Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beedo At Gencon

Wowzers, the summer is flying by, and here we are less than a month away from Gencon.

I've been to Comicon, Dragoncon, and numerous Colorado cons as a cards or minis gamer, but this will be my first year heading out to Gencon and doing a lot of role playing.  On the DMing front, I'm running a pair of Swords & Wizardry games - The Spire of Iron and Crystal, and an OSRIC 1E adventure - The Obsidian Sands of Syncrates, as well as something for Tower of Gygax (looks like I have a Saturday morning slot).  Running 3 games in 3 days shouldn't be too bad (and Tower of Gygax is only a 2 hour slot). If any readers are in those games (doubtful, but you never know!) be sure to drop a line - would love to put a face with the online avatar.

I plan on spending some time visiting the OSR booth (duh, of course!), Chaosium, Miskatonic River Press, Pelgrane Press, Mongoose, Fantasy Flight Games, and Wizkids - wait a second - it doesn't even look like Chaosium or Miskatonic will be at Gencon.  What the flip - !  Hopefully just missed them in the vendor list.  I'm hoping to get a couple of OSR products in print (I'm looking at you, Anomalous Subsurface Environment).  I want to try the (non-collectible) Fantasy Flight Cthulhu card game.  Over at Pelgrane's booth, I'm looking at either Ashen Stars (their space opera game) or maybe getting the Bookhounds supplement for Trail of Cthulhu.  Do people like reading about other RPGs than D&D?  Just curious, I'm finding there's way more than enough to write about on Dreams in the Lich House just sticking with D&D, so I haven't put up any reviews or notes on Chaosium or Pelgrane games.  Then again, this blog is only 6+ months old.

I need to spend some time ahead of Gencon doing some compare/contrast on a few sci fi games I'm interested in checking out - Mongoose Traveller versus Stars Without Number vs Ashen Stars (the Pelgrane game) - old school sci-fi exploration versus a new school narrative systems  Does anyone have thoughts on the comparison between Mongoose Traveller and Stars without Number?

Similarly, I could see myself picking up a Supers game out there - maybe Icons or Bash.  Once again, time to check out some reviews - opinions welcome.

I'll be prowling the dealer hall, looking for those funny Yahtzee Zocchi dice, some game science dice, and a D30 so I can be one of the kewl old schoolers.  As if that won't keep me busy enough, I'm hoping to have some time to hang in the Heroclix area and push around little plastic superheroes in a few sealed events and drafts.  One of my buddies driving out too will be playing some M:TG, so I could see doing a sealed M:TG event for kicks, as well.

Any readers or fellow bloggers in this neck of the blogging woods going out to Gencon?


  1. Ah. So nice. Wish I could go and play some. I really dig the Spire of Iron and Crystal.

  2. Thanks again for running Obsidian Sands for us!

  3. Cool Beedo, I'll see you there! I haven't signed up for any games but hope to get in on a few. We'll see.

  4. Regarding Mongoose Traveller (MGT) and Stars Without Number (SWN), both are superb games. MGT is one of the better incarnations of Traveller, while SWN is a "retro-clone" of sorts that bakes a very good cake out of the ingredients of Traveller, OD&D and newer sci-fi.

    MGT is a relatively rules-light "conservative" SF game, with the tech assumptions being more in line with 1960's/1970's/1980's sci-fi (Alien and Dune come to mind). If you like both Alien and Dune and their flavour, you'll go into MGT like a fish into water. Note that it was "updated" a little bit to the 2000's with computers no longer a multi-ton affair and cyberware have been added, the tech flavour is still very much quite "conservative". But it is a superb game nonetheless.

    SWN is, as I've already said, a hybrid between Traveller and OD&D, with newer (1990's/2000's) sci-fi flavour (think Andromeda or Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos). It also has some innovative design features such as a very good (IMHO) factions system, semi-narrative world generation and conscious ame-design for sandbox gaming. Everything in SWN is VERY WELL thought-out and designed with a lot of imagination, and the author has taken a fresh look on things that MGT was unable to take because it had to stay true, in a significant degree, to Classic Traveller from 1977.

    The bottom line? If you like circa-1970's sci-fi and want to game in a universe with these assumptions and flavour, choose MGT. If you want newer sci-fi with more innovative tech ideas and built-in sandbox support, choose SWN. If you want to go REALLY faithful to retro-gaming, just buy the 3-books-in-1 Classic Traveller reprint from Far Future Enterprises and party like it's 77'.

  5. Nice comparison, Omer. I love sandbox gaming, but like the class-less approach of old Traveler - since SWN is free, I think I need to check it out ahead of Gencon and then spring for the book.

    @Jonathon - yeah, I'm sure I'll post something before heading out on how folks can get in touch while we're there. I'm hoping to get Felt out there, but he's got nasty work stuff at the beginning of August.