JP On Gaming

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Arcanicon is in the book: Con Review

It seems like forever since I posted. I've been meaning to, but most of the things I am working on these days are "Secret Projects." And teasing you, my readers, for a long time is something I can't do. I have to bring something to the table. Something new and exciting, something to say that is meaningful.

So, after passing over Winter Fantasy, here is my convention report for Arcanicon. This year's convention was held in exotic Detroit, Michigan. All right, all right, not the most exciting of places, but some place that is somewhat central to the population of Arcanis players. As I have been playing Pathfinder a LOT this year.

In the last month (so starting from Winter Fantasy), I have been playing a lot more Arcanis. After having a terrible character for the last while, I am finally beginning to become quite effective. Yes.. almost 4 years later and I am starting to kick some butts... Although I'm a valley girl noble. Like, totally!

So my trip started on Friday morning when I left home roughly the same time I usually do, to teary-eyed daughters and a son going "See ya! Now Action-Five!" The trip was uneventful, 1:30 flight, spoke to a decent fellow from Green Bay throughout.

Now, just so you know... There are three different Holiday Inns that pick up people at the airport. Make sure you ask before you get on, the drivers won't tell you which is which. That's right... I ended up having to endure an hour-long trip there and back to the wrong hotel. Lucky for me, I made it on-time and was able to complete everything before the slot started.

This weekend was ALL about premieres: new adventures that advanced and continued the storyline.

Friday, I played two slots with the same group. I will not go into the adventure details. I will say that the difficulty level for the game has gone from okay/difficult to OHMYGODTHISISRIDICULOUS!!! One of the things about creating new systems is that judging difficulties and balancing challenges and characters with different skill levels. I am quite encouraged that when presented with a situation that mathematically was impossible (I needed to roll a 27+ on 2d10+1d8 to hit while I was "at level")

In the end, we prevailed, but it wasn't easy. Had a lot of fun times with some val'Mordane and a val-hating human. He still doesn't know what his place his...

Really the reason I came to Arcanicon was for the day-long mega adventure, which featured a dungeon exploration, a LARP and a battle interactive all rolled into one. The logistics of it was both staggering and titillating. As a designer and thinker of interactive myself, seeing how they would pull it off is always something that I have wondered. A massive even with people all going through together.

I am happy to report that I adventured with a val'Borda legionnaire, two val'Mehan sorcerers (one of whom could summon two monstrous demons that could both take and smack the snot out of things), a kio priest of Beltine and a mysterious undir soldier claiming affiliation to the Borda family. All under the unfortunate GMing of Edmontonian Cody-H. What a wacky band of crazies we were.

Let's talk situation. The Emerald Society has called to itself many adventurers, scholars and explorers to explore a massive underground complex known as The Vault of Larissa's Lament. For those who don't know Larissa is the goddess of love, pleasures, but also the oracle of the gods. She is thought to have shed a single tear after she looked far into the future. This tear became a gem, now known as the Tear of Larissa's Lament.

I am an avid devoted of Larissa in her most hedonistic aspect. So of course, I had to attend. However, I belong to a group that rivals the Emerald Society, so I did not want the Society to succeed.

The dungeon had five levels, each with about 100 rooms to explore. Some items or events were single-shot, while others could be repeated at each table. While most people simply headed to the bottom of the vault, looking for the coolest items, we explored and strolled through levels 2-5 (level 1 was the deepest level), searching and discovering a lot of awesome loot and bits of story, doing our best to explore areas that had not been covered already.

I managed to find myself a magical sword for Larissan devotees. Really, really awesome! It replaced my customary war fan as my weapon of choice for the rest of the adventure. And I managed to kick a fair amount of rear ends too! We fought mostly ghosts that another player had freed from another room. One we never actually went through. Our table was rather solid in the many checks, and most of those we had to do: Larceny, Linguistics, and knowledges being the most common ones. We had decent skill levels meaning that someone could always succeed. Most of the locks, I was able to unlock by doing a passive (equivalent of a take 10). I must've opened AT LEAST two hundred locks. And when I could not make the checks, I received assistance, which boosted my level even more. So we were able to do a lot without too much worries.

From that. But the challenges within were quite varied and I am glad I had a good table. Because there were quite a few hairy parts. The Battle, where Reaver Dwarves and trolls invaded the plateau where the dig was, had a few tough moments. These guys are tough and we split some of our damage but eventually succeeded in repelling them. I took down one of the casters by myself, to which I squealed in delight. The rest of the fight, I assisted others, and made a nuisance of myself to the baddies. The team did well and we all got out of trouble alive.

If there is one thing that did annoy me about it was the fact that we did not get a final Cert for the event. So right now, I don't know how much XP my character has. Now with the width and quantity of potentially unique items, I was fine with waiting for my cert for a "unique" item.

Listening to the other tables, we managed to get out of it without any curses, without extra phobia (one PC at our table did, but he got it through combat), and without strange character twists and rebuilds.

So. We won!


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