Somehow in the details of the various games, I have not illuminated what made this KapCon the best for some time. And that’s because, honestly, I have no idea what it is. A mix of better expectations and a sense of being accomplished. I’m not a Rock Star but I feel like I’m consistently competent. If your game didn’t work, it wasn’t because of something I didn’t do. If you didn’t have a great time in one of my games, it’s not because the game wasn’t solid. Maybe not true in the detailed analysis of things, but emotionally where I’ve gotten to. Maybe, as I’m constantly being accused of, I’ve just reached that curmudgeonly state of uncaring and uncomprehending. Who knows? I invite theories that make me sound cool. One way or another, my energy levels and interest in the hobby have been very much bolstered by this year.
KapCon itself seems to be in decent shape. There were lots of people contributing lots of energy and having a great time. On the other hand, it did shrink this year and especially so in the social spaces at the beginning and end of the weekend. We’ve come a long way from when everyone at the after party had to come up with both a favourite KapCon moment and a favourite Jon Ball moment. As with previous years, I find it a bit difficult to imagine where KapCon will “go”. I expect in real terms, it’s not doing anything much different in the foreseeable future: if it ain’t broke and all that. Most of the little changes these past few years, like this year’s expanded flyers, have been good – I imagine KapCon will schlep its way closer to perfection next year too.
I feel like this year, one way or another, the GM pool is largely at a decent level of stable competence. While the GMs can always do more by writing better games and bringing more energy to the table, I felt like this year the weak link was the influx of inexperienced players. This is an incredibly arrogant position to take, but I think that somehow or another, we need to learn what we can from the truly exceptional players that abound and impart that knowledge into the people who lack even the creative oomph to make up a name and appearance for their own character, or who bail out at the first sign of having to investigate a crime scene in the police drama they’ve signed up for. Dale describes this as Player Activation in EPOCH, and that’s where I feel like the real challenge for us old hands is: following Dale’s lead. Come to think of it, most of us were already there before now.
My personal challenge now is to use the energy that I’ve got this time out. I’ve got Death in the Streets to finish up for Dale, Ive got to tidy my last Gametime post for rpgreview.net, and I’ve got to prep for session 2 of my Deadlands game. Ideally that will all be done within the next few days and then what?
I feel like now that I’ve gotten the hang of EPOCH, I should do at least one more adventure for that. There’s been some talk of coordinating the various games Dale’s cadre is working on, and WWII was mentioned as one possible block of games in which case I’ll do Where Zombies Dare, my 2005 CONfusion game. Zombies, I feel, have got to be in there somewhere. If EPOCH can’t breathe new life into the shamblers, maybe their day is really done.
I’m also contemplating a Dresden Files RPG game, possibly with some assistance. It would be nice to write a third TORG adventure that successfully merges the extremely personal stories of The Storm Breaks with the mission aspects of A World of Possibilities, but it occurs to me that TORG is dead and there are still-living games that I could explore. Fate Core seems like it’ll have a great launching pad for things – perhaps a sequel to Spirit of the Tentacle set in their Shadow of the Century game? However it works out, I want to bring a new game to each of Buckets, CONfusion and Fright Night, probably with another round of repeats for KapCon 2014.
Mostly though, however it works out, I want to do more RPGing this year. I’m optimistic about the Deadlands game, and I’m very keen to see whether the Friday group can get a bit more regular, and otherwise, I’m definitely in the market for another game.