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Report: AVCon

So AVCon has come and gone, a celebration of anime, video games and other nerdy things. We were there alongside many others running tabletop RPGs offering the public a chance to sit down awhile and test their wits, bravery and imagination in myriad adventures and quests. At our table, we lifted the veil on the world of Telanya as players searched for the meaning behind the terrible scourge of the village of Daraton.

That's right, the playtest module Sickness at Daraton (available on this site; check the Resources area) was put through its paces, and it didn't disappoint. We had plenty of seats filled, our audience ranging from small children to older players wanting a fresh change of pace from all that senseless violence in other realms. Fun was had by all, and no small amount of laughs. Narrator Kevin Hayes ran the module, aided and abetted by Morgan Taubert, bard extraordinaire, who supplied some live music and exciting roleplaying alongside other players, providing assistance where necessary. The team worked very well together.

Some highlights:

- The Challenge cards, whereby players opted to draw a random card from the Challenge deck, the results standing in for a dice roll. Push-ups, balancing, spelling, maths, eye-spy... needless to say, it drew some laughs, some groans and some frowns of concentration. Definitely something people will remember.

- The map tiles, which were printed on durable card, and made us look a lot more professional than we felt! They were really fun to use, and the players loved moving through the dark tunnels, wondering what the next tile would reveal.

- The clue tokens were slow to catch on, but once the players realised that searching an area would potentially reveal scene elements they could take advantage of, they were very methodical. Definitely a favourite!

- The idea of defeating enemies without harming them was received very well. Even hardcore gamers fresh from the tables hosting Call of Cthulhu or D&D were pleasantly surprised that they didn't need to kill anything in order to win. They used a variety of tactics to ensure they triumphed, all the while making sure their actions did not violate their Silver Oath. I think we're onto something here...

- We couldn't fail to mention the team who managed the roleplaying area. They took very good care of us, bringing us water and making sure we had everything we needed, all with big (tired) smiles. So thanks to the AVCon RPG team. This couldn't have happened without you!

And here we are, so what's next? Well, we'll keep playtesting the system through public demos at local libraries and other events and making adjustments based on the feedback we get, so keep that coming! The project can only improve the more feedback we get. We'll possibly be collaborating with other people in SA, like Miniature Worlds Workshop (Google them, they're great). We're also mulling over our options regarding funding some more art for the corebook, sourced from talented local artists. We're exploring grants options, publishing contracts or a crowdfunding campaign. The important thing is we're over the crest and it's all downhill from here. Of course, this side of the hill has the most unexpected bumps so we're at our most diligent.

So that's it for now. AVCon injected some much-needed fuel into our tanks so it's full-speed ahead. Stay tuned for more updates!

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