KublaCon 2011

         I attended KublaCon 2011 mostly as a game master. I went on Saturday afternoon with my son and we played various board games in the Young Players room and Open Gaming area. I then ran two games and played in one on Sunday. I had not attended KublaCon in a while due to other commitments on Memorial Day weekend, but it still seems very well organized and produced -- probably the best among the regional conventions that I have been to. The games I ran/played in were:


Young Players Room

On Saturday, I spent some time with my son in the Young Players room and the open gaming area. KublaCon has an excellent and well-attended kids room. There were around 30 kids when I was there. Kids sign in & out, and there are plenty of ad-hoc as well as scheduled games. We played the board game Tsuro and the card game Hike in the kids room. We also played an ad-hoc game of Wrath of Ashardalon in the open gaming area. My son had gotten it for his birthday weeks earlier but had not played it yet.


"Hellcats & Hockeysticks"

Game system:

Hellcats & Hockeysticks

Start time:

SUN, 9:00am

Category:

RPG
Duration:
4 Hours

# of Players:

6

GM / Judge:

John Kim

Description:

St. Erisian's school has stood for over a hundred years and survived war, plague, famine, demonic attack, strange explosions in the science block and countless attempts to get it closed. To be fair, not _ALL_ of these disasters were the fault of the students... This uses the new Hellcats & Hockeysticks system, playing upper class girls at the strange and infamous boarding school for young ladies.
CHAR: Provided    LVLS: --

This was a basic run of the H&H system, driven by player ideas. I provided sheets for the character archetypes/"cliques", but players allocated skills and made up details at the session. It went well, as the system usually has in my experience. I asked everyone to come up with a name, the names of 1 or 2 key figures to them, and what evil schemes they were up to right now. The players and their characters were:

The game started with Yui seeing a ninja sneaking into Erin's secret lab. She approached, but set off one of Erin's booby traps and was blown up. The explosion knocked her cold but exposed a secret stairwell. They at first worked separately to cover up the problem and blame it on Victoria. The PTSD-addled military games-mistress Miss Stanhouse featured, who was horrified by the attack on Yui ("Man down!") and began organizing the team to strike back. They then teamed up to sneak into the basement - where they ran into a sleeping teacher (religious studies Master Erasmus Worm), foot-long scorpions, and Master Worm's 10-foot-tall crocodile-headed brother. Yui had to face a phone call from her father, who expected her to offer to commit suicide(seppuku) for her failure, but narrowly declined the offer if she could prove herself.

The next day, they had a hockey match, where Racette took some bad knocks to the head before Lux's spell kicked in with critical success - making the opposing team's bones brittle and blinding the opposing captain and home team head cheerleader (Ginger). What followed was a horrific rout though probably no one died.

They eventually figured out that Ginger was planning on beating them to get the Book of the Dead - which she wanted to get as a present for Lux, so that Lux would love her forever and ever(!). By stealing Ginger's plans, they beat her to it. They then went for a showdown with Victoria, but Ginger showed up with Victoria tied up in a trunk - revealing Victoria as the ninja who had stolen Erin's explosives. Yui then took Victoria off to chop off her head (off-screen), while Ginger was infuriated by Lux still refusing to love her and tried to unload a revolver on her. Racette neatly dispatched Ginger, who collapsed into tears.

In all, a fun romp for all.


KublaCon MegaDungeon Crawl

Game system:

D&D 4E

Start time:

SUN, 1:30pm

Category:

RPG
Duration:
4 Hours

# of Players:

6

GM / Judge:

Jason Buhlman

Description:

The 11th Annual KublaCon MegaDungeon Crawl written by Jamie Chambers! Come and participate in this mainstay event at KublaCon. This year's event will be a 4 hour module run several times over the course of the convention. Characters will be provided. Any & all players are welcome.
CHAR: Provided    LVLS: --   

This was only my second time of trying out 4th edition D&D, and the first was GMed by my 12-year-old nephew, so probably wasn't a very fair view. This was a featured game of the con, run by a key PathFinder developer. However, it mostly reinforced my picture of 4E as an almost entirely tactical system. The main feature of this was a giant setup of Dwarven Forge terrain. The map was thus fixed based on their terrain setup, but different GMs could write their own module to fit the map. The play was mildly interesting to me in a board-gamey sense, but it doesn't seem like it would work for me for long-term play.


Reunion Wishes

Game system:

Homebrew

Start time:

SUN, 7:00pm

Category:

LARP
Duration:
5 Hours

# of Players:

10

GM / Judge:

John Kim

Description:

In the spirit of the Dresden Files & Supernatural, this is a larp about a high school reunion where classmates who encountered mystic forces as teenagers get together ten years later. The forces that trailed two in particular warp time, and the events of the past collide with the present for everyone. All characters have unusual secrets, contributing to a suspicious and mysterious atmosphere.
CHAR: Provided    LVLS: --

This was a larp inspired by "The School Trip" - a larp for Knutpunkt 2009 by Martin Svahn and Johan Nilsson. The big concept for this was that characters would have a chance to go back 10 years in time to change an event that happened to them their senior year of high school. There was a layer of fantasy over everything, but it was thinly draped over a drama over choices about how they lived their lives. I wanted the characters to have obvious archetypes, but still leave room for depth. I also made all the characters non-gender-specific, and left any romantic relations up to the players.

As a side note, I decided to turn away a player around 10 years old who had signed up for the event because she was too young. I should have been much clearer about when an event I have is appropriate for younger players. While there wasn't rape or other explicit stuff written in, I did feel that this was a game for older players - and I should have clearly said so in the description.

From left to right, the players were:

I thought this went very well. We selected characters largely by general agreement based on their name and stereotype. They talked for a while getting back together, and I passed out notes about weird things different people noticed. Then came the event of going back in time, and there was more drama and action - as Ping was badly injured in a cave-in, and they had their supernatural encounter. Then we had a debrief of what happened as they went back forward in time, and wrapped up.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Jun 5 23:44:57 2011