I had terrific fun at the Conquord gaming convention, which was in the Rip-Roar Comedy club in central Bristol. The turn out wasn't great despite the organisers telling every local group they knew about it. (Bad Bristol gamers - no biscuit!) However, they made enough cash to cover their costs.
Saturday morning I ran my Troop Ship Down scenario (military science fiction) using Cortex+. I had 3 players, which is fine for a 'survivors of a crash' situation. They were more interested in saving stuff than looking for survivors - this is the first group I've run it for who haven't checked the cockpit to see if the pilots are still alive, and who haven't checked the lake for drowning squad mates. However, when they discovered that the local aliens are addicted to caffeine, they did spend a chunk of plot points to retcon saving an entire case of coffee from the wreckage! Which led to the quote of the con: We can drug smuggle our way to safety!"
Saturday afternoon was an anime style expedition to "Kong Island" (Code of Shojo and Shonen) run by Simon Paul Burley. I was basically playing Bob Peck's character from Jurassic Park. 'Kong' turned out to be a giant spider. I think we were all supposed to get superpowers, but the first player to discover the maguffin which granted them kept the info to himself. We were therefore incapable of fighting the giant spiders and instead spent bennies to invent bigger monsters to eat the spiders. Then even bigger monsters to deal with those. Gary Loveridge pointed out the game had turned into There was an old woman who swallowed a fly... By the end we'd inadvertently unleashed hordes of things which would destroy the world.
Because the venue is a comedy club, it was unavailable in the evening. So a mob of us headed out to a nearby eatery for geeky chat and food. Several of us then headed back to my place and I facilitated a game of The Gentle Ladies' Tea, Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxillary. It was entertainingly silly, though embarassingly we all swooned and had to be saved from one of the monsters by Donald Trump!
Sunday morning I ran Maschine Zeit - the scenario I've run at cons before of looking for a missing movie star on a haunted space station. The game went rather slowly, as some people just didn't seem to want to roll their dice simultaneously with everyone else, and then were slow to decide what skill to use. So I had to drop a couple of scenes in order to fit in the end confrontation with the movie star. By that time the livelier players were more obsessed with internal feuds than the plot, so it mutated from a showdown to a race to the escape pods after one player rigged the space station to explode.
Sunday afternoon I played Delta Green. Normally I'm a bit wary of Cthulhu, but I pre-signed up to this as it was a military game set in Afghanistan. The GM, Paul, had never run a con game before, but he was bloody brilliant! Kept it pacey, nice interactions with NPCs, proper military tactics and protocols AND no pointless dice rolls which stall the plot when you fail. The ending was a bit rushed, since my Maschine Zeit had overrun by 20 mins, plus we kind of started twice when a player joined in late. However, since the end was the usual Cthulhu stuff of going barkingly insane and/or getting eaten by a gribbly, I don't think we lost much of the impact of the game!