The previous weekend, I was demo-ing the latest iteration of Loop ‘n’ Loot at Midgard Con. A nice convention in the middle of a viking-ish village in Borre (Norway). The weather was really not with us and it rained for 3 days straight, which provoked two collateral effects:
- Everyone was packed in the main Gildehallen
- With close doors, the fire pit burnt smoke like crazy (tearing eyes, coughing and bad smell on the clothes)
If we forget about the smoke, it’s really a nice convention with a lot of ambiance! I heard some people used the occasion to play their grand finale D&D campaign there to enjoy the viking mood around them. There was even a LARP fight tournament! The organizer Karl Thomas is super nice and managed to make us at home (quite litterally as he lended us his cabin so we could spend the night!). In other words, Norwegians gamers, save the date for 2023!
I felt the convention was more oriented towards board games than roleplaying games and I had a bit of a hard time filling my table past the first one. But, heh, I could use the time to play some board games (Vikings, Welcome to the Dungeon, Jorvik). Some of them were played in a tournament structure and my fiancée managed to finish third at Vikings, securing some nice loot at the end :).
I also secured two spots to play RPG as a player. One was a homebrew OSR dungeon crawling that ended in a lot of mushrooms and the other one was the first playtest for Murder in Yonderville, a low-prep humorous murder investigation. It was actually so easy to play I ended up being a GM for it for about 2 hours and it was fun to play. As a GM, based on the card I drew, I had to create an investigation in a mining dwarf over a hellgate, as the tavern wench was killed by the shop keeper (hired by the Inn keeper). SIC. It is a fun improv’ exercise for the GM. I believe a kickstater will happen before the end of the year and you can follow the progress over their Facebook page.
In the end, I had one playtest for Loop ‘n’ Loot with the lastest version of the rules. It was fun, as usual, both from my point of view and from the players’ who seemed to enjoyed their smoky evening. Among the hurdle I noticed:
- The use of the attributes tied to the best possible combination is often forgotten (even by yours truly) as players just put the best combination they have in hand. The Referee has to be carefully about it all the time, which is mental load I want to remove. I have since worked on a solution (an elegant one, in my humble opinion, that also solidifies other mechanics).
- The mechanics “I attack under Clubs, you have to defend under Clubs” is also often forgotten (even by your truly). It’s something that has been bugging me since the beginning as I felt it make sense but is not fun and somewhat circonvoluted. But my previous fix is also fixing that one! Two birds, one stone.
- The PC still have a hard time to die. What can I say, I’m too nice! But as Alice says, No More Mr Nice Guy! I’m nerfing pretty hard the Ration item, the Medecine Kit item and the Rest mechanic!
- On the positive side, the new character creation is not breaking nor hindering the gameplay. The revised Trait are indeed better to manage in combat.
Other than that, it was fun to roleplay zealous skeletons, to look at players destroy loot out of fear for a goddess judment and fight cleverly against a group of (nasty but nerfed) zombies… The highest point of the playtest was when the players managed to pay a Necrologist with a fire nymph’s crown to soul-bind a ghost into a rubber chicken! None of that is scripted in the Maze of 4 Queens but everything is possible with creative players!
I’ll be in Bergen this very weekend to playtest my game at RegnCon! I will my latest iteration of the rules, including the new Attributes system. If you are in the city of rain and plan to go to the convention, come and say hi!
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