This past weekend wrapped up the busiest and most condensed span of conventions I've ever dealt with. It was fun, but hectic. Kantcon followed by GenCon followed by Kansas City Comic Con and wrapping up with Star Wars Day at the K (Kaufman Stadium, home to the Royals MLB team). I ran three different Star Wars RPG adventures in seven sessions, The Last Parsec twice, and D&D 5e twice (plus one non-convention session).
Unless something comes up, my next convention is most likely the new Midwest Game Fest hosted by The Roleplayers Guild of Kansas City, Ltd. in November. The Guild's long running convention ShaunCon is part of the event, as it was with KC Game Fair which is not occurring this year. Midwest Game Fest just started a kickstarter to aid funding efforts. I plan to run Star Wars RPG events and several others.
KCCC was a great success for a first year convention. They just announced they exceeded 10,000 attendees. The three day event featured creators, panels, games, celebrities, costume contest, and more. The game room had a dungeon delve, rpgs, card games, and board games. Three of my four tables filled, and the other one was half full. About half were new players, and there was a higher percentage of younger players than I typically see at other cons, all of which was a good thing. Goodman Games and Cthulu freelancer Jon Hook and I had a panel on breaking into game writing. Star Wars Force and Destiny continued to draw a lot of interest. Monte Cook Games also had a booth at the show and ran some Numenera and other demos.
I ran another iteration of my Paths of Destiny adventure. Everyone had a good time, but I'm still not quite hitting the marks I want. The fundamental problem is that it is just too much material for a 4 hour slot, no matter how I've tired to condense it. It would be fine for a home game as it is. I'll probably take another run at it for Midwest Game Fest after setting it aside for a bit.
I think I have a better feel for what is fun to play through. I want to focus on those and skip some of the more common play experiences. There are only so many times you can negotiate with a spaceport administrator, and so on. However, while I've played out that sort of encounter for (let's face it) decades, I often have new players that have never had that experience and totally get into it. What might be repetitive to me can, and often is, new to many players.
Paths of Destiny is definitely plot and story driven from a GM perspective. There are certain experiences I'm trying to create with set piece scenes. This is also what is causing some of the time difficulties.
The Delinquent Hutt and The Hutt Smugglers are far more open ended and allow for a lot of player creativity. That said, it is interesting to see how different groups handle the same basic situations. Sometimes its very different, but often similar themes or schemes will emerge simply due to the circumstances and available resources. Watching the players squirm when their Obligations kicked in over the course of the Delinquent Hutt adventure was great fun. A seemingly straightforward plan was often instantly complicated by the unexpected appearance of a past opponent or new opportunity.
Star Wars Day at the K was a nice way to wrap up the busy weekends. The Royals are doing extremely well this year, and the game was entertaining. It was also hot and humid. We arrived early to pick up the Jedi Gordon bobblehead. A summer rain shower started the instant we drove into the parking lot and continued as we stood in a long line from Gate B to Gate A. The rain stopped once we were inside the stadium, of course. From there on out, it was all heat and humidity, though the clouds stayed overhead until the 7th inning.
There was the typical appearance of the 501st, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorians. The scoreboard graphics featured amusing takes on the Star Wars theme. The lineup images featured the White Sox photoshopped into stormtrooper and Darth Vader armor. The Royals had various Rebel and Jedi themes. The Royals mascot, Sluggerrrr, had Jedi-like robes. Fan signs were a lot of fun (and sometimes very creative with totally inside Royals fan jokes). Things like "The odds of navigating the Royals' bullpen are 3,720 to 1". The Royals swept the White Sox, which made the game that much more fun to watch.
And to wrap things up this week, here is the Midwest Game Fest Kickstarter video: