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Conquest 2001

by Caroline Seawright

 

This last weekend, the Easter long weekend (April 12-16, 2001), I went to Conquest. Previously I'd been to Arcarnacon at the start of the year and Unicon at the end of last year.

Friday

After a little sleep in (I'm not about to get up at 7am on a holiday unless I have to!), I caught the train to South Yarra station, and headed to the convention. I just missed a train, so I was somewhat later than I wanted to be, but that was okay - I didn't have to go into the city first! It was on my train line, thank goodness. And it was near the station!

I signed up and paid for registration then headed into the canteen (it was at a high school), and bought some lunch. It was getting close to midday, and I really wasn't sure what time the first game started. Planning just didn't happen for this convention... (nor for the last one, or the one before, mind you. Nothing new there!)

Anyway, while eating I ran into the others, and found that I'd been signed up for The Emperor's Honour by Michael, and I asked him to put me down in a few other games, while I saw down and ate.

You know, it would be great to have a slave to do such things for me every day. When I'm rich...!

The Emperor's Honour by Caitlin May.

I was a little annoyed that I hadn't brought my kimono to the convention (I'd thought about it, but decided against it that morning). This would have been a great game to dress up for! As it was, I borrowed one of Alex's kimonos (guys kimonos, and not the silk I'm used to! I'm so hard done by, aren't I?) and started this freeform.

Heh... I can't go through the plot (it might be at future conventions!), but I can say when Nick (assistant GM) heard who I was playing, he gave an evil laugh. The character had a few interesting secrets, to say the least!!!

If you really must know one of them, think the filling for a sandwich... and if you still don't get it, don't worry about it. ^_~

Anyway, it really was fun, despite not dressing up properly for it. I hadn't actually played the L5R system before, but that didn't matter. They had some unusual things to do in that game, and I really enjoyed it. Though I found out that doing haiku is more difficult than you think. :p

Feast of Worms by Andrew "Avery" Stewart.

Next it was a two session game. It was a Werewolf game, and a serious one at that. I can't say that I've really played many serious games before, so I thought that I'd give it a shot.

This game, too, had an interesting twist... It was based on the Get of Fenris werewolves in Germany, and the blurb sets out the tone of the game better than I can describe it:

This game contains concepts and ideas that are harsh, unyielding, unsettling and deal with the darker side of human nature. An ability to deal with ethics and morals that are in direct conflict with your own will be helpful. Player discretion is strongly advised.

This game is not intended to promote or condone the historical events that are its basis, rather it is an examination of how and why such events happened in the hope that understanding may help prevent their recurrence.

It was in direct conflict with my own ethics and morals, and so was somewhat uncomfortable to play, but I really thought that the end scene at the moot at the end of the game was the main focus for the entire 6 hour game.

It was something to think about while going home that night, anyway.

Saturday

Again, I didn't get up early, and had another bit of a sleep in. (Ah, all those silly people who got up early to go to the convention... I got to sleep in and save money on the sessions I didn't play!) I decided that I would take my kimono, today.

Fuzzy Furry Factions by Lillitu and Martin (I'm not Evil) Ludwell.

Heh! Now this was a fun game. Based on the Macho Women with Guns system, we had lots of anthropomorphic females running around and various slaveboys. I ended up being a bunny girl, who actually was sweet and innocent (one of the few sweet and innocent characters in the game!)

I got to try to make friends and dance and drink straight red cordial without water and try to get my younger bunny sister out of the party. But my sister and I made up after she was kidnapped by slaveboys (and escaped)... Oh, and I ended up being the mistress of a slaveboy by the end of the game. ^_^

'Twas lots of fun!!!

The Kobayashi Technique by Euan Lindsay and Dave Thomas.

This was a game from a series of games that I hadn't played before. In the previous game, the team of four character had created a technique to knock off a convoy of three vehicles, to get the loot out of the middle. It seems that every group who had played it had done exactly the same technique. The company they were stealing from was called Kobayashi. It came to be known as the Kobayashi Technique.

This time Kobayashi was trying to hire the group to move an object for them.

The only comment I can say about this is that we were paranoid, but not paranoid enough!!

Heart of the Typhoon by Alex Neilson of TEAMZERO.

Thank goodness I took my kimono! I was originally going to play a non-Japanese game, but cancelled (as there was only one other person who was going to play it) for Typhoon. Alex needed more players to run his freeform.

I put on the full Japanese paraphernalia. A soft cream under-kimono. White tabi. Black and red lacquered wooden geta. A very beautiful deep blue silk formal kimono with hand painted flowers winding around the bottom of the kimono and on the long sleeves. And finally the long silver and gold obi sash with the obi-jime tie.

My Award for First Players' Choice for Heart of the Typhoon It took forever to get into that lot, and I had to have help with the obi. And it was hot. It had been a beautiful warm day (unusual for Easter in Melbourne), and the kimono itself was more for winter than a warm autumn day! But it was worth it.

At the end of the game, everyone put down the people who they thought were best on a little piece of paper. The GM counted the names later on, and it turns out that I was the top choice! I was awarded First Players' Choice for the game!!

My second trophy!!! ^_^

As for the game itself, it was good fun. Again, my character was pretty innocent of all the plots, but I enjoyed myself none the less. Seems like this was another game in a series of games that I hadn't played before, but that didn't stop the enjoyment of the game at all!

Heh, the game finished a little late, and so I ended up getting a lift home from Peter, in my kimono... obi and all! (I do not recommend sitting in chairs - let alone car seats - in an obi!)

Sunday

When I turned up (after another sleep in - I managed to wish my family a happy Easter before heading out) I found that the GM for The Emperor's Honour needed some extra GMs to help her, and she asked me to help with one section of the game. The game that I'd been marked down to play had just been cancelled, so that worked out perfectly!

I spent that session kneeling (in one of Alex's spare kimonos as I didn't bring mine... again...) and drinking tea. And that was doing the job I was asked to do!!! I don't know how I did it, but I somehow managed to cope with that! ^_~

The Storyteller by Renee McAlister and Georgina Perry.

I had no idea what to play next. I went over to chat with some of the others that I'd met, and mentioned that I didn't know what I was going to do that session. They invited me to play the game they were doing. ^_^

So I ended up playing The Storyteller, which was a rather interesting game. It didn't have set characters, per se... characters with a distinct lack of characteristics who became other characters as needed. These, generally, were pulled from a deck of cards describing such characters.

It was like telling a fairy tail, and if someone needed to be the Queen, they picked up that card and looked at the back for a general guideline on how said queen would behave. Or if they needed to be a Helpful Animal or Evil Vizier, etc.

Unusual, but it ended up being quite enjoyable.

Monkey by Nick Pavlovski.

After dinner, it was time for one of the most fun games of the convention. Monkey!!

For those of you who don't know Monkey, this game was based both on the ancient Chinese book 'Journey to the West' and on the 70s Japanese cult show Monkey (translated into English in the UK in the early 80s). Most people at the convention had grown up watching Monkey (also known as 'Monkey Magic' because of the theme song). Most people in their 20s or 30s who grew up in Australia would know this show! Who didn't run around with a stick, pretending it was Monkey's Wishing Staff, or who didn't do Monkey's motions to whistle for his cloud when growing up!?

Anyway, this was good fun. Maybe because I knew the characters pretty well... Or maybe it's because I ended up picking up the character sheet for Pigsy, so I got to play him!

He's such a cool character to play. Monkey would be, too. Tripitaka and Sandy don't seem quite as interesting, probably because they're more 'straight' characters.

I can't think of any other game where I've actually run around, trying to get kisses from the NPC girls (played by the GM)!! ^^;

But that's what being a womanising, lazy, greedy pig spirit is all about. ^_^

I've got to say that when I went to play this game, I didn't think I'd be dragged around by the cuff of my top by Michael (who played Monkey), either. It happened almost every time I went to chase the girls. ^_^ Then there were all the name calling and teasing. I think we bounced off each other quite well as Pigsy and Monkey, so it was such a great game to play!

I actually wouldn't mind playing more of that at another convention, one day!! Are you listening, Nick!?

Monday

The last day of the convention... It was hard to believe that the Easter long weekend was almost over, and that I'd have to go to work tomorrow. I was tired. Conventions, though fun, do sap your energy.

Tokyo Kaidan by Peter Strong.

My Best Team Certificate for Tokyo Kaiden The last game... the last team to play this game... and we won Best Team for it! ^_^

I'd played the previous game in this series (Hanabi to Iroke), but I didn't get the same character. I got the other guy, this time. I was the dark haired Shinnosuke rather than the blond Tadayuki. But, once again, Nick and Alex were the girls. Alex in a skirt (Nick couldn't find his!) and both having breasts.

It's a scary sight for the uninitiated.

It's a scary sight for the initiated, too, actually.

This was another amusing time, with my plot-line (with Nick) more on the romantic side, but mainly focused on Tadayuki's problem. There was some action, but not as much as in the pervious game.

My character, this time, was more sober. So I have finally realised that it's more fun to play a guy as a comedeic lecher than the straight man. ^_^;

Heh, I must say that it was hard to break out of the reflexive way that I bow ... instead of bowing like a girl, I had to think before bowing like a guy!

Ah, well... it was a nice note on which to finish the games for the convention.

After that, we had the awards ceremony. I was called up twice! Yay! The certificate and the trophy! And I was thanked for being a last minute GM, too. The only thing that I can say was thank goodness that the ceremony was at 4pm, rather than later in the evening as at Arcarnacon. It meant that we finished up while it was still early, just in time for dinner!

A number of convention attendees headed off to The Saloon for some drinks, but they didn't have enough tables, nor much in the way of food. So Nick, Alex, Luke, Peter, Michael and myself headed off to find a nice place to eat. We ended up having Malaysian (just down the road a little) and talking about the convention and whatnot. And, amazingly, it was only 9pm when we all headed for home.

I got enough sleep before work tomorrow morning! Yay!! ^_^

My next convention will be Anime Expo 2001, in LA this July... and I can't wait for that! But the next RPGing convention I will attend will be Unicon in September this year. Conventions are a lot of fun! ^_^

The Conquest website can be found at http://www.conquest.asn.au/


© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2001 - present

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