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Convention Review, Unicon Melbourne 2011 by snyptThis is a detailed review of my weekend at Unicon to show what the average roleplaying convention is like for someone familiar to playing online, but brand new to roleplaying conventions.
It is Sunday night and I am sitting here thinking back on what a great weekend I have had. This weekend I went to my first roleplay convention. Unicon.
For the last few weeks I had been looking forward to getting to play a pen and paper RPG for the first time in a long time and not only that but I was going meet face to face with some really cool guys I have been chatting and playing with for the last few years. I was dreading having to get up at 5:30am so I could make it to South Yarra from Epping on the train, but figured it would be well worth the trouble.
When I arrived at Melbourne High School at about 8am on Saturday, I was a little worried that there was no-one around and I was sure I was in the wrong place. I wandered around for about 30 minutes before I finally saw another gamer. It was Avatar. I had been talking with Avatar for the better part of 10 years online but this is the first time we had ever met, and I am glad to say that he is just as cool in real life as he is online. I was also glad to see I wasn't the only one worried about there being very few others here. After a short while the doors were opened and we waited inside. Avatar called another friend of ours - Mekkis - who said he was having breakfast with the GM's and they would arrive shortly. Soon after that we made our way inside and got in line to register. That's when Mekkis came in and Avatar introduced us. Mekkis had a couple of friends with him. We had a bit of a chat while waiting for the other Pathfinder Society guys to all turn up.
Once they were all there and ready to play, we went to a room separate from the wargamers and started to get some games sorted out. As it turns out, there was enough playes to make 3 tables. Mekkis who thought he had just come to play ended up being the GM for our first game of the convention and my first game of Pathfinder ever. I am glad that we had Mekkis as our GM because it is a lot easier for someone like me to ask dumb questions to someone who I know rather than a stranger.
The game he ran was First Steps: Part 1. It is an introductory module for new first level characters. In our group was myself - a level 1 Ranger named Telum, Avatar's level 1 Gunslinger named Buck, a Sorcerer named Seoni and a Witch called Fieya. We got through it with little trouble and we all had a bit of a chat and a laugh about the game once we were done. We then broke for lunch.
After lunch, we had a little break and got back into it once the other groups were done with their games. For our second game of the convention, Mekkis decided he didn't want to GM again and he was going to play with us. We got a really great GM named Myra. She ran us through a module called The Frostfur Captives.
This was a fun module and a little more of a challenge than First Steps Part 1 was. We got to meet Nightmare, Mekkis's newest Pathfinder Society character - a Gnome Synthesist Summoner. Nightmare was quite a powerful character and the most advanced pathfinder character I have been in a group with so far. The other 4 of us played the same characters we used in the first game.
We played into the night and finished around 10:30pm. After the game, we said goodbye to each other and headed home for the night.
About 4 hours of sleep after getting home, I got onto the first train heading out in the morning to make it in time for our single game of the second and final day. Today, at a little after 9am, we started my favorite game of the weekend. We Be Goblins.
In this game we had the same 5 players as yesterday but instead of playing our own characters we got to play some pre-generated Goblin characters. This was a crazy amount of fun, and by the end I couldn't stop grinning. For our GM we had the Australian Regional Coordinator for Pathfinder Society Stephen White aka Darkwhite (who also runs Good Games in Blackburn, Melbourne). He was a great GM and can do Goblin voices really well. He knew exactly how to get us into the game and I was in stitches for most of the game. After that game finished at about 2pm, they called an end to the convention and we all went off to have lunch.
I am very glad I took the time out to get to know all these people and get to play with them. They are all great roleplayers and great people and I would be more than happy to play with any of them again, at any time.
For now, I need to level up Telum.