Making a return for a second year DevaCon is a small and friendly tabletop gaming convention running out of the ever so posh Crowne Plaza in Chester. The event was organised by Stephanie McAlea, the owner of Stygian Fox who have published some amazing Call of Cthulhu material (as I don’t GM Call of Cthulhu I take that on trust from a good friend who’s opinion I highly trust).
The start of the day was a little chaotic, but that’s part of the fun of a smaller event and well before the first session kick off at 10:30 everyone had settled down to play. The day was split into three slots, 10:30-14:00, 15:00- 18:30 and 19:30-23:00.
Despite The One Ring being the first RPG I bought after coming in from the cold I’ve not played it, indeed I haven’t looked at it since a cursory reading of the rules nearly two years ago. I was keen to try the game out and for slot 1 managed to grab a space on the game GM’d by Steve Turner. The group randomly selected characters, I picked Beran of the Mountains, a hardy Beorning who was pretty handy with an axe and so we set off on our adventure. After a quick explanation by Steve, the system seemed intuitive and flowed well at the table, and it didn’t take too long for us all to get into the swing of things. With all of the characters feeling very distinctive and riffing of archetypes that felt very familiar we had a lot of fun; the haughty elf, a happy go lucky hobbit, a taciturn dwarf and a couple of rugged, fatalistic humans. Combat was exciting with the clever tactical element of stances which determine how effective your character is and when they can act in a round. I enjoyed the narrative, it had a strong Tolkien feel to it; we brushed through much of the travelling, but I suspect that was due to this being a short one shot session. With my focus on other games at the moment I don’t expect I would run this anytime soon myself, but would happily play it again, particularly in a campaign where I can see the real strengths of the game shining through.
Following an extended lunch and an opportunity to catch the second half of the Merseyside derby it was my turn to GM in slot 2. I was running a Lamentations of the Flame Princess homebrew adventure The Greater Share of Honour, set on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt. I don’t want to give any detail here as I’m going to be running this adventure again at UK Games Expo on 2nd June. What I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed running the game and the players seemed to enjoy it to, bringing their characters to life and throwing themselves into their roles as members of The Aliquam Martialis (my entirely fictional King Henry V’s special police force).
Feeling just a little tired heading into the final game of the day in slot 3, I was looking forward to trying out The Cthulhu Hack GM’d by Andrew Clark. Andrew is the Flashing Blades GM from a Mersey Game Knights Monday evening Roll20 group, so I knew it would be a good game. Set in Egypt in 1800, Napoleon had invaded, intent on becoming a modern day Alexander the Great. Our erstwhile band of investigators consisting of ruffians, soldiers, engineers and scholars set off into the desert sands following orders to retrieve an ancient weapon. Right from the beginning things just didn’t go according to plan…
As Andrew is running this adventure at Virtual Grogmeet this coming weekend so I won’t say much more, other than Andrew takes his role as an evil GM quite seriously. In a good way.
My first DevaCon was a real treat, a great day of gaming. The venue was fantastic with great facilities, there was a great range of games on offer and I met some amazing people. Hope we can do it all again next year!