Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ropecon: Day 1

It was the best of times, it was the most chaotic of times. Nibbling off bits more than I could chew.

Spires of Iron and Crystal: 5 players. Started late because it was right at the beginning of the con.

Sanctum of the Stone Giant Lord: 8 players. 4 hours isn't nearly enough, what with getting characters ready (despite good pregens) and my gastrointestinal issues halfway through. High level combat is insane.

Tomb of Horrors midnight game: 14 players (!), which was a problem because I'd forgotten that the pregens given in the back are not ready to play, and we had a lot of newbies. It's good for a rush and to know people are interested and plan to give a large group one hell of a classic dungeon, but managing that large a group is near impossible for a con game where you don't know who the hell is showing up! A few of the people I think got a bit fed up, and then once play started, since it's not an action-adventure module, it became easy for certain people to be the ones actually playing more. There were I think 7 left by the time 5:30am rolled around.

Funniest thing was the one real survivor who came out far ahead... he just sat next to me and listened for 6 friggin hours, not really actually doing anything. Near the beginning of the game he passes me a note, "I'm going to cast invisibility and follow everyone else about 20' back." Near the end when the party was splitting into groups of 2-3 and dying alone in pits, here's this guy following along, invisible, looting their bodies and then leaving. heh.

In 9 hours I start another 14 hours of gaming, but I have changed the signup sheets to say 6 players maximum per session.

I didn't get to do my "See these dice? I got them in 1981... before you were born!" trick for my players. Well, I did do it, but then the one guy (another American!) pulled out his dice that were bought in 1976 and told us stories about how his first D&D set had chits. But the reason he was in Helsinki to begin with was to game with me (he was there for all three sessions and was very helpful getting the large groups set up), so how pissy could I be? :D


  1. Now THAT is what I call a marathon. Can't believe you turned down Pat's B/X game to get some sleep...
    : )

  2. That was three great sessions in a row, well worth flying out from the States for! (The other ten days of travel was fun too.) In my own defense, let me point out that I only actually played the "my dice are older than your dice" card in the first game; the next two times you did it for me! I'm grateful for occasions like your Ropecon games when I can use those dice in the style they were meant for, and to blogs like yours that remind me that my hand-me-down White Box isn't a collector's item but instead a kick-ass tool for actual play.

    - Tavis

  3. 14 players! That tomb sure got a rep. I have never heard of a con with midnight sessions before, but if 14 persons show up it must be some activity at the con still.

  4. That sounds like too much fun, I might have to try to find myself over there for the next Ropecon.

  5. Ropecon starts at 3pm Friday and ends about 3pm Sunday.

    There are people that sleep on the floor in the convention hall, in the cars, and even on the ground outside.

    Last year, somebody brought an inflatable bed. During my Tomb game (so after midnight), they moved a bunch of tables in the game room, they inflated their bed with a motor, had a set of sheets and everything so it looked really cozy, and the two of them went to sleep, despite the two gaming groups still going in the room.

    There is activity 24 hours a day during the con. It doesn't close.

  6. I was one of the players in your Tomb of Horrors session. You might remember me as the newbie with the level 14 Cleric who mostly cast augury during the adventure.

    I must say, while I had to leave the game earlier than I wanted to due to a pressing lack of sleep, I really enjoyed the game. I must admit, having come to D&D through 3rd edition I was used to a game with more options and a greater emphasis on tactical combat, but the fact that the adventure was not an action adventure made it all the more fun for me.

    So, yeah, I enjoyed the game immensely and am already looking forward to next year just so I may have the opportunity to game at your table again. Maybe in a year's time I'll actually have learned all the rules. ;)