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Furnace is an annual roleplaying convention in Sheffield, around October, which is held in a converted gaol.

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La Pantera lives on!

Postby GuyMilner » 9:44pm on 09 Oct 17

So, Furnace 2017. I missed the last one as part of the great GM plague, so was determined to make this one a good un. And it was.

Slot 1 I ran FATE justice society of America in a silly Golden Age adventure where the players had to stop Vandal Savage from conquering the president. I was worried beforehand I might have over-gonzoed my prep, but it turns out that, as expected, you cannot do this for Furnace. When the first line of player dialogue is, "Wonder Woman, if I throw you up you might be able to lasso the T Rex" the tone is well and truly set. I was a little Fate-rusty in balancing challenges- so the final encounter wasn't perhaps a climactic as it deserved, but it reminded me how much I love Fate when Hawkman can summon a horde of Penguins to rescue FDR.

Slot 2 I was playing in the 'sequel' to my slot 1 game, with Declan running Justice Society in the Silver Age. It was a different game, with much more negotiation and problem-solving than ours, but I enjoyed playing Power Girl as we averted a cross-dimensional invasion from our hero equivalents who were now Roman gods.

In hindsight, I wonder if we both (myself and Declan did some collaboration in planning, and used the same pregens) were too conscious of the contrasting comic eras we were portraying, as we were needing to make the games different enough, but it was a succesful project and I'd definitely collaborate on linked games again.

Slot 3 I played in Julian's playtest of Dark Trails, a DCC-system weird western. I played a Luchadore and had far too much fun with it - I may have left scenery over-chewed - and while the system didn't quite grab me we had great fun fighting cultists, jackalopes and zombies. Jules did a great job managing a quite silly bunch of players and a loud space - the Dungeon was loud, wasn't it, if you were on table 2? Maybe it's my age.

Slot 4 I played Tales from the Loop, and it was absolutely bloody brilliant. Great game, great table, and excellent GMing from Gaz as our kids stopped dimensional replacements. Pathos is an underrated feel in RPGs, and there were moments of genuine awkwardness - and horror - that will stay with me a long time. For a game in which Swedish kids investigated a dimensional portal it was surprisingly edgy... and thanks to my fellow players for a balancing wide-eyed innocence with tragedy.

Slot 5 I ran Mouse Guard, and well, it's been a while. Not entirely happy with the game, and I should have done more prep, by eg studying the 2nd Ed rules in more details. Mouse Guard is a tricky beast to balance and pace and to be honest I used to have a lot of tricks to do this that I'm rusty at now. I think we all had a good time but it ran shorter than I'd even planned it and there were some moments when it should have clicked better- the only solution is to run Mouse Guard more, I guess.

Lots of work shizz meant I was, even by my standards, under-prepped for my games at Furnace this year. Never again! I'll be back, and as always I've also got lots to take with me for future cons. Thanks everyone, and it's the only con I've ever been to with literally free beer.
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GuyMilner has received thanks from the following for this post:
Darran, Dom, Evilgaz, j0rdi, Jagusti, negromaestro, Newt, The Crypt Keeper
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