my game, which was okay.  As my Conan GM pointed out afterwards (his being a player for a change being one of the two drivers to my GMing), the intent was for the party to do some investigating (and, well, more generally, interacting with the world), yet there wasn’t a lot of motivation to do so.  One of the ways I figured the party could figure out what to do was used, so things didn’t bog down too much.  A combat ran long – I just have to remember that combats with lots of participants always will, so I stopped things at something like a cliffhanger.

I’m still not strong on the rules, but running twice in a month rather than twice in six months helped immensely with getting some sort of handle on them.  Might actually have a pretty good grasp by next month as it looks like we will do part two of the adventure in October rather than February.

It’s funny.  On the one hand, I want the game to have more of a Solomon Kane feel, where the characters are more down to Earth and the tone more horroresque, but on the other hand, I want the game to be more lively in the flow of events.  There are some things I need to think about, including tone and types of challenges.

And, that was it.  Barely like being at a con at all.  Actually, for comparison, DunDraCon has gotten so terrible that it isn’t like being at a con much anymore either.  I’ve started wondering whether it’s better to skip DDC in the future, though I think I have enough planned for next year’s to justify going to it again.

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