Tags: hero kids

Kapcon 23 Report

This Kapcon was unusual for a number of reasons:

1. Sam was organising it.

2. I was organising Adventure Squad.

3. I had scenarios for three different RPGs and they were sandboxy in nature.

So, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and I was relatively nervous as to whether it would be good Con or not. I needn't have worried though as it was probably one of my most uniformly positive Kapcons to date. Everything I planned for went to plan and a few things went exceptionally well.

The real highlights for me were:

1. My Double Cross game on Saturday. The playtest was a little shaky but the session proved to be much better. It wasn't the best game I ever ran, but I was pleased how it came together so well with only a little nudging and great player input. The same also goes for my Star Wars and Tenra Bansho Zero games to be honest

2. Adventure Squad and particularly my run of Golden Sky Stories. Laughing out loud with children for almost an hour was a wonderful experience.

3. Kapcon organisation. I was nervous for Sam but the Con this year really did seem to run very smoothly and I was very happy to be involved and help out where I could. I particularly enjoyed Kapcon post drinks, where the venue provided for nice food, drink and place to sit down and chill at the end of a long Con.

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Adventure Squad Offerings

In addition to my Saturday offerings (being Star Wars, Double Cross and Tenra Bansho Zero), I will also be running Adventure Squad with Mike Sands on Sunday (http://kapcon.rpg.net.nz/?q=node/585). This is a mini-event for pre-teen players as young as 5 years old to play in RPGs at the Con. Mike and I have been firmed up what games we will be offering and mine are:

Hero Kids: This is a great D&D-like fantasy RPG (and has achieved a Platinum medal at DTRPG) specifically designed for young RPGers. The structured play and the use of visual images make it suitable for the youngest players we will likely see at AS. I will have the scenarios, "Curse of the Shadow Walkers" and "Fire in Rivenshore", available.

Star Wars: Star Wars seems a safe bet. I will be running a simplified WEG D6 system using binary dice. I have some great character templates and the scenario book comes with nice picture card handouts. I will have the scenarios "New Recruits and Rebel Guns" and "into the Heat of Battle" ready, and both are from the book Instant Adventures.

Golden Sky Stories: This is meant to cover the feel good My Little Pony/Fairy Tale crowd. Its a great and beautiful game with a nice diceless system. I will be removing some of the choices from PC creation and relationships to make it a little simpler. I will have available the same combo of "Cry in the Night" and "Cop Out of Water" than Sam ran at Confusion.

Prince Valiant: For my traditional fantasy offering, I decided on something Arthurian as the mix of action, heroism and wonder work for players old and young. Prince Valiant requires almost no simplification as it is well designed for younger players. It also uses the same binary dice that I have for Star Wars. I will have two Pendragon scenarios available as options: "The Adventure of the Rosebriar Knight" and "The Adventure at Ceren Abbas".

There were a lot of RPGs that didn't make it this time around, and I will be running less than half of those that I will have on hand already. But I think the four options above provide a good mix. That's even before you add in Mike Sands' games and any others offered by parents.

Some observations:
1. Nearly all of the games are also great for adults. I hope we get a couple of keen adult players to join in the fun.
2. Without meaning to, I note that all come with character templates. I expect that was because I find something strongly depicted but not detailed as being suitable for the younger player.
3. Of the templates I have, the gender balance is almost all 50/50, except for GSS which has all female templates.

2013's Half Time Match Report

So, the first half of 2013 has already flown past and the second half has arrived. What an amazing year its been to date!

The first half was dominated by Dungeon World, which seems to have finally answered my seemingly eternal quest for an RPG to my satisfy my frequently occurring, if not always long lasting, urge to play old school D&D. Not only is it easy to find players for, it is easy to pick up and run and it makes that old school vibe feel fresh. Thankfully, as I started the year free of specific plans, I was able to run 5 games with it so far, with the 5th coming to an end in the next 3 weeks. I will certainly be returning to it, possibly with something more ambitious, though probably not until sometime in 2014.

Running alongside this has been my run of Horror on the Orient Express for Call of Cthulhu. I have wanted to run this for a while, so its nice to tick it off the bucket list. Its been reliable fun for what will be almost 20 sessions, though it hasn't quite reached the heights of some of the other prewritten campaigns I have run in recent times. I can't see myself wanting to do Cthulhu again for sometime, though when I do it will either be to run either Beyond the Mountains of Madness or Nocturnum.

With Horror on the Orient Express coming to an end in about 3 weeks along with Dungeon World, my gaming calendar opens up just in time for Confusion. This works well as I plan to revert to Con style gaming for the second half of 2013 so as to free myself up for Sam's commitments to Kapcon organisation, The World That Is and the local ballet concert. I also have Adventure Squad to organise, though I have already made considerable progress with this. I think my shortlist of games for Adventure Squad will be Hero Kids (a new set of heroes was just released), Golden Sky Stories, Star Wars WEG and Mermaid Adventures.

Starting with Confusion, I plan to focus my next 12-18 months on Tenra Bansho Zero and Double Cross. Unless Exalted 3e surprises me, these two games should hold my attention. I can't recall feeling so good about any single RPG, let alone two at once. To ease myself into them both, I hope to run my Confusion scenarios again at Kapcon (which along with Dungeon World and Adventure Squad leaves me more than fully booked).

With any luck, this will lead me into 2014 where I can devote myself to writing something for one or the other, or both. For Tenra, my hope is that it will be my Glade con scenario. For Double Cross, I would be happy with running more one-off scenarios from the supplements, though I may also look at a short episodic campaign too.

GM Frenzy coming up

My weekend sees the start of a short GMing frenzy. No matter how hard one tries to organise things, these surges happen :/ :)

Saturday: Hero Kids - Curse of the Shadow-Walkers: Originally this was just for my family, but it looks like Mat, Liz, Savanah and Rory will be joining us.

Sunday: The One Ring - Marsh Bell: This is the first meeting of the year for Kapiti College and it came as a surprise due to late notice. Fortunately, I have run the scenario twice before and I am looking forward to playing into Tales from Wilderland.

Monday: Call of Cthulhu - Horror on the Orient Express: This campaign continues. I am looking forward to getting to Lausanne late in this session as London and Paris are difficult chapters.

Thursday: Exalted: Alchemicals - Incarnadine Crucible: The second season of my short season campaign starts. I feel like I have put too much work and not enough at the same time (something I find with these short length games). But I am looking forward to starting what is now my most regular and longest running game.

Quick Update

Busy end to the working year and busy holiday has resulted in little LJ posting, but here is a quick update:

1. Kapcon cometh: My three Kapcon games were all prepped last year. I have been doing some thinking regarding how to present Act One of Arnimor Dual and Rejectamenta will be unplaytested, but overall it's been a relaxing run into Kapcon. Good to see Sam's Changeling gam be so popular. I am working on her to run the Victorian Changeling scenario in 2014. Vague thoughts of running Tenra (quickstart) and Esteren (for late night round) in 2014 myself, along with First Veterans.

2. First Veterans: I am planning on running a child friendly round at Kapcon 2014 in rounds 4 (and maybe 5). More thoughts on this later, though I am lining up a shortlist of games and plan to invite discussion and expressions of interest at Kapcon this year.

3. Hero Kids: I came across an awesome RPG for children called Hero Kids and have run three sessions for the girls. They have been very successful. I hope to try Ayla on Happy Birthday Robot today. As an aside, Hero Kids also led me onto Heroes Against Darkness, an awesome D&D retro-clone with all that's good about 4e in it :)

4. Kapiti College group: Marvel ended before it really started. However, we have moved onto Horror on the Orient Express which is to start after Kapcon. I am confident it will be a much better fit for the group. To fill the gap, we have been playing Mansions of Madness (which is reliably awesome sauce) and a good lead in to Call of Cthulhu. Not sure what I will be running for Kapiti College more broadly this year, but I am thinking of Tales from Wilderland given I just don't have the opportunity to run a weekend game of it. Also, the next two TOR sourcebooks should hit early this year, which will give a lot to work with.

5. Alchemcials: I am working on a short season of Alchemicals to be run in Feb/Mar. Last season of Dragon Blooded was really cool that it inspired me to put something together. Looking forward to Exalted 3e hitting towards its end.

6. Tenra Bansho: Given how busy I am, any TBZ plans have been delayed until April. This is coincidentally when the physical books arrive. As posted, they look amazing. I can't wait to get the final product in my hands. Something will happen with it in 2013, even if it's just the QuickStart :)

7. Descent: We got to the end, but never got around to playing the finale due to busy pre-Xmas rush. Not sure if it will happen now. I enjoyed it, despite a few warts in the base game. I expect expansions to iron this out some and I should be recieving the first of these in the next week or so :) The experience did cement that Descent has fallen from my top board gaming spot to second, with Mansions becoming first (the new expansion for which looks amazing).