Monday, October 20, 2014

Convention Report: Game Con South Bend

October 18th marked the return of Game Con South Bend, which was held at the Century Center in South Bend, IN. This was the first time I was aware of a gaming convention in South Bend since getting interested in RPGs, so I was extremely excited to attend and run a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics.

The convention was a small affair, but seemed to be well-attended for the relative size. There were a ton of people playing card games throughout the day and the Artemis booth seemed to be getting a lot of attention. The wargaming tables weren't very busy but the boardgame and RPG tables had a good number of people hanging out at all times.

There were a handful of vendors, including two local-ish game publishers, a booth selling general nerd supplies and games, and Impact Miniatures, which took much more of my money than I expected to spend. I grabbed a handful of funky dice (including three of their Roman numeral d3s and the new non-caltrop d4 design), a chibi Cthulhu mini and a copy of Impact City Roller Derby, which I had wanted to kickstart but couldn't afford at the time.

How could I resist this little guy?
I went hoping to play a session of the new Star Wars RPG, but when the GM was a no-show, I joined a session of Baker Street, the upcoming Sherlock Holmes RPG coming from Fearlight Games. It was my first investigative game and was a lot of fun. The system places an emphasis of deduction and logic when examining clues and leads. It seems to strike a good balance between games like GUMSHOE, who give you all of the clues upfront, and Call of Cthulhu, who gives you clues if you made the roll.

While at the convention I was able to meet and chat with two people I had only previously interacted with on Google Plus. It was pretty cool meeting these people IRL, and almost surreal to talk about G+ things with someone in the same room.

At 6:00 I ran my game of "The Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine" in Dungeon Crawl Classics. It was attended by two teenagers in Homestuck cosplay and one of my fellow G+'ers. I had fun and didn't suffer any of the anxiety I was expecting. It probably helped having a semi-familiar face and two weird kids, because I didn't feel the pressure to live up to the expectations of some hardcore roleplayer. The scenario went pretty well and resulted in only one PC death, although another did become completely infected and remained in the cave waiting for food.

The only big boo-boo I committed during the game was forgetting to allow Fortitude saves to avoid infection. I feel bad about that, but then again the kid sent his warrior screaming into melee with a pile of four worm tumours. Infection was going to happen no matter what and stupidity should be punished.

I had lowered my expectations for Game Con South Bend based on the patchwork of sites used to promote it and the general lack of communication coming from the organizers even up to the day of the con, but I think it really went off very well. It was a good way to spend a Saturday in South Bend and I look forward to next year.

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