JP On Gaming

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Festival Draconis 2022 After Action Report

At the end of February. Yes I know, I'm late with this AAR. I know. So at the end of February, I attended the Festival Draconis. Draconis is a convention in Montreal. With this year's return of the lockdown in the province, the convention was moved from in-person to online. Yay for me!

It also meant that the convention would include French-speakers from Europe.

Friday night, I ran Olympia's Border Aflame which premiered at Gencon last year. I find it fun to run games after they premiered. That is a fun adventure that really presents Kreon. After the game, I stayed and chatted with friends, shout-out to Phil whom I haven't seen since... well... last Draconis!

Saturday, I joined a panel that can best be described as "A Belgian, a Frenchman, a Quebecois, and a Swiss talk about RPGs" We had a great discussion comparing how RPGs functioned in our respective nations. So many similarities despite the differences. The discussion is currently on the Festival Draconis YouTube (check it out here). If you never heard the different accents, it is very entertaining. Robin's Belgian accept, Frank and Sylvain's French accent, and my own Montreal accent contrast sharply in a discussion that was lively and ultimately too short. I felt we could have continued going for hours.

Then came my second panel on officially published campaigns, those large-scale adventures published by Chaosium, Paizo, or WotC. I got to speak about the Masks of Nyarlathotep, a campaign I was lucky enough torun three times. Shout-out to any of my players who may read this. I did not go easy on you and you guy persevered. Well done. (The list is too long to put here). Again this discussion could have gone on for a very long time. You can see it on YouTube.

After that, I joined an in-progress Adventure League game, where I got to play with Francois-L. It was fun to sit on the same side of the screen for once! Having survived and found a treasure - of sorts. It was an adventure taken from the Candlekeep Mysteries. I wanted to play a few of them before decided whether I wanted to run more of them.

For the evening, I was scheduled to run again but had no players. So I jumped into a game of Awfully Cheerful Engine/ACE playing a comedy cop-duo. This was a very odd game where I was a wizard-cop. What we ended up playing was a buddy-cop movie mixed with bad Harry Potter references. My character was an old cop two days from retirement who wanted to enjoy a good cup of coffee. In the end, during the thick of the action, I managed to find new coffee and donuts and not spill anything even when I confronted the head of the Monkey Mafia... It was funny. The system is very light and simple. Perfect for a game of beer-and-pretzel.

Sunday came too early once again... That day was all-play. First another Adventure League where I got to play Igor, Master Strahd's beloved henchman.

For the afternoon, I decided to try Elestria, which is Sylvain's game (I spoke with him in my multi-country chat). The talk made me curious enough to want to give it a go. It is a fantasy game with a lot of unique elements. Element is a correct pun. Characters have strong ties to the elements and can do really over-the-top things by manipulating them. I was an air elemental and could do illusions and the like. It was fun and the story very out there and exciting.

If I have one criticism is that the richness of the universe borders on overwhelming. But I had a great deal of fun.

The final slot of the weekend was one I greatly anticipated: a Victorian-era Call of Cthulhu set in Paris... Oh the excitement. Well... things did not go as well as I wanted. When playing CoC. PLEASE DON'T GO CALLING THE COPS. Our adventure was cut short by one player who couldn't understand that and could not understand to let the other players do their thing, without dragging a dozen NPCs with us.

Too bad, I was really looking forward to it and it put a damper on the weekend a little. However, Maxwell's plot was solid, well-crafted, and interesting. One thing I really thought was unique was that his plot did not end with the destruction of the world or the complete sanity loss of everyone.

Then I participated in the closing ceremonies which is also available on Youtube. There I was joined by many with whom I played with either during the convention, previously or both (shout-out to Francois-L, Marc, Bruno, Phil, and Stephanie). I allowed me to calm down and decompress.

A big thank you to the crew. I really hope to be able to attend in person next time - or participate in the on-line component. Great time.

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