Terminal City Tabletop Con
This weekend the Croatian Cultural Center on Commercial drive is the home of Vancouver’s biggest tabletop convention. This is the con’s sixth year and it only continues to grow as interest in tabletop RPGs and boardgames makes its steady rise in popularity.
Tyler and I attended for the first time today and we had a blast. TCTC takes full advantage of the center, using its spacious halls to create massive gaming spaces stuffed with hours of fun and even providing multiple options to fuel that fun whether it be the indoor cafeteria or the rotating food trucks just out the front door.
An assortment of activities are available throughout the day and the scheduled events include a Settlers of Catan tournament (which you know blood will be shed), the Bring and Buy Auction and special talks and demos with game creators. With drop in games of an assortment of RPGs every couple hours, shelves of boardgames and tables of new or in-development games available for you to sink your teeth into. There’s even a handful of tables of local businesses selling goods and more.
There were two games that stood out to us today, the first was a fast paced card game called Wizard Thieves.
We got shown the ropes by Wizard Thieves’ creator, Jeremy. In the game you play a wizard try to steal as much loot as possible, complete with magical tricks to mess with your opponents and of course a wizard hat. The cards are small and beautifully illustrated, making the fast card-slapping pace easy to stay on top of, even with my brother’s red-green colorblindness.
In the game all players start with the same number of cards: a matching set of crystals and prized possessions and a couple random magic tricks. Players hold their hands face down and take turns putting them face up in the center. The goal is to be the only wizard left with loot at the end of the game, you do this by stealing the center pot at every opportunity, either through magic items or the stealing of cards when the top card matches certain conditions. You need to be fast and on top of what’s in play and what’s in your hand as a round can very quickly go from one player on top to another recovering from near defeat and collecting all the loot in a matter of cards. But don’t go slap happy, because your wizard can be cursed if they try to steal the loot when they’re not allowed to.
This game is simple enough to learn within the first couple cards played, but complex enough to keep it competitive and unpredictable. The magic items that come with the ability to destroy loot cards keep the game moving forward no matter what, so no game gets stuck in a stalemate and other cards allow you to steal from other players to help even the playing field.
The game should be coming to kickstarter soon, so in the meantime if you’re interested in checking it out, visit TCTC tomorrow or check out their facebook page: Wizard Thieves.
The other game we’re excited about is Endless Realms.
If you’re not familiar with Endless Realms, it is a pen and paper RPG made by local creators and was published with the help of its very successful kickstarter last year.
Today we got to play one of the new modules that is in development: Greener Pastures, led by one of the game’s designer: Sherman Tommy.
We were joined at the table by three others and we jumped into the game with premade level 4 characters on an adventure to a town that had been overcome with nightly attacks over the last month.
If you have experience with D20 systems like Dungeons and Dragons or 13th Age, it’s similar enough that it’s quite easy to hit the ground running, with one big difference: you only need one die. The entire game is run with a D10. I thought I’d miss the use of my D20 and other dice, but I didn’t at all, the design making each roll feel important.
Like D&D you have your basic stats with a few changes and like D&D these are stats you can improve as you go, but you also have another set of stats called ‘Inherent Stats’, these include things like Willpower and Luck and these never change. Another big departure is the use of Stamina and Mana points (in place of spell slots) to be able to perform abilities and do physical feats.
The races in the game provide a unique cast that vary from the common fantasy cannon-fodder of Elves and Dwarves, with new creatures like the Dengu, a race of mole-like people and the Ventelli, an alien-looking species from the dream realm. While you’ll see a handful of classes you’re familiar with there are a plethora of completely unique ones and the ones you think you know come with new twists and features.
Our session lasted about three and a half hours and while we didn’t get into much combat, due to the choices we made, the setting and gameplay was compelling and kept things moving. It was super quick to learn and we had a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to getting deeper into this game and exploring more of what it and its mysterious setting have to offer!
And what’s an adventure without loot? We also picked up some gorgeous dice from Adventure Dice, we highly recommend you check them out!
Did you check out Terminal City Comic Con this weekend? Tell us your thoughts!
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