Countdown to GenCon 2016

Want to know where Heroes of Altamira is playing next or want to beg someone to bring HoA to your own local con? Look no further.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Sister Sonya » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:57 am

Played four 2.0 adventures, the PA, the Starship Troopers sanctuary, and 3 Shadowruns (no combat in any!).

7th Sea 2.0 needs an excellent GM... which won't be there most of the time.
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Harliquinn » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:29 am

Thanks to Mark and Ken for running excellent PA games this last weekend. I also played 3 7th Sea 2.0 Games...one by John Wick himself...it's going to be a lot of GM and Player improvisation to make the 2nd edition really fun!

I'm nervous about running a 2e Campaign starting this week...
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby salamanca » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:20 pm

When in doubt, ask yourself "what would Dave do?". It works for me every time.

Don't ask " what would Mark do?" Because he would have it planned and written down.

Mike is absolutely right about having a certain type of GM. They don't need to be excellent but they need to be able to improvise on the spot. An average GM that can think on the run can handle this game fine.

John, having gamed with you I think you will be fine handling the game. You know the world material well enough to adapt it quickly. Your playstyle is flexible and creative and you get that the goal is fun and not brutal conflict.

The actions rolled in a sequence really dictate how you make each scene flow and you should not be afraid to use them differently each time.

And trust your story over mechanics here. I'm doing a couple demos soon and I still sort of want to ignore the mechanics (except that is the point of a demo).
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Lady Grace » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:38 pm

Hell, I improv everything as a GM for 1st Ed... :twisted:
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby salamanca » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:33 pm

Just re-read that last comment I made.

Want to be sure to clarify that I think Mike makes some great points. I just happen to have a different interpretation on some of them.
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Sister Sonya » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:23 pm

salamanca wrote: Point three: I don't think the GM needs to be well versed in "hundreds of topics" so much as willing to work with a player's ideas. I probably prefer having to worry about a single knowledge skill compared to needing to advance 20 different knacks. Sure it requires a player mature enough to admit their scholar is not versed in something from time to time but it also fits the film sources where the hero DOES happen to know exactly what they need to about damn near anything.
But I can't be sure of that until I use it in a campaign.

So, there is a difference between player knowledge and character knowledge.

Nothing turns me off more as a player than when a GM makes pronouncements based upon faulty, or just wrong, RL information. This can be anything from a game history timeline right out of a 7th Sea Sourcebook, to RL physics, materials science, or anything in between.

If my character doesn't have that RL knowledge, it still devalues the game.

One thing that an enterprising GM, confident in his decision making, can do is to ask his players for assistance! One of my 2.0 GMs at GenCon asked what six raises might reveal about the note. I offered:

quality of the papermaking, type of material used for making the paper, thickness or texture, a watermark, materials used for the ink, stylus used to form the letters, shapes of the letters, sentence structure & punctuation, seal of wax/wafer/glue, smell or smells, residual food or drink on the note, etc.

Sixty years of stamp collecting, and more recently postal history, gives one advantages- just a few of hundreds. :)
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:45 pm

So after con report (finally). Overall? Well before this year I was seriously toying with the idea of not going back to GenCon (felt totally beat down and had a really not-as-much-fun-as-usual time last year). But this year? TOTALLY RE-ENERGIZED! Figured out pretty early on that it was the fact that we didn't turn anyone away last year that ruined the fun for me. This year, just about 7 players average per table (and I didn't even check on that number until just now), and no overflow games (I'm betting 2nd Ed took care of that for us).

So HIGHLIGHTS.
1 - did get to play with John Wick finally. Told him emphatically that he had to come play with us at some point.

2 - city/plot building at the World Event. The new Barcino and a certain black mask's whereabouts (along with its personality) are courtesy of the five of us sitting at the table. Very cool to think that Don Miguel will both be a character AND have some of his exploits mentioned in the books.

3 - Steven/Floki's nuptual activity. I had a blast running that, and nary a die was thrown for half an hour.

4 - RJ's initiation. That was the first time I ever ran an initiation ceremony, and it was just as awesome as I could have hoped. Especial kudos to the table (most of whom HAD read the KRC book and so knew where I was going with the event) who managed to keep their poker faces on once it became clear to them. AND a special thanks to Mark Perkins who JUST HAPPENED to show up at the right moment

5 - Researching the Murder Hobos - Had not one, not two, but three separate players who wanted to try and learn more about the mysterious monsters that have been plaguing Altamira. They were all turned away at one point or another from the de Silva rancho (because Santino wanted too steep a price for them to see Domingo). But ingenuity ruled the day today, and all three managed to outwit his precautions! We'll see where that leads them...

6 - Having enough time to sleep! Goes without saying.

7 - Rathskellers was terrific and the company even better. I didn't tell anyone at the time, but that was the restaurant I took Karl (one of my two best friends) as an early 39th birthday present. Unfortunately he died from complications due to cancer about a week later, so it was the last birthday gift I ever gave him. Going there always makes me smile.

8 - The new adventure caddy. I forewent the zuba in favor of something that could carry all the adventures AND the books in one unit. Worked wonderfully.

9 - The look on Ken's face when I gave him his (long overdue) birthday present.

10 - All the little things that make every time I GM terrific. From the offhanded quips the players make, to the looks of surprise on the regulars' faces when secrets get revealed, to just seeing old friends once again. It's like crack to me.

11 - The drive. Had almost a whole new crew this time around, so had lots of new (old) stories to tell. AND as a bonus...

12 - I NOW HAVE WITNESSES TO THE ORANGE BOTTLE PHENOMENON!!!

The DISAPPOINTING
1 - While the city/plot building was lots of fun, John was about 5 minutes late to the event (one we'd all paid quite a bit of money to join), he forgot the adventure AND the character sheets we'd filled out weeks ago. So we spent the first 45 min or so building characters.

2 - along with that, the adventure itself. I can sum it up in a sentence, El Vagabundo needed our help getting a mask back from some villains. If I was plotting this there would have been a total of two scenes (three if you count the non-fight fight we had with brutes at the beginning of the adventure (in which, when we were ready to come to blows, John said, "you wipe the floor with them" end of fight).

3 - The 2nd Ed "adventures" Now I guess I can't really complain since I didn't play in any of them, but I'm in the GM's Club so we talked. Every single adventure consisted of ONE PAGE. Three columns, the setup, the adventure, the main bad guy. And GMs were expected to wing it. Now some GMs can do that, others can't and that's not fair to either the GMs or the players (who, btw, had to pay $10 for those events as opposed to the $4 for ours, and yes they're the same length).

4 - Eggs Benedict. I got the snooty hotel this time around, and after a good three days of oatmeal and fruit, I decided to treat myself to my very favorite breakfast. I shouldn't have. Expensive and snooty does NOT equal great food. lesson learned.

5 - I was both forgetful and super extra clumsy this year. Somehow I have misplaced all the premade finished characters but fortunately for me Sam and Alexandra made copies. I also managed to spill water all over Ep 11 saving only the headshots. So I am going to have to do some copying before TC next year.

6 - Leaving the con early. I know this one was my choice since I was heading to Kara's wedding, but I barely got to say goodbye. I felt like I left things undone.

7 - Kobolds Ate My Baby. Had all the events sell out and my 9am game had JUST two players (out of 7) show up. But despite that, the two were spectacular. The second session (at 11) had all seven players who were far less ready to be Kobolds. But the worst part was my own damn fault. I had a lot of freebie stuff from the KAMB folks that I brought with me and I flat out forgot to pass it out.

8 - Where are my dice?!? Megan borrowed them for the last session and now that I'm home I can't seem to find them. Not freaking out yet, but it's close...

And finally, the TRULY AWFUL
Nothing, nada, nope. The con was great from my perspective. I have no real complaints and am ready to go back again next year.
But if my dice don't come home, that will end up here ;)
smafdi wrote:STOP BEING SO DARN POPULAR GUYZ SRSLY I NEEDZ MEH GAMEZ TIHS YAER!!!

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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Sister Sonya » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:25 am

Black Jack Rackham wrote: But this year? TOTALLY RE-ENERGIZED!


Black Jack Rackham wrote:The DISAPPOINTING
3 - The 2nd Ed "adventures" Now I guess I can't really complain since I didn't play in any of them, but I'm in the GM's Club so we talked. Every single adventure consisted of ONE PAGE. Three columns, the setup, the adventure, the main bad guy. And GMs were expected to wing it. Now some GMs can do that, others can't and that's not fair to either the GMs or the players (who, btw, had to pay $10 for those events as opposed to the $4 for ours, and yes they're the same length).


Mark: I know that I often do not show proper enthusiasm even though I'm having a good time. So, let me state that Heroes of Altamira is special for me, it's always fun challenging/teasing you (and vice versa) , and I want to say that I appreciate all of the time and effort that you give to us, your players.

One GM, in one of my JWP games, stated that Wick gave his GMs orientation, and gave some examples. However, that did not show up in some other games that I played, or eavesdropped, in. Heroes of Altamira's other GMs invariably "do you proud".

Thanks again!
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:10 am

Sister Sonya wrote:Mark: I know that I often do not show proper enthusiasm even though I'm having a good time. So, let me state that Heroes of Altamira is special for me, it's always fun challenging/teasing you (and vice versa) , and I want to say that I appreciate all of the time and effort that you give to us, your players.

Mike, you show up to three of our four major conventions traveling, at your own expense, a third of the way across the country just to play every unique thing we run. You didn't have to tell me you were enthusiastic, your behavior said it loud and clear. But thank you regardless.

Sister Sonya wrote:One GM, in one of my JWP games, stated that Wick gave his GMs orientation, and gave some examples. However, that did not show up in some other games that I played, or eavesdropped, in. Heroes of Altamira's other GMs invariably "do you proud". Thanks again!

Well unlike JWP, We're not looking for bodies to help accommodate the need. We want a certain type of GM that runs a certain type of game. (not a judgement about quality just a comment on focus). And I think we've got a good core group that does just that. (though to be honest, any GM attracts like-minded folks to their table, so picking from among them, which we've done, is bound to get a lot of similarity). And yes I am proud of them (and HoA) it's grown way beyond "Mark's living campaign" to "Our Game" (Heck if Patricia, who visited us at GenCon this year, starts running, HoA will be run on three different continents (one of which includes it's home nation of Spain).

But thank you once again Mike, this is one of the nicest compliments about HoA that I've ever heard (getting off now as it's really dusty in here).
smafdi wrote:STOP BEING SO DARN POPULAR GUYZ SRSLY I NEEDZ MEH GAMEZ TIHS YAER!!!

kenderleech wrote:If the cows were not meant to be ridden, why would they be so close to the chase scenes?
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Harliquinn » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:52 am

Mark
I think you hit the nail on the head with the number of players in your games. I have found that the games with 5-7 (max) are the ones in which I have the most fun. I try my best not to take the limelight from others or to hog it, but I like to have a good 10-20 minutes in a 4 hour slot where my character feels special and is contributing something unique. This year, I felt that I could do that even in a 2 hour PA Slot. I would highly recommend capping tables at 6 (maybe 7 if needed) in order for people to enjoy themselves more (Including you and others as GM's).

Your adventures are always wonderful and the GM's are always top notch but sometimes it's just tough to find a good enjoyment when there are 9-10 people all wanting to do something 'cool' all the time.

John
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby MacShidhe » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:59 pm

Sister Sonya wrote:Heroes of Altamira's other GMs invariably "do you proud".


Thank you!
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby salamanca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:23 pm

Crap, the plan was to shame him into retirement and take his stuff.

Need to rethink this.
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby daundelyon » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:30 pm

salamanca wrote:Crap, the plan was to shame him into retirement and take his stuff.

Need to rethink this.


Oh, don't worry, there will be some words when he gets home over a book I just found on the kitchen table. He may never get it back. ;)
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Lady Grace » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:53 pm

So, does GenCon have the equivalent of the C Hall bathroom? :twisted:
"You're still mad at me about that whole 'gun-pointing' thing, aren't you?" -- Fortunato Valeri

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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby salamanca » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:19 pm

It must, Ken sent me a note day one about how great a day it was going to be.
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby LeonardoFelix » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:03 pm

kenderleech wrote:Con is over. All but the travelling for everyone but me. Final score, Dice vendors: a lot, sleep: zero.


Sigsvald as the dread bandit don gallo gets my play of the con, from the PA.


Its spelled "Dong Allô"...
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Angela Valdez » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:49 pm

Had a blast playing the adventures at Gencon. I liked how one adventure started with characters being unable to sleep on a hot night, and playing down at the inn. First time I got to use my guitar skill.

As far as my Personal Adventure goes, Mark is an evil GM! He really has me in a fix. I just hope I can find the guy from college days who I don't remember and find out what the heck is going on! Imagine a kindly old woman being an actual crime boss.
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Re: Countdown to GenCon 2016

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:54 pm

Angela Valdez wrote:Imagine a kindly old woman being an actual crime boss.

For her inspiration I refer you to The Queen of the South by none other than Arturo Perez-Reverte.

AND as a bonus, USA is now doing it as a series! Gonna have to check it out.
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