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The Kraken! - Convention report


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So, it is now day three of the most relazing gaming convention in the world. We pity the poor people who are now frantically running around among the GenCon booths: they should stop and take a break. Naturally, they should stop only in front of booth #315 where Dom McDowall of Cubicle 7 is selling all that nice BRP and HeroQuest stuff ;-D

Here at the Kraken, we are having less games-per-hour, more rest and the same fun as always.

Having arrived on Wednesday afternoon, I have already attended Professor Privat's nightly seminar on the subject "Sculpt and paint your own Shoggoth." Painting your Shoggoth pink is a striking experience. And when I say that we take things slowly, I mean that we are making all the boards and pieces for the miniature games we will play.

Yesterday morning, instead, while Gianni was delving into the mysteryes of Glorantha with Greg himself, I attended Professor Petersen's lecture about "Horror in gaming". In the afternoon Prof. Petersen had us do a collective exercise: we designed a Call of Cthulhu scenario with him, "Danse Macabre". Scary stuff! You cannot imagine what he created, starting only with a couple pages torn off a German tabloid. I cannot give you the details, as we are all gonna use that scenario in the future.

Instead of dinner, yesterday we had the first of our Chaosium barbecues. I thought that it cannot be a barbecue without Charlie, but I was pleasantly surprised when Meghan managed to replace him effectively.

In the night, I could finally play tabletop Axis and Allies for the first time in twenty years. Fabian has an incredibly well preserved copy of this vintage game. A pity we were too few for Civilization.

Day three opens with the Myth of Creation: the wastes of Genertela lie formless under our eyes, like a big raw sack, and the gods Gregenert and Danwaha are slowly creating the familiar features of Prax on them with their mythic brushes, waiting for the Five Great Nations to fight their endless war on them (as I said, everything is painted on the spot).

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Here at the Kraken, we are having less games-per-hour

Er, no, not me!

Today, apart from Greg's HQ mystery game and panels, I've played a most excellent CoC game set in 1771 Prague, Cosmic Encounter, Sticht oder Nicht, Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans, and I have prepared my character sheet for tomorrow's Humakti HQ game.

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So, day 3 ended with a fantastic game of Mythic Iceland: we kicked some troll arses and completed a bloody vendetta, then had to justify our violent actions in front of the Law of Men (the gods were already with us). Cool stuff (well, it is ICEland...). Especially the magic system, which is very fun and requires a lot of creativity.

During the night Malia stroke, and today half of the attendees, who failed their Stamina roll, are sick. Sandy's Dino-freeform is postponed, so the few of us who rolled their CON are working and waiting to play Prax at War. Gianni is completing Tian Xia, and I am working on something secret (ok, I'll tell you, it's RQ in Italian) in the meanwhile.

The food is really exquisite, and can satisfy even the greatest gourmets.

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Day four was fantastic despite the infection. We ran a game of Prax Wars and it was really, really fantastic. Kudos to the god Gregenert for creating such a fantastic blend of Freeform and wargame elements.

After dinner we celebrated our victory at the Ennies, but Pete was so busy writing for RuneQuest that he missed the party. Too bad for him.

In the night I had a game of Call of Cthulhu set in the woods of Main in 1924. Six players in it. We failed our goals and were slaughtered, while one consisteng portion of Maine was devastated by the Outer Gods. A normal day in Call of Cthulhu.

Day five is the last gaming day. Professor Petersen's freeform lasted all day, and provoked a lot of laughters. Have you ever played Dinosaur Poker?

In the afternoon we could finally meet the heir to the Richard dinasty, and see all the original maps of Glorantha, hand drawn by Greg. An exciting experience.

So, unless I want to play with the Shoggoths and Investigators we painted before, the last remaining event for me is playing 3:16, the only non-d100 game I will play in this con.

The food was really great, and it mixes perfectly with the atmosphere: we are in a nice glade, like in the Hansel and Gretel tale, and they are literally stuffing us with food. And there is also a nice old lady who is now heating a very large oven....


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Sounds like it was really fun, and the map and miniature making provided an artsy craftsy break from gaming itself that even the kids could get into. Were the "shoggoths" made from Sculpy or something similar? My nephew made a monster board game with game pieces of similar material. Sigh, I haven't been able to attend my local conventions, much less a big regional or national blow-out like Kraken or GenCon.

Re: Photo #1 - Are those alien genital organs protruding from the Cthulhu napkin holder? Ugh! No wonder the poor sailors went insane! Besides, the napkins are the right color; if he had any decency, he'd fashion a pair of purple shorts for himself a la The Incredible Hulk or Fin Fang Foom! =O


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Rosen and Gianni: thanks a lot for the report! Strangely, reports of this con are very rare to find!

I'm interested in that Pavis map that appears in the photos. What was the game about? Could you elaborate on this, please? ;)

Any news about the upcoming Pavis releases (Mongoose and Moon Design's)? :7

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Thanks for the link to Gloranthan Army. It must have been a fun game.

It was.

How was it run? What rules were used? Who won? :)

The game is set at the time of the Lunar invasion of Prax. The players play the roles of Lunar, Praxian, or "neutral" characters, all army or tribe leaders, or high priests. The characters are supposed to all be meeting at the Paps, on neutral grounds, whilst their armies go on waging war. Each character has their own game goals, which gives some serious in-fighting amongst the Praxians and some sneaky manoeuvres amongst the Lunars. The game unfolds at two parallel levels: 1) the freeform amongst the players, and 2) the Diplomacy- and boardgame-like game that uses the map, with written orders, and battle resolution using a modified C&C system.

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The Kraken was a great convention, and I really enjoyed having the extra number of days to enjoy all the games on offer and to be able to chat with all the attendees.

My Mythic Iceland game session was really good fun, and I'd like to thank all the players for their enthusiastic participation!

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So I have no experience organizing Cons but to put together a US BRP/RQ/HQ type con ala Tentacles/Kraken the steps would be:

1) Book a cool location

2) Ship Fabian over

3) Provide lots of beer (inferred from reading con reports of said conventions).

And the rest will pretty much take care of itself?

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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