This weekend I attended Kapcon 30, an annual, local, roleplaying convention (currently New Zealand does not have any restrictions on mass-gathering events). I've written about previous Kapcon thoughts and reflections here. For this 'con I offered to facilitate 3 sessions of Soaring Lions, my new professional wrestling game.
|Promotional posters were tastefully exhibited|
I think professional wrestling games work well in a one-shot 'con setting, as they encourage players to really unleash their creativity in a medium known for larger-than-life drama where no wrestler's concept is too wild or strange. The format of a wrestling show provides a natural canvas for characters to ally, betray, smack-talk and throw-down with one another.
In the past I've run games like this using Joe J Prince's Piledrivers and Powerbombs, chokeslam of darkness edition which is an excellent game. For my own wrestling adventure I wanted to make the simplest possible system that would allow the players to focus on trying to compete both inside and outside the ring (if you're interested, I expand more about my design intent on the excellent Diceratalks podcast).
|Setup included a special ring-table for matches|
For Kapcon 30 I offered space for up to 8 players per session and I wasn't disappointed by the response. I had a great time, and I also was able to make a few minor refinements to the game document, to reflect some of the questions and comments made around the table (if you've already purchased Soaring Lions, a new version has automatically been added to your library).
Some of my highlights from the day included:
- The Soaring Leviathan and the (Bald) Eagle squaring off in a match while a player waves a sign reading "I'm here for the air show"
- Creepy jester Punchinelly faces off with soft-hearted brawler Polar Bear on a floating ice floe, surrounded by a ring of fire.
- The Velvet Volcano, a character usually full of rage discovers scientology and patiently explains it to a bewildered audience.
- Powerball, a wrestler sent from the future to save the present is immortalised with a Powerball Memorial Title. Additional titles are added as the show proceeds including the Mega-Powerball Title and Ultra-Powerball Title.
- Code 14, a child abandoned at a wrestling match and raised by the performers struggles to learn whether the villainous Professional is his real father (the paternity test results are suspended above the ring as part of a ladder match).
- Crowd favourite Tractor Trent blows the production budget on a ring entrance that involves corn-stalks exploding into popcorn and a children's choir.
- The hapless Hurricane fails to win a single glory point, despite a range of inventive uses of static electricity in ring entrances and a match at a mountain-top weather station.
- The Opulent Boomer manages to convince his previous arch-nemesis the Invercargill Hipster that while he may have already ruined his future, there's still much he can teach.
- Unrelated to Soaring Lions: being asked by a new player whether I've tried Wicked Lies & Alibis before?