ShaCon

I know I’m behind on writing up that last session of the Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign but thought I’d post a quick update about the convention I was at last weekend: ShaCon. For reasons best known only to themselves, the organisers had invited me to be a Guest of Honour. I was going to attend anyway so, why not? Seriously, thanks to Glen, Paul and Tony for the invite, it’s nice to be appreciated.

I ran three different games over the weekend: Robin of Sherwood, Escape from the Steel Tomb, and Ming’s Alive!. Two of these feature in a bonus episode of The Wild Die Podcast and the guys are very generous with their feedback.

For myself, I really enjoyed ShaCon, although I was a little disappointed in some aspects of the games I ran. My convention report posted on UK Role Players is copied below:

The benefit of a car meant I was checked in and in the bar fairly early. I’d already checked out the real ale offerings via the wonders of the internet but was pleasantly surprised to see my ShaCon logo starring back at me at the bar. Thankfully, it had been attached a really nice session ale so that was me sorted for the night (also thankfully, I didn’t see the Honey Jack Daniels until Saturday night!) Unfortunately, I do recall everything I said that evening so, pebsie, if you’re reading this…

Anyway, onto the games:

Saturday morning: Robin of Sherwood/Sherwood (me). I got to go a bit prop heavy with this one, wheeling out some of my old metal minis that haven’t seen the light of day in years! The plot centred on a plot to resurrect the evil Baron Simon de Belleme. Sir Guy of Gisbourne was suitably despatched, Herne the Hunter was equally confusing, and a castle (Nottingham) was snuck into. Strange magicks attempted to trick and beguile but the Hooded Man and his Merry Men won the day. The scenario was a little short mainly because what I had thought would be a couple of hard-fought encounters turned out to not to be so hard due to the clever thinking of the players. Still, fun was had and the players seemed to enjoy themselves.

Saturday afternoon: Escape from the Steel Tomb (me). This was a re-run of a scenario I ran at Seven Hills 2015. When the pre-signups were released I noticed that one of the players had played before, so I quickly worked out a little more, turning the scenario into a bit of a sandbox, where the heroes could investigate the strange island they had landed on. Unfortunately, I forgot Rule 1: No scenario survives contact with the players. Given the obvious route of attempting to escape the island, exploration was dismissed as an unnecessary diversion. This session did provide me with one of the most gung-ho interpretations of the stern matron character that I’ve come across however. Again, this scenario ran short, in the main because the players went straight from A to C and then onto F ignoring the other letters completely.

Saturday evening: The Jarl’s Call/Hellfrost (ragr). A chance for me to play in a Hellfrost game for the first time! It’s one of my favourite fantasy settings but I’ve only ever run it before. I was the grizzled veteran in service to the Jarl and not entirely sure about the companions that had been forced upon him. I disagree with ragr’s own report in that I think the level of information was fine, we may have just over thought things a little. Still, I really enjoyed it and the Hellfrost feel came through very well.

Sunday morning: Ming’s ALIVE!/Slipstream (me). Shock! Horror! A convention scenario from me that ran to time! Before the convention, this was actually the one scenario I was most worried about as I didn’t think it had enough in it. Part of that did come to fore though as scenes that I’d plotted to allow certain characters to shine weren’t needed (thanks to some strategic use of Adventure Deck cards by the players). I even ran out of Bennies at one point! That is, the physical token I give the players! And I started with 50!!! Every cliche from the films was used, with personal highlights being thenovalord’s pitch perfect impersonation of Prince Vultan and the way that Summer Gordon’s player’s dice constantly exploded (sorry, I don’t know her forum username (if she has one) and I’m not keen on posting real names without permission). Loved this session, especially how the players went with the genre even to the extent of killing Ming in such a way that he could come back again ;)

Sunday afternoon: Winter is Coming/Hellfrost (Evilgaz). Another chance to play in some Hellfrost. This time I was the elderly archaeologist who had let his mouth run off and ended up in the Frozen North trying to prove a point. Not the best person to have in a fight–and it showed. It didn’t stop him getting all brave on occasion though, even to the extent of, foolishly, charging a hydra armed with just a dagger! Thankfully, his more combat-oriented allies came to his rescue – more than once and we were victorious. Another Hellfrost game that oozed the setting – and I got a Benny from Gaz! :o

Overall, a great convention – although I was absolutely shattered when I got home. If it’s run again, I’ll be there 8)

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