Con of the North 2015: House of Indie Games’ games

I participate in the House of Indie Games track at Con of the North. We’re mostly just a bunch of friends who like indie games. Two of us have even published our own indie games (Blade & Crown and Heirs to the Lost World). Most years recently we’ve put together a pretty cool lineup of games, and 2015 is no exception:

  • Friday 12-14 The Condor’s Fall
  • Friday 14-18 Strange Stars
  • Friday 18-22 Crisis simulation
  • Friday 22-24 The Quiet Year
  • Saturday 10-14 Caravan on the High Plateau
  • Saturday 14-18 The Dooms that Came to Chaegrae
  • Saturday 18-22 Classified
  • Sunday 14-18 Microscope
  • Sunday 18-22 Into Glorantha

Here are the descriptions, to further entice you:

The Condor’s Fall

You came to Spain with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight fascism and to support the Spanish Republic. You and your comrades are in a remote village, without the arms to defend it or bring the fight to the enemy. Hitler’s dreaded Condor Legion draws near. Then an opportunity presents itself to even the odds.

p. 25 of the events book

John always runs a good game, and I love the politics implicit in this one.

Strange Stars

Explore a new setting for Fate Core and Stars Without Number: Trey Causey’s “Strange Stars” RPG setting, a pulp and comics inspired game set in the far far future. Take some original Trek and mix liberally with Farscape, Traveller, and Transhuman SF in this anything goes space opera setting. I’m running it using Fate Core, because, well… I wrote the Fate Core conversion for the game!

p. 29

This one also sounds great. John’s own blog entry for this points to Trey’s extensive index for the game.

Embassy Crisis Simulation

Benghazi! Well, no – you’re supposed to do better. Each player has an embassy role – Ambassador, deputy, Security Officer, and intel chief. The group has collective goals: preservation of American life and property; and individual goals. The Embassy is in the fictional country of Erewhon; characters are pre-rolled. No specific rules are used; the GM is a retired US diplomat.

p. 35

Alan ran one of these for us a while ago and it was really cool. No dice, not even rules really; just a straight-up governmental war game, much like they use in the State Department.

The Quiet Year

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a post-apocalyptic community, and attempt to build something good within their quiet year. Every decision and every action is set against a backdrop of dwindling time and rising concern. The game is played using a deck of cards – each of the 52 cards corresponds to a week during the quiet year. Each card triggers certain events – bringing bad news, good omens, project delays and sudden changes in luck. At the end of the quiet year, the Frost Shepherds will come, ending the game.

p. 42

The Thursday night group has had a lot of fun with The Quiet Year these couple… years. It’s become one of our standard one-shot games.

There was a little confusion in the description for Bob’s game, because the Con has it listed as a board game. It’s really not! The Quiet Year is a collaborative storytelling game that involves a map. Not a board game, at least not in any traditional way.

Caravan on the High Plateau

Entangled in a war against the Spanish in their so-called New Crusade, Moctezuma, the Great Speaker of the Aztec Empire, has ordered a dozen cannon from the pirates of Port Royal. As the pochteca caravan makes its way across the high plateau, it encounters a Spanish patrol, but that is the least of its worries. Heirs to the Lost World is a swashbuckling RPG set in an alternate history 1665.

p. 50

I’ve said this before, but the stunting mechanic in Heirs is probably the best I’ve ever seen. It does a fantastic job of encouraging players to come up with exciting action sequences.

The Dooms that Came to Chaegrae

The Tomb of Gemenos has loomed over the middle of Chaegrae for generations. All who have dared to enter, or even to approach too closely, have had horrible fates. But now, you and your motley friends have come to plumb the depths of the tomb. You are unafraid of the Tomb’s strange fates, because you already know how you will die. The Tomb is but the next step in your destiny.

p. 59

As I mused before, this is going to be an experiment in high-powered Blade & Crown, where your Traits allow pretty dramatic effects. Let’s see who has the stronger doom, Gemenos or you!

Classified: Covert Roleplaying

Play a 1960’s Secret Agent in this Cinematic retro-clone RPG, where gambling, car chases, gadgets and gunplay are the keys to defeating the evil mastermind. Think 007, Derek Flint, Matt Helm, Napoleon Solo, Modesty Blaise – ok, even Austin Powers.

p. 66

The system is heavily modeled on the James Bond 007 game from West End. I think it actually qualifies as a retro-clone. Alan’s games of 007 have produced some of my most memorable moments ever from gaming. Of course he’s also a retired State Department official, so he may have to stay away from things that are actually Classified…


Together we will tell a saga. The rise and fall of a forgotten empire; the spread of humanity across the stars; the course of the War for AI Liberation — we’ll decide what history to make together. Starting in the broadest scales and then zooming in to decisive moments, we’ll weave a fascinating tapestry together. Play Microscope and make history!

p. 82

This is the other frequent one-shot game for the Thursday night group. You can read some of our Microscope histories here on this blog.

Into Glorantha

With the release of the massive Guides to Glorantha, it is a great time to explore one of gaming’s earliest and richest fantasy worlds. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran come form a Hero Band and take part in an epic adventure at the end of your con! For more info on Glorantha visit

p. 86

I’ve never played HeroQuest, but its design is pretty influential, and as I said above, John always runs a good game, so I’m looking forward to this.

Divider illustration of a sword

All in all, quite a line-up! I hope to see you there.


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