Game Convention Blurbs

On his blog, Ryan Macklin — game writer, podcaster, and producer — has some very good thoughts about how to write a good game “blurb”  for advertising at a convention and, I would add, for weekly games too.

I’m not going to repeat his ideas here, I’d rather you read it from him, but I also want to point quickly to some thoughts I jotted down here some time ago on running a con game, including writing game blurbs.

Having recently prepared the convention for Dragonflight for the fourth year in a row, I can tell you that most GMs don’t put enough effort into their game pitch.  It’s often unclear, too long and verbose, or merely grabbed from an online review (like those from RPG Geek and Board Game Geek).  When you scroll through the list of games, it doesn’t make your eye and brain stop on the description.

Despite what Ryan describes, I get most of my convention players from people who liked the game description (and friends, of course.)  I always make sure my game blurb doesn’t look like “second verse, same as the first!”

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The League of Extraordinary Cats

It’s time for shameless self-promotion! ConQuest NW is in less than two weeks, so I thought I’d invite people to post their game descriptions. I’ll start the ball rolling:

I will be running a game of Cat from Wicked Dead Brewing Company. If you want to know what Cat feels like, click on the image to see a cartoon from A Softer World that (coincidentally) captures the feel of the game.

You play a cat. Cats protect people from things they can’t see; Boggins, specifically. Boggins, like the Man Under the Bed. Players fight to protect humans from the creatures that feed on children’s fears and rejoice in men’s shortcomings. Cats also venture to the Kingdom of Dreams where the surreal is common place, and anythings is possible. The game uses the Advantage system, a simple system using a narrative approach and six-sided dice.

I ran games of Cat at the last two editions of ConQuest NW; you can see photos of last year’s game on Heath White’s Flickr page, here and here. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve had returning players. Last year, everyone got to keep their “miniature”.

Here is the program blurb for this year’s game:

The League of Extraordinary Cats: When the Cheshire Cat, Duchess, Orlando the Marmalade Cat, Ame Tomoe, Lion-O and Schrödinger’s cat team up, is there anything they can’t do?

The game is scheduled for Sunday from 11:30AM to 4PM. I will bring a long list of fictional cats to get ideas flowing, but you get to create your own cat character (it’s a painless 10-minute process).  I hope to see you there!

I will also be hosting several time blocks of the Story Game Lounge.  What are story games?  If you don’t know, come and find out.  We have had Story Game Lounges at ConQuest NW, Dragonflight, and Emerald City Gamefest, and they were greatly popular. Everyone who wants to run a certain game comes and makes a pitch, and we play whatever games players are most interested in (we can have several games running in parallel.

We’ll bring lots of different games for people to try.  Games that might be played include: Nine Worlds, In a Wicked Age, Dogs in the Vineyard, Trollbabe, Principia, and too many more to mention.  If you’ve never heard of these games, you should come check one out!

Let’s have some more game blurbs: who’s next?

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