Sunday, April 19, 2020

Cyclops Con Days 1-3: Seminars, Games, And Mutants-Mutants-Mutants!

As readers of The Savage AfterWorld knows, with every game convention I've attended, I have filed a daily travelogue so folks who couldn't make it would be able to game vicariously through my thoughts, photos, and amusing anecdotes. Welp, just as I did with Virtual Gary Con a few weeks ago, I'm filing today's report from Cyclops Con! (AKA, my basement and home office.)

Cyclops Con was founded, formed, and launched this weekend by Goodman Games to celebrate all things DCC, as well as give home-stranded gamers an outlet for those RPG frustrations. Since I began an old hat at online judging at VGC (or so I think), I decided to throw caution to the wind and run 18 mutants through my three Mutant Crawl Classics adventures - one available, one coming out next month, and one that got an initial playtest at this event!

As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what's going on each day I attend. However, since the "seen and done" mostly takes place in one room of my house, I'll combine all three days into this missive.

And here we go:
  • DAY ONE: After I got home from work Friday evening, I fired up the old laptop and ran six folks through my MCC 0-level funnel "Dead in the Water." I've been running this for years now, but I always get a kick out of bringing new folks into the hazards of The Island of Fire. By the time the game ended, I had killed off nearly half of the 0-level fodder, and the highlight occurred when one brave zero-level nobody took a deep breath, ran through a forcefield and onto the ocean floor, and stabbed a giant squid in the eye with a trident. Not only did the ocean depths not instantly crush him, he delivered the killing blow to The Sea-Wraith, and the survivors were welcomed back as heroes!
  • DAY TWO: Today's game was "The Desk in Room 8-10" - a small adventure (Ha!) I've written to be released next month on DCC Day. The team managed to fight their way into The Underdrawer where they met the remaining memebers of a previous Seeker team as well as held off The Ravenous Ones until they could repair MICRON to end the experiment! (Yes, I realize this is vaugue, but you'll have to play the game to put the pieces together!
  • Later that evening, I joined up with other Goodman fans (as well as with Joe himself!) at the Boulder Tossers bar, where we gabbed about our respective gaming backgrounds and kicked back with a few cold drinks. (My beverage of choice that night was a frosty Yoo Hoo.)
  • DAY THREE: Today was the day I led six excited players through the premiere run of "Plague From Below." While visiting a neighboring village, a mysterious illness began to overtake the village council. The team was tasked with finding a cure for this ailment at a recently uncovered Ancient medical complex. Skyhooks, Time Wolves, Virii, and a "helpful" med-bot named MORT provided the cure to the ailment. (Exc ept there was one last issue to take care of upon returning.) The players enjoyed the game and I got some valuable feedback on where to tighten up some plotlines.
  • Due to some technical glitches (as well as losing track of time), I was unable to attend DCC College. However, right behind it was Joe's "What's New at Goodman Games" seminar. He shared news and artwork from upcoming projects such as Xcrawl Classics, Empire of the East, and Dying Earth. He discussed DCC Day (still scheduled for next month, but some alterations could occur during the pandemic crisis). The item that stunned me was the announcement of the next in the Original Adventures Reincarnated line: "The Temple of Elemental Evil"! And finally, he discussed the new ways that Goodman Games is embracing VTT gaming with artwork and adventure support for Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds rolling out. A lot of incredibly exciting things are coming from the Goodman Gang, so keep an eye open!
  • One special treat, I recorded my game of "Plague From Below," so if you'd like to see some mutant mayhem, click this link to be taken to the video!
And, finally, as the online event comes to a close and my screen's phosphor dot slowly fades, here are some random shots from throughout the event:

Joe Goodman presents "What's New With Goodman Games"

My visit to the Boulder Tossers after hours lounge had gamers from across the country and around the world in attendance!

The players first encountered the pseudoscorpion in "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

Holy crow! The Temple of Elemental Evil has been announced as the next adventure in the OAR series!

Several MCC mutants found themselves "Dead in the Water"!

During my visit to Boulder Tossers, I inked up my MCC dice, adding gold paint to the high digits to tel them apart.

For this event, I cracked open a case of the finest chocolate-milk-like beverage money can buy!

I love the shirt designed for this year;s Cyclops Con!

And my homemade badge to commemorate the event. Thanks everyone at Goodman Games for a great time!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cyclops Con: All Dungeon/Mutant Crawl Classics! All Weekend Long!

This weekend, keep an eye out for Cyclops Con! (Ha! See what I did there with "eye"? Because a cyclops only ahem.) Cyclops Con is the brainchild of the Dark Forces at Goodman Games who are holding a weekend-long online convention revolving around their many role-playing games: Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, XCrawl, Fifth Edition Fantasy, and any versions and derivatives thereof!

I've recently taken a shine to MCC RPG, creating material for the game for the annual Gongfarmer's Almanac as well as my own 0-level funnel, "Dead in the Water." So this weekend, I'll be running three adventures I've written: One released, one coming out next month, and one currently in playtesting.

Friday sees the return of "Dead in the Water" to the the (virtual) tabletop. I had retired this from convention play, but I thought I'd give it one more turn at the table for this specific con. After all, it's their game that spawned the adventure in the first place!

Saturday I'll be running a few folks through the terrors to be found in "The Desk in Room 8-10." The adventure is written and being laid now, with plans to be officially released on DCC Day on May 16! (And I may just run it again on that day to celebrate!

Sunday will see the premiere first run of my newest adventure "Plague From Below." It's a concept I've had for awhile and am super-stoked to give it its first runthrough with a team of second-level MCC players. It will be a bit "looser" as I'm still working out some of the details of the plot, but it's gonna be fun for all.

Cyclops Con has a few hundred games to choose from, plus several DCC-focused seminars and talks from the creators and authors. Also, each night has a social hangout where you can talk All Things Goodman with other fans. Hope to see you there!

"The World's Gametable": Staying Home Yet Attending Conventions

When the current global pandemic prompted the cancellation of Gary Con this year, I admit I was crushed. It's one of my favorite events to attend, so knowing I was gonna be missing out on several days of back-to-back gaming with my friends was a bitter pill to swallow. However due to some last-minute adjustments and a sweeping push by both GMs and players to migrate online, Gary Con XII lived on as "Virtual Gary Con," complete with hundreds of online events, seminars, and general drunken after-hours get-togethers. By the time the weekend ended, I ran 16 hours of games, watched a seminar or two, and hung out with about 30 other gamers from around the world as we drank and swapped tales from the table.

I attended Gary Con, all without leaving my basement rec room. And it was a blast.

Since then, spring gaming conventions in danger of being cancelled have made a similar adjustment to take place in the electronic aether. KoboldCon now launches May 1 in an online format, and this coming weekend sees the premiere of Cyclops Con, Goodman Games' new online event. Origins Game Faire is one of the recent events that has switched over to an online format (though details are still worked out at this time).

For many of us, we may have the opportunity to attend game conventions across the nation - and even worldwide - that we would otherwise never have a chance to attend. (I already have my eye on running some virtual games for some west coast events.)

Online gaming has always been a thing with many gamers, with services like Roll20, Astral Tabletop, and Fantasy Grounds remaining popular, as well as boardgaming apps like But it seems like the recent circumstantial push toward online gaming have forced grognards (like myself) and others to give it a try. Whether through a gaming-specific service or through other online telecommunication services like Discord, Skype, Zoom, or even chatrooms, it appears that online gaming will be The World's Gametable in the coming months.

So look for this face staring back at you from your screen this summer!