TravCon 2017

“For I have dined on honeydew*, and drunk the milk of paradise*.”

(* or vegan equivalent),

In the days of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, you would have had to take copious doses of opium, or read gothic fiction, to match the many faceted glories of the small gem that is TravCon.  The array of different visions of Traveller on offer this year was breathtaking.

I experienced a Call of Cthulhu shocker, re-imagined in a classic Traveller location.  The novelty of this approach was brilliant, and the plot turns took us all by surprise.  I won’t spoil it for others by giving details.

As a complete contrast, I also took part in a free-form simulationist approach to planetary government.  Despite the oncoming TNE computer virus, we managed to cooperate just enough to save 1% of our planet’s population.  It doesn’t sound like much of a victory, but it felt like an achievement.

My third session was a more familiar type of scenario (interstellar intrusion and sabotage), but set in an unusual bit of the galaxy – the Vargr extents.  As mission leader I failed to anticipate the predictable effects of close confinement on one character’s compulsion to deploy a mini-nuke from orbit.

On Saturday evening I opted for the miniatures wargame Striker, so that I could drop out early if necessary and go to bed.  Despite having played once before, I failed to recall the supreme importance of the command and control rules.  My newbie opponent wiped the floor with me, despite her having a broken arm, and holding a baby.  (Her “command and control” of the baby was also impressive.)

Finally, on Sunday, another familiar Traveller mission (bodyguards), but again with another unfamiliar twist.  The person we were guarding had to be kidnapped (on the orders of his dad), and the “valued customer” we guarded was an infuriating wastrel.  There were also some colourful local NPCs on the jungle planet Gin, but none of those “Ginsters” really was a “patsy” as I had suspected.

My thanks to Andy, Sarah, and the referees, for their hard work to create another fantastic event.

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