We are back from spending two days at Oddcon, a great little convention in Telford. We had a fun time and met some wonderful people.
(Original) Ben and I drove off bright and early, planning to get to Telford in time for the start of the convention. Though we arrived slightly later than planned, we were practically the first people there. This was slightly disconcerting and left me wondering if the time and money spent getting here would be wasted but it did have the useful side-effect of giving a chance to chat to the organisers.
We shouldn’t of worried because by around noon, more gamers were starting to arrive and we were soon running our first public session of 6d6 Shootouts. Despite having only playtested the Shootouts concept once and being less prepared than I wanted, it still went down well.
Bang! You’re Dead
The concept behind 6d6 Shootouts is a one hour pick-up game that uses the same mechanics as the full 6d6 RPG. However the focus is on combat and, as the name suggests, guns. The idea had evolved out of previous cons where I wanted a quick way of demonstrating the system for people who did not want to be tied up for a full session.
In this first incarnation, the game is a simple Last Man Standing / PvP carnage machine. Our five players quickly got the hang of the system and were soon blasting away at each other. They particularly enjoyed the dynamite which accounted for two character deaths. A shotgun and pick-axe carried off the other two.
Later in the afternoon, we managed to round up a couple of stray players for a session of Savage Island. Though (or because of) being a small group, they manage to explore a part of the island no other group has reached.
We then had to head back to Nottingham, leaving the con just as it start to get busy. Judging from the hangovers the next day, people had lots of fun in the evening.
Another early start and this time we picked up (Other) Ben and the three of us made good progress across country on the now familiar route. Arriving shortly before 10 AM we were pleased to see lots of gamers already around the tables.
Even better, thanks to the help of the Con’s organizers, we had two full sign-up sheets for Outbreak. We had only planned one session but the guys & girls of Oddcon did such a great job of promoting our games we had to run another one.
As (Original) Ben got busy sorting himself out, (Other) Ben and I introduced the seven players to the game. Showing them how to take actions, use Flow and get the most out of each character. Having (Other) Ben to take some of the load was a great help and he did a fabulous job. Otherwise, teaching the game to seven players simultaneously would of been a nightmare.
Zombie Hugs & Chow Down
As (Original) Ben kicked-off the game, (Other) Ben and I circled the table like hungry sharks, ready to pounce on any players who needed help. One of the unexpected side-benifits of the 6d6 RPG I had not anticipated is how easy it is to spot a player making a mistake or struggling. At a glance, an experienced eye can see cards out of place or sub-optimal combinations. This made our jobs easier though after the first hour, we were hardly needed.
The first session ended with two characters still alive, the rest having been turned into zombies or zombie snacks. This was the first time (Original) Ben had run the 6d6 RPG for absolutely beginners and only the second time he had GM it at all. Despite this he did a great job though there were a couple of problems.
After a quick break to grab some food and re-organise the character decks, it was straight on to the second group.
The Second Outbreak Session with (Original) Ben on sitting down on the near left, and (Other) Ben circling behind the table
Here the lessons learnt from the morning’s game really helped (Original) Ben’s GMing and it turned into a really amusing session. Two players, whose characters start handcuffed together, tied themselves together with a shoe lace. Everyone else really got into their character, even the creepy 8 year girl Mary (that’s a character, not a player).
Through good role-playing and team work they swiftly cleared the house with minimal casualties and we thought they would be the first group to actually complete the adventure. But it all went wrong when they gathered in the tiny kitchen just as one character turned into a zombie. Five minutes later, nearly everyone was dead and the house was destroyed in a gas explosion.
Despite the sudden ending, everyone had a great time and the feedback we received was positive and useful.
A Big Thank You to OddCon
We had a great time Oddcon and this was in no small measure to the help of the Oddcon organisers. They put together a really friendly, small gaming convention with better facilities than many lager cons and they made the effort to help us and promote our games.
Our only regret is that we could not stay for the fun and games in the evening sessions nor come along for the Sunday. But we will be back there next year and hopefully stopping in the hotel.
Thank you to everyone we spoke to and especially those who took the time to play our games. We will see you again.
There are more photos in our Facebook Album