Through total happenstance my long labor-day weekend has ended up being chock full of gaming. I spent all day Saturday at my friend Colleen’s house playing story games, recorded the latest Wandering DMs show Sunday morning, and then was off to a star-studded D&D game Sunday night where I made some very cool new gaming friends. Thank goodness it was a long weekend, as I feel like I’ve slept less than I do at most conventions and those at least I’ve planned for weeks in advance!
It started out with ColleenCon – a long day of gaming with friends which I mistakenly thought was in honor of Colleen’s birthday. Turns out it was more in honor of Colleen getting sick at the last convention and missing a lot of great games and then insisting everyone come over to her house for a second chance. I think that’s worth even more nerd-cred as a result. I missed the early morning game, but got to play Cat in the afternoon, and then Fall of Magic late into the night.
If you like free-form story games, I strongly recommend you check out Fall of Magic, and especially the Songs from the Axe and Fiddle expansion. The base game is quite long and a little awkward to fit into a quick pick-up game. If you had a group that was really into it I’m sure you could make a great campaign out of it. Also, the default theme is a bit melancholy, which is fine if that’s what you’re after, but personally I prefer more humor and action/adventure in my games. Songs from the Axe Fiddle addresses both of these concerns. Each song specifically focuses on a small section of the map thus allowing for a shorter form of play, and the themes include a range from the very adventurous nautical/pirate themed Song of the Stormwing that we played on Saturday night, to the very light and humorous Song of the Swineherd, which Colleen and I played with our coworker Mike one afternoon during lunch.
Sunday afternoon was dedicated to Wandering DMs and the topic of the DM’s Role, which I think is really an interesting one and I felt like an hour of chat barely scratched the surface. If you have a chance go give it a view on YouTube or listen to the podcast version. I’m very curious to hear more opinions on this one as I expect there are many varied opinions to be had.
And then finally there was Sunday night’s D&D game, played alongside Joe Mangniello and with R.A. Salvatore at the helm as DM. Because I’m sure nobody would believe me that I was in such a game, I demanded photographic evidence, so here it is:
Not pictured is my new gaming pal Steve (he took the picture), who gave me this lovely red d20 when I shared my beer with him. He had a dice superstition I’d not heard before involving d20s with the 7 printed under the 20 instead of the 8. I can’t believe at this stage I’m still discovering new dice superstitions. Has anyone else heard this one before? The punch line is that I rolled that thing all night, and not once got anything in the double digits. I think I’ll put this one on a shelf as a memento of the evening and stick with my game science dice.
And now here I sit, writing this up to try and squeeze one last moment out of a glorious weekend. My head is throbbing and my voice is raspy, but it was all so worth it. Here’s to many more such weekends!