To Boldly Nerd…

Video games, pen&paper RPGs and other nerdery

Impressions of an RPC 2015 newbie

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So when I meant I would post every day for a week, I obviously meant every weekday. coughs I’ll just have to extend this blogging experiment for a week to make it worth anyone’s time.

Along comes the weekend

Saturday was one of those weekend days that I really enjoy, wish I had more of and am glad I don’t have them all the time anymore. Absolute vegging. I continued my current book on my Kindle, read some comics, started reading Cities of Golarion in my never-ending catchup-game of reading all Pathfinder campaign books. I swallowed my gamer pride by first switching Uncharted 3 to Easy and then Very Easy to get past Chapter 16’s fucked up stealth stuff and got rewarded with a crazy ass scene that has you chasing a departing plane on the runway and then crash it in the desert. We also continued our Big Bang Theory marathon and are in early season 6 now. I am already sad that there’s only 7 seasons on German Netflix. Come here, season 8!

RPC Germany on Sunday

rpcSunday had all the components for a great adventure, but came out with a huge letdown. Together with 3 players from my Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords group we were setting out to Cologne for our first ever visit to the Role Play Convention Germany. This was the fourth one. In previous years, we’ve gone to the Spiel in Essen, which is the largest boardgame con in the world, but from what I have read, the RPers were slowly moving away from it to go to the RPC instead. My SO is still on crutches and is not allowed to put weight on her right foot, but we really wanted to go with her. We managed to organize a wheelchair and wheeled her around. Which was hard work, the insides of my hands are still a bit raw from the rough handles of the chair. So far so good.

We took the train to Cologne and when arriving there, I went to a store in the train station to buy some water. Only my wallet was missing. I had still had it in my pocket at home, so what happened? I had gotten out a lot of cash to spend at the convention, so that was a real bummer right there. I was hoping that it maybe fell out of my jacket pocket while parking the car at the train station or that I simply forgot it at home. Fast forward to the solution: no, it wasn’t at home. Or in the car. My only guess now is that someone from the people getting onto the train used the opportunity of me helping with the wheelchair to pick my pocket. Damn rogues! It’s pretty shitty. It contained pretty much everything. My debit card, my credit card, health insurance, ID card, etc. Plus some rare pictures of my SO that I will likely never get back. Pish on the cash, that’s not the worst. I am now waiting for a new debit and credit card and have to get new pictures taken for all the rest. Ugh.

We still went to the convention anyhow, because we already had tickets and were determined to have fun. Now, I have never been to a con where there were so many people in costumes as this one. The convention itself is a pretty weird mix. It’s about role-playing in all forms which comes out as four interest groups: LARP, Cosplay, Pen&Paper RPGs and MMOs. The last bit is a bit weird to me. There was a lot MOBA stuff going on, plus large booths for ESO and FFXIV. The FFXIV area looked quite busy, but we could have played if we wanted to.

We spent a good amount of time outside. Around the convention center was a medieval fair, with lots of leatherwork, more LARP weapons, people whacking on each other with nerfbats, and a large stage with bands. When we were out there it was mostly a Swedish pirate band. There was a lot of Ahoy going on, let me tell you. There were also birds there for a falconry show. They had the most adorable tiny owl I have ever seen and I really wish I had taken a photo. In general, I should have taken a lot more photos.

The Swedish band Ye Banished Privateers

The Swedish band Ye Banished Privateers

Food was terribly overpriced, IMHO, even though a lot of it looked utterly delicious. Our friends had pork skillets that were charred and juicy. We also got curly fried potatoes on a stick which were…okay. They could have been a bit crisper than they actually were. We also managed to sample a lot of delicious kinds of mead and bought a bottle of cherry mead. I normally don’t drink stuff like that, but the cherry mead is incredibly tasty.

Look at the fierce monster devouring her potatoes!

Look at the fierce monster devouring her potatoes!

My friends had a great time, which surprised me, because there was a certain amount of trepidation initially. They’ve never played pen&paper before I asked them, but seriously, they’re giant nerds. I knew they would be fine. Especially my friend and co-worker Anika really got into the spirit of the thing by being dressed up in a long black velvet dress with a corset. She then got herself some creepy contact lenses that freaked me out for the rest of the day, and looked as if she goes to fantasy cons just about every weekend.

Does she look like a Steampunk pro or what?

Does she look like a Steampunk pro or what?

I haven’t really ever thought about LARPing, but there were tons of cool booths for that. You could watch people making foam weapons or armor, and there was a dazzling array of lethal-looking weapons light as a feather. Really cool stuff. There was also more realistic weaponry like beautiful wooden longbows. Anika plays a gnome ranger in our game, so we made her shoot a longbow. What can I say, she’s talented. She didn’t hit the bullseye, but she came close.

Now she only needs to shrink and have wilder hair to be a real gnome ranger.

Now she only needs to shrink and have wilder hair to be a real gnome ranger.

On the pen&paper gaming front, I was a bit disappointed. I felt that tabletop gaming was overshadowed by LARP and Cosplay. Ullisses, the German publisher of Pathfinder, Battletech and tons of other games, including their major game DSA, Germany’s biggest pen&paper system, had a large booth. I would have been interested in testdriving the Pathfinder Adventure Card game, but there wasn’t time for that. We also wanted to look at minis and I hardly saw any. I wish there had been more vendor booths, as I don’t get a chance to support local gaming stores much. I did manage to buy something cool though, a D3 at the Chessex booth. It looks like a lovely ruby pebble. I love it. 🙂

d3

We only managed to sit down for one game, Love Letter. I had read great reviews about it, and know there’s a Munchkin version, Munchkin Loot Letter. The other three were at another booth and my SO and I were taking a break at a boardgame booth. We were just starting to check out Love Letter when another couple popped in, eager to try. The game supporter explained the rules and off we went. My verdict was that it was good, but not as amazing as all the reviews make it out. It’s a cardgame with strong memory elements. You should always know what cards your opponents have to play most efficiently. It was fun. Just not as a 2 player game, for just 2 people it felt terrible. Needs four for maximum fun, I think.

Newsflash: Pathfinder Goblin scared off by mighty wheelchair knight!

Newsflash: Pathfinder Goblin scared off by mighty wheelchair knight!


All in all we all loved it. You could spend hours just watching people and I saw lots of great costumes. There were quite a few WoW cosplays. A very nice Crest of Lordaeron shield! The obligatory blood elf paladin in full Judgment armor, etc. The most outstanding, cool costumes were of people in steampunk gear, which makes me long to GM the Zeitgeist adventure path even more. I was most impressed by the booth of the Amt für Aetherangelegenheiten, which is a German steampunk webseries that looks pretty ambitious. I will have to start watching that. But seriously, too many awesome costumes to name. A good time was had by all, and I think this is going to be an annual thing for us now. Only next year we’ll have to convince at least our other resident nerd and comic book lover Manuel to come along and have fun.

I watched a predator stuffing roasted almonds up its nose. It was hilarious.

I watched a predator stuffing roasted almonds up its nose. It was hilarious.

But next year I’ll actually go to workshops, shows and play more games. Rar!

2 Comments

  1. Sounds fun despite the wallet thing :/
    Last roleplaying convention I visited was around 2002 I think. Hmm, been a while…

    I haven’t kept in touch with the Amt, but I can highly recommend Anja Bagus’ novels
    (Ætherwelt-Trilogie).

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