Final Thoughts

I’m gonna offload some final lingering bits here.

* One neat thing I’m doing when I run Mutant: Year Zero as a convention one-shot is reusing my NYC zone map. So future Stalkers can see the mysterious notes and doodles left behind by previous Stalkers. It’s kind of fun! And irrelevant so far. I keep notes about what was found wherever PCs go investigating. Maybe someday a group will stumble into a piece of the Zone that was established by a different Ark! I regret not encouraging Misha B to add more notes and doodles. It’s just one mysterious X on the map.

* I think I’m formally giving up on ever running Burning Wheel as a convention one-shot again. I mean I know exactly what I’d do with my “Werewolves in Aquitaine” setup to make it more one-shot-friendly, but lord…it’s just so much overhead for so little relative payoff. 

The experiment I carried out in the scenario was this: I had two Beliefs worked out for every pregen, and then in envelopes I included a third relationship-based belief: I trust __ completely, I must keep my affair with ___ a secret, ___ insulted me and that cannot stand. Stuff like that. Then, also, on one of them I included the note “Also, you are a werewolf” and included additional notes. I did this for uncertainty and for replayability. I think it worked! If the other two programmed Beliefs came with firm to-do items, I think I could leave them as merely “act on this and get a Fate” type things.

I really liked the scenario setup, but as Bret Gillan told me, it’s really two campaign frames. Way way too much on-ramp for four hours of fun. I think it could actually be one marvelous long-term campaign frame. I can post my notes at some point if someone wants an AD750 Aquitaine lesson and some pregens.

* Even though the convention was 4 days long, this was the first time I didn’t end a con completely wrung out. I have no idea why. In fact I was kind of antsy to do something else after we wrapped our Fief game early. But hanging out and finally just talking was fun fun fun.

Con could easily run a week and I’d have juice for that.

* Speaking of Sunday: Kind of wish I’d recorded my moderating an Indie Game Reading Club thread in real time between Brand Robins and Mikael Andersson about The Clay That Woke. Super interesting, not too many digressions. I’m stoked again to give it a go sometime!

* Like James Stuart, I had some visceral reactions to folks piping up with their opinions about creators’ works. The diciest was listening to trad rantings about Jason Pitre’s Sig. Not much to do but nod, right? Yes yes, “meta” is pejorative code for “I hate this.” I get it. No, go ahead, say it again. I super-hope I didn’t myself do this talking with Rachel E.S. Walton later about Mars 244! I really only had one on-the-spot thought but I almost immediately regretted sharing it, although it was by no means negative feedback.

I’m saying I really appreciate Jason Morningstar asking folks to sit on that for a week. Lots of amped emotions in the moment, both on the players’ side and the creator’s.

* Do not buy breakfast at the hotel. Stupid. Walk 5 minutes down to the diner or Starbucks, get some fresh air and pay half. Wake your lazy ass up 15 minutes earlier and do not pay the lazy ass tax to Hyatt.

This is a reminder to myself. I felt very poor, lazy and stupid Saturday morning after dropping $20 on a small omelette.

* I hope to live to see the day when ballroom-style mass gaming spaces are actually outlawed. I only sat at one event in that format, and my voice was hoarse afterward. Cannot imagine managing it for a whole con.

* From the outside, Dreamation’s approach to registering for events seems … impractical. Email, really? Multiple choices for every slot x a couple thousand gamers? But I’ll be damned if the thing didn’t run smoothly, like really and weirdly smoothly. I never sat at an I do not belong here table, only had one no-show at an event.

* I regret not dropping serious coin at that amazing table of game books. Somehow I just sort of…forgot he was there. I mean I walked right by several times. And looked. But didn’t remember to swing through one last time and grab stuff. So it goes.

Gonna try really hard to do it again next year. Excellent event.

0 thoughts on “Dreamation”

  1. No worries, Paul. I would have actually asked for more feedback, except that I was kind of in a fragile place and I didn’t want to hear a lot without having finished. Like…I didn’t want dissatisfaction from a half-finished story to cloud things and potentially make reactions more negative and nit-picky or problem-solving for problems that already were solved. The half-run was useful though – through play I got some answers to questions about the set up and beginning. There’s still a big question dangling about the end. I’ll make a post about it soon-ish if I can think of a productive way to frame it.

  2. Robert Bohl Not at all. I wasn’t bummed about feedback, I was bummed about not finishing (both for game design questions and because I was enjoying the good company) and that made me less interested in feedback. No one did anything wrong, really. So it goes sometimes, y’know?

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