The great thing about Total Confusion is that there are so many great events going on that it is hard to decide which one to sign up for. This year, it was pretty easy for me to decide though. I played old school D&D all three days I was there and it was GLORIOUS my friends. The only other game I played that wasn't D&D was first edition Space Hulk.
Friday morning started up with Tim Kask. Tim spent a good deal of time reminiscing about the old days at TSR and miniatures gaming in the early 70's. We didn't get as far through the adventure as I would have liked. As time was running out the party was wiped out by a demon who didn't like us taking its treasure.
Next was my one foray out of the old school room and into the mini's area. I played an excellent game of Space Hulk. It was a custom mission that allowed numerous players but we only had two. I played the genestealers. It looked like the space marines were going to pull off the win but I managed to bottle neck them all into a relatively small area. After winning a decisive skirmish in the middle of the board, it was just mopping up from there.
Friday evening I played a nice little adventure with Frank Mentzer. Playing the pre-gen characters from Frank's module "Needle", we made our way into an old temple that had been taken over by a mess of hobgoblins. We cleaned the joint out and had a good time doing it.
Saturday Morning I was scheduled to run a little Swords and Wizardry game but it didn't happen due to a shortage of players. I ended up jumping in on a play test of Jeff Talanian's Hyperborea game. I enjoyed it quite a lot. Jeff is a good GM and a great writer. I picked up a copy of a module he wrote at Gary Con and plan to run it sometime soon.
Saturday afternoon I played in an AD&D tournament adventure ran by Paul of Paul's blog. The adventure was written by Ed Greenwood and set in the Forgotten Realms, before the FR was a published setting. The adventure's goal was fairly straight forward. Grab as much magic loot as you can, destroy the rest, get out alive. We did OK but messed around quite a lot trying to avoid what turned out to be a fairly easy to win. It was a scored event and I won both on points and in a vote of the players. The prize was a mint copy of Dragon #95, wherein the module was published. I read through it and was doing more than a few face palms about not checking out some areas better and missing some opportunities. I ran the same adventure for my players a few weeks later and they were a bit more cautious and didn't bring out as much loot as my convention party did.
Saturday night, I ran an AD&D adventure that I wrote just for the con. I was pleased with the way the adventure ran and had a good group of players. A couple brought four teenagers with them. Two other players made for a total of eight. They managed to figure out the mystery and take on the baddy without any casualties. My personal philosophy about running games at a convention is that they should be something that you wouldn't normally do at home. So a few things I tried at this convention were that the characters were all trying to do a side mission in addition to working to achieve the main mission. This created some chaos, though not as much as I thought it would and it distracted somewhat from the scenario I think. I did remove that element from the Gary Con run of the game.
Sunday morning I played in another game with Paul. He ran his award winning One Page Dungeon contest entry from 2010. We had a large group of around ten for this one also. It was a lot of fun and the game really spun out of control with several characters getting wrapped up in some protracted legal battles. My character, a cleric and the other party cleric decided to leave town while the leaving was good.
The final game I played was another round with Frank Mentzer. This was another good size crowd of about 12 or 13 I think. I got the feeling though that a lot of the players weren't used to the sort of game that Frank likes to run. That sort of game is that you have to think. If you don't think, then your character will die. Simple as that. We only had one PC death in the game but several near misses. The thing I like about playing in Frank's games is that, as a DM, I always learn something. Frank is a real pro when it comes to running a game. He never misses a beat and seems to be able to keep everything that is going on in the game in his head, all at once. I'm constantly writing notes, consulting dice and sometimes a bit frazzled. It is a joy to watch him work. If you ever get a chance to play a game with Frank, I recommend it.
That's it for TC 25. I had a great time and I look forward to next year. I'm thinking of an idea to run a Braunstein type game with Swords and Wizardry with a prize of some sort.