Quick confession: In addition to writing, reading, biking, weight loss blogging, I am also a bit of a game nerd. Well, OK, I’m a huge game nerd.
I played D&D in college and for several years thereafter. I’ve played Call of Cthulu and several other RPGs, (that’s role-playing games for the non gamers among you). I even gamed pretty heavily in World of Warcraft for several years. I have tried many other MMORPGs, (massively, multiplayer online role playing games…aka many men online role playing girls), as well, but WoW was pretty much my mainstay.
I have not really gamed in a long, long time. I have many gamer friends who have tried to get me back into gaming, but with all else I do, I have not really been that interested, nor do I have a lot of time to devote to gaming.
One of the things I like best about role-playing games is that at the end of the day, they are just one big interactive story-telling/creating event. I love that. Yes, we use dice, and math, and stats, and fight about rules, (OMG do we ever fight about rules!), but my favorite part of the game is the story we create together, even if that story is all about our interactions with each other and the crazy ideas we come up with.
This past weekend, I did one thing all game nerds eventually do, I went to a gaming convention. This one is PrinceCon. It is run by Princeton alumni & students, of course, but certainly not limited to them.
A friend of mine from high school went to Princeton and was a member of their student gaming group. He is now one of the organizers and leads some of the games, (DM or GM in game-speak). He invited me to attend. My first instinct was to say no, but I went. And I’m glad I did.
Because this was the 42nd year of the Princecon event, and being huge uber-nerds, of course they named their event PrinceCon42: Life, The Multiverse, & Everything. (Please see Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
Their game is run differently than any game I’ve played in the past. They have their own con rules, which is not unusual. Their DMs run individual games, but they are all nominally connected by one overarching plot. So, as you are resolving plot lines in your individual game, you are also collecting clues to the “meta-game.” The last day of the con was basically spent resolving the meta-game plot lines to save the Multiverse.
Basically, they drew together several of the worlds they ran games for in previous years and created the “multiverse.” DMs ran players through games in each world. We resolved plot lines within each of those worlds, collected clues that led us to believe someone was trying to destroy the multiverse, and then used those clues to stop him. The clues we collected created the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” and gave us code words to make travel to/from each world easier so we could go collect the items we needed to stop the top bad guy.
I think the organizers are going to write a summation of all of the events on their website soon…and by soon I mean sometime between now and next year’s con. I do not have all of the details of all of the games, mainly the ones I was involved in and what other players told me happened in theirs. So, for me to do a complete write-up here would not do the event justice.
It was a lot of fun. Probably the most fun I’ve had gaming in a long time. I really enjoyed the layered nature of their game. I’ve never experienced another game like it. I had a really good gaming group for many years and we definitely had a lot of great games and storylines, but nothing as complex as the PrinceCon event.
I want to try to go next year. I may not get into gaming too much in between now and then. Or I could. Who knows. But it was nice to explore the gaming world again, even if for just one weekend.
Thanks, PrinceCon for a great weekend and Thanks for all the Fish!