Breakout Toronto 16-18 March

loz
Joined: April 7th, 2013, 11:16 pm

March 16th, 2018, 11:25 pm #1

I'm at Breakout in the Sheraton Centre this weekend, running plenty of Mythras. Hope to see some Canadian forum regulars there!
The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras
http://www.thedesignmechanism.com
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loz
Joined: April 7th, 2013, 11:16 pm

March 18th, 2018, 3:10 pm #2

Breakout ends today, and it’s kind of fun.

Friday night saw me join a few other industry people in the Game Mentoring Program, where aspiring designers presents their ideas for a 2 hour play test, followed by an hour of analysis and feedback. I was in the group testing Demi Odunsi’s ‘Guillotine Inc’, which is a post apocalypse setting with Rifts style fantasy race mash-ups, SF heroics, and a large dash of Schwarzenegger style adventure heroics. The system is OGL, with a few little tweaks, but otherwise quite straightforward. It was a fun scenario with an incredibly enthusiastic GM who gave the players free rein to be as gonzo as we liked. I wish Demi well in bringing his game to wider audience.

Saturday was meant to be LutherArkwright in the morning, but an absence of players put-paid to that one. Instead I got some work done, and prepped for ‘Gaming By Storm’ in the afternoon. This event was a sort of speed dating for gamers. Sit down at a table with designer, one hour to play, then move to the next game. It got off to a slow start, partly because I don’t think the event was especially well publicized, and partly because it clashed with an auction that kept sapping potential players. Still, I did get two young people, Vanessa and Daniel, who were completely new to RPGs, and we had a very good time playing through ‘House of Valsus’ from Shores of Korantia, with the players taking o the role of thieves searching for a valuable map. They got the key concepts of Mythras quickly, and we had a lot of fun with folk magic, back stabbing, and a hasty escape with a rolled-up carpet.

Saturday evening was a play test for Super Secret project #1, with four players of mixed Mythras experience. I thought I had a 4 hour slot for this, but it was actually only 3, which meant a premature conclusion of proceedings. Yet there was fun to be had with courtly intrigue, and amorous chamberlain, a devious friend of the king, a love-lorn princeling, vain socialite, and an imperilled princess. I’m hopefully running the same game this morning, assuming there are players of course, in a 4 hour slot.

So an enjoyable weekend, all round. Breakout is getting bigger each year, and I hope to see this con become one of the premier events in the industry calendar. I got meet and network with two Canadian designers whose products and really like, and such contacts are always good to cultivate.



Saturday evening saw me play testing a scenario for Super Secret Project
The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras
http://www.thedesignmechanism.com
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Joined: July 9th, 2016, 10:06 am

March 18th, 2018, 6:04 pm #3

Oh, super secret project sounds fun.
FrostByte Books | M-SPACE
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Joined: April 10th, 2013, 2:36 pm

March 19th, 2018, 5:09 pm #4

I attended on Saturday. In the morning I played The Quiet Year, which was quite fun. It's a map game about a post-apocalyptic community that you create by answering questions in turn, one for each week of play. In answering these, you create your settlement and its environs, and a sort of history develops.

Later in the day, I had the opportunity playtest a game in development by the creator of Fate of the Norns that uses a somewhat lighter version of that game in a similar, but darker, setting. It was quite interesting and, I think, I gave him some good tips on how to develop aspects of it.

In the evening, I tried out Ross Rifles, a powered-by-the-apocalypse game about the Canadian forces in the first world war. It, too, was interesting as far as it went, emulating the infantry experience of trench warfare. I'm not entirely satisfied that it was the right system for the setting, as it seemed a little too rigid for a full exploration. I was not able to make a character that modeled by great grandfather, for example, who held the rank of gunner. But even so, it was a good effort.

Sadly, my afternoon Pendragon game evaporated when the GM didn't show, but that gave me some to catch up with Lawrence and watch him some of his sessions.

If you ever have the chance to play one of Lawrence's games, then you should definitely take it. I watched him run two sessions on the weekend, one with new players to RPGs, and one with more seasoned players, and all of them were absolutely enthralled. Lawrence is a great improviser, and brings NPCs alive with the art of a stage actor. He can really draw people into a game - it's highly entertaining even to watch. One of the players was more jaded and reluctant, but even he got sucked in and boy, I never saw someone get so excited after rolling a 23! By the end he, too, was deep into the intrigue of the scenario and like the rest, emerged from the session full of enthusiasm for the art of roleplaying.
“Infinite are the arguments of mages...”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
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Joined: December 8th, 2013, 3:00 am

March 20th, 2018, 10:06 pm #5

I'm jealous.  I may need to make a pilgrimage next time around...
SAVAGE SWORDS AGAINST THE NECROMANCER is here. Check out Old Bones Publishing on DriveThruRPG.com!
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