RuneQuest Con 3
Melbourne - January 1996
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This was an excellent Con, one of the best I've attended. Congratulations to MOB, Andrew Bean, John Hughes and the other organisers and helpers for making it possible.
The highlight for me was, of course, meeting the various Antipodean Digest posters who made it to the Con, and renewing auld acquaintances from elsewhere.
I ran my first session of Chris Gidlow's mini-freeform The Tarsh War, which I greatly enjoyed (and hope the players did too): at one point the Bagnot Militia were certain they were about to be drugged senseless by the player-officers and marched off to be sacrificed at the Ivory Plinth. Final score: one nil to the Lunar Empire.
Greg's Q&A session on HeroQuests was enjoyable. I think he's yet to resolve a key problem: in the "old model," heroquesting was meant to be something only powerful, brave, heroic individuals dared to participate in, while in the "new model" it's an intrinsic part of every worship service. Greg hasn't yet reconciled the fact that, frex, all adult Orlanthi are in one sense "heroquesters" with the old-style Horrible Warnings that once you start HQing you can never look back, etc. But I think we're getting there...
The Storytelling session was fun, though I may have overdone it (telling a new story, a new poem, and an old story); honest, guv: I was only filling in while others hunted for MOB. The prize rightly went to local boy John Hughes, for his emic (etic? emetic?) rendition of a Far Point creation tale, accompanied by beads'n'rattles.
Saturday afternoon was dominated by Home of the Bold, in which I played Prince Temertain for the third and final time. Very enjoyable: lots of inspired home-made costumes and scenery-chewing roleplaying. Several of my dreams came true this game: the royal wedding (complete with a Lightbringers' Ring for the groom's party and a Maiden, Matron and Crone for the bride's); conning the merchants of Boldhome into extending me credit; beating Harvar Ironfist about the head with the flat of a sword; and sundry other pet projects (not to mention Timmy the White Rabbit). I'll be sending a writeup of this in for the Con book, and urge other players to do the same.
Sunday morning had the Getting Published Panel, the Cultural Exchange, Lunar Tunes and Trollball. I learnt a lot from the first, talked a lot at the second, sang too much at the third, and sat on the sidelines for Trollball afterwards. The afternoon brought a Pamaltela Seminar, Greg's Address (where he delivered the best summary of Lunar Myths I've ever heard), the illuminating Lore Auction, and sundry other delights.
I also playtested the Credo! expansion set Credo 2: The Sword of Islam with two groups, ironing out a few wrinkles in the process.
As well as the formal Con events, there were loads of informal chats and discussions and readings on the sidelines. I had a set of Chris's heretical Seleric Verses with me (soon to be serialised in Tales), and also greatly enjoyed discussing how the Lunars win Argrath's Saga with a group of sympathisers. Ever felt Argrath was a pliant tool in the hands of the Goddess? How right you are!
The only feature that marred the Con was the tragic shortage of BEER. Whatever you may hear about Australians and beer in the media, it's all lies. Pathetic! (Mind you, the odds were always against our establishing a bar in a primary school...).
Three excellent new publications debuted at the Con: Questlines, the RQCon2 Compendium, and the Entekosiad. They deserve more space than I can give them here, so I'll do full reviews later this week (I hope).
The avant- and apres-Con events were as much fun as what happened at the venue: our hosts were generous and patient, and showed we visiting foreigners the wonders and delights of the Great Southern Land (wild roos, weird stars, and the most Orlanthi weather I've ever encountered). Sadly, I missed the Great HeroQuest to Ayer's Rock: maybe next time...
-- Nick Brooke
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