Saturday I went to Modena, to attend ModCon, a board and roleplaying con.
Not huge (not even big, probably), but very centered around the idea of “go play”.
That is, there were some booths selling stuff, but the center of the con were the tables. You only pay a ticket if you intend to play at a table in the main room, and there are lots of tables.
If it’s not booked (it’s written on a strip of paper on the table) you simply go there with your buddies, sit down and play. Easy peasy :)
The result was a crazy mishmash of tables with people playing literally any kind of tabletop game: when I arrived my friends were playing Infernal Contraption, a non collectible card game, and next to them was a table with a HUGE Risk (or risk-variant) board. Next to them was a table with people playing with biplane minis :)
Nice. Loud, but nice.
My loot was small, but not at all bad:
- Tsuro, a very nice boardgame by Wizkids
- A crapton of dice in various colours, to play EvilHat’s Don’t Rest Your Head
- Avventure in Prima Serata, the italian translation of PrimeTime Adventures!
Me and my friends (one of whom I met that day for the first time) went and played Tsuro right away. The rules are not really that well written, but they are very short, and playing a game or two clarifies the gameplay. We enjoyed it greatly!
People was laughing their asses off, when the paths triggered mad wanderings of the player tokens. Four or five games went on, one after the other. And I’ve lost all of the time! :-D
Then, I proposed an improvised session of Don’t Rest Your Head. There were five players, and I consider that maybe a number a bit too high for my tastes (and for DRYH), but I guided them through character creation (which is very easy, with no crunch at all, and they “got” pretty much right away).
We ended with a mixed group of misfits (including an urban parkour-ninja, a greedy finance tycoon, a porn superstar guy, a violent wifebeater and a mafia killer).
I decided to do the intro scenes individually, and unfortunately being short on time I got to do only three out of five. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have gone round the table action by action… but that risks to be confusing, for starting players.
Anyway, they had some weird and disturbing experiences, each of them got to experiment with the dice rolls and use his talents, and they experienced the various effects of Dice Dominance, got some Responses and Exhaustion, and even used the Despair/Hope Coins.
And… they had a blast! They are all pretty “trad” gamers, in the sense that I am the one known for “introducing these weird new games” :) but coming to the game with no preconception they simply enjoyed it.
I did not make long theory speeches, I simply said “this game works a bit differently from what you are used, but just bear with me and try it”. They even enjoyed narrating their results when Pain did not dominate (a tweak we agreed upon at the beginning).
And what’s best, Germano, the one that seemed the most “traditional gamer” of the group said he would buy the game right away if it was translated in italian! Woot! :)
Now I’m looking forward to MOAR Don’t Rest Your Head!!! :-D