Metatopia 2013 Recap
4 November 2013
Metatopia was awesome and amazing. I met so many wonderful people, and I didn’t have a negative experience all weekend. This is only the second convention I’ve attended, but that bad is set very high. I will go out of my way to come every year if I can. Pound for pound, I think it’s the best convention value I can imagine.
Iron Edda is a project that excites me, and not just because I may get to be part of it. It’s a fantasy Norse setting for Fate Core. This is something Tracy Barnett has been working on for a while. It started with a setting for Apotheosis Drive X, became the setting for this first novel Sveidsdottir, and hopefully will be the start of their first product line. The game play is fast (as expected from a Fate Core game) and fun. During the playtest, some excellent feedback led to some awesome mechanics for runic magic and how non-Bonebonded players could some as brightly as their larger counterparts.
Five Fires fills a role that I haven’t seen any other RPGs fill. How do you replicate the experience of creating something like a real lyric or a breakdance routine? Add an innovative city creation scheme and some really amazing conflict resolution mechanics and you’ve got something special. This one’s a fantastic game even for someone like me, who’s not really a hip hop fan. I didn’t need to be because Quinn Murphy is a talented game designer. If you’re not following him, you’re missin’ out, fool. <mic drop>
Psi-Ops presses you into the role of a post-WWII spy with psychic abilities. This one’s diceless and uses a custom card desk of 54 cards (0-9, 5 suites, 4 trumps) as its resolution mechanic. It took a little while for me to get used to it, but it models the uncertainty of a chase or covert pursuit well. The chance to play in other time periods and the way the mechanics blend the card deck and what’s on your character sheet means I’ll be watching out for this one. This also gave me the opportunity to meet a new (to me) designer, Jody Kline.
Odyssey is the latest hotness from Will Hindmarch. After the playtest, I backed the Indiegogo campaign. It’s that good, people. It’s a story game with some great scene creation techniques and fun XP system. It includes variant rules and uses a package mindset (playsets) that combine the rules in interesting ways. We played a ragtag crew fleeing authority on an aging spacecraft a la Firefly.
I was looking forward to playing Architects of the Twisted City because I can’t turn down something that the author describes as Nobilis crossed with Planescape. Brett Gillan had to miss the convention unfortunately (I don’t know why), but this gave me the opportunity to do something completely new and outside of my comfort zone…
Shoshana Kessock is a name you should learn, if you haven’t already. She ran an awesome freeform LARP called Service (which she designed and wrote). It was intense and moving, and I’m still processing everything that happened in it. It taught me some interesting truths about myself and revealed some uncomfortable things I’m still pondering. Look for a follow-on post with more details.
This is just part of the awesomeness that I got to experience at Metatopia! There will definitely be follow-up posts as I continue to ruminate on all my experiences.