Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Revenge of the Harn Weather Table (A ErieCon Tale)

In last monday's game session the party decided not to continue to push west to reach the adventure site. It was obvious they were walking into a warzone and that it would not be a good idea. So they decided to go directly north over the Barradine Mountains to reach the adventure site. The hazard of crossing mountain is the treacherous terrain and weather.

Sure enough the party ran into a blizzard. Almost immediately Dwayne and Tim started teasing me about using the Harn weather table as it was a major component of the Hunting the Cow incident. (The reason they had to hunt was the weather slowed them down causing them to run out of food). And yes I was using the Harn weather table using this site to generate a month worth of weather.

If you use this site the months are Spring (Nuzyeal, Peonu, Kelen), Summer (Nolus, Larane, Agrazhar), Autumn (Azura, Halane, Savor), Winter (Ilvin, Navek, Morgat).

Despite not having any campaign gear the party managed to get below the treeline before the worst of the storm hit and found shelter among the pine woods.

Well when I set out to goto ErieCon 2010 the weather at Meadville was pretty good with most of the road all blacktop and little snow. The weather report indicated a less severe day than the blizzards we got on Friday. But when I past Edinboro an OK day turned into a near blizzard. Since I was only 10 minutes away from the Erie I continued on.

ErieCon was pretty hard hit by the weather and there was only 50 to 60 folks there. Most of them playing videogames, Magic, or another card game. Both my panel and game session was a bust. But luckily for me Jason Sholtis and his crew were playing a S&W game in a module of his own design called Operation: Unfathomable. It is set in his version of the mythic underworld and Jason runs it very well. It was a creepy eerie play full of weirdness and other strange denizens.

What I like especially was the feel of plausibility as it was very clear the area was a wellspring born of chaos. I know that is a strange combination but the right amount of plausibility can do wonders to the suspension of disbelief and Jason did a good job of it.

Since I came late I got to play some of the hirelings, Flaunt an archer, and Cuthuk (sp?) a spearmen. I played Flaunt with a strong drawl and the personality of a hick. Cuthuk was always on the frontline ready to protect those who hired him. I suppose I did something right as I had table laughing at their antic several time. The adventure revolved around find a lost magic rod.

Later one of the players had to leave early and I picked up his mage Lashamar. It came handy near the end of the adventure where I was blasting robots from the future with magic missles, put a whole miniature civilization to sleep with a spell so we could retrieve the magic rod safely, and finally charming a bear man from the future who wanted the rod to go work on a spaceship to get him out of the way.

I really glad I took the plunge and played. Jason style is not something I normally do, I learned a lot in the few short hours I played. It one thing to read Jeff Rients and others about mythic underworlds and funhouse dungeons but nothing beats playing one. Again Jason's version is very well done.

After the game I talked with Jason and his friend John Larrey. It turned out they are both illustrators who have done comics on their own and had some stuff published in Knockspell (both art and adventures). I was ecstatic that I found some local artists that I can hire for future projects. The con was a bust for the plans I had. But in the end it worked out very well.


Gothridge Manor said...

That's what you get for using Harn weather maps. I warned you Rob.

That's great you made some connections there. I know you need some artists because none of us can draw worth a darn.

jasons said...

Oh, brother, what a shame about poor Eriecon. By rights, it should have been teeming with gamers from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo (and the space could easily have accomodated many many folks), all within striking distance. I feel bad about your plans and wish I could have hung around longer. Thanks sincerely for your kind words. It was my first shot at a con game and even though I thought I took pains to design a four hour scenario...well...things sure got improvised toward the end. You made a great addition to the game and I found your innocent hick-from-the-sticks characterizations hilarious.
Have a swell Sunday.

jasons said...

oh was Knockspell, not Fight On!, for the record.

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

> bear man from the future

aka wookie? Did you just help crush the rebellion by not letting Chewie use the Hyperspanner?

Robert Conley said...

No Wookie it was literally a bear man. I believe it was a Star War race called the Yazzua or something like that.