Killercon 2001 happened earlier this year, and we - that is the Critical Miss
team - were in fact official guests (well that's what their website said). In the
last issue of Critical Miss we published a report detailing our
visit in 2000
and so it seemed sensible to do the same thing in this issue.
Which was a bit tricky, since we weren't totally happy with our visit. I should stress that the people who organised were nice and enthusiastic, but the convention seemed very poorly attended (much more so that previous years). I was unable to attend on the second day (which may have had more people) due to work commitments, but the others I attended with had already told me that they weren't coming back for the second day.
I've been discussing the issue of what to say about Killercon, with the guys I went down with, and we have concluded that the twin aims of providing factual reporting, whilst still maintaining good relations with the Killercon organisers, are best served by them being honest and me being tactful.
So here's what they had to say:
I was always taught that if you have nothing good to say about something, then don't say anything at all...
So on Killercon I'll just say I enjoyed the 2 games I did play and leave it there...
The rooms smelt like hot wet dog,
The air was cold and dank,
I wouldn't say they were hopeless,
But confusingly wank.
I missed Killercon this year as I was staying in London with my girlfriend. We split up that very evening and I felt every shred of happiness was taken from my soul.
Still it could've been worse, I could've gone to Killercon.
Bubba stole my quote.
"So the Deadlands game won't start until the other players finish the D&D game?"
We signed up for different games that day, my game finished before 13:00 which was the allotted time for lunch. Deadlands was allocated the 14:00 afternoon slot.
"How much longer is that D&D game going to run?" Time: 13:15
"Fighting Vecna? It has to be over soon" Time: 13:45
"That's it, six players? Is that how many you were waiting for?" Time: 14:05
All in all the D&D game overran its slot by about an hour and a half.
I probably shouldn't just wimp out and say nothing.
We were a bit disappointed by the level of attendance, which presumably was a reflection on the level of pre-convention advertising.
The problem was that - unlike previous Killercons - this year's event didn't feel like a convention. It was basically a number of small rooms where games were going on. We enjoyed the D & D scenario that we played, but to be honest, if we just wanted to have a roleplaying session we could have stayed at home. What it didn't have - at least on the day we attended - was the fringe activities that I like about cons. There were no discussion panels, and no "big room" where you could mill around, chat to people, or play board games.
We had bought a set of Pimp, which we hoped to demonstrate to any passing gamers we could grab. We'd actually printed up several sets of rules, marked up a load of cards, and were eager to go. The only problem, was that there were no gamers to grab.
(Yes, I know that it's a stupid game, but exactly the same thing would have happened if we had a "sensible" game to play).
After the D & D game, Bubba and General Tangent went straight into a session of Deadlands, while Demonic Madman, Evil G and myself (who were knackered) excused ourselves and went looking for something else to do. We wondered around and found Phil Masters, who was the main convention guest, sitting on his own in a side-room reading the paper, which seemed a bit of a strange way to treat the "celebrity guest".
We sat down opposite him, and he said quite eagerly (he was probably quite relieved to see someone) "I've got a game to demonstrate" and got out a copy of some Steve Jackson Games card game.
"We've got a game too!" we chorused, and took out several hundred marked prostitute adverting cards.
As it happens, one of the convention organisers turned up at this point, and Phil left with him.
Can't think why.
The other two were still in their Deadlands session, so me, Demonic and Evil G went to a nearby pub and had a few drinks. Then we came back and sat in an empty room for about two hours chatting. Then we went to a student union bar and had a few more drinks.
Eventually, after about five hours, the Deadlands session finished and we all pissed off home.
And that was that.
Copyright © 2001 Critical Miss Gaming Society