JP On Gaming

Monday, March 30, 2015

MidSouthCon After-Action Report

(Meant to post this last week)

Two weekends ago, I travelled to Memphis for MidSouthCon 33. This was the first con I was to attend in Tennessee and I was looking forward to it.

I happened to learn of the con through my friend Geri who was posting having an extra free pass and no one to give it to. I asked and she agreed to give one to me.

So Friday morning, I drove down interstate 40 to Memphis. I arrived just in tmie for the 2pm game slot. After a little bit of a scramble, I got myself a seat at a PFS table.

I won't give a play-by-play, but let me give a few highlights (and low-lights).

Perhaps the best slot I got to play was a Shadowrun Mission. I didn't use to like the system too much, but like a lot of things, it is growing on me. The missions are fun, exciting and always generate so much laughter. My character, Ralph is such a fun character to play. I'm starting to get the hang of this magic thing as I summon more and more things. It's really fun.

For those who don't know, Ralph (Boogerman) is based on Dave Chapelle's crack-addicted character, Tyrone. He's always out of money and looking for his next hit or something to decorate his box. Yep, he lives in a box "somewhere near here". He's bumming smokes, begging and asking for stuff from his fellow runners.

I was able to play PFS: Search for the Sky Key Part 1, 5-99 The Path we choose, Of Kirins and Krakens, and the Year 6 special.

I will say I was particularly disappointed with 5-99. I expected something interesting, but all we got were a series of mindless thug fights that meant even less than I expected. Too bad the plot was poorly designed. It could have been so much more, so well done. Of all the PFS mods, I was expecting so much... It did not deliver.

By the same token, I must add that the year 6 special was one of the best for PFS. It has a nice twist, good writing, and some interesting fights. I really enjoyed that one, above and beyond all the previous ones.

So one good, one crappy. I got out okay...

I also joined in on a midnight madness event of a strange WoD mod world. The GM was had created a world where gods had fallen and had been separated from their or worlds. They came to Earth and bred with humans. She explained the archetypes and base characters, they some depth and each had a strangeness/ uniqueness about them. I ended up with the BDSM-obsessed race, another got a race where they only reproduced with immediate siblings *shudders*. We had a lot of laughs over that one.

I can honestly say that I did not enjoy the event, and was happy to call it early. Why?

The GM committed a few cardinal sins of GMing at a con, IMO.

   -  She did not have character sheet ready to go
   -  She gave us her home group's characters to play, complete with their mini stories
   -  The story made no sense to use un-initiated to her world
   -  Two hours of constant fighting or listening to her download game world information

It was just too much. I could see the flashes of brilliance and a very interesting setting that it was. However, con get should get to the point, fast. It started: an NPC was kidnapped, we teleported and started fighting right away. No investigation. Plus this other super-powered NPC came with us and blasted the crap out of the villains. I really wanted to enjoy this, but I could not. When the GM started talking about "con games are all about combat", I would not handle another 2h of that, so I was on my way out. Oddly enough, neither of the other players disagreed.

Such is the luck of the draw. I'm sure the home game version is MUCH more fun and interesting.

After all of this, where does that leave me? I was quite pleased with my trip to Memphis. Some games were good, some less so, but I got to meet a number of Tennessean gamers and really enjoyed myself. While the adventures might've sucked, the people I played with were good, entertaining and we had a lot of laughs, the GMs were quite good (I was impressed by the level of the PFS GMs)

So pat yourself on the back, Memphis. I will very likely be back next year! That time with some Legacies...


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