HelgaCon Highlights

I was simply too exhausted last night to post anything about HelgaCon, and now at work may have little time time to really post in earnest here.  So instead, here are some very high level high and low lights of the convention for me.  I’ll post in more detail about individual items later.

High Points:

  • Got to game with awesome people that I don’t get to game or even see nearly enough.  Really, the people totally make this gathering.  It’s like skimming the cream of a regular convention into a highly concentrated gaming experience.  No, it’s even better than that, because unlike most convention go-ers these people are also my personal friends.  Someone at the convention rather aptly called it a “convention of gamers who know Paul.”  Yeah, pretty much.
  • Continued slow but steady growth.  I love sharing this experience with as many friends as I can, and nothing says that they’re also having a great time like seeing more faces each year.  It’s a slow rate (about 1 person per year), but this gathering is definitely getting bigger over time.
  • I never rolled so many natural 20’s in a game as Delta’s running of G2.  It was truly awesome, and his rules for critical hits (victim gets a Save vs. Death to avoid) really helped keep them even-keeled and exciting.  It may be dumb luck, but having so many fail to critical and then having the final one succeed was really exciting.
  • I love helping to play-test book of war, rather than just sending largely academic feedback after reading Delta’s written work.  I wish I got to play more, but having the break between games in the morning was very nice and I was happy to have the opportunity to sneak in a shower.
  • It is very easy to run a successful skaven WFRPG game, as really 90% of the fun is letting the players roleplay the skaven interacting with each other.  All you need to provide is a little scenery and a few problems to surmount and the players do all the work.  Well done guys.
  • Getting to play alongside Delta is a rare treat (gosh, I played an awful lot of games with Delta this year), and playing alongside Delta on Saturday night when both of us are suffering from extreme sleep deprivation is absolutely hilarious.  Thanks so much to BigFella for running his excellent Arabian Nights themed sandbox again this year, and extra thanks for actually saving our characters from last year.  If the stars don’t align next year for a third go at this I will be very sad.  I may have to put something into the scheduling system to allow a preference for playing alongside another player.
  • The food was delicious.  Thank you so much to all the meal coordinators.
  • The house was very well situated for the gaming.  Three separate play spaces each with closing doors to keep out the noise of the other games was perfect.  I don’t think the house we used last year would have been as good about supporting three simultaneous games.

Low Points:

  • While the gaming space was better, the sleeping space was worse.  The beds were really crammed into the rooms with little space for much else.  Some of the rooms were above the garage and you had to go outside and through the creepy garage to get to them.  The room we stayed in was also separate from the main house and very cold.
  • Insomnia when you’re already sleep deprived is just infuriating.  I’m sure it was due to a silly combination of anxiety and excitement.  Thank goodness Jenn was there this year to calm me down when I couldn’t get to sleep at 3:00 AM on Saturday.  Next year I’m solving this with chemistry.  Jenn recommended Advil PM.  Any other advice would be welcome.
  • Wish I got to play some more Book of War.  Delta is a lucky man to have a GF willing to play it with him regularly.  I wonder how I might convince Jenn to play.
  • Big AD&D tournament was fun, but Sunday morning was probably not the best time for it.  The double time constraint of the tournament itself and of letting everyone go home at a reasonable time would seem to be a nice match, but I thought it felt very frenetic especially at the end.  I guess I would have liked a little more time afterward to chat about it with the players.
  • Also, should have brought my DMG.
  • Soap and shampoo would have also been nice to pack.  How did I manage to forget both?  Thanks to everyone who loaned me the necessaries.

OK, that’s the weekend in a nutshell.  I will discuss individual games in greater detail next.  Now though, I really must get to work.

3 thoughts on “HelgaCon Highlights

  1. You might be able to get me to try Book of War – it DID look interesting, and not insanely complicated. But you’ll have to wait until we move!

  2. (a) The convention was awesome!! Totally share all your sentiments; I’ll skip just restating them all. 🙂
    (b) Firing back 20’s in response to your 20’s was truly an awesome gaming experience!
    (c) My biggest glitch was definitely making the BOW tourney game too big to fit in the 3 planned games. I have got to remember that. That said, it’s really useful that I got to see a big-league game get run.
    (d) On the cold-room issue, if we go back to the same place, I could volunteer for that. I’ve slept in an unheated room for the last 2 winters.
    (e) Make sure Jenn gets to use lots of cavalry.


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