JP On Gaming

Monday, March 22, 2021

After Action Report: Festival Draconis 2021

Fourteen years ago, I attended a small convention in Montreal. I attended mostly for its Living Greyhawk component. It was a good time. I wish I could point you to an AAR from back in those days, but I think I played and was granted a special mission to become one of the Dwarf Queen's handmaiden for Torgga Copperbraids who was a Cleric/Wizard.

Fast-forward to 2021. Living Greyhawk is a distant but cherished memory. However, the convention is still around and I got lucky enough to get invited to run games. Now with the current situation I would not have been able to physically travel to Montreal, BUT that's where the Interwebs come into play.

I offered four games: two Olympia on the Saturday and two Akhamet on Sunday all of them in French. Long story short, the afternoon table of Olympia went off, and the morning table of Akhamet went off. The greatest thing about the table was that I got to play with an old college buddy, Phil-D in both game and ActionMan got to join in on the action, in French.

Now a pleasant surprise I got was after dinner, I came back upstairs (where my mancave is located), a little late for the start of the slot. I did not have much hope for something still being available.

Going through the tables, I joined one where there were a few people, I joined and stepped out when it was Pathfinder 2e. Then I hopped on another one where there were only 2 people.

JP: "You looking for people?"
Both: "YES!"

Turns out the game they were playing is called "Praetoria Prima," a historical game set in Ancient Rome. WHHAAAAAAAAT? How do you think I would be able to stay away?

The setting is during the reign of Emperor Nero (around 60AD). The PCs are part of the Praetoria Prima, a covert operation team whose aim is to protect the Emperor, his household, and the stability of the Rome. Interesting. The game has no supernatural component and plays a very investigative way, much like a Call of Cthulhu.

The system is a modified version of the classic World of Darkness. It is "fine" a little over-clunky but workable. Once you understand how it works, it runs well.

So my Marius Tullius Crassus, a patrician (mix of socialite/ diletante/ and politician) and Neferita, a medica (scientist/ doctor/ philosopher) investigated the death of a man. The plot was pretty expansive and featured quite a few red herrings. However, we found a good way to resolve the situation, allow Nero to save face, and punish the guilty one.

Thank to Fil-de-Crystal for running this an making me discover this game. I will look for it on future cons. The game is no longer available but I learned of an effort to buy it and expand it. I would really like to know where that is going. There is much to be done with this setting and something I would perhaps want to explore.

DAMMIT Another project on the back burner!!!

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