Monday, August 1, 2011

SoCal Minicon 4 was a Blast

Got back last night after midnight.  Had fun DMing and then playing in a session DMed by Cyclopeatron.  It was amusing to see the Knights and Knaves guys trying the figure out what I was using Scrabble tiles and Jenga for. They asked me what version we were playing, haha. I should'a said "5th."

My Session
In my session 7 folks stricken with the red plague managed to find a cure for themselves in the Redoubt of the Red Mages.  It was a perilous journey beset with giant ticks, crawling skeletons, and death mimes.  Every time a player did somethnig aggressive or violent, like take part in/witness a round of combat, they had to pull a Jenga tile.  If the Jenga tower fell everyone would have had to save or go into a mindless blood rage.  Everyone paid close attention when tiles were being pulled :)

We used Jeff's cool party game to generate stats which meant everyone at the table had three stats with negative modifiers.  It was a lot of fun, we laughed a lot.  My buddy that drove me down took it upon himself to be the drinker of water from all the magical fountains and ended up at one point roped to the party because he was deaf, afraid, disgusted by the scent of the party, and permanently shorter by four inches .

I felt bad because my session went too long.  But I learned valuable stuff from it.  One is that I had too much invisible stuff in the dungeon and I realized it takes quite a bit more time to traverse invisible sections of a dungeon, probably at least twice as much time as the equivalent visible section.  I think I'll post my thoughts on the invisibility in a separate post.

I got to try out a Stitcher for the first time but, as it was closing, the bowmen in the party managed to score three crits on it, blinding it and severely wounding it.  Then the party won initiative and hurt it some more, enough that it just rolled up into its pillbug shell and mewled.  I never got to stitch anything.  Next time she will appear in close quarters (I should have known that). The party then rolled it into a nearby jail cell they'd found and locked it in.

We had to explore a set of star coordinates and return in 4 hours.  We managed to succeed by finding two possible new power sources for our space vessels and important intel on the location.  We met a head in a basket called Butch that would climb on the mages' shoulders and whisper into their ears to teach them spells.  The corny voice butch had, and the way hands emerged from his beard to primp it delighted me.  His take on the space hobbits as dim, simple workers was fun.  I also liked the conceit that we, the party, were the greatest mages and clerics of our land.  Hell, if we couldn't succeed, who could?

The 15 story high embryo of a cacodemon having its embryo being mined for yolk was creepy and wondrous.  I simultaneously had an overwhelming urge to try and wake the fetus and a sense of terror that it might wake up.

I wish I lived closer because the idea of an infinite universe to explore is irresistible to me.  I think he had a great innovation in that you could only travel to coordinates that you already had.  So, coordinate scrolls became more important than treasure, really.  Also, there were windows of opportunity to make a destination and get back with a certain amount of fuel.  It's like Cyclopeatron added just enough NASA back into Spelljammer to make it better.

It's interesting to me that to say he was running OD&D is almost superfluous.  I imagine that gameplay to an observer of Cyclopeatron's and my own session would have looked very similar.

Another thought: being a player in a one-off with a pregen character feels almost like a different game than campaign play because you are thrown an assortment of magic items you probably have never used before and it's like a puzzle to figure out the most efficient ways to utilize them.

I hope to be able to visit again next year.  Alas, I was so busy gaming I forgot to take pictures, I hope someone else posts some I can link to.

Update: I should have said that all the folks I met were nice, smart,  and fun to game with.  I wouldn't blink if asked if they could play in my games regularly.  Also, I forgot to mention that I got to meet Allan Grohe, who flew out from Kansas.  A pleasure to meet grodog and be able to play beside him.

Update2: Go here for some great pics and a recap by Cyclopeatron.


  1. sounds so much more fun than the dodger game i had to go to. next year....

  2. Do it.

    I'll run an adventure involving time travel and Playdough!

  3. Yeah, it was a great weekend! I'm so glad you were able to make it to Southern California again.

    Your game was a blast. I loved it.

    I'm very glad you liked the cacodaemon adventure! Your deft handling of the invisible stalkers with the detect invisible + sweet 20 fireball pretty much spanked the finale there.

    It's interesting to me that to say he was running OD&D is almost superfluous.

    Yup. All these games are the same damned thing.

  4. I had a great time playing SPQR with you and your friend, Kirk, and will definitely register for one of your games next year!


  5. I had a fantastic time. A wonderful re-introduction to table-top D&D after a 25+ year hiatus.

  6. Thanks to both of you, hope to see you next year!