JP On Gaming

Monday, August 13, 2018

Gencon 2018: Part 3: Saturday-Sunday

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


Ahhh, Saturday... My day off! It was my day to play a game I have been doing more and more of these past years: Heroes of Rokugan/ Legend of the Five Rings. Today's multi-slot special started with a LARP.

Now I am very much a terrible LARPer: I look nothing like my characters (unless I play an orc or a troll, which I do not), I have difficulty hearing other people in loud, multi-noise situations (like my mother), and I never remember who the NPCs are and my previous relations to them.

Still, I enjoy playing them very much as I do random things and get to explore elements of my character (who has many, many flaws). It gives me a chance to play and explore the setting and meet a lot of people.

So the set up for this day-long craziness was as such: there is a war between the Crab and Lion clans over some points of honor. The first part, the morning LARP had these two clans seeking allies, along with a number of side-quests including deciding the imperial adviser. It was one of the LARPs I liked best due to the variety of things to do - at least from my own perspective. It was also one of those that featured the most major announcement, such as a reforming of the minor clan alliance, major weddings, and a few minor ones.

As I was playing a Crane, I kept offering to people that they settle this conflict with a contest of ikebana (floral arrangements) but they shut me down. A clash of arms was inevitable... (To be fully honest, I did not expect they would take me up on my offer, but it was worth a shot trying to convince them).

I then did a quick stopover in the dealer hall. I did not want to spend too much. I know, funny ha-ha. I first look over the plan for both Crocodile Games (who make all the Egyptian minis I use for Akhamet) and Privateer Press (I like to get their special promo mini). No croc games on the map. So I head to PP only to be told that they were sold out of the special mini. I wandered the hall a little, first getting my Crystal Caste Promo dice. Next I went to the location Crocodile Games were last year. I stopped by Sea Dog Game Studio, who make 3d printed ships, my eye drawn by a Greek-style ship. Turns out, they were out of them, but I got his card and will be in touch with him later.

Then I reached the far end of the hall where I found Crocodile Games... DANG IT. I got a bunch of Greek and Egyptian packs. After that, I just ran out of the hall, not looking at anything, not stopping, until I was WELL clear of the room.

I stopped by Pathfinder to say hello to my friend Florence and then returned to my car to drop the bag and get some food.

The afternoon was the battle itself. The Crane sided with the Lion clan, so my little shugenja went off to war once again... My team was composed of a mounted Lion bushi, two Mantis (1 water shugenja, 1 brawler bushi), and three Crane (the other two were courtiers wielding bows, and me).

The battle pretty much went as expected: I tried to keep everyone alive and prevent as much fighting and death as possible. But those people really wanted to kill each other. Once again, I suffered from epileptic fits during the fight, which forced me to change clothing during the adventure.

The battle did not go very well for our army. The crab are well-used to fighting in a defensive style and in spite of some initial success, we moved back into the outskirts of battle, with our battlecry: FOR IKEBANA!!!

Funny scene. During the final phase of the battle, our commander told us to withdraw to make sure the army had a place to fall back. Blocking our path out were 3 Hida warriors (massive dudes in heavy armor wielding tetsubo) backed by 2 Hiruma archers (armored archers). Our group was pretty hurt by that time and withdrawal was not a bad order. So I cast a spell that granted me great protection from attack (I did not want to get beat up). The other maneuvered to engage the enemy. I shout at them that I will make sure we can obey our orders and I summon a massive fog covering everyone. I begin running to pass through the enemy line.

And I ran again the following round, exiting the fog, feeling quite happy that I avoided the battle and provided my comrades with a way out. Then the next round, I ran again.

After two rounds of running, I stopped, looking back at the fog cloud and finding myself alone.

As I looked around, I could see Crab infantry moving in that would complete the encirclement and the likely end of our army. At that time, I stopped and called that information to the others, whom I thought may already be dead. Following my last orders, I moved away. A moment later my fellow Crane came out, along with out genso (officer). The other two did not leave.

Why? Both of them had the overconfident flaw and they thought they could beat the enemy, so they stayed and fought on. Both were eventually captured and ransomed home. It ended with both generals facing each other and dying in classic samurai fashion.

In the end, my plan was to promote peace within the empire, and I manage to participate meaningfully in a battle without dealing a single point of damage to the enemy. While never a very offensive-minded spellcaster, I was able to protect my people enough that I gave all of them a way out, had they not been overconfident and insisted on staying behind.

After that, I engaged in the worse mistake of the con.

Since it was barely 9pm, I was approached by others to play one of the adventures leading up to the events I just played (remember, I've been GMing throughout Gencon...) So I signed up. It seems everyone was just getting food and we'd start. We used the opportunity to talk about this and that. Took part in an interested debate about a number of socially touchy subjects. Debating and arguing with people with different perspective on issues is something I've been doing forever and that I rather enjoy.

Ten o'clock came by and I said "well guys, I can't wait any longer, I have to GM in the morning and therefore, I have to leave." Just then our GM returned from fetching food and so we set up. It took another 45 minutes before we were ready to go.

The game was good, Phil did a great job, but we took the wrong adventure. At 3AM, I decided I had to go. There was a lot of diplomacy left to do and I just had to sleep. Remember, I had a game at 8...

So I drove on home, found myself stuck in a police-induced traffic jam but finally crashed.


I had already been up a good portion of Sunday... The sleep took the edge off and I was functional and active for my game. It was great to see a number of repeat customers from the year before AND from the rest of the con.

I ran the second Akhamet adventure, Dying of the Day which featured characters from either the Akhamet iconics OR the Mythic Greek iconics, creating a fun mix. I ended up with four Akhameti characters, one Greek, and one Idelgo from Rhym (he played him last year and wanted to play him again). It is a naval adventure filled with interesting role-play opportunities featuring an NPC not-so-loosely based on Zap Branigan...

The game over, I handed in all my paperwork, said my goodbyes to everyone and hopped back into my car.

The trip back was difficult. Not having slept well the previous night... Let's not do this again. I did drink a LOT of coffee and sweet stuff to stay awake, got home and crashed.

Gencon was over. I was home safe. I was ready for more.

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