Friday night: The Freighter Coralus by @Inveighed. A spaceship disaster / sacrifice game, where you are going to be arguing about which two characters have to sacrifice themselves to save the rest. Our run seemed to be full of sensible people, so we worked the problem, decided who was mission-critical, and after a certain amount of wibbling over whether anyone would volunteer, drew straws. And then of course someone had to go ahead and be the hero anyway. A satisfying opener.
Saturday morning: Pretty Little Cultists by @lesbiancobra: again, this was a game about deciding who to sacrifice (it seems to be a common format ATM), but the context of small town and big tentacley god meant it wasn’t really a moral dilemma so much as a question of who you hated most. Which in my case turned out to be my oh so perfect wife, Celia - though it took a threat against my creepy daughter Lily to push that. We had great performances from @sarlytheplatypus and Ethan as the creepy twins, Tayla as the perfect Celia, and @Viperion as poor Kevin, and I think Ichathon would be proud of us.
Saturday afternoon: Extinguishing the Light of Reason by @EdwardStutters. Fallen London! Madness! Academic humour! Powerpoint! A question, well more of a statement, actually! Backbiting and snark! This was basicly an academic conference with characters, and possibly people were a bit too polite about letting people present their work rather than denouncing and counter-denouncing and ripping up their notes and dragging them to The Device to be treated for madness - but it hit the mark perfectly for me. Highly recommended if you like Fallen London, or academic jokes.
Saturday night: A Game of Thrones: Blackfyre Rising: we had to cut this quite ruthlessly for numbers, and ended up without any Maesters, but it seemed to work. Unlike previous runs, there was a very decisive result. Someone put in a lot of hard work, managed to get all the great Houses together in what we began calling the plotting tent, and then got them to work out their differences and swear allegiance to Daeron. Things came to a head after the tourney, when the victorious Blackfyre managed to hatch a dragon, and the king dispatched Ser Gwayne Corbray and a squad of goons to murder it; after an epic duel, Blackfyre left Corbray for dead, and fled the scene. But with no supporters other than his brother, he was forced into exile, and Princess Visenya’s brief rebellion was also decisively crushed. So Daeron got to be king, but with such a strong noble alliance, there would probably be problems in the future…
This was the third time we’ve run this game, and probably the last for a while. Having been run in Auckland, Wellington and the South Island, it has probably exhausted its NZ audience for the moment.
Sunday morning: Tears of Heaven, by @Ciaran: the game of the con for me. It was a walking larp, about a party of adventurers journeying to complete their quest. The mechanics were simple: walk for 30 - 45 minutes, then have a 5-minute “night” during which the party paired up into watches and resolved event cards. Repeat for three hours, until the Final Battle. We had a good space for it (the adventure centre grounds, and the adjacent Waipara river bed), with a variety of terrain, and perfect weather: I’d been psyching myself up for anything from sunshine to drizzle to freezing cold, but it was a nice spring morning, so it was an enjoyable walk. The character sheets and watch cards provided seeds for conversations, and the process of walking and people going ahead and lagging behind and stopping to look at things naturally saw people group and split up and recombine to talk in pairs while walking. I’ve heard people talking about the enjoyment of quiet moments in campaign play, the downtime between the epic battles and panic, and I think it was a good simulation of that. I highly recommend this game, and you should play it if you get a chance.
Sunday afternoon: Your Last Day Here, by Ethan and Tayla: A zombie apocalypse game, about people trying to get a chopper ride out of zombie-infested New York. Had a neat interactive playspace, which people enjoyed exploring, though this meant that some information came out very quickly. The zombie genre is ultimately about people turning on one another under pressure, and it was faithful to that, but miraculously we all got out alive.