The Wayward Shipment (Morning)
I hadn't played Mouse Guard before, and I'd had a brief conversation about its use for Shadowrun, so in some ways, this was a research mission for CyberWorld. It definitely simplified Burning Wheel's arcane mechanics down to a one-shot-suitable level, which I liked, and it helped us tell a nice little story about finding a lost shipment of medical supplies. I'm not sure if I got much out of it at a research level, but it was a fun game with a cool ending as our little mice braved a storm on a flooded lake, found the shipment and negotiated a settlement with two rival mouse villages and a bandit band.
Living Dungeon World: The Spine of the Gods (Afternoon)
This was part of the second round of Living Dungeon World games. In the first round of adventures, the players had discovered that someone was attempting to resurrect Orcus (he'd been killed by another Demon lord). In this second round, the adventurers were tasked with recovering the two parts of the Wand of Orcus, the rod and the skull, before the his followers could get them. My game concerned the rod, which lay amidst a dragon's treasure.
This was my first Living Dungeon World game of the weekend was the only one I'd properly prepped. I had two fronts, a couple of main monsters stated up, some custom moves, a few pieces of treasure, and a good idea about what the place looked like. In fact, I'd even run the dungeon before (with different fronts and monsters), as a prelude, a couple of weeks ago in Wellington. This is not my usual MO for DW, but it went really well.
The players I had included a set of friends who had, with no previous experience of Dungeon World (or, I think, the Strategicon scene), signed up for every round of Living Dungeon World, including Colin's round 0 villager prelude game on Friday afternoon. It was a four player game and three of the characters had continued from at least round 1.
The first part of the game was an arduous journey across the Lands of the Horse Tribes who Leave Not Their Steeds (where they impressed the horsemen with their strength, offended the spirits of the ancestors, but appeased the cult of Those Who Walk), the Plains of Woe (where they avoided being eaten by the carnivorous plants that dotted the bare earth), and the Desert of Steel (lifeless and razor-sharp, of course) where they nearly run out of supplies. The evil Cleric, Boots, converted the Wizard, Ysolde, to the worship of the Banshee Queen with promises of great power, and sacrificed and reanimated two healers hired by the Fighter, Chopps, when the food ran out.
Once inside the Spine of the Gods (essentially a barrow mound within which lay a dragon and a pile of treasure), they fought off a swarm of nasty beetles then, after hearing the Dragon roaring in anger, made camp in a small tomb after which they raised on of the inhabitants as an undead minion (Boots, Speaking with Dead: "Out of the people currently in this room, who is the toughest". Dead Warrior: "Me." Boots: "Animate Dead".) While this was going on, Emory the Ranger, who had been approached and converted by a vengeful nature spirit/god called Fern-Thrall (h/t drbunnyhops), approached the dragon with the mission of his new master in mind: to convince the dragon to ravage the horse tribes. The dragon's previous roar had been his discovery that the rod of Orcus had been stolen, so with a deft Parley roll and no small amount of pant wetting, the Ranger convinced the dragon that the Horse Tribes had stolen it. The party now set off in pursuit of the real thieves, the Orcus cult, but they lost them in the wastes.
The Kurosawa Extraction (Evening)
This was my second playtest of CyberWorld and was a much more rigourous affair than the first. I learnt a lot about what I have and what I want, some of which has since been written into the game, and some of which will be soon. We played with 6 players, which didn't really work in gameplay; like Apocalypse World, it really needs time to be spent on interpersonal scenes between players and NPCs. The best thing about the playtest was probably the buzz that it generated among the players. Over the subsequent days of the con, and over the last week on Twitter and G+, I've had many conversations with the playtesters about the game. Exciting!