As is usual with my convention coverage, here’s a rundown of my first day at GASP-Con XI. I have to say, after being a little disappointed with the state of the website, I didn’t have the highest of hopes as I was driving towards the convention. Still, as I pulled up to the venue, I decided to stow my cynicism and head in to have as good of a time as I could.
GASP-Con was taking place on the top floor of s Best Western on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. I went up and was greeted warmly by the guys at the registrations desk. That whole process went very smoothly and I soon found myself sitting at an impromptu game of Poo, followed by an impromptu game of Metropolys, by Ystari Games (by the way, I think it’s a requirement for them to have the letter “y” in 90% of their game titles). Metropolys is a light strategy game and I quickly lost an hour or so to the careful laying of buildings in an attempt to claim the right spaces. I lost horribly, but had a good time. Following that, I grabbed some lunch and relaxed while I waited for the afternoon slot to start.
During the break between games, I was lucky enough to meet up with a man whose name you are (hopefully) already familiar with: Pete Figtree. Pete has been written about here and was even recently interviewed by Ben. Pete’s a great guy and after talking for a while, we ended up in the same afternoon game: a session of Steal Away Jordan. To steal text directly from the developer’s website: “Steal Away Jordan is a vehicle for players to tell a collective story of the lives of people who live inthe shadow of slavery. The emphasis here is on the people, not the place or time. The institution affects everyone, from the child born into bondage to the man who owns him. Steal Away Jordan is a role playing game written in the spirit of neo slave narratives like Margaret Walker’s Jubilee, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and Octavia Butler’sKindred.”
Sounds like some pretty heavy stuff, no? Turns out, as with most subjects that I’ve encountered in RPGs, the game handles it with a surprising maturity. We ended up playing a family of slaves in Pennsylvania during a time where slavery, while technically outlawed, was still practiced by some of the wealthy landowners. I’m going to have a difficult time putting the game into words well and, unfortunately, I was unable to get a recording of the session. Suffice it to say, I was impressed with how the game worked from a role-playing standpoint. mechanically, it’s a bit on the cludgy, dice-heavy side of things, but we had a good time rolling massive piles of d6s and totally things up to see if we accomplished our individual goals as characters.
For the evening slot, I decided to offer up my services as a Gamemaster and run either Pathfinder or Savage Worlds, whichever my soon-to-be players decided upon. Unfortunately, as I tweeted last night, I ended up having no one come to the table. I wandered the board game area, but did not see anything that caught my eye, so I gave in to the tiredness that I was feeling and headed back to my hotel for some sleep.
Overall, I was pleased with the experience I had at my first day at GASP-Con. As I type this, the second day beckons, and I’m prepping to run a Deadlands game, this time with an actual sign-up sheet sitting out so people will know it’s going down. Obviously, I’ll let you know how it goes.
[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, GASP-Con, conventions[/tags]