Monday, July 22, 2019

KantCon 2019 Retrospective

So I'm back from my 7th KantCon. I think it may have been my best KantCon ever.

The breakdown:

*Starships & Spacemen: I used the adaptation of an old FASA Trek module (basic idea with quite a few changes) and it was fantastic. Three of the players are guys who have played this almost every year I've run it, which provides some fun continuity. My girlfriend also enjoyed it quite a lot, which is a win because she usually doesn't dig on OSR type games at all. The players had a lot of great ideas and were very clever, rather than just trying to blast everything in their path. I had considered making this the final installment of S&S earlier this summer, but I've definitely changed my mind.

*Zweihander: I've run an entire campaign of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2nd ed), so even though this was my first time actually running Zweihander, it felt like familiar territory. The scenario was one entirely of my own design, and every player had to draw a surprise "nefarious ulterior motive" to try and achieve during the session. It was a lot of fun, and the players were just as scum ridden and grimy as I hoped they'd be. (Although one player ignored his ulterior motive entirely, but what you gonna do?)  I would like to run a Zweihander game sometime, methinks.

As an aside: the author of Zweihander was at this convention, and he seems like a surprisingly normal dude.

*Cartoon Action Hour Season 3: This is the best convention game I have ever run, ever. At one point I was laughing so hard I legit worried that I might pee. The players all hit the nail on the head with the 80's cartoon tropes, even the 23 year old who had never seen any of the shows we were aping. It took a bit to get the pacing right, so we only made it through two of four planned episodes: Eagle Force (my discount G.I. Joe homage) and Bravedorr the Barbarian (Thundarr the Barbarian + Blackstar with a tiny dash of Herculoids.) Eagle Force was overly long, but still immensely satisfying, whereas the length of Bravedorr was just about right and what I will aim for in future sessions of Cartoon Action Hour. I enjoyed this so much that I'm thinking about making it a regular Saturday morning thing at future KantCons.

*Lone Wolf Adventure Game: We went into this with four players, who of whom owned Lone Wolf books but never read them (oooook...) and two who had never heard of it and just needed a Saturday afternoon game. As a result, the "flavor" of the session was a little off compared to the Lone Wolf books, but it was still enjoyable.
I ran the adventure "On Wings of Darkness" from the Adventures of the Kai anthology...well, a highly modified version of it, anyway. The adventure as written is goddamn terrible, terrible enough almost to belong in a mid-90's Ravenloft adventure book. As written, it saddles you with an NPC who basically solves the entire mystery for the PCs while they protect him from monsters who literally cannot kill him per the adventure*. I got rid of his ass entirely and made the PCs do their own detective work. I also threw in some sinister NPC motivations, as the reasoning behind the horrible wraithcrows showing up for supernatural vengeance seemed a little... underwhelming.

It was a fun session, but definitely the weakest in comparison to the others. I do love the super ultra rules-lite system of LWAG, and in the future I think I'd prefer to run it with someone who has read the books. (Although one of the players decided he might actually give the books a read now, so hey, bonus.)

I'm already contemplating next year's lineup. I think I'll continue S&S as my Friday morning fixture, and I'm increasingly certain that Cartoon Action Hour is becoming my Saturday morning fixture. I could do another Zweihander and then something I don't get to run very often on Saturday.

I'm also thinking about getting back into the local con scene. There's one nearby in October and one nearby in April, though my coaching usually causes conflict with the latter. (It might not this year, however.)

See you next year, KantCon!

*For you Lone Wolf fans, I'd just like to point out how un-Lone Wolf this is. Like 80% of characters who ever help Lone Wolf on his adventures end up dying horribly. There are exceptions, like Banedon, but most of the time if you get a helpful knight/scout/desert warrior, that guy is guaranteed dead by the end of the book.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

KantCon Formula

I've developed a "KantCon Routine" that I stick to every year. This year things are slightly different, but overall my flow is the same.

Friday morning:  I run Starships & Spacemen 2nd edition, with the same ship/crew. I have several return players who come back every year.

Friday afternoon: I used to run some module for Lamentations, but I've washed my hands of that game. This year, and in subsequent years, I'll be replacing it with Zweihander. (This year will be a scenario of my own devising, as opposed to running a module)

Saturday morning and afternoon: I run two games that I never get to run at home. (Although these games that describes every-fucking-thing that isn't 5E*) Usually scenarios of my own devising, this time my Saturday is 50% my own creation and 50% a module. I typically never run a game on this day that I've run at KantCon before.

Sunday: I host board/card games, often sans vocal chords.

KantCon is in just two weeks! Hot damn!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Legit Publisher/POD Inquiry

So I literally know nothing about how the publishing side of TTRPGs works.
If any of y'all are reading this, I have a legit query:

What does it take to get a PoD option for one's book on DTRPG? Why would a publisher choose not to have a PoD option? Is there a fee the publisher must pay or something?

Thanks in advance to anyone who happens to read this and answers.

...and no, I'm not asking for me. Hahaha publishing is far more productivity than I am capable of.