Being as I'm about to head out to the North Texas RPG Con in a couple of days, I'd better get my GaryCon Report Part 2 concluded! ;)
Continuing from my now-too-long-in-the-tooth Part 1 summary, after running my games on Thursday and Friday of GaryCon XIII, I spent most of the rest of the connvention playing in games (Sunday afternoon excepted).
Saturday, 27 March
1-6pm: I played in Les "OblivionSeeker" Reno's "Death Master's Gambit: Dead Men Tell No Tales" AD&D 1e adventure---although they do blackmail with some regularity, it seems. Our PCs will seek to eliminate the blackmail at the source, somewhere in the Wild Coast....
Les crafted a supremely-cool scenario in which our PCs were pulled into a rather Machiavellian plot:
Your recent adventures began in Safeton. Slanarus Zaal, a prosperous merchant, gathered you together. He felt he could trust you. You’d done work for him in the past, and each of you had proven yourselves to be honorable, in your own fashion, and discreet.
Almost a year ago, letters began to arrive at the man’s office under mysterious circumstances. They seemed to *materialize* on the desk or between a ledger’s pages when the man turned his back for a moment or left and locked the room. To the casual reader, the contents would seem banal—details of a journey, as recorded by a business associate; a jesting but flirtatious inquiry from one of the widower’s former lovers; requests for forbearance from some debtor or other. At first, Zaal was irritated by the intrusion and gave little thought to the texts. Then he realized that the letters were all written in the same hand. He studied them and discovered that mathematical calculation based on the date indicated the number and spacing of written characters to be counted, and each letter’s signature revealed the substitution cipher to translate the letters into a message. When some of you expressed surprise at his ability to decrypt the messages, he smiled and told you that merchants whose business involves transportation of goods often must resort to such tactics to avoid unwanted, official attention. What’s more, the letter followed a method he’d adopted early in his career. No one could know the secret, because all those who had shared the knowledge were all dead....
Things merely got more interesting from there, as Les wove that backstory and our explorations into a twisted scenario with multiple layers of deceptions and betrayals afoot! I've attached scans of my notes, pregen PC, and gameplay map (which is as much notes as it is map, too; I had captured 3 stages of the map during our game):
I had a great time playing, and look forward to gaming again with Les (and the other players in the round, in the future! =)
8pm-Midnight: My then 12-year-old-son Henry and I were players in Eli Elder's "The Dream of Oudvarr" for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. This was also great fun, since Henry and I are playing in the game together!
Our PCs entered the mind of an ice-bound sorcerer (what could possibly go wrong!) in order to try to awaken him back into the real world. As you can imagine, the setting, encounters, and game rules/environs grew even-more surreal than ASSH's usual blend of REH, HPL, and CAS! Eli did a great job painting the picture for this dreamy landscape and its inhabitants, including creating some illustrations to show us during the game, which really helped set the scene!:
|Islands - by Eli Elder|
|The Castle - by Eli Elder|
Eli's game was a highlight among so many good games that weekend, and I really encouraged him to try to publish his scenario =)
Sunday, 28 March8am-1pm:
Player in Gaetano LeFavi's "Unhallowed Halls of the Sorcerer King"---we'll be exploring an alt-lair of Acererak's before he settled
into his final digs in the Tomb of Horrors---what could possible go
wrong? (Have you noticed a trend yet? ;) ).
1-5pm: I DM'd Paul Stormberg's "Legends of Roleplaying" tourney again this year, and for 2021 it was "Into the City of Brass" by Rob Kuntz. This is the continuation of the "(To the) City of Brass" tourney I played in 1987 at DragonCon #1, when I first met Rob, so it was a treat to revisit the setting from behind the screen this time!
7-10pm: After wrapping up the tourney, I grabbed a quick dinner, then joined a cornucopia of guests with Jay Scott, Anna Meyer, and Mike Bridges in the "Greyhawk: Ask the Experts & Campaigns" livestreamed seminar. Among the other guests were Denis Tetreault, Eric Boyd, Erik Mona, and Gary Holian (and likely some other folks since I arrived a bit late as I recall). The Sunday seminar has capped-off the Greyhawk track at GaryCon the past two or three years now, which is a tradition I'm enjoying!
I took Monday off from work to recover and rest-up =)
A big Thank You to Luke Gygax, Dave Conant, Skip Williams, and the rest of the GaryCon crew and the volunteer staff for making GaryCon XIII such fun!
And special thanks to Jay Scott who coordinated the Virtual Greyhawk Con-within-a-Con again this year, and made it even more successful than last year's events! =)