16 January, 2017

EttinCon Summer 2017

A photo posted by Michael Wenman (@vulpinoid) on

I've finally managed to get to another EttinCon. I was at the first one in Winter 2015, missed the Summer and Winter ones in 2016, but managed to reach the Summer 2017 edition.

Both times I have attended, I've wanted to participate in some indie gaming goodness, whether that might be of the "storygames", the "OSR", or some other flavour. Both times I've run FUBAR to an enthusiastic group who picked up the game pretty quickly, but didn't get the chance to play anyone else's offerings... actually, at that first EttinCon, I played a few boardgames, but no other RPGs.

It was the first EttinCon I've managed to get Leah along to, and the first game convention I've brought her too since GenCon Oz back in 2009.

For a game session I had in the back of my mind for a week or so, but which I didn't formally put together until the night before, It worked pretty well. It also gave me the right direction for including some supernatural powers into the FUBAR mechanisms of play.

I basically ran with the idea that each of the characters was an angelic being in a mortal shell. They claimed powers from a divine word, and had skills and abilities derived from the memories of their host. The word was left as a vague noun (whether abstract or concrete), and as long as the angel could  justify a way that the noun could be incorporated into an action, they could spend one or more power points to boost the action. Each character started the session with 2 power points, and gained an extra point at the end of each act (where a typical game, such as the one we played, has 3 acts). Each point of power added an automatic success to an already successful action (or added half of it's total in the cae of a partial success). Some played a series of actions with low divine power funnelled into it, one held all of his energy for a massive manifestation during the climax. Every time divine energy was channelled into an action, a distinct die was rolled to see how obvious the use of power was (1-2 everyone sees it as something distinctly unnatural, 3-4 mundane people dismiss it is a coincidence but those with divine power can see the truth, 5-6 the use of power is well concealed). It made the use of supernatural powers a wildcard, and that gave a specific flavour to the game's narrative.

On one hand, this distinction made the manifestation of power different to the mundane actions of the world, and a distinct choice needed to be made when divine energy was drawn upon. On the other hand, forcing the players to accept the result of a single die without allocating it goes against the general mechanisms of FUBAR. I'll need to unpack my thoughts on this.

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