This time next week I’ll be flying out to Phoenix, AZ and driving into Tucson with Paul Beakley of IGRC and his local crew for RinCon. This year’s theme is the Wild West. I’m bringing my Apocalypse World-Burned Over:Borderlands adventure and Forbidden Lands. I try to pick two games, different genres. One that’s super easy for me to run and one that I’m learning and am excited about running. Can you guess which is what?
The easy game is the Borderlands adventure. I’ve played a ton of Apocalypse World and the new Burned-Over Hackbook uses much of the same mechanics. I am working on presentations for the session to make it go BOOM. I’ll use wanted poster-like cards for NPCs. Hopefully I can generate enough so some can be used as player characters. I’ll use maps from an older Borderlands game book and get them aligned with the Hard Zones used in Burned Over. A short one page lore sheet ideally with the basic moves on the other side. So prep for this game is mostly visual and getting the Borderlands vibe happening. The players are Sword Hunters, the AW analog of Vault hunters. A few threats already present themselves. Other Sword Hunters. A corp that is looking for a Sword vault - like Dahl, maybe. BULLYWOGS! Or other critters of Pandora, a Borderlands planet. Overall, this is the fun, easy, pretty prep!
Forbidden Lands is the long, work game. I’ve run the Year Zero Engine set of games, so it’s not that new. FL does do some new things. I feel like it has the combat rules Coriolis tried to be. I am using my Into the Mad Lands setting. I recently played Microscope to generate the prehistory Robbins suggested in his West Marches essays. I’ll incorporate some of that history into these expeditions I run at RinCon. I’m planning for a 4 player table, so I’d like to have 6 pre-gens ready. Again a lore/reference sheet for players –but I don’t know what’s all on that yet. And dammit if I can remember if I have a GM screen or not. I can’t seem to find it, but I think I have one!
I think the work in both games for a convention setting is around teaching the game and playing the game at the same time and not overloading new players to the hobby. A nice dance, indeed! My approach is to bring two problematic situations, situations I’m cool with abandoning if something better comes up during the character setup. Straight forward, blunt situations. In the Borderlands game I ran last week at GKC RPG Day I used Dahl, a big weapons manufacturer in Borderlands. They have corp soldiers in the players hard zone searching. One of the players is using the Undaunted playbook which comes with ‘children’ real or assumed. My opening scene becomes: January, the 12y/o daughter of the Undaunted, shows up at another PC’s (the Volatile) place with a dead Dahl soldier on her hover cart. She wants help with doing something with the body so she can get her cart cleaned.
I’m signed up to play Ravenous, Brendan Carrion’s in-development game about vampires, family and horror. I’ve played an early playtest version, I’m eager to see his progress and play more of this game. I’m hoping someone runs the new Root game and I’d like to play the new Aliens game.
That’s me this week. What’s got your attention this week?