Friday evening: The Best of the Wurst: I had a great group of players for this who had all bought in to the concept, so it ran pretty much like an 'Allo 'Allo episode, with secret assignations, dirty dealings, resistance heroism and sausage smut. Best moment: the resistance being interrupted by a German soldier in the cellars while doing something dubious, and passing it off as an impromptu “sausage-tasting”. Other best moment: the Colonel’s plan to cover up something, which was ludicrous and appropriate.
This is the third time I’ve run this game, and its produced reliable fun every time. But its now done every con, so its probably time to try something else. If you missed out, maybe you could persuade a friend to buy it, because Peaky deserves your money.
Saturday morning: I’d originally been scheduled to play reunification, a family drama about a German family getting together after being separated by ~30 years by the Berlin Wall. But that fell through, so we ended up with Arsenic & Lies as a replacement. Its a workshop game, basicly a “Christie murder mystery in a box” kit, with cards for all the obvious character concepts, relationships, and secrets, and the killer randomly determined at the start of the game. I chose Phillip Lee, the politician, worked up a couple of suitably sordid relationships, and spent the first act making myself look suspicious. At midnight, someone was poisoned, a unexpected guest arrived, and we spent the (shorter) second act going over who might have done it and why. In the end, Aunt Mabel took the deerstalker hat (we had adjourned to the Hunting Room, after all), delivered the denouement, accused someone, who everyone agreed had done it, and so successfully covered up her murder.
(There had apparently been a mixup with the cards, with the “wrong” person being murdered. But it all worked out in the end, and at least someone died)
I’m planning to do a proper review of this for rpg.net sometime, but the TL;DR is that this is a good game which delivers exactly the experience you would expect, and it looks quite replayable. It also copes well with variability, making it a good con fallback.
(As for Reunification, hopefully I’ll get a chance to play it at Cerberus next year…)
Saturday afternoon: Down and out in Middenburg: @Catnip and I wrote this game for the second Chimera convention, which ran ten years ago, so I thought it was a good time to bring it back for a 10th anniversary run. While the game shows its age in a few places (and I flubbed the briefing, because I wrote a bad briefing document back then), it worked OK, and there were plenty of hijinks. @Viperion did a great half-orc, one of the players had unpleasant-looking (fake) festering scabs, and another had made tailored hessian pants, with pockets. There was invisibility, pickpocketing, betrayal, and a near-miss with a rat-horde, but it seemed to all work out in the end.
Saturday evening: Welcome to the Neighbourhood: One of my casting things is that (within a few squicks) I’m perfectly willing to play someone horrificly evil and be an antagonist for others, because I find it very easy to psychologically distance myself from that (and because I’m usually laughing my arse off on the inside, and because I Am A Bad Roleplayer, smirking on the outside about it all). And so in this games, I was cast as a cannibalistic serial killer, who had ended up in a bargain-basement afterlife, along with his even more bargain basement prison “buddies”.
I prepped for this, coming up with various horrible things to say to people. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use it all. But I had a great time going round introducing myself as “Patrick. I killed, dismembered and ate at least thirteen people”, and generally chewing the scenery. The family conversations were the best, and I wish I’d had more time for them. But I think my favourite moment was five minutes in, when I suggested to my cellmates that we explore the parameters of our new environment, produced a knife and fork, and asked two of them to grab the other one and hold him down so I could cut him open and eat his heart to see what happened. I don’t think they’d ever really understood what I actually was until that moment, and the reaction was well worth it. I also had a great time talking to the Walking Fiasco Playset about prison hierarchy, and to a documentary maker who had the absurd idea about “smuggling out” his film from the afterlife. If I’d had more time, I probably would have resolved to eat some people for what they’d done to someone.
Sunday morning: The Constanta Blockade: The penultimate Kestrel! Inspired by The Greatest Movie Ever Made! What it’s all been building up to for three games! And it was worth every bit of it. Sax, my usual character in this stealth campaign, was written out after The Omega Delivery [crying noises], so I guest starred as Major Quillen, a Federation “political officer”. I don’t want to give away spoilers, as this is running in Wellington in a couple of months, so I’ll just say: play it. Signups open next weekend.
(Meanwhile, I have a whole year to wait until The Markov Solution, and I’m hoping Sax will finally be able to buy Max a beer in that one…)
Sunday afternoon: Le Streghe: A small town, a suspicious death, rumours of witchcraft, and a pair of meddling FBI agents. Its a great concept, and pretty well-executed, but suffered from not having a full cast (and then having two on-the-day dropouts as well). It was still a fun game despite that, and I think a full-cast version would really rock. Meanwhile I had a great time as one of the FBI agents trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. Kudos to Simon for being delightfully dubious, Amy for a great portrayal of my FBI partner, @Viperion for worried parenthood, and @Ciaran for that painful conversation.
And now, I need to figure out what I’m going to offer next year. Any requests?