Advice for using DF at conventions

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lostpict
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Re: Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by lostpict » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:22 am

I used my DF Dungeons and Sci-Fi sets many years ago at a Con using the WOTC Star Wars minis. I had carefully pre-built the set-up at my house, made a map, and transported the pieces in a tub to the location. Once I arrived, some of the gamers helped me to set up the table (3x5 lay-out). Somewhere in the process, pieces were misplaced by my helpful gamers. This lead to a fair bit of disruption since I was unable to figure it out and correct the lay-out resulting in some unplanned access and blockages in my carefully laid plans. We soldiered through and the Imperials killed off the pesky Rebels. Lesson learned on my part would be to somehow arrive with pre-built sections to plop into place. OBTW, the DF stuff was a big hit.
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LostPict, Lord High Undertaker of Valoria
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WhiskeyandPeaches
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Re: Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by WhiskeyandPeaches » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 pm

Thanks for the suggestions!

I have a good friend who will co-GM with me. It's unclear if we'll actually swap off the GM role. More likely he'll play the NPCs and monsters and I'll handle the overarching story, keep the narrative moving and orchestrate combat.

I'm not so sure about having the players help me set-up. I kind of want the big reveals of exposing more and more of the tiles as they explore, but perhaps I can try to create some time at the end for them to play around. I suppose I could also let the players play with the pieces during breaks.

Also, thanks for pointing the Twitter handles for @alphastream and @slyflourish. I'm not much of Twitter user, but maybe it's time to start.

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LordDust
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Re: Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by LordDust » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:58 am

I have not used DF at a convention, but years of playing various RPGs has taught me that you don't want more than six (for some the number is four) players if you want them to feel engaged. The only way to go beyond that without completely bogging things down in most systems is with assistant GMs that you really mesh with and can coordinate with easily with minimal communication. Then you run parts at a time with players possibly moving between GMs as the game progresses.

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Audles
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Re: Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by Audles » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:29 am

Check out @alphastream and @slyflourish on Twitter. Both of them often post very well-done and quick to set-up builds.

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dice4hire
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Re: Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by dice4hire » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:12 am

A friend of mine and I have used DF at a few conventions over the last few years.

1 Either one big encounter, or a series of encounters will work in my experience. One advantage of smaller encounters is you can hide them and thus keep more suspense at the table. They will never know how many more rooms they have to go.

2 6 sounds good. More is problematical. You need to put the spotlight on everyone, and that takes time.

3 If at all possible, have your players help with your setup as they will love to play with your toys. This is assuming you want people to touch your things. In all the games that my friend and I did, letting the players set up most of the play area with some general direction(Red pieces over here, and grey on the opposite side with a river in the middle) worked well. At the end, arrange a few pieces or put down decor to make the layout work for you, of course. Here in Japan 3D terrain is mostly unknown so it was a thrill for the other players to build stuff.

4 Time time time. It is so hard to know how fast players will play. I would have way more material than needed, and several satisfying endpoints planned out. Was that Evil Priest the end bad guy or was the whole party sucked into an alternate dimension to fight his demon master? Depends on the clock!!!

Good luck on your game. We will have our next one in July and really hope the KSV stuff is here ( and we have time to paint it all!!)
A pretty decent Docent of Valoria

WhiskeyandPeaches
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Advice for using DF at conventions

Post by WhiskeyandPeaches » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:11 pm

So, I am tentatively planning to GM a two-session adventure (six hours/session) featuring DF at Kubla Con over Memorial Day weekend. I have robust sets of City Builder and Castles, and modest collections of KS1 and KS2. I'm a bit concerned I won't have my DoD in time to use it, but I'm planning to work around it. I'm planning to run a slightly modified version of 5E to keep the rules relatively straightforward. I also plan to make the adventure so that player could leave or join between sessions and not feel like they missed the other half.

What I'm really curious about is the perspectives of those who have GM'd, built, and played on large sets of DF at conventions for any lessons learned. For example:

1. Am I better off with a single dungeonesque crawl in each session, or can I get away with jumping to a few locations if I can fly-in some smaller pre-built scenarios?

2. I am leaning towards 6 players to limit crowding around the table and maintain sanity. Too many, too few?

3. How much setup and break down time should I allow myself? Any hard-won secrets to smooth this process?

4. What else should I be thinking about?

I'd be grateful for any ideas, suggestions, warnings, etc.

Thanks!

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