GamemasteringReviews

Con Report: Arisia 2018

Arisia 2018 is over, and as usual, was a great time. This year I kept the con fairly low-key, without committing to attend very many events, and so I spent a fair amount of time browsing the Dealer Room and the Art Show, listening to the musicians scattered around the con, and costume-watching.

This year’s attendees included my wife and my two sons, and we all arrived Friday afternoon to a fairly smooth process of checking in to the con and to the Westin. Both boys are now old enough to roam the con freely, but all four of us ended up in the attached Irish pub for an early dinner. Dinner got us to the first passes through the Dealer Room and Art Show, and that pretty much finished up the evening for us.

On Saturday, I took advantage of the hotel room to sleep in (no boys or dogs to wrangle), and enjoyed Starbucks in the lobby for breakfast, and the pub for lunch. We also enjoyed themed cocktails at the bar, including a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster and an Elixir of Valor. Saturday evening we caught the folk-ish band Murder Ballads.

Saturday also saw the first round of Savage Worlds at the con, a session of Children of the Apocalypse with 8 attendees. Happily, most were experienced Savage Worlds players, so we were able to get right into the action. This particular adventure had a lot of combat, with veteran adventurers going up against a mad scientist creating powerful magical creatures from kidnapped priests and acolytes. Highlights of the session included a perfect kill-shot on one of the creatures from the Sherzi musketeer, as well as the treasure hunter catching the mad scientist in mid-escape and finishing him off.

Sunday morning was a chance to play-test New World Magischola: House Rivalry, a board game of competing houses in a magic university based on a popular LARP. The game was a lot of fun, with players joining clubs that gave them points, but only if they successfully met certain conditions, like not using personal pronouns or speaking only in whispers or song. I did manage to win the House Cup for my house by virtue of some careful course selection to maximize end-game scoring.

Sunday afternoon was the first public playtest of Legion of Liberty, with 7 attendees fighting the Battle of Salem (based on the real historical event of Leslie’s Retreat). Paul Revere, the Silver Speedster, did not fare well in the fight, but the team of young superheroes did prevail against the smaller but more experienced Royal Superhuman Regiment greycoats. One highlight here was a missed fireball actually killing an invisible greycoat who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I always recommend Arisia to anyone interested in sci fi, fantasy, gaming, anime, comics, or any other sort of fandom, and it seems to improve every year. I’m looking forward to more Savage fun at next year’s con already.

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