#40: My Babies
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue.
In a first I mentioned in my After-Action report (Freelance Traveller, May/June 2019, p.32), TravCon19 contained an excitement for me that I’ve not experienced before. Although I’ve sold hundreds of copies of my adventures via Mongoose and via DriveThru, I’ve not been aware, until now, that anyone other than me has ever run one of my adventures.
So it was a delight to have work colleague Jane ask if she could run A Troubled Case at this year’s convention. This is an adventure that she and two others had experienced across a number of lunchtimes. The idea had been to ‘make it up as we went’ although that was made easier by running it in 45 minute segments with, usually, a couple of weeks in between. I had plenty of time to create the next few details that were required. In the end I wrote it up as an adventure that Jane felt she could use as her debut refereeing experience. Indeed, she ended up running it twice there was such demand.
I decided early on that it wouldn’t be very kind to Jane to sit in on the sessions and either be an intimidation or a distraction; back seat driving is never pleasant. It also seemed silly to deprive conventioneers of a seat at the table – particularly as Jane was replicating her experience of just three players instead of the usual six.
Since TravCon19, another conventioneer, who’d kindly bought all three parts of my Ashfall trilogy of adventures, has asked to run the entire thing in three sessions at UK Games Expo which I understand is the largest “hobby games event” in the UK. Richard is a talented and experienced referee and it’s been my privilege to see in action several times. Naturally I was delighted. As I said to him: I wouldn’t write (and sell) them if I didn’t want people to play them.
It’s wonderful to see others taking an interest and giving yet more people the chance to experience the stories I’ve tried to tell.
But it’s odd too. As I was busy running other games at TravCon I could only dip into Jane’s version of A Troubled Case very very briefly. It would be difficult for me to get to Birmingham at the right time to see Richard running Ashfall. In other words, although it’s great to know that it’s happening, I’ve not yet seen my adventures being played. They’re like children growing up and being released into the world with the hope they might check in occasionally. I can no longer know exactly what’s happening with them.
I’d like to publicly thank Jane and Richard for taking these on – particularly Jane undergoing her first trial by refereeing – always something of a baptism of fire. Naturally, I’d be thrilled if others wanted to do the same and sent reports of how it went or even (especially?) criticism of how the adventures could be improved.
But be warned, one day you might just find me creeping in the back to see just how they’re doing!