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Fastaval 2016, part 2

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Mar. 27th, 2016 | 04:24 pm

Friday evening:
- played Legends of Camelot, a very open-ended scenario. Interesting mechanic of picking conflicts (e.g. freedom v. duty, old gods vs new) and then placing characters of that axis (a la the political compass test). It did define the genre (heighened / shakespearian) but not the setting (is it 'historical' 6th century camelot or high medieval camelot?) Good, but not great. I would critque it for being 2 hours of set up for 2.5 hours of play.

- in the morning I demo'ed Midsummer again (another player brought a copy after playing)
- I got another play session in on Artemis. This time they had added a slight hidden agenda element (the captain and crew wanted 'profit with a clear conscience' but the engineer who controlled all the power wanted 'profit regardless'; the mirror of this for the other ship).
- I then played the story game 'Dancing across the Universe,' about a generational starship. Some good ideas ad interesting mechanics, but the non-gamers (or, non-board gamers) struggled with it. It also had the issue of trying to discuss a matter to reach a decision where some 'resources' are not directly in-fiction, so it's unclear how to refer to them. Need a slightly longer (but partly that was down to the player group. I'd also praise it for including religion, something I suspect many (nordic) designers would have overlooked.
- See Me Now. A scenario about school friends going up and exploring genderqueer elements (based on the suggested scenes, it seemed to expect to include trans significantly, but also included sexuality).  Again, I'd critique the excessive (2 hour) set up, and personally dislike playing very young children (the characters start at age 6-7). Characters only get 3 scenes to represent 20 years of life, so I think would have benefitted from less characters having more scenes (it's written for 4-6; we played with 4, but I think 3 would have been better). One interesting twist in our group was a Russian player decided to play a 'straight women having multiple honest short term relationships' feeling that was transgressive/'queer'. I felt the scenario needed more alibi to play on the opressive element (e.g. parent telling a character not play with the toys of the wrong gender, school teasing, etc.); it didn't have enough of alibi-building, which contributed to play turning into a dreamland where everything is accepted without social consequences (and players only wanting to play supportive scenes, and no one really wanting to explore the trans angle).

- there is one scenario slot for tabletop and story games at Fastaval but few people do it on sunday. I've played in this slot in the past but this year I spent the time socialising and arranging another game of Midsummer.
- Later today after dinner is the gala reception and awarding of the Otto awards, then the bus back to CPH on monday.

So, in total I got in 8 scenaros for me this year (Artemis included), plus 3 demo slots of my own game. That's more than most aim to get in at Fastaval and on-par for me so quite happy (even with skipping one due to illness and not playing on sunday). This is one reason I come to Fastaval rather than other scenario convnetions, that's it's possible to get so many games in (travelling for 3-4 scenarios does not seem worthwhile)

Good news is my card game Midsummer has been shortlisted / nominated for the best board game award. I think the best scenario I played this year was Old Friends, and I'm glad it' been shortlisted for multiple Otto awards.

Fastaval has been doing what is possible mid-event to take the nut issue more seriously, and I've gradually been feeling better. I'm aware one other person needed medication for a different allergy as well.

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