Me before my very first RPG by Andrew Webb.

Day 1 of Fear the Con started with our little group heading to Denny’s for some pre-con grub, the entire time me hiding my secret worry about my first gaming session.  Getting to the con early, we hung out while waiting for fellow Funnybooks host Aron Head to set my first game of the day….

Ship-Wrecked on Monster Island (spoiler warning)

Based on the Day After Ragnarok setting for the Savage Worlds system, Aron’s game involved a crew of Marines (and a Navy guy) who are ship-wrecked on a mysterious Japanese island during WWII.  My character, Giaccomo “Spaghetti” Lighetti was, essentially, the medic of the group.  As we walk ashore of the strange island, we find ourselves immediately under fire from Japanese soldiers, flanking a bunker as Professor Higgins (played by buddy James) runs for the tree cover.

After eventually taking down the bunker (thanks to a quick save from ThistleDownJohn, who took the brunt of a grenade and walked away with barely a flesh wound), we discover that the Japanese soldiers…well, they look a little odd.  Their skin is a bluish tint and their teeth have been filed down to be sharp.  We came across some native villagers, who led us to their village, and informed us that the Japanese had been cannibalizing the villagers.  After taking out the soldiers in the village, and a rather nasty experience with a T-Rex, we made our way to the Japanese camp where our division of 6 men took down the rest of the 150 Japanese soldiers.  Lots of explosions, bullets, and more explosions commence.

I kept the story vague a little bit because we’ll be releasing the Actual Play of it soon, and I think it’s a real hoot to listen to.  Mikey Mason (of “She Don’t Like Firefly” fame) did a fantastic job playing “Gunny” Trostle, and we had some dissension in the ranks early in the game that led to a tense moment between characters (not players).

This was, as you may have heard, my first time gaming … like, EVER.  I had played as a pre-teen and young teen a bit, but none of it stuck, so I was freaking a little bit, and, of course, I was among the first characters who had to take action in the game.  Still, I have to really applaude the group that I was with – they made Ship-Wrecked on Monster Island a perfect entry point to gaming, and I had a blast playing the game.  I had to ask a couple of questions on which dice to roll, of course, but overall I think I did an okay job, and everyone made me feel really welcome.  We worked together as a team and all of us really had a lot of fun.  Not only that, even experienced gamers asked questions and looked things up, so I felt comforted by that as well.

Having felt successful in my first game, I was psyched to play another game in the Savage Worlds system, run by fellow Funnybooks host Tim….

Savage Saturday Morning Cartoons

Our bad ass group of bad by Andrew Webb.

Unfortunately, we had two people not show up for this game, but I still got to play with a guy named Pete and fellow Funnybooks host Andrew.  Together, we bandied as a group of Saturday morning cartoon characters stuck in a barren wasteland after many of our fellow characters have been erased from existence.  Our characters, chosen at random from a list Tim brought, were Lion-O from Thundercats, Scooby Doo, and I played as Love-A-Lot Bear from The Care Bears…yeah, seriously.  But, lemme tell ya, Love-A-Lot kicked some serious ass!

We faced portals in the wasteland that brought us to a series of missions, where we had to take on characters such as Wile E Coyote, Yosemite Sam, Cob-Ra The Everliving (an amalgamation of Cobra Commander and Mumm-Ra), amongst others.  This game moved quickly, and was played a little differently, as we actually played on a board/map, where our characters had to move and avoid traps and all that.

The game went really smoothly and was a lot of fun.  The gamers all got into it, to the point of even speaking in their characters’ voices (yes, there’s an Actual Play recording coming).  The combat moved extremely fast and we all made it through the game relatively unscathed.  Ton of fun, and definitely put me in the mindset that I was ready for….

Playing All Flesh Must Be Eaten at Fear the Con. Here @AronHead demonstrates how a zombie is hugging @ThistledownJohn. Photo by Andrew Webb.

And A Little Child Shall Eat Them

How long’s it been? Three years? Four years since the world ended? Really, who’s keeping count anymore? It’s been an eternity in hell since our children turned into rabid, feral monsters sated only with the sweet, warm, screaming flesh of man. The world is in ruins. Humanity is hanging on by a thread while our monstrous children flourish.

Return to the end of the world! It’s year four in FtC’s longest running zombie game . No prior experience necessary.

I played as Gus Bishop in Aron’s zombie game, a mechanic with a soft spot for fellow zombie apocalypse survivor Cody, who’s become like a son to him.  Problem with Cody?  He’s kind of a little bastard, who likes to run off and into heavily zombie populated areas.  Within an hour of starting, one of our party was killed … by the end, myself and another character had also bitten it.

I enjoyed the hell out of And A Little Child Shall Eat Them. While it took me a little bit to get used to changing systems (after my first two experiences being under the Savage Worlds ruleset), the thing I enjoyed most about this final game of the evening was just how intense it was.  I was investigated in the story and the characters and, unlike the first two games I played where characters worked together as a team, in this game we all split apart, characters abandoned (and accidentally shot) each other, and the overall sense of the zombie apocalypse was just how overwhelming the odds were.  I started the game a little tired, but was quickly energized by it.

I also enjoyed seeing how different Game Masters run games – Tim used a map to play, along with notes on all of his characters.  Aron didn’t use a map, but rather seemed to know the sense of where the story was going.  Both were good, but it was fun to see how it all differed.

I had a blast on Day One of FtC4 … I think we’re releasing the Actual Plays of all the games I was involved in, so you can see how they all went.  Not only that, it was nice to feel like I wasn’t imposing on anybody’s good time.  We’re in the hotel lobby now, gathering for breakfast and getting ready for Day Two!