Oh man, PAX. Oh daaaaaaang you guuuuuuuuys, I did a lot of PAXing in the past few days. I ran through four quiet years, each less quiet than the last. I wandered around an expo hall, frightened by all the loud noises and blinking lights. I saw a really cool Tom Servo puppet, and other cosplay that didn’t include puppets so whatever. I met some interesting folks, I ate a delicious salad, I hung out with a friend, and I Networked like a business-minded mercenary.
(On the other hand, what with all the preparations and stuff, I completely fell off track with regard to editing the novel. That’s okay, I only have like twenty manuscript pages left on this particular draft, and I will get to them tomorrow. It’s my Big Plan for tomorrow.)
Perhaps most importantly, though I wasn’t able to run through the full version of Synanthropes (due, mostly, to folks being more interested in Quiet Year, and that being a game which is playable by only two), I did get four runs of Synanthropes Lite in, teaching me a few important lessons:
- Synanthropes Lite works! It is fun and interesting and folks had a good time. VICTORY.
- Synanthropes Lite drags, just a bit. Just a bit. Maybe instead of fifteen solid minutes of argument, I make it ten minutes, which means that the entire game (including the brief introductions and wrap-up questions) becomes a fifteen-minute affair. And of course, that time is as adjustable as you want to make it. Also, I should make a note that if the conversation about the Artifact ebbs on its own, that’s as good a call as any to fade to black a minute early, just to keep us from needing to harp when we’ve discussed something to death.
- A fifteen-minute con game is a great idea. Like, totally. There were several situations when my game ended with an hour or so before the next sets of games began, There were lots of people who thought an idea was good but didn’t want to spend two hours when there’s so much PAX to do. There were people who I wanted to do stuff with who had other commitments but a few hangout minutes to spare. There were people waiting for games to start, or waiting for another person to sign up for a game, with a little time to kill. There were people who had never played story games before, and would balk at a two hour commitment. ALL of these were events which occurred, and ALL of them were treated with a direct application of Synanthropes Lite, and (at least from my end) all of those games went really well and ended with happy people leaving the table having enjoyed themselves. And of course, happy people leaving the table having enjoyed themselves is basically what gaming is all about for me. (Maybe you disagree. Maybe you’re all about messages and learning and feeling and growing as a person and whatever. That’s fine too. That’s not how I tend to play, though).
- Synanthropes Lite works! Worth mentioning again, because it was a last-second sort of project but managed to hang together into something interesting, so… yes. Super happy.