You can find Part 1 here.
We’d left off half-way through our gaming day…
This is the 3rd time I’ve played Mothership (I’ve run it once, we played it at Gen Con this year, and now Dragon Con). Each time has leaned into a different style. One was more suspense/horror, one was a scalvaging mission dealing with pirates, and this one was a race against time as the colony we were on slowly disentigrated. As we all noted, the actual adventure ended a little early (maybe 45 minutes early), but due to the way things were run with us bouncing from various points on the map, trying to get to the Space Port, it felt like a full session.
I also appreciated the Warden (GM) letting us know not to bother picking the Scientist character class as we built our characters since this adventure was more focused on combat/speed. Too many games don’t let you know something like that, and then you have to just make your way through the adventure without the skills truly needed to succeed.
The Warden also simplified the initiative system, just going in clockwise order. You had 2 actions – you could move and shoot, you could shoot twice, or you could move twice. All of that did a great job of keeping the game moving with a heightened level of tension throughout.
Mothership really can be whatever you need it to be, and since character creation is so strightforward, it might be a perfect convention game.
After that we ended up going out to eat, finding out that some places shut their kitchen down 2 hours earlier than you would think. And here I thought that was only a Indianapolis policy.
We woke up bright and early because Chad Shonk had a Star Wars panel at 10 AM. Let me say that by day 3 of any convention, 10 AM might as well be 6 AM for how excited I am to wake up that early… but I braved the morning and we made it down there about 10:10. The panel was on the High Republic books/comics/etc, which I have close to zero knowledge on. I’m good with the various live-action shows Disney Plus puts out, and back in the day I collected most of the old Dark Horse comics, but once the rebooted those stories, I used that as a perfect time to jump off the bandwagon.
However, this time frame interests me in not only how they’ve rolled it out, but also because it truly is a time period that hadn’t been explored. So even if I wasn’t sure about all the details and characters the panel talked about… it did get me back in the mode to start reading those novels and see if they can grab me like the old ones once did.
After that was a quick stop at the Art Show and a visit with Amanda Makepeace. I’ve known her since high school, but over this last decade her talents have reached truly awesome levels.I was so happy to hear she had won the Hank Reinhardt Award, which is a lifetime achievement award that honors someone that has made significant contributions to fandom culture in Georgia. So amazing.
Lastly, we made our way to the Firefly panel where they avoided talking explicitly about the show, but didn’t shy away from saying the names of certain shows they’d been on. We actually got a handful of great stories about Ron Glass which were both sad and funny and really the perfect type of story to tell at the panel. The other thing I always take away from the cast is how much they appear to truly like/love each other. From the physical touching here and there, to the inside jokes, to the shared text chain… I always like to think that the people on my shows are friends (even if I know that isn’t the case), but here, I think it is very true.
There was another panel I’d hoped to jump to, but it was about 3 hours later, and I hit the wall. I hated cutting things short, but between all the walking, waking up “early”, and knowing that if I didn’t listen to my body I’d end up with Con Crud (or worse), we called it. All told, I think the Saturday gaming is likely to become a annual thing, helping to break up the weekend very nicely, and really letting me experience even more the con has to offer.
One last thing before I go.
I was reminded of the scene from Mallrats where Brodie ends up ranting:
“Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don’t hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent – I don’t care which one – but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator.”
Apparently, in 2023, people no longer understand fundamentals of using the escalator.
First, you have to clear the area in front of where the escalator ends. You see, unlike regular stairs where you can potentially hang out, these “moving stairs” are going to dump more and more people ontop of you. So when you don’t move quick enough, I end up bumping into you… that doesn’t give you liscense to give me a dirty look. YOU need to move it!
Second, when you are getting on the escalator, you normally allow the person at least one step of distance. If you don’t know the person, you do NOT get on the same step as me. I’m not sure why you would think that was a thing we were suddenly doing. But maybe I missed the memo.
Third, reread the quote above. Almost had a little girl (say 4-5 years old) in her pretty princess costume get run over because she didn’t step off at the end, instead tried to slide off for some reason. Luckily, she didn’t fall, and I had given an extra step to seperate us… thus avoiding disaster.
Look, I just want to have a fun convention, but apparently all of you need to go back to class and figure this mechanism out again.
John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.
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