Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THIS is how you run a Traditional Gaming Group.

This evening I had to opportunity to re-visit Madison Traditional Gaming after a long absence. It used to be I would try to get in on one of their monthly Saturday sessions. Then my work schedule changed and I lost my weekends off, seriously damaging my ability to game at all. While I still don't have Saturdays and Sundays to myself, I do now have Tuesdays off. Normally, I spend them at The Game Store, chatting and painting minis with my friends, but at Gary Con, MTG's organizer Victor Raymond, invited me to come to the Tuesday night sessions at Pegasus Games they added since the last time I made the hour-long trek from Muskego to Madison.

I was not disappointed.
Pegasus' game room.

Over 30 people showed up. Six games are being run at the same time: a "0 Ed." D&D game, a WEG Star Wars game, Microlite 74, and three Savage Worlds games. ("But Savage Worlds isn't a old school game?!" It certainly is, in spirit.) Since I was only there to visit that night, I didn't get involved in any of the games. I only observed.

Victor's D&D game.
One of the major differences between Madison and Milwaukee gamers is how open and accepting the former are and how insular and cliquey the latter seem. My attempts at running similar events in my area have only brought forth less than half-a-dozen people and I found that they can be VERY particular about what they play and who they play with. Maybe it's Madison's "college town" culture, who can say?

One of the Savage Worlds game.
There was gaming fun to be had by all until 10 pm. So many people, so many games. I only wish that I my miniature painting night was sometime other than Tuesdays. If I'm going to bring about anything similar in Milwaukee, I've got a tough act to follow and a tougher row to hoe.

Sigh...OK, I'll post something.

As I had originally intended to write a in-depth run down of Gary Con and all of the fun I had. However, immediately after the con, a nasty bout of depression coupled with a chest cold sort of sapped my will to live for a while. Now it's three weeks later and I'm feeling a little better, but posting on a finished convention would seem... dull.

I will say this: as usual, Gary Con was loads of fun. I got to go to a awesome party at Frank Metzner's place; ran two games of S&W set in Mu; got TPKed by Tim Kask... again; played Cyberpunk 2020, a game I never thought I'd ever get to try; and got in my annual game of Empire of the Petal Throne run by Victor Raymond. Assuming I'm still alive next year, I'll be going yet again.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get my Milwaukee Traditional Gaming group back up and running. For the last couple of years, my insane work schedule has made it impossible to play much if anything and the group, which has always been painfully small, fell into neglect. Now my days are a little more open, and I found out that one of  Games Universe's locations is moving to a new place that's closer to home with more gaming space.  As soon as they are settled in, I intend to run games on Wednesday nights. I need to find a partner willing to run another game to give to encourage a bit of variety. From there, I hope to have several games of all sorts running at once. 

Also, my experience of running Mu at Gary Con has made me re-evaluate a few things. I'm thinking of tweaking the Magic User class a little. Lovecraftian magic out to be a powerful but physically mentally draining and prone to failure, something that doesn't really work with a traditional Vanican system. Monstrosities and abominations from beyond the boundaries of curved space-time shouldn't be so easily slain by your a mere spell-slinger with Fireball memorized a few times. You gotta work for it!