- May 11, 2011
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InfrnoCon #1 Report: Scenes from an RPG buffet
I was fortunate enough to be asked to GM in Infrnos first convention style event, InfrnoCon. That Saturday I ran two sessions -- a CthulhuTech one-shot Tager scenario that I called Bloody Innocent, and a session of InSpectres run from character/franchise build on up.
First, both sessions went wonderfully. I was concerned about focused server traffic causing latency increase and instability in the connections, but with the exception of an off-site server failure only minutes before the event start, the tables were stable and error free. I won't say that everything was flawless, but I did have a player signing in for InSpectres all the way from South Korea. His connection was 5 x 5, and had not been told after the fact, I would never have known that he was so distant.
Overall the event brought to the table what you usually get at con-sessions. A variety of games, a number of registered no-shows, people new to your particular flavor, a few that are familiar with it, old friends, and strangers (now new friends). I was lucky enough not to have any player conflicts or personality issues that needed to be wrestled with. Everyone was pleasant and focused on the game. In fact, the latter point is something that I have found fairly consistent on Infrno; when players round up for a game, they show up and engage the game on the table after only short periods of that pre-game grab-ass that a referree would foul for "delay of game". I've yet to see the extended period of horsing around, cutting up, and fetching of Mt. Dew and munchies that usually accompanies a RL game night.
Infrno also allowed me to do what usually can't be pulled off at a convention; sending pre-game material to players. At a RL convention table, the first block set out is usually an explanation of the setting, resolution system, and character backgrounds for anyone not familiar with the game. Infrno allowed me to nail some of this before the session even started. With Bloody Innocent, I was able to post game blogs that covered some background, relevant NPC's, as well as a memo that would serve as the groups mission guideline well before the event day. I was also able to post pre-gen characters and notify all of the registered players that the materials were available, and that they should reveiew it and register a pregen before game day. I also pre-set the table with blocks of text that covered the relevant game mechanics for reference during play; a virtual hand-out. All of this was a big time saver that allowed me to touch on the salient details and get the game rolling right away.
My biggest disappointment was that since I was GM-ing in both time slots, I was unable to participate in either the Mouseguard session, nor Matt Grau's scheduled The Void scenario! Hopefully, as membership and participation on Infrno rises, I'll have a free slot to join in some of these other games myself!