It was with an invasive sense of horror that I realised I’ve less than a week until Tentacles and my preparation for four (count ‘em) Pendragon games is not even really started, never mind complete. I’ve got characters to write out, baddies to stat, plots to configure, props, maps, all sorts I could do… so why have I waited so long? Laziness? Partially. Hoochie leading me astray. Sort of. But mainly because I know it’ll all work out fine. How do I know this? Read on dear readers, read on…
First and foremost I’m running the same game system four times. Having just one set of rules to cover off makes things a lot easier. I normally take a variety to conventions, Tentacles is limited in scope to the old school Chaosium type stuff, so I was tempted by Delta Green, but in the end I couldn’t guarantee I’d have a really involving game ready and Pendragon needs pushing, as it’s a great game that has stood the test of time and in many ways works better than Cthulhu, which has much better press.
Being consistent in what you run can help long term too. Savage is a long time favourite and will be back again at Furnace. Unknown Armies is my weapon of choice for character interaction or blagging games. I’ll still keep trying varieties of different things, but with Pendragon added to the above stable I’ve got a good core to work with. As a result I’ve got some coats of arms, and other bits and pieces hanging around. Having a stack of the fancy stuff in the bag, really cuts down on time needed for your con prep.
Pendragon is one of those games where you can fight other people like yourself as a player character. So any knights I’ve got knocking about from previous games make perfect adversaries for future games, and are fully fleshed out with a bit of history and everything. Genius. In addition, the book itself provides plenty of generic knights, to which the odd Passion or Trait can be magnified to give a distinctive opponent very quickly. And then of course there are many fae creatures to call upon too.
So apart from printing things off, all I’ve really got to do is sort out the plots. I’ve got the sketch of three of them already and I’ll spend some time at the weekend end beefing those out. I’ll probably write up the process for this after the con, if everything goes well when the games run. If the games turn out to be pants, I doubt anyone will be interested in the process I went through to make them that way… The fourth game will require more work, but I’ve got the weekend, in between seeing a young lady, to get that sorted. What could possibly go wrong?
If you want less work for your conventions, and attend a few then seriously look at paring down your choice of games. Or more accurately have a stable of “go to” games that you know you’re comfortable running and have some support for in advance of the convention or even before you’re started prepping anything. I’ll always pick one or two different things to keep myself interested of course. To stop the boredom this time round, I’ve picked four differences to the setting, rather than worry about running different games per se. One straight up Pendragon for people who want to try it out or are a bit dyed in the wool. A Viking style bad boy, give that there are plenty of Teutonic and Scandinavian people attending. One playing squires, to get a different perspective on the same old game world and finally a zombie survival horror to prove that you can run this game about knights with a different backdrop and the system and core concepts still hold strong.