Convention Report Brot und Spiele 2005By Alexander Dotor
Name: Brot und Spiele Convention
Date: 6th/7th Aug. 2005
two weekends ago I enjoyed once again two days of gaming in Würzburg atthe “Brot und Spiele”-Convention. The convention is organized by thelocal gaming store in order to vitalize gaming in the area.Unfortunately the weather was rainy and the con is hosted in a wineryand tavern outside of Würzburg: Sitting in the sun between vineyards andfields whilst gaming was a one advantage of this con, so the peopleshowed up lately and less people than last year attended. The con wasnevertheless a success and about 100 people showed up to enjoy a varietyof roleplaying systems and board or card games, too.
Nearly half of the gaming groups were hosted by support team members. Imet MIB from SJG, German Cthulhu supporters or from smaller Germansystems. No system got more than two gaming groups each day (don’t knowif by chance or by intent), so the players had a great variety of gamesto choose from. Due to the small decrease in visitors there was a littleoversupply in gaming groups so it became difficult – especially onSaturday – to get enough players for a gaming group. The supporters ofthe Warlord CCG gifted every player who tried their game with a starterdeck so some people wanted to play this game instead, too.
There were several guests of honour from the German roleplaying andgaming community like Lutz Stepponat (author of the board game Return ofthe Heroes), Pegasus Spiele business manager Janni Steines and severalbook authors from smaller publishers. I talked with Lutz aboutstorytelling games in general and explained some concepts of HeroQuestto him and he was impressed by it. Our enjoyable discussion wasinterrupted as he had to leave for an interview with the local newspaper.
“How to catch an ape” was the first group on Saturday morning and I hadto run the game with three players only, as the bunch of visitors showedup after midday. One player was a complete HeroQuest newbie while theother two were my guests who tried the game once before with me. I neverran the ape-scenario in Teshnos with three players only, but it ranwell. I had incorporated Mike Holme’s suggestions for the scenario andthey helped me much as the players managed to create a very unique story- compared to previous games – as they tried to befriend and control thedumb and evil villain Monkeykiller. They even managed to aquire theposition of personal servants in the empire he dreamt of but ultimatelychanged sides when the Orang Utan show up and threatened their home cityand saved the complete city in the end. The twists in the story theplayers created were challenging for me to handle but the game was greatfun and left several scenes I’ll never forget and still chuckle about.
“About the art of satisfying a noble” was my game on Sunday and I endedup with five players. One had bought a Tales of the Reaching Moon in ashop and was eager to play HQ and another one played a Duck in RuneQuesta long time ago. The spirit was cheerful as I presented thepre-generated characters and everyone got the character he wanted. Thespirit rose and rose during the game and I think there was no group wholaughed that much. Luckily no one dropped from his chair and hurthimself. The game was fast paced and the players learned nearlyeverything about the background of the sly magician I created asopponent. They did also fairly well on the HeroQuest and enjoyed it verymuch – some players where nearly overwhelmed (positive!) as I explainedto them that they were travelling into the world of myths. They failedto pass the HeroQuest moment successfully so they were overrun by therabbits in the last scene, where they’ve to defend a sapling of a bananatree. They tried then a little bit of experimental HeroQuesting as theytried to bargain with the dragon of the scene before to eat the rabbitsbut he ate the tree, too. So the player whose character could changeinto a tree sacrificed himself and became the new magical tree of theWalkers of the Straight Path. The player seemed undetermined at first,but as I explained to him that (if we would continue playing) the treewill be the Guardian of this Heroband and all his friends can join andwill remember what he did he was quite impressed. So the game was acomplete success. One player even visited us afterwards during his andmy vacations to join us in our Sartar Rising campaign.
The convention will be held again next year and I’m sure I’ll run a gameor two.
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