Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Go Play NW: Overview

So I'm back from Go Play NW, obviously. GPNW is a story-gaming convention that takes place every year in Seattle in summer. The convention this year went from June 29th through July 1st, though the ticket I bought didn't include Friday night so I started on Saturday.
I came up with my goals for the con. I actually hadn't explicitly come up with them beforehand but I had the general ideas in mind.
* Play story games. After running them all this time, it's time to finally play.
* Play a combination of old and new. Learn new tricks for the things I know, learn brand new things to expand my palette.
* Play unconventional games. Game in a way you didn't understand to gain new concepts.
* Play outside my genre. Keep it interesting, keep it new.
* Play with strangers. Establish connections and meet new people, both old pros and other fresh starts.
* Be outgoing, keep an open mind, and step out of my comfort zone. This is the one that I had explicitly in my mind when I went and made a conscious effort to fulfill.

So how did I do? Very well I think. In order:
* I sure did play! I played and played and played.
* Played DW and 3:16, which I knew, played Microscope and Metamorphosis: Omicron, which were brand new to me, and played two AW/DW hacks, which were new in content but familiar in the system basics. Three of the six games were games that were playtesting (not including DW, that's far enough along to be in a different category). I think that counts for almost a perfect mix of old and new.
* Microscope was the most unconventional, but was the only truly unconventional thing I played. Metamorphosis: Omicron wasn't very standard either though, and the presentation around 3:16 made it abnormal though gameplay itself was normal (and fun!).
* DW was my usual genre, 3:16 wasn't too far off, everything else was out of it by quite a bit.
* Every person there was a stranger, and I played, so mission accomplished. Tied to the next point.
* I was indeed as outgoing as I could make myself, especially on Saturday. I want to especially thank the members of my first session, the Dungeon World game, for being so friendly and inviting. I think my positive first experience absolutely helped me to come out of my shell throughout the con. Also thanks to Ben Robbins and Dylan and Feiya for inviting me to come along to dinner with you guys, that's not something I normally do and it definitely was a positive experience. Both of my Donut games were things that were definitely strange for me and outside what I'd normally be willing to play and I was very glad to have taken that chance.

So what DID I play, specifically? I mentioned them already, but here they are in order of play.
For reference, things tagged Donut means they're pickup games. The Donut is the name of the mechanism GPNW has to help make sure everyone can get into a game and GMs can fill not-quite-full games.
Saturday Morning: Dungeon World. GM'd by Tony Dowler, Played by me, Charon, Nate (I think), Kingston, Ogre, Eric Hanscom, and Dave.
Saturday Afternoon: The Lottery. Drawing came up me, Dylan, Feiya, and Ben Robbins. I couldn't NOT play Microscope with Ben Robbins, so we did (though he suggested another possible game that's name is escaping me but it was pretty cool looking too).
Saturday Night: Donut. Ogre pitched his new Dungeon World variant based on G.I. Joe in 1946 (eventually to be dubbed Commando World). I'm sorry, I don't remember the names of everyone who played this - it was late at night and there were like 9 of us. I know I was there (duh), I know Jeremy was there, and I remember Eric Logan playing too. Yeah, that sounds right. And of course Ogre ran it, being its creator and all.
Sunday Morning: Geiger World. this is Dungeon World's basic systems restructured to do a Gamma World style game. Run by, uh, I think his name was Colin but I might be totally wrong and I'm very sorry if I am. I played with Jeremy again, Kynnin, and I believe their names were Scott and Andrew. Pretty sure about that.
Sunday Afternoon: Sweet, sweet 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars. Run by Matthew, I was playing with John, Jonathan, and Wilson. This was special in that we actually were two groups (the other one run by Neil and I didn't catch their players) that met as a whole to get debriefed and we went on different missions on the same planets and stuff and met together for medals and stuff.
Sunday Evening: Donut. Tony Dowler needed another player for his Metamorphosis: Omicron hack of Metamorphosis: Alpha and I jumped on it. Played with Matthew (same Matthew who just ran 3:16 for us), Jonathan (yes, same Jonathan too :) ), Jay, and Kingston. It was surprising and enlightening, as was the post-game design discussion we had.

So those were my games. I'm going to give each some real AP, but not right now. Real quick though I want to talk about a couple other things.
The Venue: It was Seattle University. I liked how it was, and I liked the area. What it REALLY needed was signs for where things are, and something to help us find our groups.
The Free Table: Free stuff to go to a good home? It was amazing. I nabbed a couple of the 3.5 books I've been missing and a couple cool monster books.

Oh, that's what I wanted to say! Games I want to play next year, or want to play because of the con.
Silver & White: Very, VERY off of my usual stuff, but hearing multiple stories about it (and Morgan talking about it at dinner). This sounds so cool and I do kinda regret not picking Morgan's game of it at the Saturday night Donut (though I DON'T regret playing GI Joe 1946 instead, it absolutely was a ton of fun, this isn't a matter of it maybe being better but more about regret over not going out of my way to do even more unconventional games). This is one that I'll want to play at either a con or maybe at Story Games Seattle or something, I don't trust my ability to run it the right way without seeing it first.
Monsterhearts: I heard people playing this and having tons of fun and people recommending it and I've been wanting to check it out for a while so I bought it right there at the con. I want to play it and at the same time it makes me uncomfortable and I think that's part of WHY I want to play it. However, I'm betting this is absolutely out of the question for my group.
Metrofinale: I am fascinated by the game and truly, desperately want to figure out how the hell this works, but for some reason (despite pretty clear rules) I just CANNOT figure out how to make this GO. I really hope the people who played it there will put up some comprehensive AP of it. If I can finally figure it out, I want to play or run it with the group.
3:16: I just want to play more of it! But it can wait.
Microscope: HOLY COW now that I really am clear on how it goes I want to DO it! I question my ability to pitch it to the group but I've been told by people tht Microscope is one of those games that pretty much everyone, regardless of their genre or style, can enjoy.

So yeah, good evening, and I hope you enjoy reading the APs! First one comes out tomorrow, Dungeon World!
End Recording,

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