Monday, August 10, 2015
But! Thursday morning we set out, Columbus-bound, to experience the excitement of Pulpfest 2015! I've got a list of books I'm looking for in the dealer's room, but the relevant excitement for this blog is the convention's gaming track, something they've never done before but are trying out this year. And because pulp-style gaming is something I do, I like to think very well, and they are honoring the 125th birthday of H.P. Lovecraft at this show, I'm going to be running a session of Call of Cthulhu on Friday afternoon.
The funny thing is, the game I'm running is a heavily re-written version of one of the convention modules published by Chaosium in the book "Terrors From Beyond," swapping out the locale, the names and occupations of both non-player characters and player characters alike, and the monster in the adventure. But after I did all this work, I found out that another pulp birthday being marked at this year's pulpfest is the 100th birthday of Henry Kuttner - and the original module, before I revised it, was based directly on a Kuttner story, with a Kuttner-specific monster! D'oh! Oh well, I'm very happy with the work I've done -- I definitely feel like the wholesale rewriting of the module has put me more deeply in touch with the core of what makes the adventure work and running it will be smooth sailing.
Which is good, because since this is not a fully-dedicated gaming convention, I can't go in with any assumptions regarding the players - I can't assume they'll have dice, or know which dice are which, or have any familiarity with terms like "hit points," "sanity rating," or "skill percentage." Chances are I will be teaching not just the game, but role-playing in general from the ground up during this adventure.
But this is not a bad thing, especially since this is my first game as a Call of Cthulhu missionary GM
for Chaosium. I'm repping the game and the company, and one of the big requirements is I keep things beginner-friendly. Pulpfest will be my baptism by fire, in a way. I'm going in professional, I'm going in clean, I'm going in friendly, and I'm going in prepared - and by the Black Gods of R'lyeh, I will knock these peoples' socks off with the game I'm going to run.
Heck, I even bought a brand new Hawaiian shirt to wear while running this game to make sure I look my best.
And speaking of purchases, my reward to myself for getting the new job was to buy a new canvas-and-leather convention satchel to carry game notes, books, pencils, dice, etc. in when I'm going to and from games. I'm not sure why olive drab canvas speaks to me so forcefully; my last gaming satchel, which was brutally murdered by Pathfinder books a couple years back, was an Air Force-surplus messenger bag in a similar color scheme. This bag feels very sturdy and well made, has lots of zippered pockets, and has a very "Pulp" look to it. I'm looking forward to its comfortable weight on my hip as I explore Pulpfest.