Mental Access to MTKuszek

Mental Access to MTKuszek
A Window of Opportunity

Monday, June 28, 2010

06/28/10 Go Big or Go Home

The 47th day

In my later years of life, I have been brought into a group that goes to gaming conventions. Now when I say gaming conventions, I don’t mean video games or gambling, I mean pen and paper rpgs, tactical and strategy board games, CCG’s and large miniatures battle games. These things are the factions you find at most conventions, along with the artists, cosplayers, musicians, and other assorted individuals.
Now, thanks to my years as an envoy for Wizkids, I was able to travel to wonderful gaming locations and meet some great people. Since 2000, I have probably been to over a dozen conventions in several cities, and I still love going to these things, both to participate as a player and a game master.

Now here’s the problem that I have with such establishments and their game masters.

All too often I sign up for a game that’s a little more light and more commercially available, such as Settlers of Catan, Bang, Carcassonne, or any such one shot game. All too often the game is being run by some individual or group who happens to have the game and comes by, collects the tickets, and the drops off the game and leaves the table and does not moderate/participate in the game or event. In actuality, it feels like I just plunked down a buck or more just to play a game that I could’ve done for free with my friends and other strangers.

Now I know that many of these “Cons” have a reimbursement program for their game masters, and that’s perfectly fine, but I do find it a travesty on the gm’s part if they aren’t even there at the table and not even checking in on us once in a while. It is, for a lack of any other term, Bull$#!+.

Now, as an “elite” game master (and I use that term very loosely and as an inside joke) I tend to believe in a different philosophy. I think it’s important that the game master promotes himself in a better light and tries to make his game more memorable for the players. Any fool can pull and game out, put it on the table, and leave. It take a truly great person with a passion for gaming to bring the game to life, whatever it may be.

Personally, I’m all about the aesthetic, the flair, setting the mood, and enhancing the experience.

Case and point: I went to Ancon this past May, and found a game called Cthulhu Dice, a horror variation of the very popular “LCR” dice game. (If you don’t know who Cthulhu is, read some HP Lovecraft and check the picture on my blog.) Now I was thinking of running the game at a convention later this year, just as a sidebar to whatever else I’m doing, but I want to make it better. So at Origins I purchased a large Cthulhu as a centerpiece for the table, then purchased a bag of smaller black Cthulhus to use a tokens in the game. Long story short, I’ve added about 30 dollars to a 5 dollar game, but the aesthetic is there and the game is more memorable now, and not just a generic crappy game that gets lost in the shamble of the convention floor. It’s eye catching, and people will notice what’s going on as the game is played.

So there you go. Go big or go home.


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