The Best Laid Plans…

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The Best Laid Plans…

Postby MaxBantleman » 5:57pm on 09 Nov 15

Indiecon 2015 has been and gone, and I found it to be as good as any I’ve attended so far.
A wide variety of games on offer and more being talked about that were played by groups in lodges or pre-arranged for the Con.
There seemed to be loads going on all the time.
The food was good, improved in quality and not house-sellingly bad in price.
I know there were a couple of issues with service of food, but I didn’t experience them, so, you know… :)
Weather was ‘typical’ for Con on south-coast in England for November, which is to say apocalyptic some days and rather quite nice others.
Accommodation was the usual good standard, the whole site and Con pleasantly easy to get along with and specifically designed to help you have a good time, so, I had a good time!
Ran games that Players made really cool, full-on, with some memorable moments from all of them, played a couple of good games, which, well, ditto, but with the added input from very good GMs.
So. That’s that then. Con report done…
(TLDR starts here…)

Back in the middle of the this year, I was definitely not feeling it for running Con games anymore. Combination of many factors, all of which are far too boring to mention. So I decided to take this year off GMing at Indiecon: turn up, relax, meet friends old and new, and play some stuff. It was going to be a year of just ‘being at the Con’ and not striving to run games in any / many / all slots. No pressure for writing and testing stuff. Just go there and have a blast with some really nice people.
Having made that decision, I relaxed a bit and got some more energy for some campaign games I am running. I could focus on them without the distraction of planning for Indiecon. Felt good. Worked great.
Until the middle of October.
Then the part of my GM brain that had obviously been on holiday somewhere nice, somewhere off the grid, somewhere with a nice, calm atmosphere and lots space to just wander lost, came back and wasn’t happy with what I was planning.
How could I not run any games!? WTF was going on!? I step out for a few months and you lose what tiny part of the plot you had left!? Get a grip idiot!!

So with GM now fully engaged, I started planning and writing.
Not much time to really mull things over, so I went with the ‘what’s currently floating around out there’ approach.

I’d just been to Furnace and played in Pete Atkinson’s ‘Agents of Shield.’ It uses the Cypher system, which worked really well I thought. The fact that Pete had run a really tight game, paced beautifully and with loads of knowledge about the system and setting probably helped. Well, I could nick that concept surely? Pete’s a nice guy and I’m pretty cheeky with stuff like that, so, y’know, what could go wrong? ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever,’ said practical side of GM brain,’ but you aint got time to get in to the system enough to do characters properly!’ Hhhmm. Problem. So I asked Pete if I could just straight-out nick his pre-gen characters. ‘No problem at all!’ he very kindly said. The scenario was based on the concept of the scenario he had run too. With added shenanigans of course. Really must buy Pete a few drinks at some stage. Thanks Pete!

Vikings, the TV series, was in the air, or at least still in my mind. Loved the first series, liked the second series and didn’t really click with the third series, but liked bits of it. So, there’s a game right? Core characters which people know, series that has loads of background and some cool character interaction and development, just made to be nicked for a Con game right? Well I think it is. So that was the second game. Just had to do all the pre-gens and write the thing now.
It all flowed relatively easily once I had who I wanted to be in it. I hang most of my games off the characters, so once they are done, the rest is a relatively quick affair. Handouts pics and character pics were ludicrously easy, both from the TV series itself, and from the fact the net is choc-full of Viking stuff.

A third game would be cool it would allow me to run each of the three twice, cover six slots, which was about all I wanted to commit to.
I run a ‘Sunday Night Dredd Game’ at both Indiecon and Conception: the characters remain the same and the story-line develops. Kind of like a weird campaign. So why don’t I nick the core characters I’d got for that, write a new scenario and kill many birds with few rocks. And everyone likes the Judge Dredd background right?
Like the Vikings game, it all fell together very easily once I’d got the characters set and the core ideas identified.

So there it was: three games, each of which I could run twice. Sorted.
Then, I thought, I’d better take a Cursed Empire scenario too, just in case it’s needed. So need to write that one. Or… tweak an idea I’ve used from my Shadows of Esteren campaign… cheeky… and… done.

All of the games that I ran this year came out of the gate fast, and just keep going.
There was more of everything in every game than I usually have to deal with.
And it was great.
All the Players in each setting and game bought in 100% and just ran like the wind with anything and everything they could get their hands / minds / sanity on.
At times I was hard-pressed to keep up with their plot-avoidance and determination to dig deeply in to everything. Only they can say whether I pulled it off!

So my cunning plan of ‘just playing’ went through the window. Not out the window. But through it. Taking most of the surrounding wall with it. And I loved it. As my right and proper GM brain knew I would.

A huge thank you to those that played in my games. You made me think a lot about each game and pushed me to keep up and that’s a rare and beautiful thing. You got in to character and produced some memorable moments, all driven by your input through the character. Ok, there was a lot of ‘at table’ humour too, but hey, that’s what Cons are all about! The dark bits were dark, the deep bits were deep, and the gonzo bits were truly gonzo… excellent!

Those organisers are pretty good too you know.
You know who I mean, the dedicated souls who make it all happen for us, year in, year out.
We all know that ‘pretty good’ doesn’t even touch it.
But how much praise and thanks can you give before it starts sounding odd?
Who knows? All I know is… YOU’RE AWESOME!!!

Fantastic company, great laughs and many, many thought-provoking conversations and inspirational ideas, as well as more laughs. Lodge bunnies, con-companions, old friends not seen enough and new friends made through gamers just being really cool people – I thank you all!

So Indiecon came and went in a total blur.
I feel tired, I have a sore throat and my GM brain has exploded.
And I loved every second of it.
Now then… Conception… what’s the plan…?
(Does it really matter? We all know what’s going to end up happening… :) )

If anyone who played in any of my games would like to email me any feedback, I’d be very happy to receive it.
Players make good games.

Thank you Indiecon and all who sailed in her.
MaxBantleman has received thanks from the following for this post:
Grinnen Baeritt, jonnygray, kingpin, Spon
MaxBantleman
9th-level
User avatar
Location: Midlands UK
Thanks: 86 given/189 received
Playing: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test.
Running: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test. Shadows of Esteren. Hidden Realms.
Planning: Hidden Realms release.

Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby Spon » 1:38am on 10 Nov 15

Thanks for the game, dude! and the company, banter, drinks, chat and lift! had a blast, can't wait for Conception ...
Sanity is a sawn-off shotgun
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Spon
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Playing: Shadows of Esteren, D&D 5E
Running: D&D 5E
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Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby MaxBantleman » 10:46am on 10 Nov 15

Spon wrote:Thanks for the game, dude! and the company, banter, drinks, chat and lift! had a blast, can't wait for Conception ...


You are, of course, always welcome!
Conception will soon come round! :)
MaxBantleman
9th-level
User avatar
Location: Midlands UK
Thanks: 86 given/189 received
Playing: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test.
Running: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test. Shadows of Esteren. Hidden Realms.
Planning: Hidden Realms release.

Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby jonnygray » 11:08am on 10 Nov 15

Cheers for a great game of Vikings Max! Had a blast :D
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MaxBantleman
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Playing: The Sprawl
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Planning: To read through my copy of BitD

Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby MaxBantleman » 11:29am on 10 Nov 15

jonnygray wrote:Cheers for a great game of Vikings Max! Had a blast :D


Cheers Jonny :)
Spookily enough, both you and Jez played Ragnar, both with 'interesting' relationships with 'wife number 1'...
MaxBantleman has received thanks from the following for this post:
jonnygray
MaxBantleman
9th-level
User avatar
Location: Midlands UK
Thanks: 86 given/189 received
Playing: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test.
Running: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test. Shadows of Esteren. Hidden Realms.
Planning: Hidden Realms release.

Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby jonnygray » 11:59am on 10 Nov 15

Regarding the whole 'two wives' thing, I feel I got the better deal by actually dying at the end though :shock:
jonnygray
50 Shades...
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Location: Derby
Thanks: 2229 given/1384 received
Playing: The Sprawl
Running: Nowt
Planning: To read through my copy of BitD

Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby Panzersi » 9:20pm on 10 Nov 15

Thanks for the game Max, I really enjoyed playing Erik, even if his sacrifice didn't save Ragnar in the end.
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Grinnen Baeritt, jonnygray, MaxBantleman
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Re: The Best Laid Plans…

Postby MaxBantleman » 11:15pm on 10 Nov 15

Panzersi wrote:Thanks for the game Max, I really enjoyed playing Erik, even if his sacrifice didn't save Ragnar in the end.


Thanks :)
Valhalla is a much more interesting place with Erik in it...
MaxBantleman
9th-level
User avatar
Location: Midlands UK
Thanks: 86 given/189 received
Playing: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test.
Running: Cursed Empire 3rd Edition Play-Test. Shadows of Esteren. Hidden Realms.
Planning: Hidden Realms release.


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