Warning Label:I’m reviewing the KapCon games I played in some detail. There will be spoilers that make it impossible to play the game, and I will be naming names of people I played with and things I both liked and disliked. If you think you’ll be offended, I suggest you stop reading now and go hug a Sperm Whale.
I ended up playing this game because I was loitering around after round 3 nosing out a game with my friends. I’d been talking a little with Steve Hix about playing something, but when it came time, his groupies were talking about a bunch of games that didn’t particularly interest me, while Marcus was hard-selling me on EPOCH – even enlisting Mr Morgue to do some pretty intense trash talking. Dale running EPOCH for a superstar group wasn’t to be passed up lightly. Probably the best decision I made all weekend.
This EPOCH scenario isn’t literally a tunnel of fun – it’s an elevator. You play convicted criminals whose futuristic prison ship has a crisis requiring evacuation and hilarity ensues. Only Price Slash is comparably simple and straightforward, and that gave us the space we needed for dialling the character stories all the way up. People bounced ideas off each other, riffed on concepts, got engaged in banter, betrayed each other, and tried to get through alive.
There was one tiny problem, the odd-player-out that nobody else at the table knew. Even Dale, the best GM ever at managing a group and squeezing drama from them had to admit to being bemused by his squirrel-infested flashbacks. I had no idea what on earth he was doing any of the time, but at least he seemed to be having fun doing it. Unsurprisingly, in the voting, he was one of the first to die.
I think Marcus summed up the experience best afterwards. “It was us.” This game was a perfect illustration of the Who not What principle for good gaming experiences – get that group together again and it’s hard not to see it having a great time.
And so… the worst game I played at KapCon was also the best.