Monday, November 14, 2016

Mepacon 31 After Action Report

This past weekend was Mepacon 31 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

It was my second straight three-day appearance at my local con and I was quite happy with everything overall.

My plan on leaving work early on back-to-back Fridays fell completely apart, with my boss at off-site meetings, our senior rep calling out sick, and half the staff  either suffering pregnancy nausea or had someone in hospice.  The fact that I got up to the Hilton for the dinner reception with a few minutes to spare had more to do with surprisingly clear traffic than putting out work fires in a timely manner. 

Friday Night:  I decorated my GM screen appropriately and set up for my TOON: Cthulhu Comes to Springfield 2: Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos game, only to find the table had been double-booked with a full CoC table of gamers!

It might be time to retire the TOON game.  It's a hit and miss game, with either full tables, or no one, plus my Simpsons-Fu is only good up until the movie, so I don't know what jokes and tropes are valid or tired.  With too many issues with kids pushing the envelope, the M-Rating/Adults Only moniker on the event description probably scared away potential players as well.   Plus, it looks like TOON will never be a supported game ever again. 

My disappointment was quickly erased, as I took three steps back and got pulled into a game of Fiasco.

I came to the realization that I essentially run the kid's game like a session of Fiasco, usually with slightly better chance of success.   The theme of game was based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a Homecoming Queen election and involved vampires, deep ones, plenty of necromancy, Flamenco dancing, and a possessed Ferrari.   I enjoyed it.  It was fun to be vocal as a player, and sometimes it was fun to sit back and watch the others act out the scene.  There was also a LOT of dancing involved

I snagged up Maja's t-shirt and grabbed Taco Bell on the way home.

I got Maja up, stopped for a giant breakfast, since she  has developed hollow leg syndrome and is eating me out of house and home.  We got her registered and started Mousling Fantasy. 

The stripped down Savage Worlds rules worked well in a game involving disappearing gems, a dance party, ice cream, and a kidnapped princess.    I removed the wild die on traditional roles, saving it for only times when players wanted to try something heroic  
No Giant Monkeys Were Harmed in Running Mousling Fantasy.
We wrapped up early enough to grab lunch at Pappas, a few games of Millipede, and browse comics at Comics on the Square. 


We got back just in time to drop Maja off at the kid's LARP.   To keep up with the dystopian post-apocalyptic future, the projects and games all had to do with global warming and escaping an unsustainable Earth.  Ultimately, they had to construct a space-ship to escape.

Constructing the space ship.
I had just enough time to grab my auction stuff and some minis before one of the staff members came out with Maja.  Apparently, one of the activities involved using small wooden tools and she had somehow managed to cut her finger right at the cubicle.   A little ice, a few hugs, and soon she was running back to fulfill her duties as the engineer of the spaceship.
Ready for Take-Off!
BattleTech Alpha Strike
The kid's LARP was so popular this year, that it ran a hour over into the next time slot, which happened to be my Mousling Fantasy #2 game.  With the heroes succeeding all their objectives in the first game, we collectively agreed to turn it into a monkey hunt.    Unfortunately, no kids from the LARP meant no players for my game.  Maja was actually quite distraught that "no one would play with us." 
That's a big monkey...
The Monkey Hunt may return for Mepacon 32, with a few teams of gnomes. 
The cupcake lady...
We hung around a bit, played some giant Jenga, snatched up some raffle tickets, and made a guess at the dice guess, before settling down in our chairs for the announcements and games auction.
Alpha Strike:  Lot's of mechs, less Battletech feel
The raffle and dice guess were busts for us, but I'm proud to say that Maja won the coloring contest for the second time.  I swear she's won more, but I forget that her sister won two years ago, we skipped the first two cons when they moved to Scranton, and Maja actually won the mini painting contest last year. 
A groovy dropship?
The auction was pretty decent, with a number of items choice items not making it out due to low buyout prices.  I managed to snag up yet another train game of some sort, plus a copy of Russian Scrabble for a buck. 
Maja was exhausted so we called it a night, packed up, and grabbed food before heading home. 
Giant Jenga!
Sunday is always a tough day for a con, but I was happy to see a decent crowd for the morning session.  The TOON game was a bust, but I did jump into a Call of Cthulhu game (as a player!  A rarity indeed!)
The Keeper was running scenarios from Ripples From Carcosa and we played the Dark Ages one.   The kingdom was saved with some serious hand-waving, but we had a blast nonetheless.  One last stop for a Darth Chocolate cupcake for my wife and a side-trek to the FLGS in Wilkes-Barre and I was home for an afternoon of leaf raking.

Swag:  A couple of visits to the cupcake stand, a 2nd Edition Mystara supplement to the Montrous Compendium plus my auction wins made a lean con.  Over a long time, I watched the dealers evolve into a huge boardgame centric basis, but I've only seen a few choice item, or a few heavily discounted items move over the course of the weekend.  I spent more at my bi-annual trip to the comic book store. 
No matter what, I had a hoot, Maja's still wiped, and we're prepping for the next con.....
Next Con's Theme:  Gnomes and Fairies!

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