Convention Report: GothCon 2004 By Peter Nordstrand
I ran HeroQuest at GothCon (Gothenburg,Sweden). A drop in event. I had brought a number of different scenarios, butI ended up running mostly The Assassin (described very briefly here). Drop in events for roleplaying is fairly unusual at Swedish cons. Usually you sign up for events beforehand.
GothCon is held in a school in central Gothenburg, which means that therooms aren’t exactly cosy. I tried to make things a little bit nicer byputting tablecloth on tables, as well as a lot of HeroQuest books to flipthrough and maps to look at. (A lot of people really liked the map fromDragon Pass, BTW.) I put a BIG sign outside saying only two things:HeroQuest and Drop In!
The con began on friday, and I had a room all to myself. It began a littleshaky, since it took a while before anyone showed up. I came prepared,however. I had made flyers displaying the HeroQuest logo, and a brieflighthearted blurb. I talked to people in the corridors, and coerced theever present Men in Black to promise to hand them out as well.
My first players were a father and his daughter. The father had played a lotof rpgs 20 years ago, and they were at GothCon to play together. Althoughthey somehow managed to not really get the main moral dilemma presented,they were both very charming. They did come up with a most entertainingrevenge scheme, however. This was not at all the scenario I had in mind, butthey seemed to want something different, and I was happy to oblige.
Once the first game got started, people kept dropping by, wanting to play orjust flip through books or observe what was going on. It felt good. Someoneremarked that the tablecloths made the room feel more like a café, whichproves that it was a good move, I think. Next year, I’ll bring carpets andcandles.
There were more people wanting to play than I could accomodate. In the end,all I could do was to point out to interested parties that “I’ll be hereduring the entire con, please come back tomorrow.”
Only one of the four (!) groups that I entertained during this day did notentertain me back. Perhaps I will discuss them at some other time. Therewere several problems involved I think. I treated them courteously, but cutthe game short by introducing the climax ASAP.
Spotting a Trend
People’s attitude towards HeroQuest is changing, or maybe it has changedalready. I think that the positive attitude I have been sensing on internetforums lately is only the tip of an iceberg really. Something has happenedin the real world as well. When I’ve run HeroQuest/Hero Wars events earlieryears, there has always been a significant minority of … well, how do Iput this … complainers. This year they were nowhere to be found. All I metwas gamers wanting to have a good time gaming. And the old RuneQuestgrognards that I met were no different; in fact they were the greatest bunchof players I’ve met on a con in years.
Anyway, has anyone else sensed this change of attitude?
There are two kinds of people: Those who get headaches, and those who getmigraine. The headachae people will never understand what the migrainepeople goes through. Anyway. This ruined the entire day. A huge disappointment. I did not run a single session. So, all in all I only ran about half as many games of HeroQuest as I had planned, which is kind of sad considering the display of interest that I detected.