EOW (End of the World) is my annual mini-convention I participate in with my friends, and it was this past weekend. It's basically three days of gaming, with a different GM running a session each day using the same generic rules system but different genres. It's a fun weekend, and here's the review of how it went.
Day One (Friday): Star Trek
Story: in the TNG era, the crew of an aging Reliant-class ship are contacted by a Romulan intelligence agent about a sector the Empire ceded to the Federation several years ago. Two centuries ago, a Romulan ship was destroyed there under mysterious circumstances, and now a colony may be at risk. The crew discovers a planet-sized being that can siphon energy from any source.
Liked: it's my scenario so I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but afterwards one player said that the session "really felt like a Next Generation episode."
Disliked: I waited until the last minute when it came to making up the pre-gen characters, and they were missing some details as a result. It went short, but that really wasn't a problem for the group.
Day Two (Saturday): WWII/Sci-fi
Story: the crew of a WWII bomber flies through a wormhole and ends up on a primitive, alien world. They have to use their modern technology to help survive and support their new friends.
Liked: despite its Jon Carter-esque plot, the story and the weird alien world showed a lot of originality.
Disliked: The GM didn't have any PC's to hand out to players whose characters had died (a common occurrence in this system, and it happened to me) so I ended up sitting out the last 90 minutes of play.
Day Three (Sunday): Traveller
Story: the crew of a transport vessel are thrown parsecs away from civilization in a mis-jump. They must both survive, then negotiate with a high-tech race of mutants in order to get home. This was actually the "home game" session in that it was part of the ongoing campaign most of the group is doing.
Liked: again, a solid story, and most of the players had a chance to participate.
Disliked: a little railroading was necessary to get the PC's to the story, but most of the players understood that it needed to happen. The PC's were also given a tremendous technological asset that could have long-range implications in the game that the other campaign's GM's will need to manage.
EOW is always a good time away from the normal stresses of our lives to hang out with friends, watch movies and TV, and of course do some gaming. The group has been doing this for over 20 years, and they have the routine down pretty well. If there is one problem, it is that the group is almost too successful because this year there were nine participants. With one GM, that means that in each game there were eight players, which is right up to the maximum threshold in my opinion. Rumor has it that next year could see that number go as high as eleven, which is well above what works in an RPG setting. We are discussing now the possibility of splitting the group during gaming sessions, although that idea has its own pitfalls and challenges.
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