As promised, I am blogging about TactiCon. The convention began Thursday evening, with your intrepid reporter learning a lot about how conventions work.
First, when the brochure says that the Exhibitor Hours begin at 3:00 and registration begins at 5:00, that does NOT mean that the exhibition hall for people to shop in opens at 3:00. It means that people who are involved in running the convention can start getting set up at 3:00, but there’s nothing for players to do until 5:00. Oops.
Second, it’s important to sign up for particular events in advance if there’s something in particular you want to play. I had pre-paid for my badge, and it was waiting for me, which was great. However, I hadn’t registered for any individual games, and the two low-level Living Forgotten Realms games this evening were already full. I bought a generic ticket and was told that I might be able to get into a game anyway.
I left the hotel and came home to take my wife to dinner before heading back to the convention, getting there just before the 7:00 PM start time of the evening’s RPG sessions. There were a total of five players with generic tickets who wanted to play low-level LFR, and the organizer persuaded a guy to run an adventure he had never even read before. What a trouper!
The game was interesting, to say the least. We played CORM 2-1 For Crown and Kingdom. It’s actually a pretty cool module, and for running it completely on the fly I think the DM, Leo, did a nice job. He ran the skill challenges in the manner I hate, though: “Okay, this is a complexity 1 skill challenge, requiring 4 successes before 3 failures. You can use Perception, Nature, History…” Ugh. No role playing, just roll the dice. But since he had no chance to look over it beforehand, I won’t fault him too much for that. He also let the game get bogged down in some rules discussions – I feel confident that I won’t let that happen at my tables. If there’s disagreement about a rule I’ll go with what seems most reasonable and move the game onward to the fun parts.
My favorite part of the evening was talking with a pair of other people at the table. There was an older guy who had never played 4th edition before but who had excitedly rolled up an eladrin wizard and was ready to go. He brought his wife along, and she had never played an RPG before and really had no interest in playing, either. Still, she was willing to let me talk to her about the game, trying to give her a basic overview of what she would see and what everyone was doing. She paid polite attention to the game, and we chatted about music afterward. She even thanked me. I don’t think I created a new gamer, but I at least had a positive interaction with someone who clearly was not a fan of role playing games. Baby steps.
I think I’ll bring my projector setup and leave it in the trunk of my car tomorrow, just in case they need someone to run another ad hoc game. I mostly plan to play, but I’d be lying if I denied wanting to show off my sweet setup to as many people as possible! I do want to get at least one more LFR game in as a player, just so I can get my half-elf paladin, Rhogar, up to third level so that he can finally equip the two seventh-level items that he’s carrying around! Ten XP shy…