Game Day: Shoot’em, Nuke’em

Nuke(m)Con is coming back with guns blazing. After a one-year hiatus, my gaming group’s homegrown convention returns September 19-21 with a slate of western-themed role-playing games.

We’ll be playing Serenity, Dogs in the Vineyard, Aces & Eights and Deadlands: Reloaded. We’re also running two high level Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 adventures on Friday and Saturday. During these adventures, which will involve two tables being run concurrently with two DMs, the Blackrazor Guild “A Team” will be launching a strike against Turrosh Mak, the Despot of the Orcish Empire. Character levels will run from 15th to 21st, which will make it one hell of a challenge for both players and DMs. It also represents the first time in a long while that some of the oldest characters in the campaign have seen play, so it should be a blast.

Also on tap are a playtest of the starship combat rules from Star Wars: Saga Edition and light and heavy mech showdowns powered by Battletech. Rounding out the event will be impromptu sessions of Halo 3 multiplayer and board/card games.

The convention’s limited to members of our gaming group and a few close friends, and should see about 10-12 people attending. It arose as an alternative to GenCon; our group went to GenCon annually from 1999-2002, but then jobs, family (and occasionally lack of jobs) ended that tradition. We missed the camaraderie (and beer and steak) that went with the annual pilgrimage, so we decided to hold our own convention. We block out a long weekend — typically Friday through Sunday — and then spend every last minute we can gaming.

I agreed to what?

In a fit of insanity (and longing to actually run the games sitting on my bookshelf) I volunteered to run Serenity, Dogs in the Vineyard, and Deadlands: Reloaded, as well as the Saturday night mega-D&D session. That means I’ve got four sessions to prepare in a week, but fortunately I’ve already knocked out some of the prep work, and I’ll be on vacation the week leading up to the convention.

The run-up to Nuke(m)Con does mean that this is a Game Day column with no Game Day associated with it. Between me being on Dad Duty tonight (and thus, unable to GG) and the rest of the group having varying family commitments, we decided to cancel the game. Instead, my co-DM and I will be banging out the uber D&D adventure, and with any luck we’ll have most of it written (or at least a skeleton built) by the end of the night.

One of my hopes with this year’s Nuke(m)Con is that it starts a tradition of playing a variety of different RPGs at the con. Traditionally, we’ve been a very fantasy/D&D oriented crew, but there’s a significant contingent of the group that’s been itching to play something else.

Nuke(m)Con gives us a great opportunity to try out those new games, and while it does create a huge amount of work, if it gets folks playing something new — even if just for a day — then I think it’s worth it.

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