DundraCon 2005

         I first went to Dundracon in 2005. It was surprisingly large, to me. It has been around for multiple decades, and has an established following. I submitted three events to run for DundraCon 2005: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer event called "Split Decision", a Conan OGL event called "Brawny Thews", and a Paranoia XP event called "Bill & Ted's Heinous Mission". Of these, only the Paranoia adventure was accepted. That was a first for me -- every other con was glad to have as many GMs as they could get. My Paranoia event had over twice as many people trying to get in as I had slots. I had some organizational issues with the con. They enforced a strict cutoff for submitting to events, and yet posting of event registration results was extremely slow. Then again, I've never run a con, so what do I know. The events that I attended were:


"The Queen of Spades"

Game system:

Parlor Larps

Start time:

FRI, 8:00pm

Category:

LARP
Duration:
4 Hours

Event ID:

141

Location:

157

# of Players:

8

GM / Judge:

J. Li

Description:

Marissa Islington is a powerful and ruthless woman with almost as many enemies as criminal connections. A group of these enemies wake to find themselves trapped on a boat in the middle of nowhere with each other, a suspicious letter and of course Marissa herself. Nobody knows how they got there or what will become of them when morning comes. As the night goes on, murder will be committed and secrets revealed. Everybody has a motive and a past they thought they'd left behind.
Complexity:Simple    Experience: None

     This was a pretty cool event by Shifting Forest Storyworks and run by J Li. It was a rather forced mystery somewhat in the style of Agatha Christie -- with a seemingly implausible setup to put eight suspects together. However, it worked pretty well. She publishes a series of these parlor larps, and from what I've seen I highly recommend them.


Seminars

     I attended several seminars at Dundracon, mostly because Ken Hite was there and I hadn't caught up with him in ages. (We had known each other from U of Chicago undergrad days ages back.) I went to two:

Unfortunately, I didn't take good notes and particularly after the whirlwind of RPG theory that was Knutepunkt 2005, I find it difficult to accurately remember the points made. World building had an emphasis on genre and flavor, but Ken pointed out that theme per se had no place in it -- i.e. theme should come from the story of the game, not be pre-written into the background. The GM tips were something of a grab-bag. My discussions with Ken afterwards were more interesting.


Conflict at Imbolc

Game system:

World of Darkness

Start time:

SAT, 10:00am

Category:

RPG
Duration:
4 Hours

Event ID:

222

Location:

166

# of Players:

6

GM / Judge:

Aaron James

Description:

The Winter and Autumn courts of the fae are faced with a tragic reality - the fae are a dying race and humans are to blame. Representatives of the Shadowlords and Silverfangs have been sent to discuss the common interest of subjucating humans and removing them as a threat. Also invited are representatives of rogue factions that hold similar beliefs. This RPG is directly linked to the Wyld Coast Imbolc LARP in which these characters will attempt to sway others to their cause.
Complexity:Simple    Experience: None

This was a Changeling event using heavily modified house rules for resolution -- replacing dice with a card-draw system which could be used for LARP. I played "Jack O'Chains", a Summer fey who had been cursed with chains that wrapped around him. The game was largely posturing and characterization, sort of a workshop or preparation for the evenings larp rather than a dramatic event in itself. The PCs were all fey from the Autumn and Winter courts, who were preparing for a large gathering of all fey at a meeting which would decide the future of a peace treaty among all the courts.

There was some confrontation, though. An amusing note, we had (out-of-game) a walk-in observer who tried to just sit in and eat some of our candy. For a bribe of candy, we got him to take a role as a ghost sent as a spy on the other courts, who were playing in another nearby hotel room. This of course sparked a confrontation when he was found, and they all came by to challenge us. So we started early with feeling out the nature of the peace treaty negotiations. I couldn't play in the larp because I was running my own game at that time, but it seemed like it could be fun.


Bill & Ted's Heinous Mission

Game system:

Paranoia XP

Start time:

SAT, 10:00am

Category:

RPG
Duration:
6 Hours

Event ID:

407

Location:

381

# of Players:

6

GM / Judge:

John Kim

Description:

You are new recruits fresh from troubleshooter school in Sector DMS (pronounced 'dee-mess'). Suddenly, you are assigned to a suici... er, highly important mission to capture two bizarre strangers who have appeared in Alpha Complex -- told only that you must succeed and capture them alive, or the 'timeline' of the Computer itself is in danger.
This is an amusing romp in classic Paranoia style, with twisted time travel to boot.
Complexity:Simple    Experience: None

This was my event. It went pretty well, but it ran into a consistent problem with comedy (especially improv comedy) -- that it is tough to do endings. I had run this a few times before (as earlier edition Paranoia) -- two times with friends, and once at a convention many years ago. I had prepared the update to XP edition and played it again with four friends. Basically, with four friends it was fairly easy to improv a good ending. With six strangers it proved more difficult. Still, it was a very strong concept in my opinion, with good characters and loaded with gags. I think everyone was pleased though a bit bewildered at the ending.


Original Thoughts

Events I was interested in:

Fri Eve:
 * 8PM (4hrs)  The Queen of Spades LARP: mystery on a boat, Room 157
 - 8PM (6hrs)  Ants with Attitude: Army Ants tabletop, Room 159

Sat Mor: 
 * 10AM (4hrs)  Conflict at Imbolc: World of Darkness

Sat Aft:
 - 12PM to 6PM  Seminars with Ken Hite, Room 157

Sat Eve:
 - 8PM (6hrs)  Bill & Ted's Heinous Mission

Sun Mor:
 - 10AM (8hrs) The Sign of the Four: Forgotten Futures
 - 10AM (8hrs) Shipwrecked: Storyboard

I didn't end up going to any events on Sunday. I was leaving the country early Monday morning (to Knutepunkt 2005 in Norway), and I needed the time to catch up and pack.

 


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Mon Mar 14 23:16:11 2005