Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Into the Breach

This weekend, Megan and I are going to our first gaming convention. It's Breakout Con in Toronto, and we're pretty excited about it.

Sure, we've been to small gaming conventions put on by the local game club at Western University, but this is a whole other level. It's three days of games, with industry professionals there to run games and sit on panels about the hobby, and maybe, if we're lucky, let us fans buy them a drink or two.

Since we're veterans of spending a week at Disney World, we know that the trick to an event like this is to pace yourself and not try to do everything. We have signed up for a modest amount of games, and a couple of panels, and are trying to keep enough time that we can eat and sleep and other civilized things.

In January, I was working a contract job, and keeping in touch throughout the day with Megan via e-mail. One morning, I happened to mention offhand that the registration for the convention might open soon. Bizarrely, it opened that morning. Megan did the work of signing us up for games as quickly as possible, as we were terrified we wouldn't get the games we wanted (and be condemned to the Hell of a Thousand Mediocre D&D games). It turned out that we were way ahead of the curve, and games filled up slowly, but we did get the games we were most interested in -- games that were being run by the people who wrote them! I'm very excited that we're going to get to play in games with Emily Care Boss, Anna Kreider, Epidiah Ravachol, and Jason Pitre. And Robin Laws is supposed to be there for at least one of the panels we're going to.

Mostly, this is supposed to be a fun weekend for us, a mini-vacation away from our usual responsibilities and familiar scenes. But whenever you get an opportunity to play with creators of this calibre, you also have to be ready to pay attention and see what new stuff you can learn and bring to your own table.

Cons are always a little strange, because you have a short period of time to get comfortable with a new group of players and try to establish enough trust and rapport that you can have some good moments of drama. Hopefully this is a little easier with industry professionals at the helm, but I guess we'll see.

Wish us luck on our adventure!

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