Weathertop 2007 Debrief

It was rad.

Twelve to fourteen hours of gaming per day allowed me–just as I’d hoped–to enjoy all sorts of indie games that I’d never played before:

  • Law of the Jungle: humourous homebrew game with less than three pages of rules and setting. The aim of the game is portraying feral children, and the accidental use of even one polysyllabic word results in harsh in-game penalties. No attributes or dice to speak of, just pools that refresh through LARPing animal traits. We attracted a lot attention from other players of other games, and were warned by a random passerby that there was to be no fæces throwing. A wildly cacophonous chase promptly ensued, culminating in a stern pelting of WHOPPERS.
  • The Shadow of Yesterday: terrific engine where romantic narratives come first. I played two very different scenarios which I think highlighted very different strengths of the game. The first was a traditional “dungeon crawl” flipped on its head by an emphasis on more human aspects typically ignored within popular systems, and the second (while still pulp fantasy) focused more on the confusion, mystery, and potential horror that results when cultures collide.
  • Dogs in the Vineyard: surprisingly original interpretations of the Wild West, religion, and game resolution. Though we had time only to create characters and play out quick establishment scenes, I’m keen to play again. Out of all the games I sampled over the weekend, I think Dogs has the greatest prospect for long-term campaign-style play.
  • Dread: space horror that relies solely on a Jenga tower for conflict resolution. As you can imagine, this makes for increasingly tense moments (as more and more blocks are moved) building to climaxes of unavoidable character deaths (toppling of the tower).

    Very early on the in the game.  The tower would become much more precarious as the stability of the nuclear drive slowly degraded as attacks attacks from skinless, cunning zombies simultaneous increased.

  • Perfect: welcome to a hyper-Victorian dystopia where you somehow don’t quite fit. Even if it hadn’t been facilitated by the game’s creator, I expect it still would have been my favourite game of the con.
  • Polar Punk: currently in playtesting, this game is on track to be exactly what its developer is aiming for: four hours of quick, devastating, and Awesome convention gaming.  In a frozen, post-apocalyptic world!  Ruled by evil polar bears!  And you can play sentient sled dogs!
  • Jungle Speed: speed on crank… but more addictive? After a weekend of communal storytelling, I do say that the bestial animosity, trash talk, and actual blood that resulted from play was as surprising as it was hilarious.

The games themselves, of course, would have been nothing without high quality judges and players, and I must admit that I was blown away with the creative, funny, and down right friendly lot that I fell in with. It’s been a long while since I’ve had gaming friends within gaming distance, so I hope I end up seeing more of these folks.

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13 Comments

Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise), The story so far

13 responses to “Weathertop 2007 Debrief

  1. Hello my new friend! The con was an absolute blast, and I look forward to playing more games with you.

    I jabbered a lot about Kin at the con, and here’s what went on, if you were at all intrigued.

  2. Hello Chad!
    Thank you for this peek into the world of gaming. I had no idea….
    Sounds like you had an awesome time, and met some cool-ass folks.
    Curt and I are going to start a multinational t-shirt business! HOLY CRAP.
    Chat later,
    Birninator

  3. Reiss!

    Those games sound pretty sweet. I’ve started playing GURPS – a very basic game without thrills or frills or quirks or jerks. It’s not bad, though the last game took forever and went absolutely NOWHERE. I was ready to jam a Jenga block down the GMs throat. Oh well, what can you do.

    Reiss!

  4. hmmmm…Jenga-ing for conflict resolution, that sounds interesting.

  5. Kin looks great, and I’m sorry to have missed it. I hope to catch another play test real soon. 🙂

    Curtis, stop playing GURPS. You are far too creative for GURPS. You would have loved the more story-based stuff I played at the con; more importantly, you would have been great at them.

  6. Glad you had fun! (and just wait until next year)

  7. Dude! Thanks very much for sending that copy of Perfect! It’s the perfect inspiration for me to get my own Victorian RPG done! 🙂

  8. Sean

    Hey Chad,

    I would like to hear more about your experiences with DitV.

    I ran it this past weekend but with only 1 player it does seem to lack some of the punch that I was expecting.

  9. Happy to know that Perfect arrived safe and sound, R:tAG! I hope that you didn’t have to pay any duties on it; Michelle mailed it for and didn’t real make any customs declarations… 🙂

    Let me know if you have fun with it. I’ve had a chance to game with the creator here in Vancouver. He is a brilliant and prolific young man, and it is a gamer’s dream to sit down at the same table as both of you.

  10. The sum total of my experience with Dogs runs only about two hours, but it was more than enough to leave me keen for more. We haven’t yet had a chance to play a follow-up session to build upon the characters were created, but hopefully it will come soon (leaving me with more to tell you).

    What kind of punch did you find missing? I thought it had a lot of potential for an ever-escalating narrative in a rich, yet wholly familiar, fantasy setting.

  11. JB

    I must second the request to give up GURPS. If you like the crunchy, try the free FATE or its next-gen, non-free incarnation as Spirit of the Century. I played GURPS for years trying to tease interesting story out of it and it was always a major battle. That’s not what GURPS does well.

  12. Joe McDonald

    Hey Chad!

    I’m super happy that you liked Perfect, as well as the other games I ran. It was really fun to have you in all those groups.

    I can’t wait until you can make it to more game sessions with us.

  13. One of the awesome folks that I met at Weathertop participated in last month’s Game Chef competition, creating a rather intriguing ditty on memory. You can download his hardwork for free via this thread.

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