After a 7+ hour drive I finally pull up into the parking of Schloss Neuhausen. A new Kraken awaits! The Kraken 2014 is a gaming vacation that is organized every two years with a big focus on Chaosium based games. In 2012 I had the impression that the crowd was split up between the Runequest players and the Call of Cthulhu players.
This year’s program features a lot more different RPG’s (my main focus of course). There’s still a good amount of Heroquest and Call of Cthulhu games, but also RPG’s like Dungeon Crawl Classics, Warhammer 40K, Primeval, Savage Worlds, Achtung! Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu, Pendragon, and even Grégory Privat’s Bimbo, a 100% grindhouse RPG, and Philippe Auribeau’s Cardinal’s Blades RPG are making an appearance.
Guests of honor this year are Sandy Petersen, of Call of Cthulhu fame; Jeff Richard, creative director of Moon Design; Grégory Privat, author of Bimbo and awesome miniature painter; and Jason Durall, main author on the Basic Roleplaying book.
The evening starts off saying hi to the complete UK crew from two years ago followed by the traditional BBQ and the opening ceremony in which the guests of honor are presented. This year there’s even a Kraken lottery in which one can win a copy of Cthulhu Wars!
Once the ceremony is over, Jeff Richard has his own small ceremony in which he reveals the two massive volumes of the Guide to Glorantha and the Glorantha Atlas. I don’t know anything about the world of Glorantha but these books look amazing! Quite jealous of everyone who joined the kickstarter for that one. They are truly encyclopedia type books. Great art inside too. The Glorantha fans are in awe of course and very well deserved!
After the ceremony Sandy shows off the prototype of his newest game Glorantha: The Gods War. Plenty of people want to try this one so a demo game is played. It’s really great to see the enthusiasm with which Sandy goes into explaining the game. Every time a new feature is explained he’s all smiles and big gestures. The players really seem to dig the game a lot. According to the first comments that floated around the table it’s more complex than Cthulhu Wars, more movement, more combat. Some nice features I picked up was a floating island, hell and heaven being game locations the players can visit, the spire which at one moment in the game exploded and turned into a chaos rift that started sucking in units of several players. So in addition to fighting amongst each other, the players also needed to take care to close that rift again. Several abilities of the different factions also need some negotiating between players with of course all agreements being just as binding as the players want them to be. Looks like a great game that I will definitely be supporting when it hits kickstarter.
No gaming for me this evening. I didn’t get into Glyn White’s wednesday night Call of Cthulhu game. It filled up about 5 seconds after it was posted on the board. If you’re a UK gamer, find this man at a convention and join his Cthulhu games! I had loads of fun in them two years ago. Highly recommended.