Dreamation 2014 Recap

This past weekend was the Dreamation gaming convention in Morristown, NJ. I was there in a variety of capacities – I had a publisher’s table and was selling both Adventures Dark and Deep™ and Castle of the Mad Archmage™, I ran Ogre Designer’s Edition as one of Steve Jackson Games‘ MiBs, and I got to play both Star Wars X-Wing and DnD Next. All in all, an exhausting weekend!

First was the BRW Games booth. I and two of my friends/minions manned the booth during the weekend, extolling the virtues of both ADD and CotMA. Sales were lighter than expected, I’m sorry to say, but the con paid for itself (including hotel and meals and everything) and that’s always a good thing. There weren’t many sales, but what sales there were, were big (“give me one of everything” was the most common order). Other vendors and publishers also reported light sales. This isn’t too surprising, as Dreamation is a smaller convention than Dexcon, owing to the time of year. It’s also a day shorter for the same reason.

I ran an Ogre Designer’s Edition game on Saturday that went very well. We had three players, so I split them into a team of two (each with a MK-III) and some armor and infantry against a single MK-V, also with armor and infantry support. The objective was control of a communications tower in the middle of the board.

Three-Ogre pileup while ramming

This was a really close game – there were times throughout when I thought one side or the other was toast, and then their fortunes would be reversed. The Ogres ended up in a ramming-fest towards the end, and the fact that the MK-V player still had a couple of GEVs when everything was reduced to slag or near-slag ended up tipping the game in his favor. All the players seemed to have fun, and I know I had fun watching.

I got to play in a Star Wars X-Wing game for the first time, and had a blast. I bought the game and a bunch of extra figures a while ago, but never actually got around to learning the rules. I finally got to see it in action, and now that I know how simple it is, I’ll definitely be playing it on a regular basis. I might even get my wife to play, as she is a huge Star Wars fan. We had a force of six TIE fighters against a trio of X-Wings (the Rebels ended up getting creamed, and the Imperials only lost a single ship – one of mine). What I really liked was how fast the tables can turn in the dogfighting; in a single turn, things can change dramatically. Simple rules, but complex tactics, is a hallmark of a good game in my book. This one has it. Let’s hope the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing game proves to be the same.

Finally, I got to play a game of the latest iteration of the D&D Next playtest rules, run by the RPGA. They were using a re-skinned Castle Greyhawk adventure from the 3.5 days (apparently there was an RPGA Greyhawk module of which I was unaware). The module itself was kinda meh, but I did enjoy the game and it was interesting to see how it played with higher-level characters. We each had 11th level characters, and there were quite a few special abilities and such. They seemed designed to stack with one another, which led to some curious instances (like my character, a gnome thief, could pretty much move at triple speed at will, as long as he wasn’t attacking).

A nice convention as always, even if it did seem a bit smaller and more laid back than normal. Now on to planning for Dexcon and the OSR Con-within-a-con. Expect a lot more details on that to be coming soon, but for now block out the July 4th weekend for what promises to be a great time!

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

3 thoughts on “Dreamation 2014 Recap

  1. 5e plays well at high levels is good news. Was this the "basic" version of the game? Are they still planning on multiple versions?

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