This past week saw the running of the 2011 KC Game Fair. Though not as large as last year's version (nor was it expected to be, as last year was a bit unique), a lot of gamers had a good time, and a lot of money was raised for Harvesters along the way (though that isn't the focus of the con, Harvesters has been our charity of choice for years for donations raised at the con, with Toys for Tots a more recent addition).
As usual, I ran Star Wars Saga Edition a couple of times, plus Slipstream (Savage Worlds). I was scheduled to run my D&D (DDI) adventure Battle at the Witchlight Hermitage, but it didn't run. My Slipstream adventure was the next installment of my Iron Star series, where I reuse the same player characters each year. This is handy, as it cuts down on time.
And, as will be no surprise to regular readers the past few weeks, planning time was a major problem for me this year. When it came to my Star Wars adventure, Wookiee Breakout, I was far less prepared than most years. While I often run from outlines, I usually have character sheets typed up and ready. Not so this year. My wife and I were hastily handwriting the character sheets the day of the event, from notes I made the night before. And backgrounds? Not so much. I usually try to include relevant backgrounds for the characters to better tie them into the story. Some players use them more than others.
I wasn't too worried about the lack of backgrounds, given the basis of the adventure:
- All player characters are wookiees.
- The wookiees are breaking out of an Imperial work camp.
- The player character wookiees have many more wookiee allies, assuming they free them too.
- Give the PCs lots of targets for wookiee rage.
- Give the PCs lots of options once they escape the initial area - they may run for it, they may free others from a variety of locations.
The characters' feats and talents strayed from the normal favorites and standards. This was a time to try out specialized ideas or lesser used, but fun talent combinations. Most had some kind of melee or wookiee focus. Interstingly, the players used their talents and feats the least I've ever seen in an adventure. This was more surprising for the first table than the second, as it had more experienced players. Part of it was probably familiarity, and part of it was circumstantial. Some of the talents proved too circumstantial for a single adventure, unless I actively created a situation for them to work. Normally, I'd do so, but given the rather free form nature of the flow of the game, it didn't happen.
Still, the players had a good time. I'll probably tweak the adventure before running again. Aside from the PC issues, I'd like to make the adventure areas more dramatic overall, and maybe expand the scope a bit.
Also, I used Christopher West's terrain cards for some encounters, and his Strike Force Carrier adapted to "refined ore hauler" for another.