PAX 15, Games on Demand, Saturday sessions.
I didn't get any signups for #IneptSorcerers in the 10am slot, so we bumped to 1pm and got a full group. The first session featured a traveling troupe of steampunk con men in the American West, helping a widow protect her dead son's mining rights from a shady consortium of bad guys. In the process they summoned a golden golem and an army of undead miners, gave a whole town amnesia-inducing beer, and indirectly managed to blow up the widow's house while making her very happy about it.
My friend Drew ran a 4pm game, this time with characters as students at Oxford University during the Black Plague. Under threat of the Inquisition, the characters were dispatched to investigate a ghost village in the center of an ancient stone henge, talked to a creepy grave-robber, encountered the bound shades of family members being used in a plot by a lord of the Pit, and used a church to amplify a spell of purifying flames to end the diabolical plot.
Overall it was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of good feedback. The number one item was "casting spells is too easy", which resulted in some changes to spell card pricing and rules, and a replacement of Chaos Capacity with a new "Mastery" mechanic. I still want to tighten up the spell card descriptive text, but this "Pax Arcana" edition of the game will see some testing tomorrow.
Unfortunately I didn't get time to try other games or attend most of PAX Prime's exhibits, but I got to sit in on a very informative session about playtesting and game design. Much of what I heard vindicated my thesis that many software-design skills are transferable to game design, such as testing mechanics in isolation (unit testing), happy-path and fuzz testing, and more.
I'll report on tomorrow's session once it's wrapped up. In the meantime, I'm giving Inept Sorcerers its own page, rather than just a PDF link. The new URL is here: http://astralfrontier.org/games/inept-sorcerers.html