Saturday, November 12, 2016

Escape from Fireball Island! at GameholeCon

Okay, I know I haven't updated in a month, but we were shipping Ravingspire around the world and things were re-donkulously busy! Still, that's no excuse. You want to have a blog? Then update the blog. Them's the facts jack. So now I'm back! And last weekend was glorious Gamehole Con! I completely re-wrote and ran Escape from Fireball Island for the Con for two different groups of players, and it was an absolute blast both times.

The adventure is a 1930's pulp AD&D game I wrote loosely based on the Fireball Island boardgame from 1983.

Amelia Earhart is flying a group of famous figures from Miami to London, but as she crosses the Bermuda Triangle, she is forced to crash land on a mysterious volcanic island. Much dino-battling, lizardman-negotiating, trap-dodging, atlantean puzzle-solving, and jewel-gathering ensues!

Characters (class) were: Amelia Earhart (pilot/thief), Aleister Crowley (occultist/conjurer), Wild Bill Hickok (gunfighter), Indiana Jones (ranger), Cora Hatch (spiritualist/cleric), Marie Curie (scientist/bard), and Allan Quatermain (paladin). With a special guest appearance by Dejah Thoris of Mars (barbarian)!

My players were top-notch, and we all had a lot of fun. I did a quick 2e AD&D ThAC0 (score minus d20 roll = AC hit!), Saving Throw (roll above!), and Ability Checks (roll below!) math exercise with everyone before we started to make sure everyone was on the same page as to how ol' AD&D works, and then we were off! I think taking 5 minutes to go over that stuff for AD&D just before the game starts really helps it maintain flow when the bullets start flying and someone wants to jump over a river of lava.

As exhausting as it can be, its fun to run a game twice at a Con, because you can get two very different sets of players and the game can go very different ways.

  • My first group of players on Friday did a lot of negotiating with Lizardmen, dino-tricking, whip-swinging, and puzzle-solving through careful deductive reasoning and shrewd and creative magic use. It was marvelous.
  • My second group of players on Saturday blasted a path of sheer destruction across the island. Firing just about every bullet they had, harvesting lizardman and dino teeth as souvenirs, and smashing every mysterious gem-encrusted idol they came across. It was glorious.

All the players at my games were fun people and good-natured gamers, and I'm very thankful I got such great folks at my table! Some of those gamers were nice enough to send me some pics they took after the game, so I figured I'd throw some below. I also uploaded them to the official Vorpal Chainsword Game Gallery, where you can also see pics from other games run at Gamehole Con. Once I get my notes together I'll also put some campaign resources for the game up on that site too, but for now, pics!

Game on!

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