Monday, June 21, 2010

[Cons] Go Play Northwest: After Convention Report

Go Play Northwest happened in Seattle, June 18th thru the 20th. This was the fourth Go Play NW in Seattle and the first that I attended. While I only went on Friday and Saturday, it was a great convention. I was very satisfied with the games I played, all the gamers were very friendly and welcoming, and they came from all over - I met gamers from Victoria, British Columbia, Sacramento, California, and Boston, Massachusetts.

The venue was Richard Hugo House, a literary arts place in a Victorian mansion on the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. There was plenty of room for all the games, with multiple rooms upstairs, a theatre with room for gaming tables and a couple of rooms downstairs.

Friday started with a Feast that included a delicious salad, baked chicken in a mushroom and wine sauce, spinach and ricotta stuffed giant pasta shells, fruit kebabs, garlic mashed potatoes and homemade game-inspired desserts. All of it was delicious but, unfortunately, I don't remember the names of the desserts.

I ate dinner with gamers from California, Colorado and British Columbia. We had a great time, talking about games, where we're from, favorite restaurants, the sights of Seattle, and why they traveled so far to come game in Seattle - to have fun!

After the Feast, I played a game of Mist-Robed Gate with 7 other players, set in the last days of Atlantis. During the game, two PCs were killed by two other PCs (we tied with the Mountain Witch game on PC deaths but we beat them with the deaths by an hour or so). We ran out of time for the final act but everything up to that point was going straight to hell in a hand basket. I really enjoyed learning the system and throwing out ideas for the setting and the scenes.

On Saturday, my friend KM joined me and we arrived early, checking out the game board for the day. A week before the convention started, I had signed us up for the Leverage RPG by Margaret Weis Production for the first session of the day, figuring that having one set game would be good and we'd get into pick-up games for the rest of the day.

We were joined in the Leverage game by a gamer from Boston, C. The GM, B, used the Quickstart Job and KM, new to gaming, played Elliot, I ran Parker and Nate, and Hardison and Sophie were played by C. The game went really well and I am definitely going to be purchasing this game when it comes out.

After lunch at Dick's Drive-In, a Seattle landmark, we ran into PA and talked with him for a bit about GenCon and WotC (though I forgot to ask if he'd used 4th ed. D&D for his home campaigns). He was running Free Market by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen for the next session but it was all full. Since he had an opening in the third session of the day, he offered to run Free Market for KM and me if we were interested. Oh, yes, we were!

For the second session of the day, I ran a game of Sorcerer using my Escape from New York setting. It went very well, but I find that Sorcerer is a better game for long term play so that we can explore the loss of Humanity and the Needs of the Demons, while the PCs are doing their crazy things. With that in mind, the game was still a success.

During a break, I picked up copies of the Gun Thief by Joe McDonald (of the blog Buried without Ceremony) and the Dreaming Crucible by Joel Shempert (Story by the Throat! Press) for 5 bucks each. What a steal! I've only read over the Gun Thief so far but I look forward to the Dreaming Crucible.

KM and I met up with PA for the third Saturday session and we were joined by G, an excellent gamer who's a sophomore at the University of Washington. We spent about an hour putting together characters and situations for Free Market and it was awesome.

Since death wasn't permanent in Free Market, I played an assassin and mortician, named Mental Image of a Pretty Rainbow and Unicorn ("Rain" for short), who offered a killing and a funeral service, KM's PC Stromboli was the face/promo man and the third PC was in charge of the vids of the event. We called our MRCZ, our company, Phoenix Ritual Rebirth, LLC, with the motto: "A New Day, Tomorrow."

Phoenix Ritual Rebirth, LLC, was hired by Stromboli's cousin Barry to perform a ritual murder involving torture and then the following funeral services. Unfortunately, it all goes to crap but we managed to pull our butts out of the fire. Free Market is a very interesting system, using cards based on specific categories on your character sheets to determine success. I think that this is another game that I'm going to get.

Because of scheduling constraints, I was only able to attend Friday and three sessions on Saturday, so I don't know what happened on Sunday. However, if these two days is any indication, Sunday was just as good.

I thoroughly enjoyed Go Play NW and plan to attend in the future. I hope they return to Hugo House, because it was totally awesome, and the caterer for the dinner was excellent - another must-keep for next year. Thanks to the convention coordinator and it was wonderful meeting all the gamers present. See you next year!


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