Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MidSouthCon 2017 - Day 3

MidSouthCon 2017 continues! If you missed the previous posts, here they are:

Dungeon World

My third and final RPG of the con was Dungeon World. It was also the third time trying a game I'd never played--which is usually my goal! The session was called "The Great Below," and because of the way it felt and the fact that I can't find an adventure of that title online, I suspect our GM wrote it himself. Which impresses me, because it was a fun one.

I got to play a bard (my favorite fantasy class), and my wife was a cleric. One player was a thief (and my character's best friend), and the other was a custom "psion" class. The adventure had a fantasy feel but in a post-apocalyptic setting--and as a fan of Numenera and Mutant Crawl Classics, I like that quite a bit. I got to make enemies attack each other, which I chose to do because that's what my wife did to great effect in our Rifts game. Our party worked well together, and at the climax of the adventure we had control of a giant robot ape.

I forgot to take any photos, so boo on me. Try to picture a giant robot ape.


I had forgotten to bring anything to ask Keith Baker to sign on day 1, but for the rest of the con I wagged around two items. On Sunday, I spotted him again, and he kindly signed my games. (You might be thinking of pointing out to me that I could have found him in one of his panels, but I kept too busy this year playing games to make it to any of those.)


Cthulhu Fluxx

Later, in the art gallery, I met artist guest of honor Matt Stawicki at his corner of the room. He was also amazingly friendly, and added his signature to my copy of The Strange, along with those of the other creators I've met so far. In fact, so did Cathy Wilkins, who was there too! Double artist greatness!

I was interested to learn that Matt's favorite world in The Strange is the biomechanical world of Ruk, because he likes the bizarre setting.

More Board Games

We squeezed in three more board games on Sunday, too.

Battle Sheep is a kid-friendly game in which players alternate placing land-masses and then try to fill the most space with their own sheep using simple movement rules. It was fun, and didn't take too much brainpower. (At the time we played it, that was a plus.)

Roll For the Galaxy is a cool-looking dice-based worker placement strategy game. The players are competing to create the most powerful empire. I wanted to love this game, but my two fellow players and I couldn't reach the top of the learning curve before frustration made at least one of us lose interest. I'd still like to give it another try sometime. I like the space setting and the use of many, many dice.

Exposed is another kid-friendly game where each player is a pickpocket. Nobody knows at the start who the other players are, and you're trying to collect the most wallets without being identified.

Con Complete!

And so we come to the end of another successful MidSouthCon! I played more games than usual, and spent less than usual, so I call that win-win!

Monday, March 27, 2017

MidSouthCon 2017 - Day 2

MidSouthCon 2017 continues! If you missed the previous post, here's a link: Day 1.

Savage Rifts

My first stop on day 2 was my first game of Savage Rifts. As I mentioned last year, I backed this Savage Worlds edition of Rifts on Kickstarter, and read the books as soon as they arrived at my house--but this was my first opportunity to play.

It was great fun! Our characters were dog boys of different types in a biker gang. (Mine was a crazy poodle who thought he was a cat.) The adventure was "Meet the New Boss" from Savage Foes of North America. My dog boy, Felix, went out in a blaze of glory saving townsfolk from a collapsing building. (Full disclosure, our team member collapsed the building.)

Escape the Room

My second game of the day was a board game we checked out from the library, Escape the Room. It's a tabletop recreation of an escape room experience. It was fun, but there's just about zero replayability to this one.

Feng Shui 2

My other RPG on day 2 was another first for me, Feng Shui 2. The adventure was "Red Packet Rumble," and I had fun playing as the Scrappy Kid. I documented my favorite attacks in this stylish Hong Kong action cinema game (in this case set at a wedding):
  • flying kick to the face (success!)
  • somersault toward a mook ending in splits at his feet to deliver a punch to the crotch (fail!)
  • sweep the legs since I couldn't reach the crotch (fail!)
  • drown a mook in the punch bowl (fail!)
  • throw a mook into the groom's cake (fail!)
  • whip cupcakes at a mook to soften him up for a flying kick into the buffet (fail!)
  • bash a new target with a serving platter (success so solid it took out a second mook!)

Feng Shui 2's action tracker

In the end, this session was OK-but-not-great, though I may save the details for a post about that topic later. The Feng Shui 2 system, though, I really like.


I hesitate to call mine a costume, since it's only made of a few parts and a prop, but this year I accessorized my new ultra-long Doctor Who scarf with some other wardrobe elements to represent the 4th Doctor.

TARDIS provided by a skilled builder at the con

Here were my favorite costume-related moments from the con:

  • An older lady gave me a heartfelt "Thank you!" (I assume she meant for representing the classic series, but it's possible she just appreciated me moving out of her way.)
  • A young man simply nodded and said, "Doctor."
  • Someone said, “I’ve always wanted a scarf like that. I just never made the time to make one.” (I wasn't sure how to answer that one. Neither have I? Also, he never actually complimented mine, so...)
  • A vendor excitedly told me about his favorite Doctor (#7)
  • And, my favorite: a young girl passing me simply said "Nice."

During my Time Lord adventures at the con, I also met one of my future selves, #8...

...and even ran into my mirror image!

This fellow was devastated that he'd forgotten
his wig and scarf, but he still looked amazing!

Here are some other costumes I liked (and got close enough to capture)...

So happy I found a Ghostbuster! 


As an admitted dice addict, I must confess to purchasing a set of dice within half an hour of entering the dealer's room. Much later, between games, I bought the Doctor Who 10th Doctor Sourcebook (adding him to my other favorite Doctors, #4 and #1) and a Gloom Expansion (in honor of Keith Baker).

Here's my favorite vendor. (Also, not coincidentally, the only one selling roleplaying games.)

Coming Soon: The MidSouthCon 2017 Finale!

Friday, March 24, 2017

MidSouthCon 2017 - Day 1

Here are some highlights from the first day of MidSouthCon 2017.


My con experience got off to a great start with a game of Gloom moderated by its designer, gaming guest of honor Keith Baker himself! Keith led two tables of Gloom, alternating between our table and a neighboring one. They chose Fairytale Gloom and we (ok, *I*) chose the new Gloom in Space!

For my crew I assembled Team Adorable: The Farmboy, The Kid, The Cute One, and The Robot. In the finest Gloom tradition, all of them died miserably.

Action Cats

Because we finished Gloom a little early, Keith invited us to try out a new game he's testing out, Action Cats! It is fan-tastic!

Reminiscent of games like Cards Against Humanity, in each round of Action Cats one player is the judge and the other players compete to put together the funniest phrase. In this case, the phrase is intended to describe the pictured cat.

Keith had the judge name the cat who was the subject of each round. A different cat is on the back of each card. In our game, this was Kitty Conway...

These were the contenders for one round.

Keith said he plans to Kickstart the game later this year.

Board Gaming

We finished out day one by sampling some games from the board game library. It's been a long day, so I don't remember their names. Here's a shot of the room:


Here are a few of the cool costumes I saw today. I expect to see much more tomorrow, as they ramp up for the costume contest.

More to Come on Day Two!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kickstarter Watch: A Strange Box

Similar to what they did for Numenera in late 2014, Monte Cook Games has launched a Kickstarter to fund a deluxe box set for their RPG "The Strange." It's the same content as the original game, just repackaged and put into an attractive box with some extra goodies.

My favorite thing about this is the way it breaks out the core rulebook into four specialized books: the Player's Book, GM Book, Setting Book, and Adventure Book. Perfect for sharing! Also for carrying only the section of rules I'm currently studying in my backpack, for when I'm creating at lunchtime.

As is usual for a Monte Cook Games Kickstarter, the stretch goals have already added a lot of value to the project. Here are some highlights:

  • 6 illustrated pregenerated characters
  • 2 cardstock character creation guides
  • a $10 MCG gift card
  • 2 PDF products added to the content of the GM's book
  • an art book
  • a rules reference cheat sheet
  • a notebook and pencil
  • dice!
  • a new deck of cards called "The Strange Deck"

I'm in! This Kickstarter closes on March 17.

A Strange Box on Kickstarter

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kickstarter Watch: Tales of the Warrior Princesses

Tales of the Warrior Princesses (on Kickstarter through March 9) looks like a great idea for an RPG book on its own, but when you add the fact that my friend Darcy Ross contributed to it, that takes it up to 11!

The project is funding two books: Warrior Princesses in the Realm of Everafter (a revised edition of a 5e setting book focused on fairy tale heroines) and Tales of the Warrior Princesses (a new adventure book focusing on each of the princesses).

Darcy co-wrote one of the adventures in Tales of the Warrior Princesses (with Rebekah McFarland), and she described the book like so:

TotWP is a book of adventures for D&D 5th Edition, with pregenerated characters ("Warrior Princesses") that are reminiscent of classic and modern fairy tale princesses that are D&D-ified and badass in all sorts of ways. Pulling from these familiar stories and characters makes the game pretty easily accessible, and the world is a lovely playground of different fairytale settings with their characteristic Big Bads wreaking havoc across the world.

Though I haven't been able to see the actual product yet, this looks like the kind of thing that would make me like a D&D game--a fairytale feel plus a focus on feminine protagonists.

Take a look at this cover mock-up...I may have to spring for the hardcover! It's a beauty.

Tales of the Warrior Princesses (Kickstarter)