Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kapcon 24

Over the weekend I attended Kapcon 24, a local roleplaying convention. This year I was only at Kapcon for Sunday (Rounds 5 and 6) but despite my short tenure I had a great time playing in one game and facilitating my new game 'Wicked Lies & Alibis'.

Round 5: Heroes of New Haven!
I've run my fair share of superhero games at Kapcon, so I was interested to see how Robert Vincent would balance securing player buy-in for superheroes created at the table, maintain realism while supporting an open story for the characters.  Robert didn't disappoint.  He used the 'Ladykillers' system to provide a really interesting moral overlay to the game, making it feel almost like a game of Dread, where each impulse to act had to be measured for it's moral value, and against potentially severe consequences.  On top of that the system generated a simple random resolution mechanic through the use of playing cards and the accumulation of power and pain points.

It was a very solid game, and we quickly developed characters from several templates and began balancing life as heroes (on probation) with the drama of being a teenager, in a world where the process of becoming a superhero is sufficiently traumatic to ensure a steady supply of villains.  My own character 'The Confessor' who had shapeshifting powers soon got the rest of the crew into trouble and ultimately had to be rescued -  an epic scene where the actions of the characters had such severe consequences that few of the heroes had a happy ending.  It was a gritty superhero experience, very well executed.

Round 6: Wicked Lies & Alibis
This was the third playtest of my new game; a whodunit murder mystery set in the era of art deco.  It went brilliantly.  The players created a cast of suspects and the wove a story of intrigue and murder focussed on a missing manuscript involving criminal family connections, ghost writing, the mysterious disappearance of a husband, professional rivalries and the simmering dissatisfaction of a butler.

Things came to a head in a memorable fashion when Ivan's character, the butler Seeples was unmasked as the murderer.  Seeple's confession was a thing of beauty, when his mask of professional disdain finally slipped and the rage poured out.  I suspect people in the adjoining rooms will speak in hushed tones of Ivan's bellowing for year's to come...

I had a fantastic time, so thanks to all the players for making a great game and putting up with my poor Poirot accent with good grace.

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