I had the pleasure to be running games at Devacon II a local games convention at the Crowne Plaza, Chester organised by Stephanie McAlea of Stygian Fox publishing.
In the morning Slot I ran FlashingBlades. A published scenario ‘ the Grand Theatre’ and system I know well. The scenario is a romp with rival teams trying to find documents an English spy-thespian has hidden in the theatre while he gives a command performance to a bishop. The players give a choice of musketeers, cardinals guards or the Femme de Force de Frappe (lady spies trained by Milady DiWinter) plumbed for the Cardinals Guards.
I knew two players and two I didn’t seemed a little shy but warmed up quick and got the system (one has experience from back in the day) and soon threw themselves into the Richard Lester Musketeer movie hijinks,
There followed PCs dressing up as spear carriers to search the stage and then finding they had speaking part (and failing to have the line – corpsing themselves and the musketeers on stage in disguise too!) Backstage sword fights. Dodging harpsichords. A temporary truce with the Femmes followed by trying to get them drunk and critical failure on a carousing – whoops – hic! Beating a musketeer to a pulp with a harpsichord leg. Locking tipsy Femmes in a room. A mad dash for freedom. Blunderbuss dodging under a falling carriage. A desperate rearguard action and dash for freedom from the city guards.
Everyone got so in the swing on the things and my face actually hurt from smiling and laughing so hard. I will definitely use the scenario for a con again.
In slot 2 I ran ‘the Liverbird has landed’ a Very British Civil War 1938 scenario for Mercenaries Spies and Privates.
Liverpool Free state agents ( an albertine patrician, an Anglican nun, unlucky Soviet Comintern advisor, mysterious assassin, Lewis gun toting tanker and TUC radio op) parachuted into Cheshire to rescue George Formby – CRIKEY!
I made some improvements from Grogmeet – made better us of wargame minis to show the reality on the ground, dropped sub systems that introduced faff to no advantage and changed the timings so the initial air raid was in daylight to the PCs saw more of the terror.
Again the players where great – I had a pair of players of last years Roy of the Rovers / UNIT game (Glenn makes a very good nun) , a former treasure trapper who knew Peckforton Castle intimately, Orlanth Rex, the bearer of the Spanner of Destiny and one of the more bloodily efficient versions of Maris the Cleaner who did a brilliant turn of auditing the BUF’s cleaning of Peckforton Castle !
A very smooth castle entry with a rather wonderful cover story of being the family’s inspection team combined with a more ‘ commando’ team rescued George. They managed to cause chaos and destruction in equal measure. While many a PC came a cropper at Royal Reconnissance Service paratroopers as they scrambled George onto the evacuation – our Comintern hero taking a bullet for George in the final reel.
Players made for a great game and ran much better than Grogmeet because of some smile changes I made.
The Third Game I ran was Sabeurs and Savants set during the Napoleon led invasion of Egypt with a team of scientists and soldiers set to recover a super weapon. I’m running this at virtual grogmeet on Friday so won’t give too much away but suffice to say we had a great bunch of players and some great interactions . Death, insanity and heroic sacrifice followed – I’m not sure Napoleon will be happy.
There were some Easter eggs from my earlier (and campaign flashing blades) as well as foreshadowing of Pink Gins and Googlies.
There was an excellent vibe on the day and speaking to people about the other games they played / ran they had a good time in all of them.
The conventions good cause was Skyefest fundraising to provide security for a children’s cemetery.