Boy, I feel like I haven’t been writing in ages. I spent the last few days in New York and my “stuff to write about” pile is so humongous now that I don’t know what to work on first. I’m relying on good old “last-in/first-out” so I’m going to share my main highlights of that weekend in the Big Apple.
New York Comic Con
The con was… immense. I have not seen all of it, I didn’t even try. I was too focused on my tasks as a volunteer DM that I never strayed too far from the gaming area. Walking the external area adjoining the halls was quite a journey in itself.
Still, I got to meet one of my favourite webcomic artists: Tom Siddell, artist and writer of Gunnerkrieg Court, a very cool chap who signed the 2 volumes I bought from him. I was too timid to chat with him more… I know, I know, hard to believe but I’m bad with strangers.
The con was full of high quality booths from A-list companies like Archaia, Intel, Games Workshop, Ubisoft, Marvel, Darkhorse and, of course, DC comics. I spent little time looking at people’s costumes but I was completely blown away by 2 couples walking around in full “Sword of Truth” regalia, the guys in Richard Ralh outfitss and 2 gals in tight-fitting, dyed full-leather Mord-Sith armour…
I’m still recovering…
I also got to meet with Seamus (writer of the RPG Musings blog) and his lovely wife Suzanne (pronounced à la française) and we got to hang out at a cool Midtown Irish Pub with my co-volunteering DMs Sarah Darkmagic and Alex. There I got to do my usual Mouse Guard pitch and we got into some pretty awesome discussions about an old game I played a few years ago where all players had to share one body.
In fact that idea is spawning some dangerous concepts in both my brain and Dave’s.
I ran one “Encounters” adventure and 3 ‘Learn to Play’ sessions. Most of the new players had never heard of tabletop roleplaying games and all of them weren’t born when 2e came out (I easily had 20+ years on all of them). Still some very interesting quirky games moments occurred, my all time favourite being the following:
(Warning, Red Box adventure spoilers)
Party enters the Red Box’s Dungeon and meets with the White Dragon after having killed some of its minions. The Human Slayer and the Stabby Halfling Rogue are smack dab in front of it as it leaves its lair to advance on the party.
Dragon (Deep Wheatonesque voice): How dare you invade my demesne?
Slayer and Stabby Rogue: Charge of the Jewish boys!!!! (I love New York!)
(2 round later)
Chatty: The Dragon is shaking the now unconscious rogue like it was a broken mannequin in its frigid jaws and threatens the bloodied fighter with its claws.
Elven Ranged Rogue: Can we talk to the dragon?
(The Warpriest and Wizard, played by a 13 year old boy, were hiding around the corner, mopping up kobolds, The kid was sitting beside me and I was showing him my DM notes so he could see how the Monsters worked)
Chatty: Sure, it drops the dying halfling and says “What do you want… elf?”
(Aside: By sheer coincidence, Kieran, the D&D Brand Manager had taken a seat at our table at this exact moment!)
Elven Rogue: Can I join you?
Chatty (choking on his Diet Coke): What?!? Huh… the Dragon says “You’ll need to prove your loyalty to me first elf”
Elven Rogue: I shoot the Halfling.
Halfling & Chatty: You what?
Chatty: You killed the halfling but the Dragon isn’t quite convinced of your loyalty yet, it’s not like you’re taking any actual risks here… (I was being creative with the scripted skill challenge).
Chatty (To the other players, who were, surprisingly, all laughing): So do you do anything about the elf rogue?
Warpriest: Nah, I wanna kill the dragon, I want to score his lootz!
Wizard: I wanna wait to see how this turns out, magic missile on kobold!
(2 rounds later)
Chatty: The Warpriest falls, the dragon is bloodied and breathing heavily.
Elven Rogue: I shoot…the warpriest!
Chatty: Whaaaat! (Clatter) Ok he’s dead. Now what?
Elven Rogue: I run out of the dungeon!
Wizard kid: I ask the Dragon if I can become one of his minions! Maybe later he’ll let me ride him.
Chatty (Reminded of his early games with his son, and invoking rule 1 of Essentials: “Make them roll for it”): Huh sure, you have the diplomacy skill?
Wizard kid: I have a spell called “Suggestion” that lets me use Arcana instead of Diplomacy.
That kid was a fast learner…
Chatty: He accepts! Welcome to Dungeons & Dragons!
Epilogue: Later in the day, I see the kid’s mom, she’s lugging around a huge plastic bag filled to the brim of D&D Essentials and Gamma World products. I look around for the kid… and there he is, gleefully playing in a Dungeon Delve.
Photos: Robin LeBlanc (Thanks for the coverage!)
Up next: My experiences at Burning Wheel and the joys of being a minor celebrity.