Here's my Continuum report. Thanks to everyone for organising another great Continuum and everyone who played in one of my games.
This past weekend was Continuum, a UK convention that's held at the University of Leicester every second (even) year. It's been running for a number of years and it has in the past been very focused on Chaosium products. There's always been a large number of Call of Cthulhu games, Gloranthan games and Pendragon games as well as the usual selection of other settings and systems. With the new Gloranthan Runequest release and the 5.2 version of Pendragon these game systems/settings have seen a fresh resurgence.
The convention runs from around midday Friday through Sunday evening although many participants stay over and leave on Monday morning after a final session on Sunday evening. My buddy and I travelled up from the South coast on Friday morning leaving at 9:30 to avoid the rush hour traffic we struggled north via clogged roads as many schools had finished making Friday the first day of the Summer holidays. We arrived just in time for me to throw myself out of the car (not bothering to unload or sign in to the con) and rushing to my first game. It was an Openquest scenario written by Simon Bray and run by Tom Zunder. We had great fun uncovering the significance of the toad god and the strange attraction between the very beautiful women and the very ugly men of the village.
After getting my bag from the car, checking in and having something to eat I sat down for game two. After 10 minutes I found out that it had pulled from the schedule so I headed for the bar.
Saturday morning I had an OSR game picked out. Now Saturday morning was only a three hour slot and the GM had way more material than we could deal with in the time so it got short-circuited to get us to the finale. Several dead characters and two raving PC sorcerers who wanted to rule the world later we broke for lunch.
Saturday afternoon I ran the Wolrd War Cthulhu scenario I'd previously run at Chimeraides where the PCs are French Resistance fighters tasked with finding out if a local Vicomte has a certain book. Much mayhem later they left the Vicomte's home partly burned down and escaping in the priest's coal gas powered car they got stopped at the Milice checkpoint. Four persons in the car and a rising pall of smoke behind them tipped off the troops. The Chanteuse failed to hide hide her pistol and then shot on of the two Milice dead and wounded the other. As the rest of the Milice squad piled out of the hut the priest pulled his Sten from under his robe and cut down the rest of the troops. The two other partisans came across the bodies strewn across the road later as they had to walk home.
Pacing myself I spent Saturday evening in the bar and readied myself for Sunday morning. Sunday featured my Bethorm Tekumel game and the sign up sheet gathered a group of hardened fans. You know that game where the players know more than the gm and make his life hell. Well it wasn't like that at all.
The members of the Glory of the Worm clan set out to discover why the Glass Spear clan had not delivered the necessary amphorae to contain the year's crop of Dlel fruit brandy. As this is a starter type scenario I introduced a Slaver on the trail to add aspects of Tekumel culture slowly to players without any prior experience. This is designed to work as an alternative to the fresh of the boat option for new players.
The characters arrived at the village/administrative centre and saw three Shánu’u flying above them and hunting for something edible. They prepared with a priest who cast Invisibility on them while they shot at the single Shánu’u who stayed behind when the other two departed, It landed and as the Invisibility wore off the clan guards took on the beast ( A ploy to introduce combat gently). They soon had it in dire straits before one priest rushed forward to attack it with his chlen dagger. The player then found out why you don't rush into combat as a priest. The result of Shánu’u 1 Party 0 soon turned into a 1 all draw. The locals came out of hiding and got the chlen carts loaded up and the party was pressured into killing the other two beasts.
With the amphorae on the way the party climbed up to the cave where the Shánu’u laired. Fiding the cave empty but showing signs of ancient occupation they prepared to fight the Shánu’u. By now they had found out the best combat options were to get the clan guards fighting the beast in a bottlenecked area to reduce the number who could engage the party and then proceed to use the Bypass Armour option to improve the damage from one of two points a round each to lots more. One Shánu’u fell to a blow to the head that stunned it and it's mate took a death blow.
The party explored the cave and found it was an old, very old temple to Sarku and ominmous slithering sounds from the depths caused them to choose to report it for a potential reward.
The players had fun, the rules got tested and approved (only one player had used them before) and the scenario was deemed to be suitable mainly unchanged but with some tweaks for a introductory style game.
Final game of the con was a rerun of a Mythras scenario where I have some Greek heroes end up on Monster island in a very Harryhausen movie style game. As usual one cannot put a golden chalice and some gems on a temple altar without someone in the party choosing to try and take them. The Ice Worm Guardian of the Temple of Raylimshaitan and Actinius the human guardian proceed to damage the party and send them fleeing before the drums brought native lizardmen who demanded a return of the stolen goods. The party limped back to Port Grimsand with a single wild boar skin as their 'winnings'. One of the players was the translator of the German version of Mythras material and we had an interesting discussion about the difficulty of translating the Greek material in Mythic Constantinople as German and English use different transliterations of Greek letters.